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Mercedes-Benz extends its model range of premium compact cars - (Germany)

June 19th, 2008



  • Four distinct new models planned for the the compact-car segment
  • Investments of €600 Million in Rastatt plant enable long-term capacity utilization
  • Additional plant to be built Kecskemét, Hungary to boost competitiveness and access new markets
  • Improvements in efficiency and structural design ensure long-term profitability of the new vehicle generation

Stuttgart – Mercedes-Benz will have an even stronger presence in the compact-car segment in the future, with a product line-up of four instead of today’s two vehicles. Investments of €600 Million in the Rastatt plant will secure the long-term capacity utilization of the plant. In order to sustainably boost its competitiveness, as well as to access new markets and create additional production capacities, Mercedes-Benz has also decided to built a new plant in Kecskemét, Hungary.

Today, Mercedes-Benz is already the most successful premium manufacturer of compact vehicles with its A and B-Class. The successor generation will include product characteristics that are already popular with customers today – such as generous interior space and an elevated seating position. In addition, new vehicle variants will win additional target groups for the Mercedes-Benz brand.

"Mercedes-Benz is going to offer an even wider range of exciting premium cars – with the high levels of comfort, safety and overall quality that are characteristic for the brand – in the particularly fuel-efficient compact-car segment. Moreover, our expanded product range will allow us to tap into new customer groups and open up new market regions," commented Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

"We are continuously investing in vehicle manufacturing in Germany: in addition to the recently announced expansion of the Sprinter van production in Düsseldorf und Ludwigsfelde, we will now invest some €600 million in Rastatt for our new generation of compact cars," said Dr Zetsche.

"At the same time, we are planning a new plant in Hungary to boost our competitiveness and to gain access to the potential of the Eastern European markets," Dr Zetsche added.

The long-term cost-effectiveness of the expanded product range will be safeguarded by the continuous progress made in the areas of vehicle efficiency and structural design. There will be a high level of technical integration among the four new vehicles which will are also going to benefit from the modular system used by the other Mercedes passenger-car model series. A case in point is the new generation of Mercedes-Benz 4-cylinder diesel engines which is having its market premiere in 2008 and which will also be available for use in the new vehicles.

In the context of the expansion of its product portfolio, Mercedes-Benz Cars has also decided on the manufacturing strategy for the new generation of vehicles. In addition to using the existing capacity of the Rastatt plant, the company will built a new plant in Kecskemét, Hungary. The production network between the two plants will contribute significantly to the company's efficiency and competitiveness.

"Rastatt is an important and proven part of our Mercedes-Benz production network; production of the next generation of premium compact cars from Mercedes-Benz will see the plant working at its full capacity," said Rainer Schmückle, Chief Operating Officer of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

"In terms of all business aspects, the future plant in Kecskemét clearly offers the best perspectives. The site meets all the high quantitative and qualitative requirements for the successful establishment of a Mercedes-Benz production," added Mr Schmückle.

"Of course," he continued, "both sites have to contribute to the cost-effectiveness of our involvement in this vehicle segment which is the subject of very intense competition."

Kecskemétis located approximately 80 km from the outskirts of Budapest. In order to build the additional facility, Mercedes-Benz is planning to invest some €800 million locally in Kecskemét and to create up to 2,500 new jobs for people in the region. Representatives of Daimler AG and the country of Hungary as well as the city of Kecskemét intend to sign a memorandum of understanding concerning this project in the coming weeks.

Four distinct new models planned for the the compact-car segment

Investments of €600 Million in Rastatt plant enable long-term capacity utilization

Additional plant to be built Kecskemét, Hungary to boost competitiveness and access new markets

Improvements in efficiency and structural design ensure long-term profitability of the new vehicle generation


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