Mercedes Benz has spent the last two years trying to figure out what the next generation A and B-class compacts should be. Traditional gas and diesels? Hybrids? EVs? A mixture of all of those? The stakes are high in the this segment of the automobile game and MB has a lot riding on it. And Merc’s parent, Daimler, has just announced that it is going to obligate €600 million in updates and expansion to the factory that builds the A and B-class compacts.
Mercedes has yet to announce which platform, whether the A- class or the B-class, it will use for the upcoming small cars, but we do know that they will start production at the Rastatt factory in late 2011. Mercedes is adding a 710,000 square foot body shop to produces the shells of the new models at the factory and they have already started construction of a new stamping facility in nearby Kuppenheim to produce the body panels that will be welded at the Rastatt body shop.