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Mercedes plans to manufacture 57% more vehicles in Vitoria next year than a decade ago

Automotive News

The Vitoriana plant already plans another production record, for which it will need to maintain the third shift and continue with working Saturdays

For the third consecutive year, production at the plant that Mercedes Benz has in Vitoria will register a new record. The forecast with which they work in the automobile company, as EL CORREO has learned, is to manufacture in 2018 a total of 157,000 vehicles of the Class V and Vito models. This figure will be transferred to the union representatives of the works council at a meeting at the end of next week. In this meeting, the work calendar will also be put on the table of an exercise that will once again be historic in the main Basque industry and the only one that is dedicated in Euskadi to producing automobiles.

To reach these numbers it will be necessary to maintain the third night shift throughout the year -except for the month of August- and also activate a good number of Saturdays as working days. It is, in short, to maintain the positive inertia of this fiscal year 2017, which except for last minute changes will be closed with a production of 148,000 vehicles; the increase next year would be, therefore, 6%.

In fact, in this month of November the assembly lines – rough and final – and painting will be active on all four Saturdays, and also on December 2 and 16 will be labor -not will be the case of 9, in the middle of the bridge festive, and of the 23, because Mercedes closes for vacations from the 22 of December and until the 1 of January-.

The figure handled within the Vitoria plant is the highest known and is 53% more than the one registered a decade ago, in a year 2008 that was also historic because for the first time the ‘ceiling’ of the 100,000 units; 102,400 Alava came out of the facilities. Even for five months, from June to October, the ninth hour was necessary, something that he recovered in 2016, until in October of a year ago the third night shift began.

The company will close 2017 with the incorporation of 1,350 undefined and by 2018 it is preparing at least another 150 new contracts The template

But the global economic crisis erupted with an unknown virulence and one of the sectors that was greatly affected was the production of vehicles. Mercedes Benz even felt the need to raise, in 2009, an employment regulation file (ERE) for the suspension of work hours and production fell to 54,600 vehicles, the lowest figure that is remembered since the 38,000 in 1996.

Leader in its sector

After a few years of ups and downs, in the period 2010-2013, with the manufacture of the new model that now consolidates the great moment of the plant -key in the economic and industrial development of Euskadi, since it represents 4.5% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 14.2% of exports in the trade balance- production has always been on the rise: since 2014, when the new VS20 project is launched, up to the present.

Almost 700 out of every 1,000 units will be of the Vito model, although the impact of the luxurious Class V on the market is greater.

The increase in staff in recent years, endorsed with the incorporation of 1,350 permanent jobs at the end of this 2017, is another consequence of this increase in manufacturing records in Vitoria. The company, in fact, already foresees at least another 150 new fixed contracts for 2018.

The success of Class V ‘made in Álava’ in the international market is also beginning to be appreciated in Spain, and in its large MPV segment it is preferred.

The Mail – JUAN CARLOS BERDONCES – November 10, 2017 (Translation soft)

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