Mercedes extends plant hours to meet growing demand on 2014 S-Class

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 18, 2013

Mercedes-Benz is extending working hours at its factories next year in order to cater to the growing demand for its new vehicles. Employees at Mercedes’ Sindelfingen assembly site in Germany, which builds the top-of-the-line S-class sedan, have agreed to prolong shifts by an additional 74 minutes a day in 2014 after adding 30 minutes this year, parent Daimler said in a statement.

The site also has worked four Saturday shifts. A Mercedes factory in Bremen building GLK SUVs and C-class cars has arranged 10 extra shifts for November and this month. Mercedes’ sales growth in November outpaced gains at BMW and Audi, thanks to a new version of the S class and an expanded range of compacts.

Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche aims for Mercedes to recapture the crown as the best-selling global premium carmaker by the end of the decade. Daimler plans to “continue to grow with our attractive offering of models, and will be able to accommodate the demand thanks to our high flexibility,” Andreas Renschler, head of manufacturing at Mercedes, said in the statement.

Mercedes posted an 11-percent growth in the first 11 months of 2013 to 1.32 million cars and SUVs, almost matching the full-year record set in 2012. Mercedes outsold Audi for the first time this year in November.

Daimler added 21 shifts at its Rastatt site in Germany from January through November to produce more compact models. The carmaker also revised its A- and B-class models in the segment in 2012, then added the CLA in April 2013.

Earlier this month, Mercedes told its dealers in the United States that there will be limited supplies of the CLA in the first half of 2014 due to high global demand.

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