His Majesty King Juan Carlos I visited the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vitoria, Spain today. The Spanish monarch attended the presentation ceremony that concluded the plant’s modernization project.
In recent years Daimler AG has conducted a series of modernization measures at its plant in Vitoria. The most important component of these measures was the preparation of the plant for producing the next generation of medium-sized vans. The production of the new Mercedes-Benz V-Class MPV was launched in March 2014. It will be followed this fall by the production of the new Mercedes-Benz Vito, the company’s top-of-the-line model for commercial customers.
King Juan Carlos I was welcomed at the Vitoria plant by Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars; Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans; Frank Klein, Head of Production Mercedes-Benz Vans; José Luís López-Schümmer, Chairman and Managing Director of Daimler’s Spanish subsidiary; and Emilio Titos, Head of the Mercedes-Benz factory in Vitoria. The King’s visit to the plant was also attended by prominent national and regional officials including Basque President Iñigo Urkullu; José Manuel Soria, Spain’s Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism; and Arantza Tapia, Minister of Industry of the Basque region.
Another key moment at the event was the unveiling of a commemorative plaque by the King accompanied by the Basque President, the Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism, and the Chairman of the Board of Daimler AG.
At the event, which featured the presentation of the equipment for producing the new models in the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vitoria, Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said, „We are very proud of this long-standing plant and our highly motivated employees at this production location. As part of our most recent model changeover, we have invested about €190 million here to create the foundation of a bright future in Vitoria.“
As part of its modernization project, Daimler AG has invested heavily in the plant in Vitoria in order to prepare it for the production of the next generation of medium-sized vans. This segment includes the new Mercedes-Benz V-Class MPV and the new Mercedes-Benz Vito, which has been tailored to meet the needs of commercial customers.
The project has mainly involved the upgrading and retooling of the body shop, the paint shop, and the final assembly area of the new medium-sized vans. King Juan Carlos I visited the assembly area today during his tour of the plant to get a first-hand impression of how the plant’s logistics processes have been optimized.
The Mercedes-Benz plant in Vitoria: Very significant for the Basque region
In his speech, Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, said, „Our plant in Vitoria plays an important role as a competence center and a leading production plant for our medium-sized vans. This is the point from which our new Mercedes-Benz van models will emerge to challenge the competition in 2014. We’ve been producing the new V-Class here since March of this year. With the new V-Class we are raising the MPV segment to a whole new level. What’s more, this fall we will launch the Vito, our new superstar for commercial customers, on the road. A company that aims to build such top-class vehicles obviously needs a top-class team. And we’ve got that team here in Vitoria!“
The Vitoria plant currently employs 3,500 men and women. In addition, it indirectly generates about 13,000 jobs in the region. This year the plant, which is located in the heart of the Basque region in northwestern Spain, is celebrating its 60th anniversary as an automobile production location. The first vehicle rolled off the assembly line here in 1954, when the plant still belonged to the Auto Union company. The former Daimler-Benz AG subsequently acquired the plant in 1981. Today the plant site, which covers 600,000 m², has a production space of 370,000 m² and produces about 75,000 vans annually for export to customers all over the world. The Vitoria plant is the second-largest Daimler van production plant in the world.
The Vitoria van plant is also one of the most important industrial centers in the Basque region. In 2012 it accounted for around 2.4% of the Basque region’s GDP and 7.4% of its export volume.
Source: Daimler AG