Europe: Daimler to increase Hungary investments image

Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, the world’s third largest premium automaker, announced its decision to further increase investments at the Hungarian car plant to lift production output even further.

The carmaker made the announcement as it celebrated recently the production start of its latest compact model – the CLA Shooting Brake. “We have invested a billion euros ($1.2 billion) into this factory and we will invest more,” announced Thomas Geier, the chief of the Kecskemet factory in central Hungary during a news conference. The new CLA Shooting Brake is also the second model series to be exclusively produced in Kecskemét – the automaker’s “youngest” plant – after the CLA coupe-like sedan. The executive declined to specify the official level of further investments into the plant and also didn’t say how much more will the production be lifted, after building 150,000 vehicles (CLA and B-Class) last year. According to Markus Schäfer, the Mercedes chief of manufacturing and supply chain management, “the new CLA Shooting Brake marks the fifth successful ramp-up for our new generation of compact cars in our global production network.”

Last year was the single most successful in Mercedes’ history for the compact line of vehicles, with the range soaring 24.7 percent to 463,152 units – of A-Class, B-Class, CLA-Class and GLA-Class vehicles. The CLA alone, produced exclusively in Kecskemét, has been incredibly successful in the model’s single most important market, the US – where 2014 deliveries almost doubled to 27,000 autos. The brand also had a record year overall, with 1,650,010 vehicles sent to buyers around the world – up 12.9% from the figure recorded in 2013.

Via Automotive News Europe