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

60 years of Mercedes-Benz in Argentina


The company celebrated 60 years of its arrival in the country with an event to which more than 700 people attended and where it introduced the new Sprinter utility vehicle and announced the production of engine OM651.


Buenos Aires, September 6th, 2011. It was the 60th anniversary of the arrival of Mercedes-Benz in Argentina, proud to have been the first Mercedes-Benz plant outside Germany, renewing its industrial commitment with the country and following the development of national transport. Having been the first productive subsidiary, meant the initial step in the industrial expansion of the brand in the world.

Because of such an important occasion, there was an event in the Centro Industrial Juan Manuel Fangio in Virrey del Pino which brought together businessmen, clients, suppliers, journalists, employees and officers.

The event was attended by the President of Argentina, Mrs. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, The Governor of Buenos Aires Province, Mr. Daniel Scioli, the Minister of Industry, Mrs. Debora Giorgi, the Mayor of La Matanza, Mr. Fernando Espinosa and other national, provincial and municipal authorities.

Apart from that, members of Daimler AG (Headquarters of Mercedes Benz) also attended, such as Volker Mornhinweg, head of vans at world level, Juergen Ziegler, responsible of Mercedes-Benz for the region; and Roland Zey, President of Mercedes-Benz Argentina.

Launchings and new investments

Within the framework of this celebration, Mercedes-Benz Argentina presented the new Sprinter utility car and the OM651 engine, both products will begin their manufacture by the end of 2011 in the Industrial Centre.

The company is carrying out an investment plan for more than 100 million dollars in order to adapt its industrial plant to de launching of the successor to the current Sprinter and to manufacture the latest diesel engine of the brand, the OM651, which will only be produced in Argentina and Germany.

The investment plan also includes an ambitious plan to develop local suppliers for the new products and for the new line of vehicles manufactured in Argentina.

This year, Mercedes-Benz started the production of the light-heavyweight 1720 truck. Besides, it continues with the local production of chassis for buses -with the current OH1618, OH 1718 and OF 1418- as it has been doing since 1952, the traditional buses which have been travelling along Argentinian roads for decades.

As from this year, with the incorporation of the production of the truck and the present manufacture of the Sprinter and the chassis for urban buses, Mercedes-Benz Argentina has become the only local automotive company producing all the range of commercial vehicles: utility, trucks and buses.

At present, Mercedes-Benz Argentina is a highly specialized Regionally Competitive Centre in the production of utility, load transport and passenger vehicles for export and local sale.

New Sprinter

Since 1996, the company has beenproducing, marketing and selling the Sprinter from its Centro Industrial Juan Manuel Fangio, the only vehicle of this type manufactured locally and it is the locally produced vehicle with the most export destinations (almost 50 countries).
The new Sprinter model, successor of the current one, will begin its production at the beginning of 2012 and the local and regional commercialization is estimated for the first trimester of 2012. At this moment we are concentrated on preparing and conditioning the production line for that purpose.

The objective of the company is to turn the plant in Argentina into a Regional Competition Centre for Commercial Vehicles, allowing a long term sustainable development of production volume as well as qualified local employment.

The new Sprinter is a bigger vehicle and has a greater load capacity. It has a renewed design and a new platform with new and more powerful engines. Besides, it has a high series equipment standard regarding comfort and safety.

A great part of the components included in the new Sprinter will be produced nationally; among them there are the following parts: air conditioner, dampers, seats, cardans, consoles, among others. The front axle and the engine are the most important parts of the plan including more than 50 Argentinian parts.

Moreover, the company is working to nationalize more parts and to develop new suppliers so the new Sprinter will be more locally integrated than its predecessor.

Increase in labour

Due to the beginning of the production of the 1720 truck and the beginning of the second production shift of the Sprinter, Mercedes-Benz Argentina has increased its staff by incorporating more than 300 new members. Nowadays, the company has more than 1800 employees. These numbers confirm once more that Mercedes-Benz is the most important industrial operation for commercial vehicles in Argentina.

More than 15,000 people, among employees, suppliers, builders of bodies, dealerships and workshops are part of the value chain of Mercedes-Benz Argentina.

In all its productive history in Argentina, Mercedes-Benz has manufactured in its Centro Industrial Juan Manuel Fangio almost half a million vehicles, including more than 180,000 trucks, more than 100,000 buses and more than 200,000 Sprinter.

Mercedes-Benz, leader in the market

Today, six decades after its foundation, almost half a million commercial vehicles have left the Centro Industrial Juan Manuel Fangio, in Buenos Aires Province. The great history of the company is a reason to be proud but also a commitment to the future. Mercedes-Benz Argentina strengthens its uninterrupted commitment to the national industry, with new projects and great challenges for the future, to continue growing and expanding destination markets.

At present and for the past six years, Mercedes-Benz is the leader in the commercial vehicle market. Regarding the bus segment, that leadership has existed since 1952, when local production began. Regarding utility vehicles, Sprinter is de undisputed leader in the passenger and tourism market.

Besides, Mercedes-Benz Argentina is one of the most admired companies in the market. Since its creation, it has been recognized in the most diverse image and prestige rankings among businessmen as well as users.

Recently, Mercedes-Benz Argentina has been chosen as the company with the best image in the county, obtaining the first place among the biggest Argentinian companies, according to the Pulse RepTrak report, carried out by the Reputation Institute together with IAE Business School of Universidad Austral.

Mercedes-Benz Commercial Network

For Mercedes-Benz Argentina the relationship with clients does not end with the purchase of the vehicle but it is there where it stars. For that purpose, all clients have the support of the biggest network of authorized Dealerships and Workshops, formed by 76 points of sales and post sales.

Since 2009, the commercial Network of Mercedes-Benz Argentina as a whole has invested more than 50 million dollars opening and remodelling dealerships in all the country in order to continue with the world corporate image renewal strategy of Mercedes-Benz and to continue to be aligned with the permanent objective to offer excellency in customer service.

Escuela Técnica Fundación Juan Manuel Fangio

Juan Manuel Fangio left a great legacy in Mercedes-Benz. Fangio had his first contact with Mercedes-Benz's silver arrows in 1951, the relationship between the brand and the idol was incremented with the passing of time and it never ended.

Besides winning two Formula 1 world championships, the company gave Fangio a unique and special recognition by naming him Honorary and Life President of Mercedes-Benz Argentina, position he occupied exclusively in the Corporation, being the only person who was given said award in all the history of the company.

Fangio's legacy is so important for Mercedes-Benz Argentina that in 1996 the plant was named as Centro Industrial Juan Manuel Fangio.

Besides, within the premises of the Industrial Centre functions since 1962 The Escuela Técnica Fundación Juan Manuel Fangio, which -apart from having a social function- is considered as one of the factory schools with the highest level in the country. Next year it will have been committed to education for 50 years. The company provides de economic and logistic means for its functioning; the annual investment reached is 400,000 Euros. Nowadays, more than 200 students attend the school for free.

The school provides and excellent educational level and it is free so that all members of the community can have access to it. The main purpose of the school is to prepare students with an integral formation and a comprehensive technical training in order to generate the human resources capable of entering the work market as well as being able to continue with superior studies. Students attending the school enrich their knowledge by practising in the Juan Manuel Fangio Industrial Centre.

History of Mercedes-Benz Argentina - Summary

- Mercedes-Benz Argentina is founded on September 6th 1951, and a few months later it begins assembling in the San Martín plant, SDK for trucks L3500, with 90CV OM312 engine and later the type L 6600 with OM315 engine. It also begins to assemble SKD for the first 170 SD taxis, known as "black ant" because of their shape and colour, and later on other versions of the same car as a van, pick-up and load box. These vehicles populated the city of Buenos Aires for years.

- In 1953, MBA becomes a corporation and acquires the land in route 3 km 43,5 in Virrey del Pino with some bodywork and maintenance machines. In that same year, begins the planning of the lines to manufacture and assemble units 3500,4500 and 6600; besides we begin to assemble bus LO 3500 and truck L 5400.

- In 1954 the assembly of truck L6600 and bus OP3500 begins, much of the structure of the factory was built and the production of gearboxes was installed, while Juan Manuel Fangio became F1 world champion with a Mercedes-Benz team (and he would do it again in 1955).

- The 1960s where characterized by an important and growing industrial presence of the company in Argentina, since it began to have a more important presence in the transport of loads and passengers, which in the following decades became almost an absolute prominence. During this decade, two of the emblematic models of the brand in Argentina began to be manufactured: the historical 1112 and 1114. Then, in the seventies and eighties, MBA continues to support the industrial development of the country and the world, it brings to the country all the technological advances, and produces in its plant trucks, buses, engines and gearboxes.

- The 90s were marked by the beginning of the production of the Sprinter utility vehicle in the year 1996. As from that year, the Industrial Centre is named Centro Industrial Juan Manuel Fangio, and it becomes a highly competitive world platform for the production of utility vehicles within the Daimler Group.

- In 2000, 50,000 Sprinter units are produced, and one year later, the beginning of the production of Sprinter with the steering wheel on the right, which is exported to Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, is announced. In 2001, it was the 50th anniversary of the company in the country and Sprinter reaches other markets such as Jamaica and Great Britain.

- In 2002, Sprinter 19+1 is launched, produced only in Argentina, it is a true demonstration of the trust of the Headquarters and the excellency reached by the employees, since one year later, this vehicle begins to be exported to Germany, where it coexists with the Sprinters manufactured there.

- In 2004, Sprinter obtains the prize to the heavy utility vehicle of the year. One year later, the new Main Office moves to Puerto Madero and the Monument to Fangio is inaugurated. In 2006, 100,000 are produced in the Industrial Centre and millionaire investments are carried out to enlarge the production capacity.

- Two tears later, Mercedes-Benz Argentina reaches more than 55 countries worldwide, becoming the automotive terminal in Argentina with the most destinations abroad: a real pride. The Sprinter goes to China, Vietnam, Russia, Australia, South Africa, Germany, Spain, Holland, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, New Zealand, Ireland, France, Italy, and all Latin America and other 30 countries in the five continents. In that same year, and after many years working together with Chrysler, the company is named Mercedes-Benz Argentina again.

- In its 60 years of productive history in Argentina, Mercedes-Benz has produced in its Industrial Centre almost half a million commercial vehicles, more than 180,000 trucks, more than 100,000 buses and more than 200,000 Sprinters. These numbers speak clearly of the permanent industrial commitment of the company with the country and the unprecedented history of Mercedes-Benz in Argentina. An icon of load and passenger transport in the country.

- Today, Mercedes-Benz is the most important industrial operation of commercial vehicles in Argentina and the only producer of Large Vans in Argentina. Mercedes-Benz Argentina has a long productive and commercial history in the country. Today the same as yesterday, it accompanies the efforts of its people to grow and develop with a strong investment attitude and the renewed vocation for technology and quality in every day work.

- On January 29th 2011, we celebrated 125 years from the creation of the car by Carl Benz, one of the most important inventions in the history of humanity. Today, 125 years later, Mercedes-Benz is still a synonym of innovation and design. On June 24th it was be the hundredth anniversary of the birth of dear Juan Manuel Fangio in Balcarce. Fangio was one of the most successful racers in the history of motoring and one of the most outstanding personalities in F1.




Source: Daimler AG

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