Mercedes-Benz has officially started one of the most cutting-edge body presses worldwide at the press shop in Kuppenheim. This results in a competitive network of integrated production plants for the current generation of compact cars in Baden Wuerttemberg’s Murgtal region in Germany. Mercedes-Benz is investing €170 million in the expansion of Kuppenheim, creating 200 additional jobs at the plant in the process. Next to representatives of Mercedes-Benz, the start of production of the new servo press line was attended by political representatives and many other guests.
“Kuppenheim II is part of the Mercedes-Benz Cars growth strategy. In expanding Kuppenheim and integrating the facility into our global press shop network, we are bundling the stamping production for the Mercedes-Benz plant in Rastatt. This paves the way for future growth of our current generation of compact cars. Top priority of the expansion was the efficiency and flexibility of the equipment,” explained Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain Management. “This enables us to respond flexibly to customers’ demand and market requirements and boosts our international competitiveness.”
The new facility supplies the Mercedes-Benz factories in Rastatt and Kecskemét and Finnish contract manufacturer Valmet Automotive with body stampings made of various different steel and aluminium types. These provide an ideal mix of design, crash safety, lightweight construction and quality for the current compact car generation. The press shop in Kuppenheim is part of an integrated network of press shops which includes the facilities in Sindelfingen, Bremen, Hamburg and Kecskemét. The press shop network forms part of the Mercedes-Benz Cars Technology Factory.
“We will continue to invest in the Kuppenheim plant. In the next step, we will add a body shell shop which will produce modules and components for the next generation of compact cars from Mercedes-Benz,” Schäfer announced. Since 2011, the Kuppenheim press shop has been producing body components for compact vehicles and Daimler Trucks in a facility covering 92,000 square metres of floor space. With the new press line, the existing press shop has been expanded by an additional 25,000 square metres of production and storage space.
At the official start of production, Michael Brecht, Chairman of the General Works Council at Daimler, stressed: “When the decision for the new press shop in Kuppenheim was taken, we couldn’t imagine the future importance of this plant. With the integration of the plant into the passenger car production network and the additional bodyshell production, Kuppenheim is now a cornerstone of the Gaggenau plant. The substantial expansion of the plant is the result of successful negotiations between Works Council and management. From the beginning, the colleagues in Kuppenheim have dedicated themselves to creating a bright future for the plant.”