The ‘Innovation Factory‘ at the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant: the Site Manager of the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant Michael Bauer (left) and Ergun Lümali, Chairman of the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen Works Council (right) are celebrating the start of production of the compact SUV GLA with the team.
“With the GLA, the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant is producing a compact model for the first time proving its high flexibility. With the project ‘Innovation Factory’ we are shaping the future of production at Mercedes-Benz Cars. At the same time we are supporting our global production network by providing quickly additional capacities. Our employees contribute a major part with their long-term experience and a high level of motivation”, explains Michael Bauer.
The production of the compact SUV GLA at the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant, which is about 20 km away of the company headquarters in Stuttgart, marks the starting point for the pilot project ‘Innovation Factory’. Cutting-edge production technologies which feature the ‘Factory 56’, one of the most modern car productions, are tested previously in the ‘Innovation Factory’: from innovative Industry 4.0 solutions to a work organization with flexible working models, the project covers almost all aspects of a future-oriented production.
“We do have a highly qualified team that compensates order peaks of the GLA production. Thus Sindelfingen is proving its leading role as an innovation and competence center for new technologies. We, the works councils, are getting closer to our aim producing more vehicles in Sindelfingen. Our effort is to prepare the plant for future challenges and to ensure the employment. I am pleased, that our hard work paid off to make the location strong for the future”, says Ergun Lümali.
The GLA has been rolling off the production line at the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant since 2013, and also at the Chinese production site of Beijing Benz Automotive Corporation (BBAC) in Beijing since 2015. Since the market launch of the GLA in 2014, more than 500,000 customers have already chosen the compact SUV. Rastatt, the lead plant for the GLA as well as for the A- and B-Class, is running at its full capacity. The production of the vehicle in Sindelfingen creates additional capacities until the end of the product life cycle. For the first time a compact vehicle with front-wheel drive is produced at the Sindelfingen plant, known as the center of competence for rear-wheel drive vehicles in the luxury and upper-range classes.
The GLA is characterized by its sportily dynamic design idiom, light-footed handling and extensive individualization range. As the first compact SUV from Mercedes-Benz it brought a breath of fresh air to its market segment and established itself there as a major player. In 2017 the GLA was most successful in the markets China, USA, Germany and Great Britain. The GLA portfolio meets all individual mobility requirements of its customers.