Mercedes-Benz starts passenger-car production in Brazil
Mercedes-Benz has started production at its new passenger-car plant in Brazil, thereby extending its worldwide production network as part of the “Mercedes-Benz 2020” growth strategy. The new site at Iracemápolis in the Sao Paulo metropolitan area was officially opened by representatives of Daimler AG at a ceremony attended by guests from politics, industry and society. The first vehicle to roll off the
production line was a black C-Class Saloon.
The opening of the Mercedes-Benz Iracemápolis plant is a further milestone in the development of our flexible and efficient production network. The global production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars comprises 26 locations which are organized in production compounds according to the vehicle architecture. With the local production, we are strengthening our global competitiveness and will be closer to our Brazilian customers and their needs for passenger cars of the premium brand Mercedes-Benz,
says Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Manufacturing and Supply
Strong commitment to Brazil as a key location
Following the production start of the C-Class at the Mercedes-Benz Iracemápolis plant, the GLA compact SUV will also be rolling off the production line beginning this summer. In the first stage, the plant is designed for an annual capacity of 20,000 vehicles. Mercedes-Benz achieved record unit sales in Brazil in 2015.
We believe in the long-term perspective of the passenger-car market in Brazil, The plant in Iracemápolis points the way ahead for our medium-sized plants in terms of layout and technology. The
plant’s level of automation is significantly lower than in traditional Mercedes-Benz plants. Thereby, we achieve a highly flexible and topquality production to satisfy local demand.
As part of the global production network, Iracemápolis is connected to all Mercedes-Benz Cars
locations around the world, allowing a location-independent access to production data and process management. Every single installation and every robot, for example, can be centrally managed and updated to new software programmes.
Qualification within the network: India as leading training location
In terms of training for the Brazilian workforce, employees were sent to other Mercedes-Benz plants where they were able to familiarise themselves with the production processes and further integrate the new location into the international plant network through personal relations. One of the leading locations here was the sister plant in Pune, India, which likewise produces the C-Class.
Roland Folger, Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India commented,
It’s a matter of immense pride for us that Mercedes-Benz India was chosen to train the Brazilian colleagues and familiarize them with the production process, towads setting up the new assembly plant in Iracemápolis. India is a forerunner amongst Mercedes-Benz’s assembly plants globally, and in the past we have already supported the plant in Vietnam in the global network. Both the teams gained in creating trust, a bond of friendship beyond cultures and continents, and being an ideal example demonstrating the strength of collaborative working. Our contribution in training the Brazilian colleagues also strongly underscores our prowess and rich experience in local production of luxury cars, which we have pioneered 20 years back in India.
Piyush Arora, Exceutive Director, Operations, Mercedes-Benz India said,
The training for the Brazilian workforce was targeted to build a competent team required to smoothly start-up and run the production process in Brazil. We trained our Brazilian colleagues on how to build a product in the right sequence, with the right tools, in the right time. It was a highly enriching experience for both the teams and it endows the trust, ability and competence level of the local team seen as a benchmark plant in Mercedes-Benz’s Production Network.
Mr. Arora further added, “The intercultural experience for both teams has been immense and heartening. This is yet another instance of MercedesBenz’s leadership in local manufacturing, the core of which comprises our highly skilled staff members and operators in Chakan, Pune, who ensures our production quality conforms to the most stringent global standards, and creates new benchmark in manufacturing for the luxury car industry in India”
Mercedes-Benz India’s training focused on creating customized programs which emphasized on Product Quality, Production Processes and Production Systems with a clear focus on shop floor Leadership and Ownership, without losing sight on the safety aspects. The training module being imparted, familiarized the Brazilian colleagues about the Mercedes-Benz Production system and its core philosophy of ‘Doing it right the first time’, which is being followed at every Mercedes-Benz plant around the world. The training module developed by Mercedes-Benz India, also detailed the different processes and systems involved in manufacturing the vehicle, including all aspects of vehicle manufacturing comprising Quality, Body shop, Paint shop, Assembly, Logistics and Planning.
The Brazil Production and Planning team have been interacting with the Indian counterparts to share experiences for the execution of their facility and smooth start-up. As integral part of the training programme, the multiplier training for the Brazilian team took place at the Chakan plant in September and November 2015. The team from Brazil received a head start with the training and understanding of the intricacies of different processes. The training imparted at Mercedes-Benz India enabled creating a competent workforce to start a new product on a new line.
Some employees also spent several weeks training at the MercedesBenz Bremen plant (Germany), the lead plant for the C-Class, and at the Kecskemét plant (Hungary), which produces compact models.
Construction in record time
Mercedes -Benz invests a total of over BRL 600 million in the new passenger-car site creating 600 jobs at the plant. Further jobs are being generated at suppliers and service providers in the region. Just 19
months elapsed between the concept decision and the start of production.
At Mercedes-Benz, we have tried-and-tested standards and factory kits for our passenger-car plants, both for planning and for installations and processes. Their implementation enabled an extremely short construction period and ensured that the plant was up and running quickly. The rapid project success was facilitated by highly capable partners and the dedication of our team