Production of the long-wheelbase version of the all new Mercedes-Benz E-Class in China has started. The vehicles are flexibly manufactured at the Chinese joint venture Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. (BBAC) on the same line as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The previous model had been locally produced at BBAC since 2010. “Sustainable growth in the world’s largest car market calls for products ‘Made in China, for China’. The new long-wheelbase version of the E-Class is the third generation to be produced by BBAC. It is precisely tailored to Chinese customers and was to a major extent developed in China,” says Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Greater China.
The production start of the all new E-Class is another milestone in the Sino-German cooperation between Daimler and BAIC. The joint venture BBAC successfully commemorated its tenth anniversary in 2015. Earlier this week, the partners announced to invest RMB 4 billion (more than €500 million) in the further expansion of the Beijing-based BBAC engine plant.
In 2015, the Chinese joint venture BBAC produced around 250,000 vehicles including the long-wheelbase version of the E-Class as well as the C-Class, GLA and GLC. “The plant in Beijing is a key element in the flexible and efficient production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars. With the start of production of the new E-Class we are consistently pursuing our global growth strategy,” says Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Management Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain Management.
Each stage of production at BBAC reflects the same global Mercedes-Benz quality standards as apply to the entire value chain. A contributory factor to this is the ongoing transfer of knowledge between the competence centre for luxury-class cars in Sindelfingen, Germany, and the colleagues in Beijing. During the initial phase, the start of production is being assisted by members of staff from Sindelfingen. The increasing trend towards customised vehicle manufacturing is demonstrated in the assembly of the E-Class. Numerous equipment variants as well as safety and assistance systems mean that every vehicle running off the production line in Beijing is unique. The engines for the new E-Class are also being produced at the BBAC plant.
Peter Schabert, President and CEO of BBAC, says: “With the production of front- and rear-wheel-drive vehicles as well as engines, our team in Beijing shows its vast know-how while demonstrating its flexibility. In terms of surface area, BBAC is already the largest Mercedes-Benz car plant in the world and we are ideally placed for further growth.”
Source: Daimler AG