Η Mercedes ανακοίνωσε και επίσημα ότι το νέο μικρό τετραθέσιο Coupe, η BLS/CLA/CLC/Baby CLS θα κατασκευάζεται στο εργοστάσιο της στη πόλη Kecskemet στην Ουγγαρία. Το μόνο που επιβεβαίωσε η Mercedes είναι ότι θα κατασκευάζεται πάνω στην πλατφόρμα MFA, στην ίδια δηλαδή που έχει χρησιμοποιηθεί και στις νέες A-Class και B-Class. Στο ίδιο εργοστάσιο θα κατασκευάζεται και η νέα B-Class καθώς και το επόμενα μικρά αυτοκίνητα της.
Από πλευράς κινητήρων η λογική λέει ότι θα φορά τους ίδιους με αυτούς που θα φοράνε οι νέες Α και B-Class και έτσι θα συναντάμε έναν 1.600αρη απόδοσης 122 ίππων και 156 ίππων και έναν 2.0-λιτρο απόδοσης 203 ίππων. Από πλευράς πετρελαιοκινητήρων θα βρίσκεται ένας 1.800αρης απόδοσης 109 και 136 ίππων.
Μέχρι στιγμής έχουμε δει φωτογραφίες μέσα από το εργοστάσιο μου δείχνουν το αυτοκίνητο να έχει επιρροές στον σχεδιασμό από τη νέα CLS η οποία έχει με την σειρά της εμπνευστεί από το πρωτότυπο F800 Style concept. Στο μέλλον θα παρουσιαστεί και η Shooting Brake έκδοση της.
Το αυτοκίνητο, θα παρουσιαστεί σε μορφή πρωτότυπου, CLC concept, κατά την διάρκεια του φεστιβάλ τέχνης και μουσικής Transmission LA: AV CLUB στο Los Angeles. Οι φήμες μιλούν ότι τα CLC και CLA είναι διαφορετικά αυτοκίνητα. Το CLC είναι το Concept Style Coupe, το οποίο βασίζεται πάνω στο πρωτότυπο A-Class Concept και θα είναι ένα δίπορτο hatchback. Στην ουσία θα είναι η εξέλιξη του πρωτότυπου F800 Concept, ενώ το CLA θα θα παρουσιαστεί στην έκθεση του Πεκίνου και θα είναι το νέο τετραθέσιο Coupe της Mercedes.
Ο CEO της Daimler. Dr. Dieter Zetsche, δήλωσε ότι έχουνε βάλει στόχο έως το 2015 να πουλούν 1.5 εκατ. αυτοκίνητα ενώ το 2015 1.6 εκατ. αυτοκίνητα. Να θυμίσω ότι το 2011, η Mercedes πούλησε 1.279.100 αυτοκίνητα. Περισσότερες λεπτομέρειες μπορείς να βρεις στο δελτίο τύπου που ακολουθεί.
Offensive in the Compact Segment Continues: Start of new Mercedes-Benz Plant in Hungary
- New B-Class now also in production at Kecskemét
- 4-door coupé to become second product for new plant
- Workforce to be expanded to more than 3,000 employees
- Dr. Dieter Zetsche: “With the start of production in Kecskemét, the Mercedes-Benz offensive in the premium compact segment is shifting up a gear.”
- New generation of Mercedes-Benz compact cars to be built in the Rastatt-Kecskemét production network
Kecskemét, Hungary – Daimler started production at its new passenger car plant in Kecskemét today. Passenger cars are now rolling off the assembly line in Hungary less than four years after the location decision was made in summer 2008. Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Plant Manager Frank Klein and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán welcomed around 600 Hungarian and German guests at the opening ceremony.
At the press conference, Dr. Dieter Zetsche stressed the importance of the new location: “With the start of production in Kecskemét, the Mercedes-Benz offensive in the premium compact segment is shifting up a gear. With the production network of the Rastatt and Kecskemét plants, we now have the capacity to meet the demand from many existing – and new – customers in the premium compact segment.”
In this respect, Zetsche announced that another model series would also be coming to the new location – the 4-door coupé of the new generation of Mercedes-Benz compact cars. As part of the ongoing plant development, headcount is to be increased from around 2,500 to more than 3,000 by the end of this year.
Zetsche expressed his special thanks to Daimler’s Hungarian partners in the political, administrative and social areas: “They welcomed us like a friend and actively supported us through every stage of the plant development. Their tireless commitment was one of the main reasons for the positive outcome of this project, and will continue to be a key factor in the success of the Mercedes-Benz Kecskemét plant.”
Zetsche also praised the outstanding work of the Hungarian, German and international employees in developing the new plant: “This team has provided the perfect example of how we will expand our passenger car production capacity in the years ahead. We are thus laying the foundations for implementing our Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy.”
Frank Klein, Managing Director of Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Hungary Kft., said: “We are making history today: less than four years after the location decision was made, ‘Mercedes-Benz Made in Hungary’ has become a reality. From now on, we can show that we are a key pillar of the Mercedes-Benz production network. Our intensive preparations have enabled us to produce the established Mercedes-Benz quality right from the very first vehicle.”
The first vehicle from the plant is to be auctioned off. The proceeds will be donated to the Hungarian aid organization Nemzetközi Gyermekmentő Szolgálat (International Children’s Safety Service).
Additional capacity for B-Class production
The first product in the new generation of Mercedes-Benz compact cars, the B-Class is now built at the new plant. It went into production at the plant in Rastatt, Germany back in September 2011. With this increased production capacity, it is now possible to fully address the overwhelming customer response: Mercedes-Benz has already received more than 100,000 orders for the B-Class since its launch in November 2011.
Efficient production in the Rastatt-Kecskemét network
In total, Daimler has invested €1.4 billion in production of the new generation of Mercedes-Benz cars: €800 million for construction of the Kecskemét plant and €600 million for expansion of the Rastatt plant.
The joint production of the B-Class in Rastatt and in Kecskemét enables flexible and optimum management of both plants’ capacity utilization. This volume flexibility is a key factor of the economic efficiency of the production network. In addition, the joint architecture of the new generation of compact cars ensures complete type flexibility in production: in principle, all models at the location can be produced on the same assembly line, in all variants of the product range and in any sequence.
The production network also includes the efficient logistical link between the two plants, which are part of the Daimler Rail Net network. The recently opened east-west rail link supplements the existing north-south links between the powertrain and vehicle plants in Germany. In particular, body parts, engines, transmission systems and other components are delivered from the German locations to Kecskemét by rail. From 2013, most of the completed vehicles will also be transported by rail in the opposite direction. Overall, when completed, this will save up to 60,000 tons of CO2 per year.
Perfect planning and green production from the outset
The plant in Kecskemét was the first passenger car production plant in the Group to be entirely digitally planned and to receive three-dimensional backup. This was an essential requirement for the perfectly-timed workflows and adherence to all deadlines and cost targets.
State-of-the-art, environmentally sound technology is used at the plant. For instance, the paint shop is one of the most modern and resource-friendly facilities of its kind with its innovative dry separation method. The overall energy concept is particularly geared towards efficiency, e.g. the ventilation system of the production shops with heat recovery, the use of highly efficient strip-lighting systems for illumination and the use of two district heating plants to supply electricity and heat.
The most attractive employer in the region
The plant is the most attractive employer in the region, especially since employee training is a top priority. All new employees undergo intensive training programs, which are available at the in-house training center in Kecskemét and at the German locations, particularly at the Rastatt plant. This thorough, high-grade training is the key success factor in producing top-quality vehicles to Mercedes-Benz standards at the location from the outset.
Innovative dual training in Hungary, strategic partnerships in the area of education
The Mercedes-Benz Kecskemét plant is also covering future requirements for qualified staff through strategic partnerships in the area of education. In particular, the plant is breaking new ground by offering high-grade dual vocational training based on the German model, which is being delivered in conjunction with Kecskemét City Council and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of the county of Bács-Kiskun. The first 34 trainees started their courses in 2011, and the next intake of 36 trainees will start their training in September 2012.
In the tertiary education sector, the Mercedes-Benz plant and Kecskemét University of Applied Sciences have joined forces to enable practically-oriented, dual university education. The first students in this new training format will commence their studies in September 2012. With this offering, the partners are aiming to make the University for Applied Sciences the number one centre in Hungary for training of extremely well-qualified specialists for the automobile industry.
Hungarian companies benefit from the project
The Hungarian economy has benefited significantly from the choice of location. For instance, over 90% of the order volume for construction of the plant was placed with Hungarian companies. Operation of the plant also provides wide-ranging opportunities for Hungarian partners, for example service providers and craftsmen. Regarding the production materials for the new generation of Mercedes-Benz compact cars, 17 Hungary-based suppliers have been awarded a substantial order volume worth running into nine figures of euros.
Mercedes-Benz consistently implements its 2020 growth strategy
- Best-ever first quarter expected for unit sales
- Plant opening in Kecskemét is another milestone on the way to the top
- Dr. Dieter Zetsche: “We have a fighting spirit in the entire organization to become the leading manufacturer of premium automobiles once again also in terms of unit sales.”
Kecskemét – Daimler AG sees Mercedes-Benz well on its way to achieving the goals of its 2020 growth strategy and reclaiming the number one position in the premium segment by the end of the decade.
Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, stated to investors and analysts at the opening of the new plant in Kecskemét, Hungary: “Mercedes-Benz is consistently implementing its growth strategy. We have a fighting spirit in the entire organization to become the leading manufacturer of premium automobiles once again also in terms of unit sales. We are aware of the challenges and we will master them.”
Following the successful year 2011, in which the division posted new records for unit sales, revenue and earnings, the year 2012 has also started well. Mercedes-Benz Cars is expected to report the best unit sales it has ever achieved in a first quarter.
With its Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy, the Mercedes-Benz Cars division intends to occupy the number one position in the premium segment not only in terms of brand, products and profitability, but also of unit sales. Zetsche left no doubt that all efforts are being made to achieve those four goals, with the support of a large number of activities.
With regards to the Mercedes-Benz brand, Daimler is further strengthening its core brand values of fascination, perfection and responsibility to broaden the customer base and address younger customers. This will be facilitated by the five new models of the new-generation compact car, and also by highly emotive vehicles such as the CLS Shooting Brake.
With products, the automobile portfolio is being rejuvenated and a third product offensive has been started with 10 new derivatives for which no predecessor models exist to be launched by the year 2015. For example, the luxury segment will be enlarged by expanding the S-Class range from three to six models with highly profitable derivatives.
The planned activities also include further reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. “We are convinced that ‘cool’ and ‘green’ can peacefully coexist in our garages,” said Zetsche. Mercedes-Benz Cars will be able to reduce the average CO2 emissions of its automobiles sold in the European Union from today’s 150 grams per kilometer to 125 g/km by the year 2016. The new A-Class will start with emissions of 99 g/km.
In order to further increase unit sales, the automobile portfolio will be successively expanded and geographical presence will be broadened by expanding sales structures and production capacities, especially in the NAFTA region and in China.
There will be a positive impact on the progress to the top of the premium segment from the fact that the automotive industry continues to be a growth industry. According to forecasts, worldwide car sales will increase from 60 million units in 2011 to 100 million units in 2020. China is already the world’s biggest market in terms of unit sales and will remain so in 2020, but the country’s car market will have doubled by then. China therefore remains a cornerstone of Mercedes-Benz Cars’ growth strategy. The second-most important sales market, the United States, is projected to have an annual average growth rate in the premium segment of 5.6%. And India will advance to become the world’s third-largest car market by 2020.
Irrespective of this development, a clear target has been set of “achieving above-average growth in those markets and of further improving our competitive position,” stated Zetsche. In this context, he affirmed the medium-term target for unit sales of Mercedes-Benz: sales of more than 1.5 million vehicles in 2014 and more than 1.6 million in 2015 (2011: 1,279,100). Zetsche pointed out that the emphasis was on the word “more.”
Mercedes-Benz Cars will further improve its profitability by means of project-related cooperation such as with Renault/Nissan, as well as through savings achieved from the module and platform strategies and improved efficiency in the value chain. At the same time, the enhanced flexibility of the international production network will make it possible to react faster to fluctuations in demand.
Due to savings from the module strategy and further efficiency actions, the division will be able to compensate for the cost burden anticipated in the automotive industry from rising raw-material prices and investments to reduce CO2 emissions, thus safeguarding its profitability targets. “At Mercedes-Benz Cars, we are approaching our targeted return on sales of 10 percent, which we want to achieve on a sustained basis as of 2013 – on the assumption that our business environment will remain stable,” emphasized Zetsche.
How the Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy works in practice can first be seen in the compact-car segment. The new plant in Kecskemét is a state-of-the-art factory for Mercedes-Benz Cars; it will produce cars in conjunction with the plant in Rastatt and will make a key contribution to economy through volume flexibility.
Profitability in the compact-car segment will be additionally improved compared with the predecessor generation by producing a significantly higher volume of five different cars from the same architecture instead of two, and by spreading the production network over three plants (Rastatt, Kecskemét and Beijing).
On the occasion of the opening of the new plant for the production of the new B-Class, Daimler had invited investors and analysts to attend a division day in Kecskemét in Hungary.