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MBSA welcomes new chairman

Home Manufacturing & Processing Automotive MBSA welcomes new chairman

MERCEDES-Benz South Africa (MBSA) announced the retirement of the chairman of the board of directors, Dr Joachim Schmidt with Wilfried Porth taking over at the start of this year.

Commenting on the board changes, chief executive officer of MBSA and executive director manufacturing, Andreas Brand said: “Good corporate governance remains the cornerstone of our business. The appointment of Wilfried Porth affirms our commitment to ensuring that our business practices and way of operating are in line with our philosophy of corporate governance. His outstanding experience will support MBSA’s continued efforts to deliver on our business sustainability strategy. We look forward to working together with Wilfried Porth and to continue with the legacy left by Dr Schmidt.”

Prior to serving as the chairman of the board of Mercedes-Benz South Africa, Dr Schmidt served in various roles within Daimler AG for more than 34 years. He studied mathematics at the University of Stuttgart, obtaining his science doctorate there in 1976. In 1979, he joined what was then known as Daimler-Benz, working initially in passenger car development and thereafter, for over 20 years, in various sales and marketing management positions. He was a member and chairman of the Board for a period of 9 years.

Newly-appointed chairman, Porth, has 36 years of working experience in various locations such as Europe, South America, South Africa, Japan and the USA. He has served on various Boards of Management and Supervisory Boards as a Member within several corporations. Porth’s experience spans across production, research and development, sales and human resources.

Commenting on his appointment, Porth said, “I am honoured for the opportunity to serve as chairman of the board of Mercedes-Benz South Africa. I am thankful to my predecessor, Dr Schmidt for steering the way and for laying a solid foundation. I am delighted about the journey ahead. On behalf of Mercedes-Benz South Africa, we would like to thank Dr Schmidt for his leadership in the last 9 years.”

MBSA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the global company, Mercedes-Benz AG. Established in 1948, MBSA is one of the largest automotive groups in South Africa. The production of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars at the East London plant began in 1958, with the model series of the W121. Today, MBSA manufactures Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedans including Hybrid derivatives, in both left- and right-hand drive for the local and export markets.

MBSA cemented its position as one of the top manufacturing plants of Mercedes-Benz AG, getting recognition for six years in a row with JD Power and Associates (a US-based company) quality awards for vehicles produced at its East London plant. With about 3 300 employees, the East London plant is an important part of the C-Class global production network. The network includes BBAC (China), and a lead plant in Bremen (Germany). Further investments into the expansion of the East London plant for the production of the new generation C-Class since 2018 constitutes R13-billion.


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