Mercedes-Benz is starting construction work for a new fully flexible passenger car plant, thereby strengthening Daimler’s industrial commitment in Russia, which so far has concentrated on commercial vehicle production. “Establishing a passenger car production in Russia is a strategic investment in an important sales market for Mercedes-Benz. We are extending our local footprint and, at the same time, strengthening our global competitiveness,” said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisonal Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain, during the groundbreaking ceremony.
The new passenger car plant in the Moscow region is scheduled to start local production in 2019 beginning with the E-Class Sedan, which sets new standards as the most intelligent sedan in the business class with technical innovations such as partially automated driving. The SUV models GLE, GLC and GLS will follow subsequently. In total, the company is investing more than 250 million euros in the location. Production will be managed by the newly founded company Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing RUS (MBMR), headed by Axel Bense. “With the fully flexible production of the E-Class Sedan and the SUV models, we will produce our bestsellers for the regional market at the Moscovia plant. I am convinced that Axel Bense, who has many years of experience in the Russian market, will implement the project very successfully,” Schäfer continued.
With a broad sales network and a large range of models, Mercedes-Benz 2016 was the automotive premium brand with the most registrations in Russia for the fourth year in a row. In the last ten years, the company has quadrupled its passenger car sales in Russia.
“The construction of the new production location of Mercedes-Benz here in Russia is the result of a constructive dialogue with Daimler AG. The commitment of such a large investor and the planned passenger car production are a sign of confidence in the stability of the Russian market and the political direction the Russian government has set for the automotive industry,” says Denis Manturov, Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation.
Andrej Vorobjov, Governor of the Moscow region, adds “The new Mercedes-Benz passenger car plant is a project of great importance for us and we highly appreciate the cooperation and partnership with this important automotive company. We are ready to render all assistance and provide all the conditions required in order to ensure that the first vehicles will be produced as planned in 2019. Mercedes-Benz will bring a significant investment to the region and create technology-intensive jobs. We have already selected the educational organizations to provide training for specialists to work at the plant.”
The Moscow region is characterized by very good logistical connections, the proximity to the capital and the availability of highly qualified manpower. The new Moscovia passenger car plant is part of the Esipovo industrial park and will cover all production steps from body shop to paint shop and final assembly on a land area of around 85 hectares.
“Establishing the first Mercedes-Benz Cars production site in Russia is an exciting challenge for me, which I am happy to meet along with my team. We have a close relationship with our Russian partners from politics and economy and look forward to continuing our successful cooperation. As a good corporate citizen, we also want to get involved with the people of the Moscow region and become part of the community,” says site manager Axel Bense.
Convertible factory with Industry 4.0 technologies
At the new passenger car plant, Mercedes-Benz is implementing a “ full-flex assembly” and state-of-the-art technologies into the production system. The production facilities are configured for maximum flexibility, so that several architectures can be produced on one assembly line. An autonomous material flow and convertible plant technology allow to react to customer demand even faster. Through the use of warehouse baskets for supplying the assembly lines, different model series and derivatives can be integrated into series production. A so-called “one-roof concept” enables fast throughput times between the shops, efficient production and short distances for the employees. Further Industry 4.0 measures are being implemented in the form of innovative IT technologies. The Moscovia plant will be connected with all Mercedes-Benz sites around the world which means that every single system and robot can be controlled and reprogrammed remotely. Environment- and resource-friendly production will be implemented, for instance, through the concept of a paperless factory, heat recovery in the paintshop and the use of electric fork-lifts in plant logistics. Another major success factor is the Mercedes-Benz production system, which ensures efficient processes and high quality at all sites worldwide.
Qualification within the network
More than 1,000 new jobs are being created at the site. Selecting and recruiting its employees, Mercedes-Benz is working closely with regional and national authorities as well as employment agencies. The recruitment process with a focus on the Moscow region will start at the end of 2017. “We want to employ the best people for our plant. Selected employees will also be systematically trained at our existing plants in order to pass on their knowledge as multipliers to their colleagues. Thus, we are ensuring that we can produce in top quality all over the world and make optimum use of our know-how in the global production network,” says Schäfer.
Source: Daimler AG