Anniversary at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Hungary: Mercedes-Benz Kecskemét plant produces fivehundred thousandth passenger car

Anniversary at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Hungary: Mercedes-Benz Kecskemét plant produces fivehundred thousandth passenger car
15.
February 2016
Kecskemét
  • Laid end to end, the 500,000 Mercedes-Benz models produced at the Hungarian plant would stretch from Kecskemét to the lead plant in Rastatt, Germany, and all the way back again.
  • Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain Management: "The Mercedes-Benz Kecskemét plant, together with the lead plant in Rastatt, Germany, makes an important contribution to growth in our compact-car segment."
  • Christian Wolff, CEO and Site Manager of Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Hungary Kft. since 1 January 2016: "The Mercedes-Benz plant Kecskemét continues to have a very good perspective with its successful products. Currently, 15 million euros are being invested in an innovative logistic concept.”
Kecskemét – Production anniversary at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Kecskemét, Hungary: 500,000 vehicles have rolled off the production line since the plant opening on 29 March 2012. "The Mercedes-Benz plant Kecskemét, together with the lead plant in Rastatt, Germany, makes an important contribution to growth in our compact-car segment. In Kecskemét, with the CLA and the CLA Shooting Brake, we produce two models exclusively for the world market," said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain Management. To celebrate the production anniversary, the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán visited the plant. At the same time, he took the opportunity to personally meet the new CEO and Site Manager, Christian Wolff.
Besides Orbán, Szemereyné Pataki Klaudia, Mayor of Kecskemét; István Lepsényi, Secretary of State for Economic Development and Economic Regulation from the Department of Trade and Industry; as well as János Nagy, Secretary of State, were part of the meeting.
The fivehundred thousandth passenger car from Kecskemét is a cosmos black CLA, which is going to a Hungarian customer. "The production anniversary is a success achieved together by our workforce of over 4,000 people. Our qualified experts and dedicated employees produce passenger cars in top-quality. The Mercedes-Benz plant Kecskemét continues to have a very good perspective with its successful products. We are planning to further develop the location on a continuous basis. Currently, 15 million euros are invested in an innovative logistic concept", said Christian Wolff, who has been CEO and Site Manager of Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Hungary Kft. since 1 January 2016. Wolff also expressed the company's gratitude to all its Hungarian partners in politics, administration and society, and in particular to the city of Kecskemét, for the on-going and constructive partnership.
The Kecskemét plant largely contributes to the international success of Mercedes-Benz with its production of the B-Class, the CLA and the CLA Shooting Brake. The CLA and the CLA Shooting Brake are produced exclusively in Kecskemét for all markets worldwide. The compact cars are continuing on the road to success at Mercedes-Benz: In January, 45,840 customers decided to buy an A-Class, B-Class, CLA, CLA Shooting Brake or GLA, representing a 35.9 percent increase in unit sales compared with the same month last year. One year ago, the number of compact models delivered to customers worldwide increased by 25.8 percent, to a total of 582,531 passenger cars.
"We are proud to state that the Mercedes-Benz models from Kecskemét with their innovative technologies are already sold in more than 180 countries. These models are likewise extremely popular in Hungary. Year after year, more and more domestic customers are choosing to buy passenger cars produced at this location," states Jörg Schmidt, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Hungária Kft.
About global production of Mercedes-Benz compact cars
The Mercedes-Benz plant Kecskemét is part of the compact-car production network within the global, flexible and efficient Mercedes-Benz Cars production compound. In addition to Kecskemét, the compact-car network includes the lead plant in Rastatt (Germany) and BBAC in Beijing (China), where the GLA compact SUV is produced for the Chinese market. Furthermore, Mercedes-Benz Cars uses the Finnish contract manufacturer Valmet Automotive to produce additional A-Class models. Thanks to the shared compact-car architecture, each location can build all models in any sequence and any number, thus ensuring that the volumes can be distributed around the network flexibly and efficiently in line with current market demand. Last year, the plant Kecskemét produced over 183,000 passenger cars.
15 million euros of investment in an innovative logistics concept
The Kecskemét site is currently investing 15 million euros in an innovative logistics concept. The plant's logistics hall is being expanded considerably to supply parts directly to the production line. This expansion is greatly influenced by the digital transformation: the new shopping cart-based logistics system has brought about visible changes in the plant's assembly section as there are now no shelves filled with boxes and parts to be seen anywhere on the production line. The associated logistical supply processes have likewise changed almost beyond recognition: the previous transport routes became free, and driverless transport systems take the shopping carts from the picking zone in the logistics centre to the assembly line automatically. Here the employees remove the parts from the shopping cart at the relevant workstations and install them in the vehicles. Consequently, the load carriers previously required in the production area are no longer necessary. Ergonomically designed breaktime areas are being set up for the employees in the now free zones. Construction work commenced in early 2016, with completion scheduled for summer 2016.
About Mercedes-Benz Cars Operations
Mercedes-Benz Cars Operations is responsible for passenger car production at 26 locations around the world as part of a flexible and efficient production network involving round about 70,000 employees. This includes the central functions of planning, technology fabric, logistics, and quality. Mercedes-Benz Cars produced more than 2,059,000 Mercedes-Benz and smart passenger cars last year, marking the fifth record in a row. The network is based on the product architectures of front-wheel drive (compact cars) and rear-wheel drive (for example the S-Class, E-Class, and C-Class) as well as the SUV and sports car architectures. In addition, there is a powertrain production network (engines, transmissions, axles and components). Each of these production networks is grouped around a lead plant that serves as a center of competence for the ramp-up of new products, technology and quality assurance. The focus of day-to-day work is on the continuous improvement and refinement of state-of-the-art production methods, which allow future high-tech vehicles to be produced in a way that is efficient, flexible and environmentally friendly, according to the typical Mercedes-Benz quality standards. All of this revolves around the employees and their expertise, whose work is systematically supported by ergonomic workplace design and intelligent automation. In addition to its own production plants, Mercedes-Benz is increasingly leveraging partnerships and utilizing capacities at contract manufacturers as part of its growth strategy.

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    Production landmark: The Mercedes-Benz plant Kecskemét has produced the 500.000th vehicle, a cosmos black CLA. From left to right: Szemereyné Pataki Klaudia, Mayor of Kecskemét; Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary; Christian Wolff, CEO and Site Manager of the Mercedes-Benz plant Kecskemét with team; Jörg Schmidt, CEO Mercedes-Benz Hungária Kft.; and István Lepsényi, Secretary of State for Economic Development and Economic Regulation from the Department of Trade and Industry; at the assembly line.
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