Düsseldorf, Germany. At Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz manufacturing facility here in the heart of the city, people are celebrating the company’s 50th year of operation on the site and the 17th year of Sprinter production. Daimler-Benz AG acquired the plant in 1958 and began producing vans and buses in 1962. The first Sprinter model was produced starting in 1995.
Today, some 725 vehicles per day roll off the assembly line, built by about 6,400 employees, supported by 600 different suppliers. According to Klemens Guelden, expert for Mercedes-Benz Sprinter in NAFTA, the logistics required to make the just-in-time operation flow smoothly day in and day out are both complex and extensive. Inbound, 280 very carefully scheduled trucks make deliveries every 24 hours, while 310 trucks leave.
The plant, which was first constructed on the site in 1889 for the heavy steel industry, is surrounded by residential homes and apartments, so the company has initiated numerous programs and policies to help make sure the plant is a good neighbor to area residents, Guelden told Fleet Owner. For example, trucks are rerouted at night to help avoid waking sleeping residents and certain delivery vehicles are fitted with quieter tires. Mercedes-Benz is also a major area employer.
At 17, the Sprinter is now also produced in the United States (a reassembly operation), Argentina, Spain and China as well as at an additional plant in Germany.