One of the International production start of the new GLC at three locations: the successful midsize SUV is now rolling off the production line at the Mercedes-Benz plants in Bremen and Sindelfingen. The start of production at the Beijing plant (China) is also planned for this year.
The plant in Bremen has been responsible for the GLC and its predecessor models since 2008. The midsize SUV has been built in Beijing since 2011. Due to the popularity and the expected high demand for the new GLC, Sindelfingen has now been added as a third production site.
Mercedes-Benz’s highly flexible and efficient production system enables different models and powertrains to be assembled on a single production line. This makes it possible for the plant to adapt to changes in customer demand at any time. The GLC ramp up is being digitally coordinated between the three vehicle plants demonstrating close collaboration across the Mercedes-Benz global production network.
The batteries for the plug-in hybrid models are supplied by the Mercedes-Benz Brühl battery plant as part of the Stuttgart-Untertürkheim plant. A large number of components, including 200 battery cells, are assembled here to form a highly efficient overall system.
Modern assembly system: Efficient bundling of technology
At the Bremen plant, the GLC is built on the same line as the C-Class and the all-electric EQC (combined power consumption: 21.9-19.4 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km) and EQE models. In Sindelfingen, the GLC starts production in Hall 46 which, just like Factory 56, has been modernized from the ground up and converted into a highly flexible and digitalised Mercedes-Benz assembly system.
The production of different model and drive variants on one line makes maximum flexibility a decisive success factor for Mercedes-Benz vehicle production. With the so-called “Fullflex Marriage”, a new standard has also been implemented in terms of flexibility, in which the body is connected to the different drives. The mix of “Fullflex Marriage”, highly flexible conveyor technology and individual shopping cart supply in logistics enables a broad model mix. In this way, it is possible to react flexibly to market developments and changing customer demand.
Maximum transparency: Digital production ecosystem MO360
Thanks to comprehensive digitalisation with the Mercedes-Benz Cars Operations (MO360) production ecosystem and the consistent application of Industry 4.0 technologies, the Bremen, Beijing and Sindelfingen plants operate flexibly and highly efficiently. The MO360 digital ecosystem comprises a family of software applications connected by common interfaces and uniform user interfaces. At both the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen and the Sindelfingen plant, for example, the “Digital Shop Floor Management” application is used in all trades – from the press shop to the body shop and from surface finishing to assembly. This allows all production data to be tracked in real time. With the MO360 application “QUALITY LIVE”, the production of a vehicle can be checked in real time. “QUALITY LIVE” accesses all data collected during the production process.
The company’s goal is to at least halve CO₂ emissions per passenger car over the entire lifecycle by the end of this decade compared to 2020. The most important levers for this are the electrification of the vehicle fleet, charging with green electricity, improving battery technology and extensive use of recycled materials and renewable energies in production.
Mercedes-Benz has been producing CO2-neutrally in all of its own plants worldwide since this year and has also been purchasing electricity in Germany which comes exclusively from renewable sources since this year. A green power supply contract ensures the purchase of electricity from renewable energies at all times. In addition, the company aims to increase renewable energy generation at its sites. By the end of next year, solar plants with an output of more than 11 MWp are expected to go into operation. By 2025, Mercedes-Benz will invest a triple-digit-million euro figure in the installation of photovoltaic systems. By 2030, it is planned that more than 70 per cent of the energy demand in production will be covered using renewable energies. This is to be achieved by expanding solar and wind energy at its own locations and by concluding further corresponding power purchase agreements.
“With the launch of the new GLC, we are once again demonstrating the flexibility and efficiency of our global production network: within just a few months, our teams are successfully ramping up GLC production in close cooperation at three plants on two continents. Thanks to MO360, our fully digitalised processes enable our plants to be networked in real time, thus ensuring highly efficient and sustainable production.”
Jörg Burzer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Production and Supply Chain Management.
“The GLC and Bremen have always been closely linked. We are proud not only to build this popular vehicle here in Bremen, but also to master the rapid production ramp-up in close cooperation with our colleagues in Sindelfingen and Beijing.”
Michael Frieß, Site Manager and Head of Production at the Mercedes-Benz Bremen plant
“With the GLC, the Sindelfingen plant is now also producing an SUV. This is therefore a very special start-up for our site and shows that flexibility is a top priority at our plant. New vehicle, new hall – we are delighted to be able to put another state-of-the-art, efficient and sustainable production facility into operation with Hall 46.”
Michael Bauer, Site Manager and Head of Production at the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant
“With the GLC, our highly qualified team is producing another successful model in Sindelfingen. This is good news for the workforce and the location. The expansion of the Sindelfingen vehicle range to include an SUV is a further logical step towards keeping the site fit for the future in the long term. As early as 2014, we laid the foundation for the integration of the GLC into the Sindelfingen plant with the Sindelfingen 2020+ vision of the future and strategic further development. Our sustainable strategy of securing jobs, employment and quantities for the German sites has been offset by the launch of the new GLC in Sindelfingen and Bremen.”
Ergun Lümali, Dep. Chairman of the Supervisory Board and Chairman of the Works Council of Mercedes-Benz Group AG
“Together with our colleagues in Bremen, we are pleased about a successful start of the new GLC. This new SUV will ensure continued good capacity utilisation of our production and job security at our locations in Bremen, Sindelfingen and soon Beijing as well. With a lot of passion and commitment, the colleagues will be able to get this new GLC back onto the road. Despite all the current adversities and today’s dynamics in terms of parts supply, a cohesive team effort has again led to success. I hope that such achievements of the workforce will be sufficiently appreciated in future topics.”
Michael Peters, Chairman of the Works Council of the Mercedes-Benz Bremen plant