The first GLA rolled off the production line at the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant. The new compact premium SUV was unveiled at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt in September. The range of models offered by Mercedes-Benz thus continues to grow, with the GLA being the fourth of a total of five new compact models.

Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: “There is a very strong demand from our customers for SUVs and compact vehicles. The GLA allows us to combine these two segments and appeal to new customers: it is the next milestone in our Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy.”

Andreas Renschler, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Manufacturing and Procurement Mercedes-Benz Cars & Mercedes-Benz Vans: “Our plant in Rastatt is excellently equipped for the production of an additional model. All compact vehicles can be produced flexibly on the same production line. Since 2009, we have invested around €1.2 billion at the site for the production of the new compact models. We have also created 900 new permanent jobs. The smooth start of production of the GLA is a further proof of the flexibility and productivity of our international production network.” In addition to Rastatt, Mercedes-Benz manufactures compact cars in Kecskemét, Hungary. The flexible production network is complemented by the contract manufacturer Valmet Automotive in Uusikaupunki, Finland. Until 2016, more than 100,000 A-Class vehicles are planned to roll off the line at the Valmet Automotive plant.

The GLA extends the range of compact cars produced in Rastatt by one SUV. The product was introduced during the three-shift operation of the A-Class without any reduction in cycle times. The capacity for GLA production at the Rastatt plant is expanded to such an extent that part of the A-Class production will relocate to another hall. Thanks to the GLA’s high commonization level of up to 70 percent with other compact models, stable processes and excellent product quality are guaranteed.

Stefan Abraham, Head of the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant: “We are very proud to produce the GLA here in Rastatt, at our center of competence for compact cars. We are making an important contribution to the product offensive of Mercedes-Benz.”

Source: Daimler AG