Just about six months after the GLA-Class started local production, Mercedes-Benz has begun rolling off its second all-new localized SUV model at the assembly lines of its production joint venture in China, Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. (BBAC). At a ceremony held to mark the occasion, production started for the All New SUV GLC, the successor to the company’s successful GLK that has been locally manufactured at BBAC since 2011.

The start of production for the GLC also puts the plant’s second phase of development for new rearwheel architecture vehicles into full operation. With a new assembly and body shop in addition to an all-new paint shop completed for the GLA SUV already this April, these new production facilities cover a total area of almost 250.000 m2, making it larger than twenty soccer fields.

“China is already our number one market for the GLA and GLK. The GLC will undoubtedly continue our SUV success story here as it tops its predecessor,” said Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Greater China. “The All New GLC is also the latest proof for the tremendous development of our local production footprint. In 2015 BBAC will see for the first time ever an annual output of over 200,000 units.”

The start of production for the GLC heralds the next stage of expansion for BBAC and its rearwheel architecture vehicle platform. The second phase of the Mercedes-Benz Rearwheel Architecture (MRA) project kicked-off in 2012, and now sees the first all-new product rolling off the assembly lines. The latest Mercedes-Benz production system, processes and technologies are applied in the new production shops as well. The over 800 installed robots in the body shop and the water-free operable dry scrubbers for the top coat in the paint shop are just two examples here.
“After the successful start of the GLC at the lead plant Bremen, Beijing follows now as the second production site. The new assembly facilities meet the highest standards of modern production in our flexible and efficient production network. Thereby we ensure the established high quality at all our Mercedes-Benz Cars locations worldwide,” said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board Mercedes-Benz Cars, Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management.

“2015 is a big year for BBAC: It not only marks the 10th anniversary of our establishment, but the ramp-up of two all-new products on two all-new assembly shops within just 6 months,” notes Peter Schabert, President and CEO of BBAC. “This is truly a first for us and once more underlines the fact that BBAC has become a full-fledged Mercedes-Benz site that strictly adheres to our worldwide renowned standards and is a key element of our global production footprint”.

Source: Daimler AG