Vitoria, birthplace of the new V-Class.
In the heart of the Basque country.
The basis for what was to become one of the most important automobile and industrial centres in the world was created in northern Spain in 1954, in the middle of fertile land: the Vitoria works in the heart of the Basque country. From then on, vehicles made by Auto-Union left the production lines – for at least twenty years, after which Daimler-Benz AG took over the whole site.
Today, 75,000 vans per year are produced in an area of 600,000 square metres. This makes Vitoria Daimler AG’s second-largest van production works in the world. And also an important employer in the region: 3,500 employees work there and a total of 13,000 jobs depend indirectly on the vehicle manufacturing site.
The art of production.
Employees work hand-in-hand with robots at the birthplace of the new V-Class. Robotic arms slightly reminiscent of works of art by Niki de Saint Phalle and Oskar Schlemmer assemble parts such as underbodies and side panels as if they were Lego bricks and spray the surfaces with liquid paint. Although the individual processes seem simple in themselves, they are backed by highly complicated, innovative technology which took much time and effort in the making.
Each production step is checked several times.
The Mercedes-Benz staff monitor each production step with the greatest of care, from positioning and programming the machines to feeling the coats of paint. For the latter, not a square millimetre is allowed to be missed, because even the – actually perfect – robot precision needs to be checked several times in order to ensure the very best quality.
Following the work in the manufacturing process that is predominantly done by robots, the staff does much calibration and checking to make sure that production, functionality and safety are guaranteed.
Space begins with “V”.
The V-Class is the only MPV which is equipped with a variety of different assistance systems, such as Crosswind Assist as standard, and optional Active Parking Assist. It can do even more: Ultra-modern turbodiesel engines ensure highest efficiency and the generous, flexible space with room for up to eight people blends comfort and stylish design without ignoring the many options for seating and luggage configurations. The highlight is the direct access to the second luggage level via a tailgate which can be opened separately.
Only the best.
Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, explained when the new V-Class first went into production: “Our Vitoria works is an important competence centre and leading factory for our medium-sized vans. In 2014, our new Mercedes-Benz vans will start their life here. Also the new V-Class has been in production here since March.
With it, we have lifted the MPV segment up to a completely new level. And in autumn, we will be putting the Vito, our new superstar for commercial customers, onto the road. It’s obvious: If you want to build top vehicles like these, you have to have a top team. And we’ve got that here in Vitoria!”