Mercedes-Benz upping the ante in Hungary
Mercedes-Benz is upping the ante in Hungary despite the Euro Zone crisis, which is apparently slowing down the car industry.
It would appear that luxury car manufacturers are defying the current market patterns of a decline in the purchase of new cars.
The Mercedes-Benz plant in Hungary, which is one of the most modern and technological in Europe are so confident of their ability to succeed in the European car market that they are set to increase production figures.
At present Mercedes-Benz are lagging behind BMW and Audi. BMW have remained number in Europe for a number of years. Audi have just recently come into the frame after an astonishing growth spurt.
Targeting a younger market
Mercedes-Benz will be hoping to change all of that by appealing to the younger market, a strategy which both BMW and Audi have been carrying out. They plan to do by releasing the rejuvenated A-Class and the up market B-Class. Both of these vehicles will target the younger market.
Mercedes-Benz’s plant at Kecskemet has been producing the B-Class since March. Frank Klein, the Manager of the Kecskemet plant said that the B-Class is more appealing to the younger generation. He said “It has become younger and they want more sporty, more attractive cars. With this model I think we can meet all the demands that the customer expects from a premium brand.”
Mercedes-Benz eventually decided on creating a factory in Hungary after analysing a number of locations to setup a plant around Europe. Hungary was selected as Mercedes-Benz deemed this location the best to keep costs down as well as increasing their annual capacity.
Mr Klein commented on the decision saying “There was a long evaluation process at the beginning of this project phase. We had 15 different sites to select from and there were a lot of different criteria, including the logistics costs and the availability of a qualified workforce.”
Audi were the first German luxury car manufacturer to move to Hungary. They realised the great opportunities in the country back in 1994. One of the main attractions of Hungary is their skilled labour which comes at lower costs. It has been claimed that workers at the Hungary plant are paid just a fifth of what German workers are paid. Taxes are also significantly cheaper when compared to Germany, meaning production of cars is a lot cheaper. Regulations are also more relaxed making the working Hungary a lot easier.