New entry-level Mercs to get factory in Hungary
27 October 2008

Mercedes has confirmed it will establish a new assembly plant in Kecskemet, Hungary, where it wants to create additional production capacity for a new range of entry-level models.

The factory, located about 50 miles south east of the capital, Budapest, is planned to open in 2012 and the €800m (£650m) site has been earmarked to turn out two new models from the next-generation Mercedes A-class and B-class.

Initial annual capacity for the new Mercedes plant is 100,000 cars. The company has not confirmed the identity of the new models to be assembled in Kecskemet, but insiders at Mercedes headquarters in Stuttgart said that the German car maker is already well advanced on a new small coupe cabriolet pairing based around the future A-class as well as a junior off-roader that will sit on the same underpinnings as the second-generation B-class.

The Kecskemet plant will operate in tandem with Mercedes’s existing facility in Rastatt, Germany, which will be producing today’s A-class and B-class.

Before it comes on line, the Rastatt plant will undergo a second major overhaul, with a planned €600m investment to further increase its capacity and enable it to handle an extra model.

Greg Kable

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