On July 21, important announcements were made at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Kecskemét: after the global pandemic, production will resume to normal in August, and for the first time in Hungary, Mercedes has started the production of plug-in hybrid cars.
As portfolio.hu reports, Christian Wolff, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Hungary Kft. has made three important announcements concerning the manufacturer’s plant in Kecskemét. The plant has started the production of the first plug-in hybrid cars, making Mercedes the first manufacturer of such models in Hungary. It was also revealed that the plant will resume regular production after disruption by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Production back to normal from the beginning of August
Mercedes is not the only car manufacturer in Hungary that has successfully overcome the global pandemic and is now back in production. Audi in Győr announced similar news earlier this year, and now Christian Wolff said that Mercedes would return to the regular, three-shift working system starting 1 August.
A green revival
The most exciting news is that the plant has started the production of two hybrid models, CLA 250 e Coupé and CLA 250 e Shooting Brake. This makes Mercedes-Benz the first manufacturer of plug-in hybrid models in Hungary.
At the event, the performance of CLA models was also presented. With the 75 kW electric output and the 1.33-litre four-cylinder engine, these models can produce a system output of 160 kW (218 hp) and a system torque of 450 Nm. This makes it possible to speed up from 0 to 100 km/h in just 6.8 seconds. And for the plug-in feature, these models can be charged from 10% to 100% in less than two hours. They have an electric operating range of 69–79 km.
László Palkovics, minister of the Hungarian Ministry for Innovation and Technology, was also present at the announcement and said that:
“After production was suspended in mid-March at several Mercedes plants in Europe, we are happy to see that this resumption is now is also a green revival, as today we can welcome the first plug-in hybrid car at the Kecskemét plant; the first car of the future.”
He also added that it is a great achievement in that the production of these models had been taking place in these challenging times. At the event, it was also revealed that production had been preceded by months of training to prepare 2,000 employees for the unique workflow process. The appraisal was also given to the entire staff as all the preparation work took place without any disruption in production.
Kecskemét: a partner in long-term investment
Wolff’s third important announcement was that later this year, the production of A-class plug-in hybrid models would also start at the plant in Kecskemét. According to portfolio.hu, all these news suggest that Daimler does have long term plans with the Hungarian plant. And with the increasing importance of reducing CO2 emissions in the entire market, it is also a big step forward in orientating customers towards more environmentally friendly consumption.
The above announcements also mean that hybrid model production is now present at all the three car manufacturers in Hungary. The Audi plant in Győr started the production of Q3 and Q3 Sportback models last December, and the Suzuki plant in Esztergom announced that from 2020, it would only make hybrid models for the EU market. You can read more about this here.