by Adrian Dorofte and Adrian Andronic
e-mail: mercedesbenzblog@gmail.com

New Mercedes-Benz Compacts Continue Course of Success: Mercedes-Benz Kecskemét Plant Runs at Full Steam

Production of the new generation of Mercedes-Benz compact cars with the A-Class, B-Class and CLA model series is running at full steam in the production network of the two plants in Rastatt, Germany, and Kecskemét, Hungary. The Hungarian plant, opened in March 2012, plays an important role in this: Together with the Rastatt plant, it produces the B-Class. In addition, it is the sole production location of the compact four-door coupe CLA.

Andreas Renschler, Member of the Daimler Board of Management responsible for Manufacturing and Procurement Mercedes-Benz Cars & Mercedes-Benz Vans, stroke a first balance after about 18 months of production on the occasion of a visit to the plant: "Here in Kecskemét, we broke new ground with the construction of the first European Mercedes-Benz plant outside of Germany. It is obvious that you have mastered the construction of a new plant in a new country with a new team very well. Our investment of 800 million euros for a new compact car plant here in Hungary has founded another success story for Daimler and the Mercedes-Benz brand in every respect."

Underscoring the plant's importance for the further market success of the new compacts, Renschler said: "Especially with the CLA, for which this site has global production responsibility, the Kecskemét plant is making a decisive contribution to our growth with new customers and in new markets along the Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy. Every single vehicle from this plant proves what we mean when we talk about Mercedes-Benz quality."

Renschler continued on the outlook for the employees: "Many of you are still rather young members of our global Mercedes-Benz production team. I am even more impressed to see you work in all areas of the plant with the highest commitment to learn and a great level of dedication. That's why the Kecskemét plant today is already on a par with other Mercedes-Benz plants, and is globally recognized as a natural part of our global production network. Thank you – keep up the great work!"

Frank Klein, Head of the Mercedes-Benz Kecskemét plant: "We will not rest on past achievements, but will continue to forge ahead for future success as well. That's why we are fully concentrated on our core task: to get the B-Class and the CLA on the road in top quality."

A success story: The new generation of Mercedes-Benz compact cars

Mercedes-Benz' attack in the premium compact segment continues: The Frankfurt Motor Show in September saw the presentation of the GLA compact SUV, which will roll to customers beginning in spring 2014. The GLA is the fourth of five new models that mark a significant expansion of the brand's product portfolio and appeal to new customer groups. As an example, the conquest rate of the new A-Class in Europe is at about 50 percent, the average age of the customers is 10 years lower compared to the predecessor model. Already introduced were the new B-Class, the new A-Class and the four-door compact coupe CLA. The new compacts have been a sales revelation over the past nine months: Worldwide, 267,467 customers bought an A-Class, B-Class or CLA-Class model (+68.3%). Further momentum is expected with continuously rising availability in further markets.

About the Mercedes-Benz Kecskemét plant and the production locations of the new compacts

The Kecskemét plant and the Rastatt plant together form the production network for the new generation of Mercedes-Benz compact cars. That network significantly contributes to the overall economies of compact car production and allows the flexible and optimum management of both plants' capacity utilization. The Kecskemét plant was opened in March 2012, less than four years after the initial decision for the location, and has since produced the B-Class, which is also built in Rastatt. State-of-the-art, environmentally sound technology is used at the plant. In January 2013, the new four-door compact coupé CLA was added as a second model, which the plant produces for all customers worldwide. With more than 3,000 staff in the meantime, the plant is the most attractive employer in the region, not least to due to the high attention given to the qualification of its employees. The pioneering efforts of the plant and its Hungarian partners to establish dual vocational and university education based on the German model further contribute to this. Daimler AG and the Hungarian Government in 2012 also signed a joint partnership agreement to establish and reinforce the region of Kecskemét as a center of the Hungarian automobile industry on a long-term basis.

Credits: Daimler AG

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