Kecskemét plant expands production portfolio
CLA is first model exclusively produced at this location
Start of production just a few days after the official World Premiere at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Berlin
Dr. Dieter Zetsche: "The CLA is based on the Concept Style Coupe, which we introduced last year. The most frequent comment by far was 'Please put this car into series production.' That's precisely what we are doing now."
Kecskemét, Hungary – Less than ten months after the opening of the Mercedes-Benz plant in Kecskemét, the location has reached the next milestone. With the official start of production of the Mercedes-Benz CLA, the first model exclusively built in Kecskemét is now rolling off the production line as the plant's second product along with the B-Class. On this occasion, plant manager Frank Klein took special pleasure in welcoming Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán and Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Daimler Board of Management and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, who both had also attended the plant's grand opening in March 2012.
In his speech, Dr. Dieter Zetsche explained the background of the product decision: "The CLA is based on the Concept Style Coupe, which we introduced last year. The most frequent comment by far was 'Please put this car into series production.' That's precisely what we are doing now." With respect to the excellent performance of the Kecskemét plant's team, Zetsche said: "More than 40.000 B-Class vehicles built here prove that you know how to build great cars. You are doing a first-class job here at the plant." Zetsche also expressed the company's special thanks to all Hungarian partners in the political, administrative and social areas for the continuous, constructive partnership: "We're on a good way to reach our common goal – Kecskemét is developing as a center of the Hungarian automotive industry."
Plant manager Frank Klein added: "The plant's entire team can't wait to get the CLA to our customers as perfectly as the B-Class cars we build in Kecskemét. We aim to follow up seamlessly on what we achieved in our first, very successful production year of 2012." Last year, the Kecskemét plant had reached the first goal to produce more than 40.000 vehicles as planned, thus making an important contribution to the B-Class' best-ever annual sales (worldwide sales of 145,649 units, more than 11 percent over the previous sales record in 2006).
About the Mercedes-Benz Kecskemét plant
The Kecskemét plant and the Rastatt plant together form the production network for the new generation of Mercedes-Benz compact cars. That network significantly contributes to the overall economies of compact car production and allows the flexible and optimum management of both plant's capacity utilization. The Kecskemét plant was opened in March 2012, less than four years after the initial decision for the location, and has since produced the B-Class, which is also built in Rastatt. State-of-the-art, environmentally sound technology is used at the plant. In the meantime, the number of staff has grown from about 2,500 to more than 3,000, in line with the further development of the plant and the preparations for production of the CLA. The plant is the most attractive employer in the region, not least to due to the high attention given to the qualification of its employees. The pioneering efforts of the plant and its Hungarian partners to establish dual vocational and university education based on the German model further contribute to this. Daimler AG and the Hungarian Government in 2012 also signed a joint partnership agreement to establish and reinforce the region of Kecskemét as a center of the Hungarian automobile industry on a long-term basis.
About the Mercedes-Benz CLA
The CLA is set to establish a new segment, with world-leading aerodynamics (Cd = 0.22), avant-garde coupé design and 4MATIC all‑wheel drive (optional). As a new four-door coupé it follows the idea of the CLS, whose design concept has spawned more than its fair share of imitators since its debut in 2003. With its frameless doors, the coupé adopts the design of the Concept Style Coupé into series production.
The newcomer features a radar-based braking system (COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST) as standard which is able to warn the driver of an obstacle from a speed of 7 km/h and to initiate precision braking when the driver steps on the brake pedal. The new CLA is available for ordering with immediate effect and will be delivered to dealerships beginning in April.