Start of production of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class (July 16, 2012, Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant): Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Daimler Board of Management and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars (right), Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, Member of the Daimler Board of Management, Manufacturing and Procurement Mercedes-Benz Cars & Mercedes-Benz Vans

Start of production of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class : Dr. Dieter Zetsche (on the right) & Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard

Mercedes-Benz today announced the start of the production of the much in demand new A-Class at their Rastatt plant in Germany. While announcing the news, Dr. Zetsche also added that the much talked about compact SUV based on the A-Class and speculated to be titled the ‘GLA’ will also be one of the models to be built in Rastatt.

3 Door GLA Mercedes-Benz A-Class SUV

3 Door GLA Mercedes-Benz A-Class SUV, Image Courtesy: Christian Schulte for Car Magazine

“This start of production marks a further milestone in our Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy. The A-Class represents our offensive in the compact segment”, said Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “And there is more to come: The compact SUV will be the third model we will build here in Rastatt.”

Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard added that the joint architecture of the compact vehicles from Mercedes Benz including the A-Class and the B-Class enables the company to produce all models of the new compacts on the same production line.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Production Rastatt 02

Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Manufacturing & Procurement Mercedes-Benz Cars & Mercedes-Benz Vans: “We are on a roll in manufacturing as well: Hard on the heels of the new B-Class, we are now producing the totally new A-Class for our customers. Thanks to the joint architecture, we can flexibly produce all models of our new compacts on the same production line at the respective site.”

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Production Rastatt

The A-Class which went on sale mid-June this year has already garnered more than 40,000 bookings. More than 70.000 vehicles of the new B-Class were delivered to customers since its market launch in November 2011, “Demand for our premium compact cars is so strong that we are going to to introduce a third assembly shift in October 2012″, said Peter Wesp, Head of the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant. “Our team in Rastatt is doing a fantastic job, and we are very proud of their achievements.” The number of trainee positions has been increased to 70 per year.

The A-Class is expected to hit our shores sometime next year, while the sports tourer B-Class will be launched on the 19th of July in India.

5 Door GLA Mercedes-Benz A-Class SUV

5 Door GLA Mercedes-Benz A-Class SUV, Image Courtesy: AutoZEITUNG