The first unit of the new Vito rolled off the production line today at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vitoria, Spain. The vehicle from Mercedes-Benz Vans sets new standards in the mid-size van segment.

The new van with a permissible gross vehicle weight of 2.5 t to 3.2 t impresses with very low fuel consumption (as little as 5.7 l of diesel per 100 km) and a low purchase price (starting at €17,990 plus tax in Germany). The new Vito is also the first mid-size van to feature three drive system variants: front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive. As a Mercedes-Benz vehicle, the new Vito also sets safety standards with its many innovative safety and assistance systems.

Frank Klein, Head of Production, Mercedes-Benz Vans, had the following to say at the vehicle’s production launch in the Vitoria plant: “Our new Mercedes-Benz Vito is setting the bar higher for mid-size vans. The new Vito is the benchmark in its segment for safety, efficiency, and quality. We are now attacking in our traditional markets with new entry-level variants. Moreover, we are conquering new markets and also putting the new Vito on the road in the Americas. The Vito is our second global vehicle after the Sprinter, and the van is being launched here in Vitoria today.”

Almost 1.2 million Vitos were sold between the vehicle’s market launch in 1995 and the end of 2013. Around 3,500 employees manufacture the new Vito at the plant in Vitoria, Spain. Mercedes-Benz Vans invested €190 million in the plant in Spain’s Basque region to prepare it for the model changeover. The money was mainly spent on the modernization and reorganization of the plant’s body shop, paint shop, and assembly area. Examples of these investments in production include a new coordinate measuring machine, which measures bodies-in-white extremely precisely to within one millimeter; a new optical measuring device for checking body components; a new waxing facility; adapted assembly lines; numerous automation processes; more efficient laser systems; and new robots. In addition, the division invested more than €8 million in Vitoria to provide the employees with around 300,000 hours of training to prepare them for the new model series.

“Our team does top-notch work, and we are very proud that we build the new Vito in Vitoria in top quality,” says Emilio Titos, Head of the Vitoria assembly plant. “As a result, Vitoria continues to be the competence center for mid-size vans within our global production network. Together with all of the other participants, we are now looking forward to the new Vito’s success story.”

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 completely acquired the plant in 1981. Today the plant site covers a total area of 600,000 m². It has a production space of around 370,000 m² and manufactures about 80,000 vans annually for export to customers all over the world. The Vitoria plant is the second-largest Daimler van production plant in the world. In addition, it indirectly generates about 13,000 jobs in the region.

Source: Mercedes-Benz Vans