Mercedes in Hungary

When you think “Mercedes” and “Manufacturing,” something like the 1.3-million square-meter Sindelfingen assembly complex, which produced 484,014 vehicles in 2011, probably comes to mind.

When you think “Mercedes” and “Manufacturing,” something like the 1.3-million square-meter Sindelfingen assembly complex, which produced 484,014 vehicles in 2011, probably comes to mind. Or something in Bremen. Hamburg. Berlin.

Since the mid-90s, there was another site of Mercedes manufacturing that probably caused some head scratching on both sides of the Atlantic: Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where the M-Class, GL, R, and soon C are produced.

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A little more than a week after Mercedes-Benz revealed the production version of the 2014 CLA-Class, a four-door coupe, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit (which sounds like a place where cars would be built, although there are far fewer actually produced there than one might think), the car for which they produced a Hollywood-like Super Bowl ad with a soundtrack by the Rolling Stones, Willem Dafoe as the Devil, and Kate Upton as, well, Kate Upton, production of the car was launched at a 10-month-old Mercedes plant. . .in Kecskemét, Hungary.

At the official opening, Dr. Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the Daimler Board of Management and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said to the workers in the plant—which number approximately 3,000—“More than 40,000 B-Class vehicles built here prove that you know how to build great cars. You are doing a first-class job here at the plant.”

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The CLA will become available in Europe in the spring, then in the U.S. in the fall.

Speaking of the CLA, Zetsche said, “The CLA is a car that does not confuse ‘mid-size’ with ‘mid-quality.’ Its sporty design underscores the sporty side of the Mercedes-Benz brand.”

And the Kecskemét plant (as well as Tuscaloosa and elsewhere) underscores the global side of the auto business.