Mercedes-Benz plans to establish a second plant at its Hungarian site in Kecskemét for the production of front- and rear-wheel-drive cars. “In the next few years, we plan to invest around one billion euros in building a new plant at our site in Kecskemét. We will establish a state-of-the-art and efficient production facility, in which different vehicle architectures will roll off the assembly line flexibly. With this highly modern ‘flex-plant’, we will create additional capacity along with the necessary flexibility according to Industry 4.0 benchmark approaches allowing us to react quickly and future-oriented to the market needs. Our company strengthens its competitiveness,” says Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain Management. The Mercedes-Benz product portfolio currently consists of 32 models. In the near future, the company will offer 40 models. Additionally, it is planned to gradually electrify all Mercedes-Benz passenger car model series.

The second plant in Kecskemét will have a body shop, a paint shop, a final assembly and a supplier park. According to Industry 4.0 benchmark approaches, a convertible factory is planned. It consists of networked production systems, a fully digital process chain, the intelligent use of production data and new models of cooperation between man and machine. Thus, it will be possible to make production more flexible and efficient and to implement ergonomic improvements in the future. Preparatory actions will already start this year; the start of production is planned for the end of the decade. The investment will create around 2,500 new jobs at the site as well as additional jobs at suppliers in the region and in German plants. The final decision and concrete realisation still depends on the implementation of various conditions.

“This investment decision proves that it was worthwhile for the Government to embark on an economic policy aimed at making Hungary the European centre of high value-added manufacturing activities,” says Péter Szijjártó, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The Mercedes-Benz plant in Kecskemét has been a successful producer of compact front-wheel-drive vehicles for the world market since 2012. Since then, (as of February 2016) more than 500,000 vehicles have rolled off the assembly line. At the end of April 2016, Mercedes-Benz announced to invest around 580 million euros in the expansion of capacity and the technological upgrade of the existing facility for the production of compact cars at the site. The new generation of compact cars will also be produced in Kecskemét.

“The additional investment in the new plant with flexible production is a proof for the know-how of our highly motivated employees in Kecskemét. The site will gain additional manufacturing competence for rear-wheel-drive vehicles. A further factor speaking in favour of Kecskemét is the outstanding cooperation with national and local authorities. All in all, with the existing and the new plant, the site has excellent future prospects,” says Rainer Rueß, Head of Production Planning Mercedes-Benz Cars.

Source: Daimler AG