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Raising the bar in China's auto industry (2)

By Zhuan Ti  (China Daily)

14:22, April 19, 2013

With people in China leading more adventurous lifestyles as well seeking vehicles with the flexibility for city use, the GLK has proved to be enormously popular with Chinese consumers.

In May 2013, a new engine plant will start operations, providing BBAC as well as the Fujian Benz van joint venture with locally made four and six cylinder engines, with an overall capacity of 250,000 units.

This will be accompanied by additional investments in plant facilities that include a new production line to deliver the latest models from the Mercedes-Benz New Generation Compact Car family starting in 2014.

These investments will fuel Mercedes-Benz' strategy as it accelerates towards the 2015 goal of producing 70 percent of China sales locally.

Both quantity and quality

BBAC's focus is not just on quantity, but also quality. The quality management team is core to BBAC operations, independently reporting directly to the CEO, placing quality management at the highest priority.

This organizational structure ensures transparency of communication across the whole organization, and is firmly linked into the global quality appraisal system of Mercedes-Benz by a comprehensive communication network.

"Local production ensures that the growing demand for Mercedes-Benz cars can be satisfied more efficiently, and with a more agile response to the market," continued Deiss. "At the same time, throughout the entire production process, quality is key, and this starts at the beginning of the supply chain, with the selection and development of our suppliers."

All suppliers are audited by the quality management team to Daimler's strict global standards, and the majority of parts are tested in Daimler laboratories.

Production processes are audited to verify that they fulfill the automotive standard specifications of Mercedes-Benz worldwide, based on comprehensive quality systems structured around four main control loops: personal self-inspection, examinations at key production Quality Gates, section audits on each major manufacturing process, and lastly customer product audits at the end of the assembly line by highly-trained employees.

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