Where Mercedes-Benz Vito vans are born: the hidden champion from the Basque region.

The plant in Vitoria has been producing vans for 65 years. The key to this success is the flexibility of the Mercedes-Benz Vans outpost in the Basque region.

The capital city for vans.

The history of the van has a direct connection with the name Vitoria. 65 years ago, the capital of the Basque region already saw the keystones laid for a number of success stories. Originally intended as a subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz, the Spanish location quickly showed its massive potential. Over the years the Vitoria plant had established itself and enabled vans which were "Made in Europe" to become a reality. And from 1986 they started to bear a three-pointed star on the bonnet. But even on a regional level, the plant grew from strength to strength each year. For example, the plant today makes up for around 5 % of GDP in the Basque region which, along with a staff of 5000, makes it one of the biggest and most important employers in the region.

From Europe, for Europe.

Back then, just as today, only vans are produced on the Vitoria production line. To honour this fact, in 1996 the MB 100 became the Vito. At the same time, the Vito's closely related cousin the Viano (which later became known as the V-Class) began establishing itself in the passenger car segment. These vehicles also served as the starting point for the Marco Polo and eVito models which have since been produced. From Europe, for Europe: under this motto, Vitoria served as an early example of the worldwide industrialisation projects which Mercedes-Benz Vans initiated. By providing technical support, the plant exported its know-how to the production locations in Argentina, China and the USA.

Spanish flexibility.

Vitoria is an especially good example for flexibility. The plant covers 600,000 square metres and houses office buildings, final assembly, body warehouse, body-in-white production, painting and even parking spaces for electric vehicles. What is particularly striking is, on the one hand the extremely high level of automation of up to 97 percent (body-in-white production) and on the other hand the sheer variation in the production: the plant manufactures everything from low-cost panel vans to high-end premium vans and all from a single production line. In order to maintain this standard, 190 million euros have already been invested in the plant for the new product generation in addition to a further 86 million euros being invested in electromobility. 

 

Mercedes-Benz in the Basque region.

The plant in Vitoria has been officially sporting the Mercedes-Benz name since 1986.    

Making of the Vito – from the first sparks to the finished van.

It's hard to imagine a world without the Vito. We take a look behind the scenes and show the most important stations along the vehicle production process: foundry, body-in-white, paint shop, assembly and finishing. A perfectly fine-tuned ensemble to bring the beloved all-rounder to our roads.  

Heading into the future without compromise.

The body, drive and equipment variants which are manufactured in Vitoria enable millions of possibilities and are a major challenge for the employees and the logistics department. Days are broken down into two shifts and more than 600 vehicles are produced on a daily basis. And despite this, the plant strives to set the bar even higher as it enters the new century. In particular the internal networking of mechanisms and work processes pertaining to the production will be further improved. It is also anticipated that this type of connectivity will be applied comprehensively in the future to the products manufactured here. Production of the eVito in Vitoria is the first step in the direction of the sustainable and fully electric future of Mercedes-Benz Vans. 

A new coat of paint.

Painting is also part of the production process. 

 

Up-to-date.

The Spanish plant is an innovative leader and is equipped to the state of the art.    

The Vito has been produced in Vitoria since 1996.  

The plant is one of the biggest employers in the Basque region.    

Fully automatic.

Using RFID technology, individual components are automatically and contactlessly identified and localised by means of a radio signal. 

Photos:

Oliver Roggenbuck

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