Valmet Automotive and Mercedes-Benz have announced that Valmet Automotive will start manufacturing additional units of the Mercedes-Benz GLC SUV at the Uusikaupunki, Finland plant. Valmet Automotive starts the preparation of the project immediately. The main production site of the GLC is the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen, Germany, which already runs at full capacity.
The manufacturing of the GLC will commence in Finland during the first quarter of 2017. The planned production volume in Uusikaupunki is comparable to the A-Class contract.
– Valmet Automotive is a proven and reliable partner, who stands for cutting-edge technology. Since 2013, the A-Class is produced at their site in Finland. We want to continue this success story with the GLC, says Klaus Zehender, Divisional Board Member Procurement and Supplier Quality Mercedes-Benz Cars.
– The agreement on manufacturing the Mercedes-Benz GLC proves Valmet Automotive’s success in manufacturing the Mercedes-Benz A-Class. With a track record of convincing results, we now have the opportunity to manufacture another top selling vehicle for Daimler, says Ilpo Korhonen, CEO, Valmet Automotive.
Valmet Automotive starts the project aiming at the GLC production immediately. This contains considerable restructuring at the Uusikaupunki plant, including a new body shop for the GLC model. The project involves investments worth tens of millions of euros.
The Mercedes-Benz A-Class remains in production in Uusikaupunki in 2016. The new production agreement shifts the emphasis of operations at the Uusikaupunki plant towards the GLC. Consequently, the planned A-Class volume will be ramped down from the current level to enable a rapid ramp-up for the GLC production.
This will lead to limited term adjustments in the plant personnel. The cooperation negotiations will concern the production personnel, and the adjustment need on annual level, starting in spring 2016 is estimated at approximately 300 man-years.
– Based on the current plans, we will need all our current car builders to ensure the rapid GLC ramp-up starting in early 2017. We are seeking flexible solutions to minimize the effects of the limited term personnel adjustments. Furthermore, we may need to recruit more staff when we launch the GLC production, says Mr. Korhonen.
In the project phase, the impact of the GLC production on employment is estimated at a few hundred man-years. In the production phase, the GLC will employ around 1200 people at Valmet Automotive and around 300 among subcontractors.