Daimler has built its first GLA compact premium SUV at the Rastatt plant. It's fourth of five new Mercedes-Benz compact models.

M-B chief Dieter Zetsche said: "There is a very strong demand from our customers for SUVs and compact vehicles. The GLA allows us to combine these two segments and appeal to new customers: it is the next milestone in our Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy."

After EUR1.2bn was spent since 2009, readying the plant for compact cars, Rastatt can produce them flexibly on the same production line. They are also made in Kecskemét, Hungary complemented by contract manufacturer Valmet Automotive in Uusikaupunki, Finland which will build 100,000 A-Class until 2016.

The GLA was introduced during the three-shift operation of the A-Class at Rastatt without any reduction in cycle times. Up to 70% of parts are common with the other compact models.

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Product offensive continues: Mercedes-Benz GLA: Start of Production at the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt Plant

GLA completes the Mercedes-Benz SUV range and extends the successful series of compact models

Dr. Dieter Zetsche: "The GLA is the next milestone in our Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy."

Andreas Renschler: "Our plant in Rastatt is excellently equipped for the production of an additional model." 

The first GLA rolled off the production line at the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant. The new compact premium SUV was unveiled at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt in September. The range of models offered by Mercedes-Benz thus continues to grow, with the GLA being the fourth of a total of five new compact models.

Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: "There is a very strong demand from our customers for SUVs and compact vehicles. The GLA allows us to combine these two segments and appeal to new customers: it is the next milestone in our Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy."

Andreas Renschler, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Manufacturing and Procurement Mercedes-Benz Cars & Mercedes-Benz Vans: "Our plant in Rastatt is excellently equipped for the production of an additional model. All compact vehicles can be produced flexibly on the same production line. Since 2009, we have invested around €1.2 billion at the site for the production of the new compact models. We have also created 900 new permanent jobs. The smooth start of production of the GLA is a further proof of the flexibility and productivity of our international production network." In addition to Rastatt, Mercedes-Benz manufactures compact cars in Kecskemét, Hungary. The flexible production network is complemented by the contract manufacturer Valmet Automotive in Uusikaupunki, Finland. Until 2016, more than 100,000 A-Class vehicles are planned to roll off the line at the Valmet Automotive plant.

The GLA extends the range of compact cars produced in Rastatt by one SUV. The product was introduced during the three-shift operation of the A-Class without any reduction in cycle times. The capacity for GLA production at the Rastatt plant is expanded to such an extent that part of the A-Class production will relocate to another hall. Thanks to the GLA's high commonization level of up to 70 percent with other compact models, stable processes and excellent product quality are guaranteed.

Stefan Abraham, Head of the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant: "We are very proud to produce the GLA here in Rastatt, at our center of competence for compact cars. We are making an important contribution to the product offensive of Mercedes-Benz."

About the new GLA

 

The new GLA straddles two automotive worlds, combining maneuverability in urban areas with driving pleasure on the open road and dynamism and efficiency on the motorway. The GLA completes the extensive SUV range offered by Mercedes-Benz. With five model series (GLA, GLK, ML, GL and G-Class), the company offers the widest range of all European premium car manufacturers. “For deserts, mud and steep hills, we have the true mountain boots of off-road vehicles in the Unimog and the G-Class,” says Dr. Zetsche. “On top of that, we offer the right equipment for all sorts of outdoor activities with the GL, ML and GLK. And now, we are expanding that line-up with the new GLA. It is the trekking shoe in the Mercedes line-up.”

Exceptional for day-to-day motoring and progressive in design: its clean lines and smooth surfaces create a high-tech look with a strong emotional appeal. Tradition, emotion and progression are the three core design values that are represented by the GLA. The high-quality interior, that has been developed with great attention to detail, positions the GLA as a premium compact SUV. The vehicle architecture of the GLA is so solid that that no additional reinforcement is necessary for the AMG version.

About the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant 

The Mercedes-Benz plant in Rastatt employs around 6,500 people and is the region's largest private employer. Rastatt is the center of competence for compact car production within the global Mercedes-Benz production network. The A-Class, B-Class and the compact SUV GLA are manufactured here. The plant in Kecskemét, Hungary, also belongs to the compact car production network. In Kecskemét, over 3,000 employees are involved in the production of the B-Class, which is also produced at the Rastatt plant, as well as the four-door CLA coupé. The new compact models continue to be very successful. In this year alone, around 300,000 customers worldwide have purchased an A-Class, B-Class or CLA-Class car.

Original source: Daimler