Beijing Benz halts production at two major factories due to lackluster EV sales and production line upgrade
Chinese article by 日新
English Editor 张未名
09-15 17:11

By Greg Gao

(JW Insights) Sep 15 -- Beijing Benz Automotive, the joint venture of BAIC Motor and Mercedes-Benz, successively suspended production at its two major factories in Beijing within a week. The NGCC factory in Daxing, Beijing, is set to halt production for over 40 days, while the Shunyi factory has also recently initiated a production halt, reported Chinese auto news outlet Gasgoo on September 13.

Rumors circulate that the production suspension is due to the failure of its electrification transformation. The sales of the EQ series electric vehicles produced at the Shunyi factory did not meet expectations, as transitional models resulting from "gas-to-electric" were not well-received by consumers. Previously, when the EQ series was launched, they were priced high, followed by significant price reductions of tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of yuan, highlighting the initially inflated pricing. There were also recalls of the EQ series. In November last year, sales of the EQA, EQB, and EQC models even fell to single-digit numbers.

Earlier reports suggested that Mercedes-Benz would officially abandon the EQ series when it launch the next generation of new vehicles, phasing out the "gas-to-electric" concept from its product lineup. The suspension of production at the Shunyi factory may be aligned with this strategic shift.

Beijing Mercedes-Benz operates two major vehicle manufacturing plants, namely the Daxing factory and the Shunyi factory. The Daxing factory, also known as the front-wheel-drive factory, primarily produces models including GLA-Class, A-Class, GLB-Class, long-wheelbase E-Class, and long-wheelbase C-Class, among others. While the Shunyi factory is capable of mixed-line production of Mercedes-Benz vehicles on the FMA front-wheel-drive platform, MRA rear-wheel-drive platform, and EVA2 electric vehicle platform, producing models such as GLB-Class, EQA, EQB, EQC, EQE, and more.

According to a statement from Beijing Benz, as reported by 21st Century Business Herald, Beijing Benz will conduct safety inspections, maintenance, or upgrade modifications on certain production lines and equipment in the near term to further enhance production efficiency and prepare for the production of next-generation models in line with the company's strategic deployment and production planning.

At the just-concluded Munich Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the first CLA-class concept car based on the MMA platform. The production version of the CLA is expected to debut in 2024. It has been rumored that the suspension of production at the Daxing factory is due to the need for product transformation. After the modification and upgrade of production lines and equipment, the existing MFA platform will be transformed into the MMA platform, and the Daxing factory will be responsible for the production of the next-generation CLA model.

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