The Mercedes-Benz plant in Kecskemét will produce the next generation of Mercedes-Benz compact cars. By 2018, Daimler will invest around €580 million in the technological development and the expansion of the location. In addition to a new body shop, money is invested in efficient and innovative equipment. Furthermore, the factory’s capacities will be expanded once again.
“Kecskemét is and will remain a cornerstone of the compact vehicle production compound. Its expansion for the next generation of compact vehicles will further strengthen this role within the international production compound,” said Michael Göbel, Head of Compact Vehicle Production at Mercedes-Benz Cars, at the groundbreaking of the new body shop. During the ceremony, Péter Szijjártó (Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs), Klaudia Szemereyné Pataki (Mayoress of the city of Kecskemét), Christian Wolff (CEO and Site Manager of Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Hungary Kft.) and Michael Göbel buried various items of symbolic value in a time capsule along with the foundation stone.
“This investment is a clear sign of our commitment to this location, and offers good future prospects for the employees in Kecskemét,” said Christian Wolff. “We will also invest in the improvement of the ergonomic and working conditions, as well as in the qualification of the workforce.”
Around €250 million are spent on the new body shop, which is equipped with state-of-the-art technology. It is being built on an area of 99,000 square metres and has been designed to let in as much daylight as possible in order to create a bright and pleasant working condition. Other parts of the plant, for example the press shop, will also be expanded as part of the total investment. Moreover, the production line will receive various adjustments and robots for surface treatment. In the final assembly section for the next generation of compact vehicles, materials will now be brought to the assembly line in pre-picked baskets of goods. This will be done completely autonomously by driverless transport vehicles with prepared baskets of goods from the logistics and picking zones.
Not only does this eliminate the need for workers to go get the materials themselves but it also helps them to determine if all components have been installed since a look into the baskets at the end is all that’s needed – yet another simple and effective way to improve quality assurance. This is just one of the innovations that Mercedes-Benz will apply to other plants in the global production network as well.