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Start of Production for the New S-Class at the
Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen Plant
Sindelfingen, Germany - Some 40 years after the S-Class made its
debut, employees at the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant have produced
the first customer vehicle in what is now the sixth generation of this
model series. "2013 is the year of the S-Class. We are driving forward
our model offensive in the luxury segment. The new S-Class is opening up
additional opportunities for us in the market," says Dr Dieter Zetsche,
Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of
Andreas Renschler, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG,
Manufacturing and Procurement Mercedes-Benz Cars & Mercedes-Benz Vans:
"The S-Class, with its many innovations, is the standard-bearer of
automotive progress. And our production is breaking the mould: we made
it fit for the future by implementing numerous new processes for
manufacturing the S-Class." All variants are produced in an efficient
and flexible process on one assembly line. And the range of optional
extras is so varied that it is unlikely any S-Class will be entirely
identical to another over the lifecycle of the vehicle.
This year alone Daimler has invested
around €1 billion in the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant. This includes
a significant outlay on the new S-Class, for which – between 2011 to
2014 – around €350 million is being invested in the body shop, around
€130 million in the press shop and around €70 million in assembly,
amongst others. All these investments show just how strongly the
Sindelfingen site and the biggest employer in the Stuttgart region are
focused on future requirements.
Employees have been undergoing extensive training in preparation for
production start-up. New technologies are being used in the body shop to
join cast aluminium alloys. For the aluminium lightweight roof, which is
going into large-scale series production for the first time, a new
manufacturing process has been developed: the roof and steel body will
now only be joined once they have been through the paint shop together.
Among the innovations in the production logistics is the
'pick-by-projector' system. This helps employees to pick parts by
signalling to them which storage unit contains the component that is
Energy efficiency was a factor as far back as the planning stage for the
production processes. Energy consumption per vehicle has been lowered by
around 20 percent, in part through improvements to the building
Customers purchasing a new S-Class can choose from various seat
variations in the rear that offer numerous settings. Behind the rear
seats is a back wall module that is preassembled on its own line. As
part of an ergonomic working environment, employees are able to mount
the control units on the back wall module at a height that is most
comfortable for them. A lifting device does the job of transporting the
component into the vehicle, taking the strain off the workers.
2012 the S-Class was once again the world's best-selling luxury sedan.
And because it was still in very high demand right up to the point that
it was discontinued, the production switch-over has been integrated into
the current assembly process. Since the start of production in 2005,
more than half a million premium-quality S-Class models have rolled off
the assembly line in Sindelfingen. For this new S-Class generation,
there will be now three new models in addition to the short-wheelbase
and extended wheelbase variants and the S-Class coupé.
(Jun 12, 2013)