Από το λανσάρισμα της C-Class το 1982, η Mercedes-Benz έχει παραδώσει περισσότερα από 8.000.000 sedans και estates και η τελευταία, η πέμπτη γενιά του δημοφιλούς αυτοκινήτου, συνεχίζει την επιτυχημένη πορεία των προκατόχων της.
Το 1982, η Mercedes λάνσαρε την 190, εκείνη την στιγμή, την μικρότερο μοντέλο στην γκάμα της – εξ ου και το προσωνύμιο “Baby Benz”. Η πρώτη “επίσημη” C-Class, ήρθε τον Μάιο του 1993 ενώ η Estate έκδοση της, ήρθε το 1996. Το 2000, η Γερμανική εταιρία, παρουσίασε τον διάδοχο της και μαζί με αυτόν, για πρώτη φορά έκανε την εμφάνιση της η Sports Coupe έκδοση. Η επόμενη γενιά, ήρθε το 2007 και έβαλε και αυτή το λιθαράκι της στην ιστορία αφού ήταν η πρώτη γενιά που ανάλογα με το επίπεδο εξοπλισμού, διαφοροποιούνταν η μάσκα του αυτοκινήτου. Τώρα, κυκλοφορεί η πέμπτη γενιά:
Με την ολοκαίνουρια C-Class, συνεχίζουμε μία επιτυχημένη πορεία με διάρκεια μεγαλύτερη των 30 ετών και χωρίς τέλος στον ορίζοντα. Οι παγκόσμιες πωλήσεις των 8.000.000 C-Class Saloons και Estates, αποδεικνύουν την ελκυστικότητα της σειράς.
Δήλωσε ο Ola Kallenius, επικεφαλής marketing και πωλήσεων της Mercedes-Benz. Εκτός από αυτό, η Γερμανική φίρμα γιορτάζει και τα 1.000.000 επιβατικά οχήματα που έχουν παραχθεί στο East London εργοστάσιο της στη Ν. Αφρική. Περισσότερες λεπτομέρειες και για τα δύο ορόσημα, στα δελτία τύπου που ακολουθούν.
Sales milestone for Mercedes-Benz: Over eight million sales of Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloons and Estates
- Five successful C-Class generations already
- C-Class still the top-selling model in the product portfolio
- Award for the C-Class: World Car of the Year 2015
Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales: “With the all-new C-Class, launched last year, we continue a success story that spans more than 30 years, with no end in sight.”
Stuttgart – Since the launch of the C-Class in 1982, Mercedes-Benz has delivered over eight million Saloons and Estates of this model series to customers. The brand has sold more than 250,000 Saloons and Estates of the current, fifth model series alone since it was introduced in 2014. Thus, the C-Class remains the top-selling model in the Mercedes-Benz product portfolio.
“With the all-new C-Class, launched last year, we continue a success story that spans more than 30 years, with no end in sight,” said Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales. “Worldwide sales of more than eight million C-Class Saloons and Estates speak to the tremendous appeal of this model line.”
The success story of the C-Class began in 1982, when the Mercedes‑Benz 190 celebrated its launch as a mid-range vehicle. Because it was the smallest car in the Mercedes-Benz range at the time, it soon earned the nickname ‘Baby Benz’. The first car under the C‑Class designation was introduced in May 1993. It marked new ground at that time for Mercedes-Benz, not only in terms of engineering but also because of the wider range of body shapes. The Estate introduced by the company in 1996 was the first sporty, mid-range Estate vehicle. When Mercedes-Benz launched the next C-Class model series in 2000, it included the Sports Coupé, a completely new body variant. The entry of the fourth C-Class generation onto the market in 2007 also saw the launch of a new design feature. For the first time, the front-end design of a Mercedes-Benz Saloon varied according to the equipment line. While the ELEGANCE equipment line features the three‑pointed star in its traditional position on the bonnet, it is built into the center of the radiator grill for the more sporty AVANTGARDE equipment line.
The record performance of the C-Class Saloon and Estate continues unabated. As already over the whole year 2014, the two model series also registered excellent sales figures in the first quarter of 2015. In the first three months of 2015, 109,050 units of these model series were sold – 57.8% more than in the same period of the previous year. Also in April 2015, the C-Class was able to maintain the high level of sales of the previous months. Sales figures climbed by 53.8% to 32,809 units sold of C-Class Saloons and Estates. Thus, the two models were once again the global leaders in their respective segments in April.
In April 2015, four out of five customers worldwide opted for the C-Class Saloon. The Saloon is especially popular in the USA and in China. In the first quarter of 2015 nearly every second Saloon sold went to customers from one of these two key markets. The Estate sells particularly well in Europe. Consequently, the sales ratio is more balanced in Germany, where two out of three customers opted for the Estate version in April 2015. The C-Class Estate, of which already over a million units have been sold, is one of the most important models for business customers. Four out of five Estates have been sold to commercial customers in the first quarter of 2015.
Popular engine variants
The top-selling C-Class Saloon is the C 300 4MATIC, which experiences above‑average demand especially in the USA. Furthermore, the C 220 BlueTEC is very popular on account of its excellent fuel economy. In China, the C 200 L, the long-wheelbase version of the Saloon, is the best-selling model. Also as far as the Estate is concerned, customers attach importance to low fuel consumption and decide most frequently in favour of the C 220 BlueTEC. The C 350 PLUG‑IN HYBRID, which celebrated its German market launch in March 2015, represents a further milestone on the road to zero-emission mobility.
Produced on four continents
The new C-Class is the first Mercedes-Benz vehicle to be produced concurrently on four continents. Within just six months in 2014, production started first in Bremen and then in East London (South Africa), Tuscaloosa (USA) and Beijing, where, for the first time, the C‑Class is also locally produced in the form of a long-wheelbase version for the Chinese market. According to the motto “Developed for China, produced in China”, Mercedes-Benz addresses thus even more effectively customer needs in the brand’s second-largest car market. In China, the locally produced Chinese model series of the C-Class Saloon enjoys a particularly high conquest rate of 40%. The Saloon achieves similarly strong results in the USA and in Europe.
Recipient of multiple awards
Numerous awards underline the success of the C-Class. For example, it was voted “World Car of the Year 2015” by a jury of journalists. The German car magazine auto motor und sport gave the C-Class the ”Best Car” award, while the UK magazine Business Car voted it “Business Car of the Year”, and the trade magazine FIRMENAUTO selected it as “Company Car of the Year 2015” in the mid-range category.
Mercedes-Benz East London plant is one of four global production sites of the C-Class.
Since 1958, 24 different Mercedes-Benz passenger car models have been produced at the production site, including four generations of C-Class vehicles.
Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain Management: “South Africa is an important location in our global C-Class production network. One million passenger cars made at the Mercedes-Benz East London plant illustrate the remarkable development this location has seen over the years.”
Production Anniversary in South Africa: Mercedes-Benz East London Plant Produces One Millionth Passenger Car
Stuttgart / East London, South Africa – In South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, the one millionth passenger car has rolled of the assembly line in the Mercedes-Benz East London plant – a white C-Class Sedan in right-hand drive. The new C‑Class is being produced in East London since May 2014. It is already the fourth generation of the highest-volume Mercedes-Benz model rolling of the assembly line at this production site. The plant is part of the global production network for the C-Class, which includes the lead plant in Bremen, Germany as well as the production site in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the USA and the Chinese production site at BBAC in Beijing.
Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain Management: “South Africa is an important location in our global C-Class production network. One million passenger cars made at the Mercedes‑Benz East London plant illustrate the remarkable development this location has seen over the years.” Schäfer also praised the plant’s team members for their performance and their continuous focus on efficiency, flexibility, and top-notch quality: “With their knowledge and their dedication, the entire team of the East London plant is making an important contribution to the global success of our highest-volume model series.”The Mercedes-Benz East London plant has been recognised six times by J.D. Power for manufacturing excellence, one of those six years with a Platinum Award for manufacturing quality.
Arno van der Merwe, Mercedes-Benz South Africa CEO and Executive Director Manufacturing: “The Mercedes‑Benz East London plant’s development has always seen enormous progress in terms of production technology, and especially the C-Class has provided important momentum in its earlier generations already. And with the start of the new C-Class in 2014, numerous cutting-edge technologies have once again been implemented in our plant for the first time.” With regard to the training and qualification programmes on site as well as at the C-Class Centre of Competence at the Mercedes‑Benz Bremen plant, Germany, van der Merwe explained: “In parallel, we have significantly invested into the qualification of our staff – especially for the new technologies – and thus optimally prepared the team for the start of production in May 2014 with more than 1,400 training interventions in preparation.”
About the Mercedes-Benz East London plant
The production of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars at the East London plant began in 1958, when after ten years of existence Car Distributors Assembly (CDA) received for the first time an order of the former Daimler-Benz AG and became contract manufacturer for the model series W121. In the year 1984, Daimler-Benz AG took over 50.1 percent of the company’s shares. Since 1998, Mercedes-Benz South Africa is a wholly‑owned subsidiary of Daimler. By today, 24 different Mercedes-Benz passenger car models have rolled of the assembly line at this production site and with the C-Class, the fourth generation of the highest volume model series of the brand with the star is produced here as well. Last year, the Mercedes‑Benz East London plant produced more than 45,000 vehicles since the production launch of the new C‑Class in May. At the end of 2014, more than 3,000 people were employed, at the plant specifically. About Mercedes-Benz Cars Operations
Mercedes-Benz Cars Operations is responsible for passenger car production at 26 locations around the world as part of a flexible and efficient production network involving more than 70,000 employees. This includes the central functions of planning, TecFab, logistics and quality management. Mercedes-Benz Cars produced more than 1,754,000 Mercedes-Benz and smart passenger cars last year, marking the fourth record in a row. The network is based on the product architectures of front-wheel drive (compact cars) and rear-wheel drive (for example the S-Class, E-Class, and C-Class) as well as the SUV and sports car architectures. In addition, there is a powertrain production network (engines, transmissions, axles and components). Each of these production networks is grouped around a lead plant that serves as a center of competence for the ramp-up of new products, technology and quality assurance.
The focus of day-to-day work is on the continuous improvement and refinement of state-of-the-art production methods, which allow future high-tech vehicles to be produced in a way that is efficient, flexible and environmentally friendly, according to the typical Mercedes-Benz quality standards. All of this revolves around the employees and their expertise, whose work is systematically supported by ergonomic workplace design and intelligent automation. In addition to its own production plants, Mercedes-Benz is increasingly leveraging partnerships and utilizing capacities at contract manufacturers as part of its growth strategy.