Mercedes-Benz has revealed that it will contract out supplementary assembly of its GLC model to Finnish contract manufacturer Valmet Automotive at its plant in Uusikaupunki. Annual build is estimated to be around 100,000 when production begins in 2017. Valmet already builds the Mercedes-Benz A-Class at the plant.
Valment is restructuring the Uusikaupunki plant in preparation for the GLC production, including the installation of a new body shop.
"Working with contract manufacturers is an important factor in our global production strategy at Mercedes-Benz Cars," said Markus Schäfer, member of the Divisional Board, Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain Management. "We respond flexibly to the level of demand in our markets, and can satisfy our customers' preferences more rapidly."
Mercedes-Benz explained that the decision to outsource production was down to the high capacity at the Bremen plant and strong demand for the GLC, which will also be available in a right-hand drive version from this month (December). According to the carmaker 47,379 customers decided in favour of an SUV from Mercedes-Benz in October (+26.1%) and the GLC was a big part of that, recording double-digit growth as well as a new sales record for the month.
"With Valmet Automotive we have an established and reliable partner offering state-of-the-art technology," said Dr Klaus Zehender, member of the Divisional Board, Mercedes-Benz Cars, Procurement and Supplier Quality. "We have been producing the A-Class there since 2013. We aim to continue this success story with the GLC."
Valmet Automotive has been producing additional A-Class volumes under contract for Mercedes-Benz in Uusikaupunki since 2013. The order comprises a total of more than 100,000 units through 2016. The GLC order has a comparable volume.