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.

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