After the production record of the previous year, Mercedes-Benz continues its success track this year. For the year 2012 the brand with the star expects to post another record with more than 1.34 million produced vehicles. The positive development of sales led to very good capacity utilization at the plants in 2012 as well.
Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Manufacturing and Procurement Mercedes-Benz Cars & Mercedes-Benz Vans: “Our products are received so well by customers that we will post a new record also this year. At the same time we are setting the foundation for the future: We are continuously investing in our production network to accommodate our growth strategy.”
High capacity utilization, three-shift operations and numerous special shifts
The Mercedes-Benz production network operated at high capacity utilization in the current year thanks to the high customer demand. From January to November 2012, Mercedes-Benz already sold 1,194,904 cars (+5.1%) worldwide, thus achieving a new sales record. The excellent response to the new models among customers contributed significantly to this success. Thus, well above 100,000 vehicles of the new B-Class are already on the roads, and 90,000 orders for the new A-Class had already been posted five months after the start of sales. The demand was also particularly strong for the SUVs of Mercedes-Benz. Especially the new M-Class has seen excellent customer response in 2012, growing by over a third with 100,000 produced vehicles. The Rastatt and Tuscaloosa plants are therefore working in three-shift operations. In addition, these plants, as well as the Powertrain production network, introduced numerous special shifts also on Saturdays to enable meeting all customer wishes as promptly as possible.
Highlight of the year 2012: Opening of the Kecskemét plant
The most important milestone of the year 2012 was the opening of the new Mercedes-Benz plant in the Hungarian city of Kecskemét in March. Since that time, together with the Rastatt plant it is part of a production network for the new generation of Mercedes-Benz compact cars. The plant, which took overall capital investments of 800 million euros to build and meanwhile employs a workforce of 3,000 employees, has mastered excellently the challenges associated with the production of a new model in a new country with a new workforce. The continued ramp-up of B-Class production is progressing according to schedule and preparations for the production of the new four-door compact CLA coupe, which is to begin in the coming year, are in full swing.
Continuous expansion of the production network
With investments in the expansion of the Mercedes-Benz Production network Daimler is creating the conditions for achieving the objectives of the Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy also in terms of production.
Through substantial investments, the company is clearly underlining that the locations in Germany will continue to be at the heart of the worldwide Mercedes-Benz production network. Around 3 billion euros were invested for the plants in Sindelfingen, Untertürkheim, Rastatt and Bremen in the year 2012 alone.
At the same time, the international production locations are also being expanded in a targeted manner to enable an even stronger orientation to production in close proximity to the markets and customers primarily in the growth regions. Thus, together with its Chinese Partner BAIC, Daimler is investing around 2 billion euros within several years in the expansion of the local passenger car production at the Beijing location. In the USA, the company is investing around 2.4 billion US dollars within several years in the Tuscaloosa, Alabama plant primarily for the future production of the next generation of the C-Class from 2014, as well as for a completely new Mercedes-Benz model series, which will roll of the lines in 2015 as the fifth product at the location. Also in the USA, starting in 2014, Daimler and cooperation partner Nissan will produce four-cylinder engines at Nissan’s powertrain plant in Decherd, Tennessee, enabling a direct supply of engines for the C-Class production in the Tuscaloosa Plant from there.
Source: Daimler AG