The Mercedes-Benz plant in Ludwigsfelde (Brandenburg) has every reason to celebrate: 84 years after the site was founded, the 1.5-millionth commercial vehicle has rolled off the production line there. Since its establishment, the plant has built engines for various companies and, since 1965, commercial vehicles from various brands.
“For over 55 years, Ludwigsfelde has been producing commercial vehicles that have one thing in common: quality. And this can only be achieved if you have a team on-board that works on the products with true dedication and competence, giving their all even in challenging times. I would like to sincerely thank all of our colleagues for their commitment,” says Ingo Ettischer, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans Operations, on the special occasion.
“The third generation of the Sprinter is currently being built here in Ludwigsfelde. It is our most successful model and will continue to be in the future. With almost 820,000 vans bearing a three-pointed star produced to date, and in particular with the so-called open model variants, Ludwigsfelde has played a key role in making us the leading supplier in the large van segment today,” says Markus Keicher, Site and Production Manager at the Mercedes-Benz Ludwigsfelde plant and Managing Director of Mercedes-Benz Ludwigsfelde GmbH.
A location with history: from aircraft to trucks and then vans
The site of Mercedes-Benz Ludwigsfelde GmbH, which is located there today, has a long and eventful history of providing mobility: it began as early as 1936 with the production of aircraft engines for the then Daimler-Benz Motoren GmbH. Commercial vehicles have been manufactured in Ludwigsfelde since 1965. And up to the reunification of Germany in 1991, IFA-brand trucks were built in Ludwigsfelde.
In 1994 the plant was taken over by Daimler-Benz AG and Mercedes-Benz Ludwigsfelde GmbH was founded. Since then, vans of the Mercedes-Benz brand have been rolling off the production line there. The location occasionally also produces vans on behalf of other brands. The first van from the brand with the star to be built in Brandenburg was the Type LN2 in February 1991. In July 1996, series production of the Vario started, which remained in the product line-up until 2013. And since 2006, the Sprinter has been built in Ludwigsfelde.
Start of series production for the new Sprinter in 2018
Production of the current third generation of the Sprinter started in Ludwigsfelde in March 2018. At the Brandenburg site, the open model variants as well as traction heads and so-called wind runners (chassis with no body panels) are produced. With the new release of this successful model, Mercedes-Benz Vans has ushered in the digital age within this vehicle class. The latest Sprinter once again sets standards in terms of quality, safety, variability and also connectivity. It is fully networked, allowing customers to make use of seamless integration with existing systems. Today, the Sprinter is available in more than 1000 different variants solely taking into account body types, drive concepts, cab designs, body lengths, weights, load compartment heights and equipment variants. The Sprinter is produced at the plants in Düsseldorf, Ludwigsfelde, Charleston (USA) and Buenos Aires (Argentina).
“Production here in Ludwigsfelde isn’t just an integral part of our production network at Mercedes-Benz Vans, but is also especially important within the region. The plant can look back on a rich history, but has never lost sight of the future and is now better positioned than ever before for the future,” emphasises Ingo Ettischer.
“Building outstanding-quality vehicles over decades, whether trucks or vans, is an achievement that can only be accomplished with the right people. We are proud of the team here which proves day in, day out that automotive history is written here in Brandenburg – a team which will ensure this continues to be the case even in the future,” says Markus Keicher.