Valmet Automotive has been contracted to assemble 100,000 units of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class in Finland between 2013 and 2016. The firm is already a supplier of roof systems to Daimler.

The third generation A-Class will begin reaching European dealers in September. Daimler claims to have 40,000 orders for the car.

The contract assembler has been charged with building the new model, due, Daimler says, to production limitations at its own Rastatt facility. The German plant is at capacity and will add a third shift in the northern hemisphere autumn. An as yet unnamed small SUV will be built at Rastatt, Daimler recently announced.

The new Kecskemét plant in Hungary does not have room to take on build of the A-Class as it will add a related model, a four-door coupe, from later in 2012. The closely related B-Class is made there.

All four models (A-Class, B-Class, B-Class coupe & small SUV) use the new front- and all-wheel drive MFA platform. Daimler says there will one more vehicle to come on this architecture which speculation suggests might be a small sedan for China and the USA.

Valmet, meanwhile, notes in an issued media release that it will now call back the majority of the 300-400 workers that it laid off in 2012. It will also hire "some hundreds of new employees from 2014 onwards depending on the final development of the assembly volumes."

The Valmet works adjacent to its headquarters at Uusikaupunki-Nystand already assembles the Porsche Cayman and Fisker Karma. The firm is expected to add assembly of the forthcoming Porsche Boxster in 2013.

Author: Glenn Brooks

Show the press release
Stuttgart, Germany – Due to the very positive resonance of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Daimler will expand production capacities for the model. The company thus signed an agreement with the Finnish Supplier Valmet Automotive. According to the agreement, Valmet will produce more than 100,000 units for Daimler from 2013 through 2016.
Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Manufacturing and Procurement Mercedes-Benz Cars & Mercedes-Benz Vans: “Our new compacts are so popular with our customers that the Rastatt and Kecskemét plants are completely utilized. We will even switch to three-shift operations in Rastatt this fall. We thus signed Valmet as an experienced production specialist who will provide us with additional A-Class capacities as of 2013. Our aim is to optimally serve customer demand and keep delivery times of our new A-Class as short as possible in the interest of our customers.”

The company has received more than 40,000 A-Class orders to date. Market launch will be in mid-September.

Production sites of the new generation of Mercedes-Benz compact cars
The new Mercedes-Benz compacts are produced in a network of the Mercedes-Benz plants in Rastatt, Germany, and Kecskemét, Hungary. The B-Class rolled off the line as the first product of the new generation at both sites, the new A-Class has been built at Rastatt since July 2012.

Next product from the Rastatt plant will be the compact SUV, and from the Kecskemét plant the four-door coupe of the new generation of compact cars. Moreover, Daimler invests massively in the German powertrain plants: Almost 400 million Euros will be invested in 2012 and 2013 in components that will only be used for the new compacts. It is furthermore planned to build premium compact cars for the Chinese markets locally and close to the customers in the future.

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