Mercedes ignition fault can only be fixed mid-2017‚ waiting for parts
Mercedes-Benz South Africa had a positive 2016 despite a big fall in sales in the country.
MBSA used its annual financial results briefing on Monday to make some significant announcements.
It announced an increase in revenue of 10.8% to R73.4 billion and that profit before interest and tax was up 27.3% to R5.6 billion.
These increases are in spite of a large decline in local vehicle sales‚ but MBSA was able to increase the volume of production at its East London plant thanks to its export programme.
In 2016 MBSA also began production of its first plug-in hybrid vehicle‚ the C350e C-Class at the plant.
MBSA is currently also involved in a global recall by parent company Daimler of more than 1-million vehicles.
Worldwide‚ 51 vehicles have caught fire so far after a problem with the ignition‚ but a corporate spokesperson for MBSA‚ Jeanette Clark‚ confirmed that just 5‚100 models were affected in SA.
The recall involves A-Class‚ B-Class‚ C-Class and E-Class models‚ as well as the CLA‚ GLA and GLC.
Clark said repairs to the affected models would only take place in about the middle of 2017 when parts become available. She said owners would be contacted.
CEO Arno van der Merwe announced that the company would add to its production this year when the East London plant began to produce the performance AMG models in the second half of 2017. These models will include the C43‚ C63 and C63 S.
In order to maintain the tradition of hand-built engines‚ the engines themselves will still be built in Germany‚ but Van der Merwe said the rest of the vehicle would be manufactured on the existing production lines at the MBSA plant.
The company would invest more than R200 million to produce the AMG models for the South African market‚ which was one of the largest for AMG in the world.
- TMG Digital/BDLive