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All New GLC Begins Production in China, Heralds Next Stage of Expansion for Beijing Benz
- GLC is already the second all-new SUV model to kick-off local production at Beijing Benz in 2015
- Hubertus Troska: “The GLC is the latest proof for the tremendous development of our local production footprint. In 2015 BBAC will see for the first time ever an annual output of over 200,000 units.”
- Start of production of GLC puts the second phase of development for new rearwheel architecture vehicles into full operation
- Markus Schäfer: “Beijing follows Bremen as the second GLC production site. The new assembly facilities meet the highest standards of modern production in our flexible and efficient production network.”
- Peter Schabert: “2015 is a big year for BBAC: It marks the ramp-up of two all-new products on two all-new assembly lines within just 6 months.”
- The “built in China, for China” GLC will be launched at the Guangzhou Auto Show in November
Beijing/Stuttgart – Just about six months after the GLA-Class started local production, Mercedes-Benz has begun rolling off its second all-new localized SUV model at the assembly lines of its production joint venture in China, Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. (BBAC). At a ceremony held to mark the occasion, production started for the All New SUV GLC, the successor to the company’s successful GLK that has been locally manufactured at BBAC since 2011. The start of production for the GLC also puts the plant’s second phase of development for new rearwheel architecture vehicles into full operation. With a new assembly and body shop in addition to an all-new paint shop completed for the GLA SUV already this April, these new production facilities cover a total area of almost 250.000 m2, making it larger than twenty soccer fields.
“China is already our number one market for the GLA and GLK. The GLC will undoubtedly continue our SUV success story here as it tops its predecessor,” said Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Greater China. “The All New GLC is also the latest proof for the tremendous development of our local production footprint. In 2015 BBAC will see for the first time ever an annual output of over 200,000 units.”
The start of production for the GLC heralds the next stage of expansion for BBAC and its rearwheel architecture vehicle platform. The second phase of the Mercedes-Benz Rearwheel Architecture (MRA) project kicked-off in 2012, and now sees the first all-new product rolling off the assembly lines. The latest Mercedes-Benz production system, processes and technologies are applied in the new production shops as well. The over 800 installed robots in the body shop and the water-free operable dry scrubbers for the top coat in the paint shop are just two examples here.
“After the successful start of the GLC at the lead plant Bremen, Beijing follows now as the second production site. The new assembly facilities meet the highest standards of modern production in our flexible and efficient production network. Thereby we ensure the established high quality at all our Mercedes-Benz Cars locations worldwide,” said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board Mercedes-Benz Cars, Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management.
“2015 is a big year for BBAC: It not only marks the 10th anniversary of our establishment, but the ramp-up of two all-new products on two all-new assembly shops within just 6 months,” notes Peter Schabert, President and CEO of BBAC. "This is truly a first for us and once more underlines the fact that BBAC has become a full-fledged Mercedes-Benz site that strictly adheres to our worldwide renowned standards and is a key element of our global production footprint”.
About the All New GLC
The All New GLC SUV involves a paradigm change in the area of design: the new GLC essentially favours sensual purity and a modern aesthetic over the classic off-road look of its predecessor, the GLK.
Compared to its predecessor, the increase in length (+120 mm) and width (+ 50 mm) almost entirely benefits the spaciousness for passengers and luggage capacity of the GLC, which is the highest in his class. This new level of interior experience is rounded out by a beautiful design, finest quality materials and in China – of course – an array of features specifically tailored to the needs of local customers. Particular focus was thereby paid to the comfort of rear seat passengers, for instance by offering comfort head restraints and additional connectivity features for the rear compartment center console.
The engines powering the All New GLC are locally produced at BBAC too, in Mercedes-Benz’ first ever passenger car engine plant outside of Germany. In total the GLC comes with a localization rate of up to 60%, depending on the variant. The first “built in China, for China” GLC models will be launched during the upcoming Guangzhou Auto Show next month, ready to drive both Mercedes-Benz’s local production and sales volume.
About Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. (BBAC)
BBAC, a joint venture between Daimler and Chinese partner BAIC Motor, has been producing Mercedes-Benz passenger cars since 2006 and engines since 2013. Last year, around 150,000 vehicles rolled off the production lines at BBAC, accounting for more than one-half of Mercedes-Benz’ total sales volume in China. The 500,000th locally produced Mercedes-Benz passenger car, a long-wheelbase All New C-Class model, has been one of them, marking yet another milestone in Mercedes-Benz’s increasing local footprint in China. Boosted by the great success of new products like the All New C-Class and the first ever locally build compact car, the GLA SUV, per date BBAC’s total local production output has already surpassed the 700,000 mark. To prop up the actual momentum furthermore, both shareholders are jointly investing €4 billion in BBAC. By the end of 2015 BBAC’s passenger car production capacities will be at about 250,000 units.
The Mercedes-Benz 4- and 6-cylinder engines produced at BBAC's engine plant are used in locally produced cars from BBAC and vans that are built by Daimler’s local joint venture Fujian Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. (FBAC). The production line has been designed with flexibility in mind, with an annual capacity of 250,000 units for the first phase.
BBAC’s Research & Development site became fully operational last year, as the largest of its kind in any of Daimler’s joint venture worldwide. More than 160 engineers are responsible for series projects, component and vehicle testing and for supporting the production tests – in cross-functional teams, and with focus on locally produced cars. The site features various test laboratories and benches. In addition, experts can prepare here offline try outs for homologation, training, and fitment tests.
BBAC is part of the flexible and efficient global Mercedes-Benz production network with more than 70,000 employees operating under the auspices of Mercedes-Benz Cars. The global network for each product architecture is built around a lead plant in Germany that serves as a center of competence for new start-ups, technology and quality assurance. In this way, Mercedes-Benz ensures that top quality is guaranteed at all of its production locations and customers around the world benefit from its high standards.