Soon, its successor will replace it.
The current generation of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class has been on production since 2013. And while the automaker is already hard at work on developing a successor for its flagship sedan, the W222 is still on sale and is even celebrating an important milestone. Mercedes has just announced that it has assembled the 500,000th current-gen S-Class at its Sindelfingen production site.
"In each of the 500,000 S-Class models there is a large portion of heart and soul from the entire Sindelfingen team. The many years of experience and specialist knowledge of our employees have made a decisive contribution to this production success. As the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant, we are proud to be the center of competence for our premium and luxury class," said Michael Bauer, Head of Production at the plant.
The German factory is one of the few plants in the world that assemble the S-Class today despite the fact that China is the model’s largest market nowadays with every third example being sold there. The manufacturing process at Sindelfingen includes multiple digital technologies to make the "paperless factory" become possible. For example, the exact specifications of each vehicle are displayed to the employees via a screen. Also, mobile devices support them in individual work steps.
The future of the production site seems bright, too. Mercedes says that this is the place where models from the EQ family will be assembled. Currently employing more than 25,000 workers, the Sindelfingen factory produces the E-Class in sedan and wagon versions, CLS, S-Class (Sedan, Coupe, and Cabriolet), Mercedes-Maybach, Mercedes-AMG GT, and GLA. About 250 cars roll off the assembly lines every day.
Gallery: 2017 Mercedes S-Class
Sindelfingen. The 500,000th current-generation S-Class saloon has rolled off the production line at the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant. The Sindelfingen S-Class team from body-in-white, paintshop and assembly celebrated this milestone together with Michael Bauer, Head of Production at the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant and Site Manager, and the site's Works Council Chairman, Ergun Lümali. The current model of the Mercedes-Benz flagship has been produced exclusively at the tradition-steeped site in Sindelfingen for the global market since 2013.
“Our Mercedes-Benz S-Class sets global standards - and this is also reflected in its production. The top quality of the S-Class, which rolls off the assembly line here in Sindelfingen, inspires our customers around the world. State-of-the-art Industry 4.0 solutions ensure flexible, efficient processes and support our people in their daily work", explains Jörg Burzer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz AG, Production and Supply Chain Management.
Innovative power is the major constant in S-Class production. Many new technologies are initially tested as part of pilot projects. In 2017, for example, a Mercedes-Benz S-Class was the first vehicle to drive off the line autonomously during a pilot trial.
"In each of the 500,000 S-Class models there is a large portion of heart and soul from the entire Sindelfingen team. The many years of experience and the specialist knowledge of our employees have made a decisive contribution to this production success. As the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant, we are proud to be the centre of competence for our premium and luxury class," says Michael Bauer.
S-Class production is characterised by manifold digital technologies: state-of-the art data transmission and the latest hardware solutions facilitate the "paperless factory", for example. The employees find out about each vehicle's scope of specification via a screen. Mobile devices support them in individual work steps. Every vehicle can be precisely located at all times in a virtual representation of the factory. The customers also benefit from this: with the "Digital Anticipation" service they can follow the production status of their vehicle online.
Measures which facilitate an especially ergonomic way of working for the employees play a central role. They include mobile platforms which move in synch with the line. What is known as the ErgoSkid, which raises the vehicles on the assembly line by 26 centimetres whilst the employees lay the subharnesses for the floor unit, also makes a key contribution to improved ergonomics.
"These are highly motivated and superbly qualified colleagues, who produce vehicles in top quality day in, day out. With its exclusive 'Made in Sindelfingen' label the S-Class makes an important contribution towards securing employment at the Sindelfingen site. And this is paramount, for us as the Works Council," says Ergun Lümali.
When the new-generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class celebrated its world premiere in 2013 in Hamburg, experts described it as "the best car in the world" right from the outset. It is indeed the best-selling luxury saloon worldwide and in the past few years it has received numerous awards. Since the market launch of the 220 model in 1951, around four million S-Class Saloon models have been delivered to customers worldwide. China is the biggest market of all: more than every third model is sold there.
About the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant
The Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant is the centre of excellence for luxury-class vehicles and the lead factory for the production of the S- and E-Class model series. Going forward, this will also be the location for the production of electric vehicles of the new EQ product and technology brand. Together with the central production organisation of Mercedes-Benz Cars, the plant employs a workforce of more than 25,000. Mercedes-Benz produces the E-Class (Saloon and Estate) there as well as the CLS, the S-Class (Saloon, Coupé and Cabriolet), the Mercedes-Maybach, the Mercedes-AMG GT family and the GLA. Around 250 vehicles a day are delivered at the Mercedes-Benz Customer Centre in Sindelfingen.