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English   French EvoBus plant in Ligny-en-Barrois celebrates 30th anniversary
13.07.2011 von admin

German version

French EvoBus plant in Ligny-en-Barrois celebrates 30th anniversary
  • More than 13,500 Mercedes-Benz and Setra buses produced over a period of 30 years
  • First Setra bus rolled off the production line in Ligny-en-Barrois in March 1981
  • Plant Director Dr. Jan Hegner: “We are a highly efficient bus plant that can implement measures very flexibly and which operates according to the same process standards as other locations within EvoBus’ European production network”

The French bus plant in Ligny is an integral part of the European production network of EvoBus GmbH, which is headquartered in Kirchheim unter Teck, Germany. The 430 employees in Ligny manufacture transit buses and travel coaches of the Mercedes-Benz brand. Also, coaches of the Setra brand have been produced at Ligny till 2006. In addition to producing a total of 13,500 buses to date, the plant also assembled around 3,000 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter minibuses between 2001 and 2009.

The plant is part of EvoBus

The Ligny plant was incorporated into EvoBus GmbH in 1995 and benefits to this day from its inclusion in the world’s largest globally positioned truck and bus manufacturer. EvoBus is the European arm of the Daimler Buses business unit of Daimler AG. The extent to which production processes and procedures have changed at the plant since it was included in EvoBus is demonstrated by the development in production output. More than 20 years elapsed between the production of the first Setra in Ligny in 1981 and the day on which the 7,500th vehicle rolled off the line in 2005, but it took only six years for the plant to produce the next batch of about 6,000 units.

Wolfgang Hänle, Managing Director for Production at Daimler Buses, offered the following comments: “Our facility in Ligny is an extremely reliable member of the EvoBus production network, which encompasses six plants in Germany, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Spain, and, of course, France. We’re very proud that we have been able to raise production and process quality to the highest levels at all of the plants within this network. The Ligny plant has always performed admirably within this process. This has been possible only because we have a highly qualified and very motivated workforce here in Ligny.”

Achieving success with the Mercedes-Benz Citaro

One reason why plant capacity has always been fully utilized is that Ligny is one of the facilities producing the most successful regular-service bus of all time: the Mercedes-Benz Citaro.

The Citaro is the most popular bus in the European market, with sales of more than 31,000 units during the 13 years it has been in production. The Ligny plant manufactures between 550 and 670 buses per year, with around half of them destined for the French market. The other half is primarily exported to Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, and Austria. The French customers appreciate the close contact to the plant, because the Ligny facility is now also the design liaison office for handling the special product wishes of French buyers.

Dr. Jan Hegner, who has been director of the plant in Ligny-en-Barrois since July 2009, says: “Over the past few years we have brought all of the manufacturing processes up to the standardized level of the EvoBus production network. We are now mainly focusing on the production launch of the new Mercedes-Benz Citaro, which we will begin manufacturing here in Ligny early next year.” Concerning Ligny’s role compared to other production facilities, which are in some cases much larger, Hegner says: “The network with the other EvoBus plants in Europe makes us feel like a speedboat in an aircraft carrier task force. Thanks to our agility, we are particularly good at responding to complex wishes on the part of the customer. In addition to flexibility and product quality, our focus is especially on coordinating our production processes with those of the other locations.”

The EvoBus plant in Lorraine is also one of the biggest employers in the region around Bar-le-Duc, Ligny-en-Barrois, and Saint-Dizier. Around 30 young people begin training at the plant every year, which provides them with job opportunities in an otherwise relatively underdeveloped region.

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