Amid a growth in the SUV segment, Mercedes has decided to extend production capacity at its Finnish contract manufacturer.
The demand for SUVs has driven the sales up in many markets and Mercedes is reacting to this trend by adding production capacity for its newest GLC model at Finnish contract manufacturer Valmet Automotive Oy in two-year term. But the premium brand does not only limit in building its cars only by contract manufacturers, but also is producing them in its own factories and joint ventures as well, Mercedes production chief Markus Schaefer said. And if the current output does not meet demand, building new facilities is an option Mercedes does not exclude. “We’ll expand our global production capacity when we need it, as part of our strategy to become the No. 1 luxury carmaker,” he stated.
In the race to the top spot in the premium segment, Mercedes has already overtaken Audi, but is still slightly behind BWM. The VW’s premium brand Audi lost the second spot in the luxury car market, as is trailing Mercedes after 10 months with sales of 1.497 million cars. That compares with 1.531 million at Mercedes and 1.560 million units at BMW.
To increase the production capacity for the GLC at Valmet’s factory, the Mercedes A-Class will be moved to the Stuttgart, Germany-based manufacturer’s plant in Rastatt, Schaefer said. Since 2013, 100,000 A-Class models have been produced in the Finnish facility. Daimler intends to open a manufacturing plant in Russia, but the recent slowing economy delays the plan.