Mercedes-Benz and BMW to skip summer production break

Article by Anita Panait, on June 6, 2013

Most of Daimler AG’s plants will forego their traditional summer break as the carmaker tries to keep up with the increasing demand for its vehicles outside Europe. According to Mercedes-Benz spokesman Martin Steinlehner, the carmaker is not slowing its production in most of its plants as it is planning for another year record sales.

Mercedes sold a record 1.32 million cars and sports utility vehicles in 2012. Steinlehner disclosed that Mercedes-Benz will forego summer break at its sites in Hungary, South Africa and China and most plants in China. He added that the carmaker’s plant in Bremen, Germany, will only stop output for two weeks in July 2013 to get ready for the production of the new C-class sedan and station wagon due 2014.

He added that the Smart ForTwo output in Hambach, France, will be stopped temporarily to prepare for an overhaul. Mercedes’ main rival, BMW, will likewise skip the summer break to prepare for new models or build more vehicles to meet growing demand.

Christian Ludwig, an analyst at Bankhaus Lampe, told Bloomberg that growth in the United States and China more than offset the European slowdown for German carmakers. He noted that Europe is no longer as important for German carmaker “as it used to be."

Growing demand for luxury car models are allowing German carmakers to stave off the effects of the current recession in Europe. The growth of these German carmakers is, so far, in sharp contrast to the shrinking vehicle market in Europe.

The new Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is meant to carve out a new segment, with its innovative coupe design as well as aerodynamics that would be one of the best in the world (BlueEFFICIENCY Edition boasting f 0.22 Cd). In addition, the new CLA-Class could be specified as a 4MATIC all-wheel drive model.

Being a new four-door coupe, the CLA borrows from the design concept of the CLS that was launched in 2003. Interestingly, the new CLA is provided as standard with the Collision Prevention Assist, a radar-based braking system that could provide a warning of an obstacle from speeds of 7 km/h and then initiate precision braking as soon as the brake pedal is pressed.

Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG as well as Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, remarked that they received overwhelming response for the Concept Style Coupé, with people practically telling them to put it into series production. Now, Mercedes is realizing those requests with the new CLA, which Zetsche describes as a car that doesn’t confuse mid-range with mediocrity. He added that the powerful design of the new CLA highlights the sporty side of the Mercedes brand.

Customers could have the new CLA be equipped with high-torque turbo engines that provide up to 155 kW (211 hp) of output. Likewise, the new CLA could be equipped with sports suspension and 4MATIC all-wheel drive.

Moreover, by having a coefficient of drag value of just 0.22 Cd, the new CLA has set a new world record in aerodynamics for series production vehicles. Moreover, the new CLA comes with a wide array of driving assistance systems, like the Collision Prevention Assist.

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