Production of new Mercedes-Benz A-Class starts in Finland; China and Mexico are next
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The production ramp-up for the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class has reached Finland, three months after it began in April at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Rastatt, Germany and was followed by the plant in Kecskemét, Hungary in May.
Mercedes-Benz production partner Valmet Automotive last week started production of the new A-Class in its plant in Uusikaupunki, the third location in the five-plant global production network that also includes facilities in China and Mexico. A short video on this subject can be seen here.
“With the ramp-up of the new A-Class in Uusikaupunki, Finland, we are successfully continuing our unrivalled ramp-up cascade. After the lead plant in Rastatt and the Hungarian plant in Kecskemét, our production partner Valmet Automotive has started production of the new A-Class. Within a very short time, our production strategy has enabled us to master the third successful ramp-up of the new A-Class,” said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain.
For the start of production of the A-Class, apprentices from the Rastatt plant produced a steering wheel model using 3D printing. The steering wheel has a screen on which employees can upload messages for the next plant in the ramp-up cascade. The model is passed on from plant to plant like a baton.
The Uusikaupunki team was delighted about the greetings from the colleagues in Kecskemét, and likewise prepared a message for the next plant in the start-up cascade, which is likely to be Beijing-Benz Automotive Co. Ltd (BBAC) in China. Before the end of this year, the COMPAS (Cooperation Manufacturing Plant Aguascalientes) plant in central Mexico will join the production network.
The Rastatt location also plays a roll as lead plant for compact cars in the global production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars. The facility controls the production as well as quality and supplier management on a global basis, while it also supports smooth ramp-ups at the other plants by training their employees.
The new A-Class is the first Mercedes-Benz model to feature the completely new MBUX multimedia system – Mercedes-Benz User Experience, which also ushers in a new era in Mercedes me connectivity. A unique feature of this system is its ability to learn thanks to artificial intelligence. MBUX can be customized if desired and adapts to the user. As a further option, it features intelligent voice control which is activated by the key phrase “Hey Mercedes”.
Despite its sporty look, the new A-Class has considerably more utility value, featuring more shoulder, elbow and headroom. All-round visibility has also been considerably improved. This enhances both safety and the sense of spaciousness.
The new A-Class has the very latest driving assistance systems with cooperative driver support, giving it the highest level of active safety in this segment with functions adopted from the S‑Class.