The CKD-Centre at the Mercedes-Benz Wörth plant is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The location began producing complete truck parts kits, CKD kits, for assembly abroad back in 1966 (CKD = Completely Knocked Down). A total of 700,000 CKD kits have been packaged in Wörth and shipped throughout the world to date. The kits are assembled into complete trucks with the usual Mercedes-Benz quality at plants in countries like South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia, among others.
“At the Mercedes-Benz Wörth plant we are proud to be putting our trucks on roads around the world. For 50 years, our CKD-Centre has played a key role in reinforcing our position in important growth markets outside Europe. At the centre of competence for CKD production, our highly qualified workforce knows exactly how to produce trucks at top quality and ship them overseas for assembly,” said Gerald Jank, Head of the Mercedes-Benz Wörth plant. “In the next years we want to keep growing strongly outside of Europe. Thus, we will invest around €3 million in the centre of competence for CKD.”
Key Role in the Global Mercedes-Benz Trucks Production Network
The CKD-Centre in Wörth stands for the successful implementation of its original concept of ‘shipping quality’. The centre sends high-quality individual truck components produced at the site to the international assembly plants. The kits are assembled reliably and flexibly at the foreign locations in accordance with the Mercedes-Benz high quality standards. The experienced production team from Wörth plays an important part in safeguarding these strict quality requirements all over the world. The specialists in Wörth regularly support colleagues at foreign plants with production start-ups, for example, as part of special training programmes. The CKD-Centre of competence Wörth plays a key role in the international Mercedes-Benz Trucks Production Network.
Assembly kits from Wörth tap into international growth markets
The CKD-Centre significantly helps to tap into important growth markets for Mercedes-Benz trucks from Wörth. Thanks to its high degree of flexibility, the CKD-Centre is always able to meet customers’ requirements at short notice in other markets around the world. By now, the CKD-Centre uses this model in an exceedingly flexible and reliable manner to supply parts kits for Mercedes-Benz trucks to numerous markets like South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Brazil and Russia, in accordance with customers’ specific requirements. Also, the planned return to the Iranian market will henceforth be covered with parts kits from the Mercedes-Benz Wörth plant. The local assembly in the markets allows meeting the demands of truck customers, which vary significantly by region, rapidly. Customers also benefit economically from local production due to the significantly lower import duties at many places.
Half a Century of CKD Know-how from Wörth
CKD production at the Wörth plant started in 1966 with around 500 kits. Even back then, the first truck kits were sent to Iran. In 1969, the CKD-Centre produced more than 11,000 CKD kits for the first time. Since 1978 parts kits are assembled at the CKD packaging hall with container loading. Today, the CKD-Centre in Wörth employs about 450 people. The current portfolio of the CKD-Centre in Wörth includes the Mercedes-Benz Actros, Axor and Atego in the fields of road and construction site transport. The special Unimog and Zetros vehicles are also shipped as kits.