Mercedes Investing €1 Billion in Rastatt Factory for Next-Gen Compacts

GLA 250 AMG 1 photo
Photo: Jeffrey Ross
Things are getting serious for the Mercedes-Benz compact models. Even though the company invested €1.2 billion starting in 2009 at the Rastatt factory, another billion euros will be spent until the end of 2020.
Details are scarce, but the investment has officially been linked to the arrival of the next generation compact premium cars, most likely the A- and B-Class. These Golf competitors have been selling well and are also assembled in Hungary. But because demand is high, Mercedes wants to make more.

Previous reports have claimed a new version of the Modular Front Architecture is being developed. It will be more malleable than the current one, which doesn't seem to stretch the same way VW's MQB does. However, there will also be new variants added to the range.

For example, a model called the GLB is rumored to be in the advanced stages of development. It's expected to have the chunky looks of a G-Class and the practicality of a tourer. A compact convertible and a 2-door rival for the Audi TT are also being considered.

Because the GLA-Class crossover is only made in Rastatt, unlike the A and CLA that are also assembled in Hungary, we expect the investment is making way for the GLB's arrival.

The factory located in the South of Germany, near the border with France, will hire 250 new permanent employees and create jobs through the supply chain.

Mercedes board member Markus Schafer said: "With our transformation plan for the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant we have laid the foundation for the successful production of the next generation of our compact cars. We will achieve significant gains in flexibility and efficiency. At the same time, we will strengthen the role of the location as the lead plant for compact cars within our global production network."
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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