While DaimlerChrysler SA had been hoping to drastically increase production at its East London plant by 2007, it has been notified that this would not be happening.

While DaimlerChrysler SA had been hoping to drastically increase production at its East London plant by 2007, it has been notified that this would not be happening.

When releasing the group's global results for 2003 in Germany on Thursday, DaimlerChrysler head, Jurgen Schrempp, said that the group was analysing the role of the plant in the future.

He said the group was "extremely happy" with the South African plant, which produced "excellent" quality that were well-received in foreign markets, according to the .

There had been hopes that the East London plant would increase its production to one million units by 2007.

However, DaimlerChrysler SA director Jürgen Hubbert said that although increased production at the plant was not being considered, there was no need to question the plant's future.

The East London plant would probably secure a contract to continue manufacturing after 2007 or 2008 when the production of the current Mercedes Benz C-Class would be halted.

Even at the present capacity of 55 000 units a year, a contract to manufacture the next model has been estimated to require an investment of up to R1billion in the East London plant and its suppliers in new tools and equipment.