Mercedes Benz has made it official: the 2011 C-Class Coupe is on its way. The German luxury automaker has announced it will build the two-door C-Class at its massive Bremen plant, with production scheduled to begin in 2011. The addition of the Coupe gives Mercedes Benz three different variants of the C-Class, with a convertible almost certainly to follow. The impressively flexible Bremen plant, which employs 12,600 workers, also makes the C-Class sedan, wagon, GLK, two E-Class variants, the SL and SLK.
With the C-Class Coupe officially on its way to production, we're more than a bit curious as to how Mercedes will differentiate the smaller Benz two-door from the larger, more expensive E-Class Coupe. See, the bi-door E-Class already utilizes the C-Class platform, and the more expensive E Coupe is almost identical in every dimension to the C-Class Saloon. But the E-Class coupe commands a price premium of $9,000 compared to a C-Class sedan with the same 3.5-liter V6 engine.
We suspect Mercedes will shorten the C-Class platform to better differentiate the C Coupe from the larger, more expensive E Coupe. But unlike the larger E Coupe, which is virtually the same price as sedan with the same name, the C Coupe may receive a bit of a price bump compared to its sedan brethren. It's a good bet that we'll know a lot of these answers by the time the Paris Motor Show opens its doors to the media in September. Hit the jump to read over the official press release.
Development as a competence centre: Bremen plant expanding production operations to include Coupé of the C-Class
New variant to be produced in addition to the C-Class Saloon, the C-Class Estate and the GLK as of 2011
Flexible production: Coupé to be produced with three existing models on a single line
Peter Schabert, Head of the Bremen plant: "Decision another milestone on our way to becoming the C-Class competence centre and a clear sign of trust in Bremen team's capabilities and standards."
Bremen - The Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen is gearing up for the production of a fourth model of the high-volume C-Class model range. As of 2011, a Coupé will be added to a flexible production line, which already produces the three existing models. This will be a new addition to Bremen's current production portfolio in the C-Class segment, comprising the Saloon, the Estate and the compact GLK sport utility vehicle (SUV).
"The decision by the Board of Management to produce the Coupé version of the current C-Class here in Bremen as well represents another important milestone on our way to becoming Mercedes' competence centre for the C-Class and is a clear sign of the trust in the Bremen team's capabilities and standards," says Peter Schabert, Head of the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen.
The Bremen plant is developed into the worldwide competence centre for the high-volume C-Class model series. Allocating production of the new Coupé to the plant is in keeping with this strategy. As announced in December 2009, the launch of the next generation of the C-Class at the plant as of 2014 will see production of the C-Class Saloon for markets in Europe concentrated at a single location together with the production of the other C-Class model variants.
The Bremen plant is already demonstrating the flexibility of its production operations by producing three models (C-Class Saloon, C-Class Estate and GLK) on a single assembly line. The vehicles are able to pass along the assembly line in any conceivable order precisely as customer orders require, irrespective of model, variant (right- or left-hand drive, all-wheel or rear-wheel drive) and equipment. From 2011 the Bremen plant will be integrating a fourth model into the production process in the guise of the Coupé, demonstrating the plant's flexibility once again.
Production portfolio of the Bremen plant
In addition to the models of the C-Class model series, vehicles belonging to the E-Class are also produced in Bremen, with the Coupé and Cabrio running in flexible configuration on a single production line. The roadsters of the SL- and SLK-Class are also produced exclusively in Bremen. With a workforce of around 12,600, the Mercedes-Benz plant is the largest private-sector employer in the region.