Mercedes-Benz to add a third shift at U.S. plant to increase production with 30 percent

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 5, 2011

For 2012, the output of Mercedes-Benz’s plant in Vance, Alabama, is targeted to be 30% higher than the levels projected for 2011. The internal plans of Mercedes indicate that in 2012, this plant is expected to produce 185,900 units. Beginning Aug. 20, 2012, this factory will follow a three-shift operation.

A letter to suppliers says that with this expansion, the company will be able to satisfy market demand and start the preparation for the launching of the new C class. This letter was signed by Joerg Burzer, vice president purchasing and logistics, and Tonja Cochran, senior manager supply chain management.

Market research firm IHS Automotive said that the output at Vance this year will increase to 143,000 units from 125,000 units in 2010. Mercedes is also planning for the plant to produce 124,300 M class models (internal code W166) and 23,400 units of the R class (W251) in 2012. The GL SUV, which will be renewed in 2012, would be the third model that will be built in this factory.

Starting on the present generation (X164), Mercedes aims to make 22,000 units in 2012. Its output will be halted on July 19. Starting on the next generation GL (X166), 16,200 units will be made. Its output will begin in June 2012.

This factory is expected to produce 178,000 units in 2013. This is 4% lower or about 7,900 units fewer than the target for 2012. This drop is likely due to the decline in the expected output for the R class (18,000 units) and M class (110,000 units) while the new GL is slated to make 50,000 units.

The latest Mercedes-Benz M-Class is breaking old benchmarks in the SUV market because of its cutting-edge technology. The third generation M-Class gives you top-notch fuel efficiency, passive safety, and comfort, as well as awesome driving dynamics and a redesigned interior that has great ergonomics.

The high fuel efficiency and low emissions are just impressive. The entire M-Class range saves 25 percent more fuel compared to its predecessors. This is the first that the German carmaker has drastically improved fuel efficiency for its SUV models. You also get a very modern engine line up and the BlueEFFICIENCY technology, as well as the very low 0.32 drag coefficient and several development tools. All of these make the new M-Class very energy efficient.

For instance, the ML 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC saves you 28% more fuel than the previous model. It only uses six liters of fuel for every 100 kilometers as tested on the NEDC driving cycle. It can go for 1500 kilometres with one full tank.

Just like every other Mercedes-Benz car, the new M-Class follows the carmaker’s Real Life Safety concept. This concept was formulated from real life road safety and accident scenarios. The front and back deformation zones are reinforced by a strong passenger cell to help provide you with a safe ride. These form a safe foundation for protecting the M-Class occupants in case of accidents. Plus you have driver fitness safety and active safety mechanisms as well as assistance systems that you first saw in the S-Class and E-Class.

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