Expansion of the global production network: Mercedes-Benz plans to establish a new plant with highly flexible production in Kecskemét
- Production of front- and rear-wheel-drive cars according to Industry 4.0 benchmark approaches.
- Creation of around 2,500 new jobs at the site as well as additional jobs at suppliers in the region and in German plants.
- Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain Management: “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.”
- Péter Szijjártó, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade: “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.“
Stuttgart/Kecskemét – 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.
About the Mercedes-Benz Kecskemét plant
The Mercedes-Benz plant in Kecskemét employs more than 4,000 people. Over 180,000 Mercedes-Benz compact vehicles were produced in 2015. The Mercedes-Benz B-Class was the first model to roll off the line in Kecskemét in 2012. This was followed in 2013 by the four-door compact CLA Coupé and the CLA Shooting Brake in 2015. Both of these models are produced exclusively in Kecskemét for customers around the world.
About Mercedes-Benz Cars Operations
Mercedes-Benz Cars Operations is responsible for passenger car production at 27 locations around the world as part of a flexible and efficient production network involving round about 78,000 employees. This includes the central functions of planning, technology fabric, logistics, and quality. Mercedes-Benz Cars produced more than two million 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 compound (engines, transmissions, axles and components). Each of these production compounds 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.