DaimlerChrysler SA achieved 64% growth in turnover in 2001 over 2000 according to a report in the South African Sunday Times newspaper.

The report quotes Rudi Borgenheimer, management board member for finance, as remarking that the performance ‘was the best in the company’s history’.

The newspaper added that turnover for 2001 amounted to R13,9-billion, exceeding the target of R12,6-billion.

Chairman Christoph Kopke reportedly said a turnover of R16,2-billion was projected for 2002.

South Africa’s Mercedes-Benz plant produces all right-hand drive C-class models for the company at the rate of around 17,000 units per annum and has seen considerable investment in recent years.

The weak rand has boosted export earnings for South African producers and is undoubtedly a key factor behind DC’s South African subsidiary’s strong revenue  performance in 2001.

The South African car market was also lively in 2001, especially in the final quarter.

However, demand in the local market is forecast to cool in 2002, after a recent spate of growth boosted by consumers bringing forward purchases ahead of expected price rises – also down to the weak rand.