"Is that a Uusikaupunki A-Class?" It sounds like an awfully personal question, but it's something you might be asking soon, since Mercedes-Benz is partnering with Finland's Valmet Automotive to boost production of the new A-Class. There are already more than 40,000 orders in for the new hatchback, and Daimler plants in Germany and Hungary are running at full tilt to keep up.
Since Mercedes plans to start selling the A-Class in North America in 2014, and Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche anticipates a compact vehicle boom, Daimler wants to make sure it has cars available for buyers. The contract with Valmet runs for three years from 2013 until 2016 and will add another 100,000 A-Class vehicles to the mix, important as Mercedes tries to roll out five compact models including a coupe and SUV. For its part, Valmet is happy to have something more to do other than tinker around with low-volume cars like the Fisker Karma and Marussia B2.