Feltex has been a key component supplier to Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) for a number of years. In previous models the A, B and C pillars were manufactured overseas and fully imported. IAC International Automotive Components Group Europe SARL (IAC), a global automotive component company, secured the supply of these parts for the new C-class model at all manufacturing sites around the world (America, China Germany and South Africa).
To produce these components locally, IAC and Feltex extended their joint venture to assemble these parts in East London close to the original equipment manufacturer’s factory. This venture benefited MBSA by reducing supply lead times and by reducing currency exposure. Furthermore it also benefited IAC by establishing a new footprint in South Africa and further supporting their global customers and allowed Feltex to extend its product range.
The joint venture invested R16 million into setting up an appropriate production facility, which will generate annual turnover of R36 million. Forty direct new jobs have been created by the joint venture and a further 10 jobs created at local sub-suppliers.
This opportunity will be extended to supply similar components to other OEMs in South Africa who also import these products.