1992 produced more than one top hit: even if "Rhythm Is a Dancer" by Snap! only merits an occasional spin at a 90s-themed party these days, at the passenger car plant at Rastatt there's more reason to celebrate than ever.
Things have changed a bit since the 90s. Colors are less garish. The Deutsche Mark has given way to the euro. And the Rastatt plant is unrecognizable now: The initial workforce of 380 employees now numbers 6500. From the E-Class through to what will soon be the third generation A-Class, it's a success story that deserves to be celebrated - which is exactly what 350 guests from the worlds of politics, commerce and industry were invited to do, alongside employees of the plant.
In 1992 Rastatt became the third Mercedes-Benz passenger car plant after Bremen and Sindelfingen, and started building the W124. Five years later the production facility began its successful involvement with the compact vehicle class, taking up production of the A-Class. Since market launch, the present generation of compact cars has played a major part in rejuvenating the Mercedes-Benz brand and changing its image.
As a lead plant Rastatt exports one very important commodity other than cars: know-how. The Baden plant is responsible for global compact car production at the group's three other sites in Hungary, Finland and China. With a total of some 2.2 million vehicles produced in the past year, Mercedes-Benz Cars generated record production figures for the sixth year in a row.
The Rastatt plant will also be producing electric vehicles of the product and technology brand EQ in the future. This will make the plant a fundamental element of the electric vehicle offensive by Mercedes-Benz and it will be developed as a competence center for the compact vehicle class.
Another reason to celebrate: European premiere of the Concept A Sedan
Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, presents the Concept A Sedan. The Concept A Sedan show car represents a look ahead at the next generation of compact cars and a possible new body variant. The Concept A Sedan has the proportions of a dynamic premium sedan, coupé-like yet compact.