Daimler will add a third shift at its Rastatt plant in Germany from next week to meet demand for its new Mercedes-Benz A-Class compact hatchback after receiving orders for 70,000 cars since June.

"We have expanded our full-time workforce by 500 permanent staff and are now well positioned to deliver the cars to our customers as soon as possible," Rastatt plant director Peter West told Reuters.

The completely redesigned A-Class compact is a key element of chief executive Dieter Zetsche's plan to regain leadership from larger premium rivals BMW and Audi, the news agency added.