New B-Class Benz pro­duc­tion has started

Eyethu Baywatch - - MOTORING • EZEZIMOTO -

Mercede-Benz has an­nounced the start of se­ries pro­duc­tion of the new, third-gen­er­a­tion BClass at the Ger­man firm’s Ras­tatt plant.

The new B-Class is the third ve­hi­cle in the Stuttgart­based au­tomaker’s lat­est­gen­er­a­tion com­pact ve­hi­cle fam­ily, af­ter the new A-Class hatch­back and sedan.

‘The B-Class ramp-up marks a fur­ther mile­stone in the ramp-up cas­cade of our next com­pact car gen­er­a­tion.

‘Our lead plant Ras­tatt is ex­clu­sively pro­duc­ing the tourer for the global mar­ket,’ said Markus Schäfer, mem­ber of the di­vi­sional board of Mercedes-Benz Cars for pro­duc­tion and sup­ply chain.

In Ger­many, the new BClass can be or­dered from early next month, with de­liv­er­ies due to be­gin in Fe­bru­ary 2019 with the new MPV sched­uled to ar­rive in SA in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2019.

‘Our en­tire team is proud of the fact that Ras­tatt will re­main in­ex­tri­ca­bly linked with the B-Class in fu­ture, too.

‘A start of pro­duc­tion is al­ways a high­light for a plant,’ said Thomas Geier, site man­ager of the fac­tory.

‘For this one par­tic­u­larly, we have pre­pared our­selves in­ten­sively. Among other things, a hall was com­pletely re­built.

‘Thanks to our ex­pe­ri­ence with the A-Class, we are op­ti­mally ac­quainted with the pro­duc­tion ar­chi­tec­ture and can use syn­er­gies,’ Geier added.

The Ras­tatt plant boasts around 6 500 em­ploy­ees and is the cen­tral train­ing site for all of MercedesBenz’s com­pact ve­hi­cle plants.

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