• MBSA East London rated best manufacturing plant in 2013 Ipsos Awards
• Top quality and efficiency is the product of a relentless pursuit of the corporate values of Discipline, Integrity, Respect and Passion
The hotly contested Ipsos Quality Awards, based on an intensive year-long Competitive Customer Experience (CCE) study, delivered a tight race for top spot in 2013. A clear winner in the best local production plant category went to the Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) manufacturing site.
The company’s East London plant produces the C-Class model for both the local and US markets, and has already proven its dominance in the American market earlier this year with a fifth consecutive win in the JD Power and Associates Awards.
“This Ipsos Award is further proof of the consistency and exceptional quality produced at our plant, as we have now been recognised by consumers in both the markets where our vehicles are sold,” says vice president for manufacturing at MBSA, Arno van der Merwe.
In addition, the C-Class also placed prominently in the overall Ipsos rankings, with a second place for the petrol variant, and a fifth place for the diesel version. The Ipsos study, the largest of its kind in the country, surveys over 10 000 South African car buyers, with scores calculated according to a globally recognised approach of Problems Per 100 vehicles (PP100). C-Class petrol recorded only 12 PP100 and diesel 14 PP100.
“These scores reflect a global trend towards improved quality, which makes it increasingly more demanding to produce vehicles of distinction. At the MBSA plant we are more than equipped for this challenge, and we continue to invest heavily in state-of-the-art production technology and employee training,” says van der Merwe.
“The plant is renowned for running a tight ship in terms of reliability and quality. Our focus on innovative thinking has resulted in efficiency increases of over 30% in the past four years. This consistent performance excellence on the part of employees bodes well for investor confidence, and has cemented the plant’s place as one of only four Daimler AG locations globally to manufacture the next generation C-Class,” van der Merwe adds.
In addition to the prominence of the C-Class in the 2103 Ipsos Awards, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class also achieved gold in the Top Executive category with 16PP100.