Mercedes-Benz has increased production at its plant in South Africa to meet growing demand for its C-Class model.

The plant in East London has started additional shifts and will also work on Saturdays this month. In July the largest number of right-hand-drive vehicles in the history of the factory rolled off the assembly line.

Rainer Ruess, head of the plant, said: “With the entire team putting in a great effort, we are producing at the limits of capacity in East London.”

Globally, since the first month of its introduction to the market the new generation C-Class  has defended the top position in its class. Mercedes-Benz posted 11.4% higher sales in the C-Class segment in the first half of 2011.

Mercedes-Benz has been in South Africa since 1954 and acquired majority ownership of the East London plant in 1984. The current C-Class is the third generation to be manufactured on South Africa’s Eastern Cape.

For the past decade the plant has exported sedans to right-hand-drive markets and in 2007 it started manufacturing left-hand-drive vehicles for export to the US.

Last year the plant, which employs 2,300 people, manufactured more than 52,000 vehicles.

Mercedes to build C-Class in US