Mercedes-Benz Contracts With Valmet for GLC Production
Finnish Contract Manufacturer to Build Compact SUV
The world of contract manufacturing is a major part of consumer electronics. However, it is seldom discussed in the context of cars and light trucks. The flexibility offered by contract manufacturing makes it an attractive option for companies struggling to meet demand for hot-selling models or that only need to build a small-volume run of niche models. As we’ve noted in numerous news posts, global demand for SUVs of all sizes, and specifically for compact and midsize crossovers, is off the charts. The Mercedes-Benz GLC, which replaces the boxy GLK in Mercedes’ SUV lineup, is a major part of the brand’s global growth strategy. Starting in 2017, Finnish contract manufacturer Valmet automotive will build the GLC at its plant in Uusikaupunki, Finland. The primary source for the GLC will remain at Daimler’s Bremen, Germany, plant.
Daimler is also working with U.S.-based contract manufacturer AM General to build its R-Class crossover for export to China. Although unpopular and discontinued in the U.S. market, the R-Class is popular in the Chinese market, where many luxury models are chauffeur-driven. Valmet Automotive also built the Porsche Boxster from 1997 to 2011. In addition to Bremen and soon Uusikaupunki, the GLC is also built in Beijing, China, for local sale.