June 26, 2019 - Just a few months after the CLA Coupé, the new CLA Shooting Brake is starting to leave the production lines at the Hungarian Mercedes-Benz plant in Kecskemét. This not only means that Mercedes-Benz Cars is putting the two sportiest models in the new compact car generation onto the roads in well-proven top quality - in production too, the company is setting standards with respect to flexibility, efficiency and sustainability. The new CLA Shooting Brake will enter the market in September 2019.
Kecskemét as part of the global production network
Since it commenced production in 2012, the Hungarian Mercedes-Benz plant has constantly increased in importance within the global production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars. Alongside digital networking, the strengths of the production network also include in particular the direct dialogue with the lead plant for the compact cars in Rastatt, Baden-Württemberg in Germany.
The production network for the compact cars has a total of six plants on three continents: as well as Kecskemét there are locations in Rastatt, Beijing (China), Uusikaupunki (Finland), Aguascalientes (Mexico) and Hambach (France). They currently produce seven models: Mercedes Benz A, B-Class, CLA, CLA Shooting Brake, GLA, A-Class Sedan and the long-wheelbase A-Class L Sedan specifically for the Chinese market.
The workforce in Kecskemét produces the CLA Shooting Brake and the CLA Coupé exclusively for the world market. The A-Class has been part of the production portfolio at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Kecskemét since 2018.
Focus on flexibility, efficiency and sustainability
Modern Industry 4.0 technologies distinguish all the production locations of Mercedes-Benz Cars, and these are being constantly developed further. This enables the plants to respond to changing customer wishes with maximum flexibility. The focus is firmly on flexibility, new digital solutions and sustainability. This is because market fluctuations, changing customer needs and a wide variety of equipment variants make it necessary to ensure maximum agility in production. Numerous physical and technological innovations help to bring this about.
For example, a futuristic pilot project is currently under way at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Kecskemét to find out how the airspace can be used to optimise logistics. Over a period of around five months, replacement parts needed for plant maintenance were carried over the rooftops - between warehouses and maintenance workshops - of the production shops by drones. This additional transport option increases flexibility and reduces traffic within the plant. The project will also be piloted in other locations in the future, so as to improve processes still further.