Mercedes signs deal to make cars in Finland

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Daimler has agreed a contract with Valmet Automotive (VA) to manufacture its new Mercedes Benz A Class, due  to be launched in September, in Finland.

The contract, which will be finalized soon, will call for VA to manufacture 100,000 vehicles at its plant in Uusikaupunki on Finland’s west coast. The car is already being produced at Daimler’s own facilities in Rastatt, Germany and its Hungarian unit in Kecskemét.

Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, Daimler board member in charge of Manufacturing and Procurement Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans told the media: “Our new compacts are so popular (with 40,000 advance orders so far received). We thus signed VA as an experienced production specialist to provide us with additional capacity as of 2013.”

VA’s President Ilpo Korhonen said the 400 employees that had been temporarily laid off will be recalled when production starts in 2013, and the company will hire “hundreds” more staff when output cranks up in 2014.

Korhonen added: “We already have a long-term relationship with Daimler via our roof-making business in Germany and Poland where Daimler is a key customer.”

At the time of writing, details were unavailable as to where components would be sourced.

Finnish Livelihood and Labour Ministers Jrki Hämäläinen and Lauri Ihalainen said the effect on Finland’s employment, exports and balance of trade’s figures can only be positive especially as the plant is located in the Salo region where Nokia is closing its last Finnish assembly factory in the country.


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