Valmet Automotive has started production of the new generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class at its Uusikaupunki plant in Finland.

Previously, the new A-Class production was at Mercedes-Benz plants in Rastatt, Germany and Kecskemét, Hungary.

Valmet Automotive also manufactured the previous A-Class generation, which limited the need for changes in the Uusikaupunki production facilities.

The most changes are in the body shop, where all manual workstations are robotised. The number of body shop robots has increased to 223 and the automation level to 95%.  

The new A-Class will employ around 500 new staff at the Uusikaupunki plant in addition to the current 4,000 employees.  

"Market expectations for the new A-Class are high, so we have focused on preparations to secure a fast launch and a high volume production run," said Valmet Automotive SVP Manufacturing, Pasi Rannus.

"We have also benefited from our experiences with the previous A-Class generation and the GLC."

For his part, Mercedes-Benz production and supply chain board member, Markus Schäfer added: "With the ramp-up of the new A-Class in Uusikaupunki, Finland, we are successfully continuing our unrivalled ramp-up cascade

"Within a very short time, our production strategy has enabled us to master the third successful ramp-up of the new A-Class."