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2014 – The year of the C-Class: New C-Class Estate Celebrates Premiere at Mercedes-Benz Plant in Bremen
- Commitment to automotive manufacturing in Germany
- Andreas Kellermann: “We are proud to be the exclusive producers of the C-Class estate here at our plant.”
- Over 400,000 units of the C-Class estate have been sold worldwide since its market launch in 2007
Bremen, Germany – The new C-Class estate is being presented to the public for the first time today at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen. Through this presentation the company is affirming its commitment to its automotive manufacturing operations in Germany. In addition to the C-Class sedan, the new generation of the estate will also roll off the assembly line at the production plant in Bremen. This German plant plays a key role as a center of competence for the global production of the highest volume Mercedes-Benz model series. The investment in the production of the new C-Class in 2014 and 2015 will amount to €2 billion. Daimler is investing more than €1 billion in the production plant in Bremen alone this year.
Andreas Kellermann, Head of the Mercedes-Benz production plant in Bremen, says, "After the successful production launch of the new C-Class sedan at the beginning of February, today we are celebrating the world premiere of the estate at the Bremen plant. We are proud to be the exclusive producers of the C-Class estate here at our plant. By comparison to the predecessor model, we've made a huge leap in terms of design, quality, and innovative technologies."
Cutting-edge production processes for aluminum-hybrid construction
For the new edition of its best-selling model series, Mercedes-Benz constructed a series of completely new production halls during ongoing three-shift operation at the plant. One of the halls is for body-in-white construction. Numerous newly developed production technologies demonstrate the Mercedes-Benz brand's claim to leadership and set new standards in the automotive sector.
Aluminum components make up about 50 percent of the body of the new C-Class estate. That's a considerable increase compared to the predecessor model. The use of the innovative aluminum-hybrid construction method poses new challenges to joining technology, because steel and aluminum can not be welded together. This is why Mercedes-Benz is the world's first automaker to use the ImpAcT joining process. In this process, the components are quickly and effectively joined by means of injected elements. The process makes it possible to manufacture stable and lightweight profiles in body construction. The body components themselves are molded in one of the world's most modern servo presses.
Other innovative processes include the use of self-pierce riveting. In this process, steel and aluminum sheets are joined in such a way that the rivet flares out in the bottom sheet. Another process involves self-tapping screws, in which the screws bore their own holes and cut their own threads. And finally, in the clinching process metal sheets and profiles made of steel, aluminum or stainless steel are joined without any supplementary work materials. No rivets, screws or welds are necessary.
Even, narrow gaps and smooth transitions in body components, especially on doors and hatches, are an important quality criterion for vehicles. In order to ensure optimal production quality, Mercedes-Benz installed an ultra-precise gap measuring device in the assembly line. A further innovation at the Bremen plant is the ultramodern device for gluing the roof onto the body. For the first time ever, this process is taking place not in the body-in-white area but on the assembly line.
Ergonomically designed workstations
The assembly process itself has been designed in line with the latest findings of ergonomic research. Every individual step in the work process was closely examined before the production process started, with the goal of designing the optimal production conditions. For example, the seats of the assembly line workers are cushioned against vibrations. Special handling devices and lifting assistants make it easier to install heavy components and modules.
The production of the C-Class estate also sets benchmarks for energy efficiency. Mercedes-Benz has been able to reduce the energy consumption per vehicle by more than 30 percent compared to the predecessor model. The optimized paint technology plays a major role in this achievement.
Production location of eight Mercedes-Benz models
Eight models are currently being produced in Bremen: in addition to the C-Class estate, the C-Class sedan and coupe, the E-Class coupe and convertible, the GLK, and the SLK and SL roadsters roll off its assembly line.
This production site was established in 1938 as Carl F.W. Borgward Automobil- und Motorenwerke, and in 1971 it was acquired by the company then known as Daimler-Benz AG. In 1978 the company launched car production in Bremen. The first Mercedes-Benz model produced at the plant was the S 123, the predecessor of the E-Class estate. Further milestones were the production of the "Baby Benz" 190/190 E of the W 201 series in 1983 and the production launch of the SL roadster of the R 129 series in 1989. In subsequent years the Bremen plant acquired comprehensive know-how in the area of roadster production and thus also in modern lightweight construction.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class estate - a success story
In 1996 the company presented its estate - the first-ever sporty estate in the medium range. Today the C-Class is the best-selling model series produced by Daimler. And now Mercedes-Benz is writing the next chapter of this success story with the new C-Class estate. More than 400,000 units of the predecessor model have been sold worldwide since its market launch in 2007, and more than a third of these vehicles went to customers in Germany.
Vehicles from this model series are currently the most successful fleet cars from Mercedes-Benz. In the past year alone, about 40,000 C-Class sedans and estates were delivered to fleet customers in Western Europe. And in 2011 the estate was voted "Business Car of the Year" in Germany. Most commercial customers opt for a Mercedes-Benz C 220 CDI estate on account of its excellent fuel economy.
About the Mercedes-Benz Bremen plant
With more than 12,700 employees the Bremen plant is the largest private employer in the region. The plant currently produces eight models: along with the C-Class sedan, C-Class estate and C-Class coupé, the E-Class coupé and cabriolet, the GLK and the SLK and SL roadsters are also built in Bremen. In 2013 the plant produced some 300,000 vehicles. As the centre of competence for the new C-Class, the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen also controls the start-up and production of the high-volume model series at the international plants in Tuscaloosa/USA, Beijing/China and East London/South Africa.