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GLA production concerns

3135 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  butterfield
So we know the GLA will be based on the CLA platform and share most if not all internals with the baby Benz. With that in mind its safe to assume the GLA will be built alongside the CLA at the joint Mercedes-Nissan facility in Mexico.

The reason i bring this up is because Ford ran into some major quality control issues at its Mexican facility when spooling up for the launch of the Lincoln MKZ. Considering this facility is still unproven and the GLA and CLA are very important to Mercedes penetrating new markets and replenishing its aging client base, should we be worried about any delays or quality control issues coming from the Mexican production plant?

Can anyone chip in any insight here? Not really interested in picking up this truck if she will fall apart on me like a pinata...
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Mexico has more graduating engineers than Canada, Brazil and Germany. Their other factories, like Ford's Hermosillo factory (which recently received a $1.3 billion investment), are esteemed and praised facilities. The Hermosillo factory just recently won the J.D. Power and Associates Silver Plant Quality Award and it has been called the "Best Automotive Plant in the World" in the past. Mexico has several state of the art assembly facilities, old and new, that are easily on par with the rest.
After several recalls on Ford Escape and Fusion models, Ford in an unprecedented step was shipping MKZs built at Hermosillo to Flat Rock, Michigan, for quality validation.

From a TTAC article about MKZ QC issues:

It was when I was checking out the trunk that I noticed the first disquieting thing regarding QC. I lifted up the carpeted panel to check out the spare tire and I was struck by the sloppy application of seam sealer. Not only was it sloppy, it appeared to be overabundant. It was particularly noticeable because its brown color contrasted sharply with the car’s silver paint. In recent years we’ve gotten used to small QC details being attended to, little things like avoiding overspray or preventing adhesives from oozing out of joints. The only other recent cars that I’ve noticed with such sloppy body sealer were the one’s from China that BYD had on display a while back at the NAIAS.

Overgenerous application of body sealer underneath a cover in the trunk is one thing, the other quality issue was literally right in front of my eyes as the cars sat on the showroom floor. There were a handful of MKZs in the showroom, but none had the model’s distinguishing optional retractable glass roof. I’m not very tall, just 5’6″, so the roofline is not that far from eye level for me. When I was checking out the cars to see if they had glass roofs, looking at the steel roofs from the back of the car I noticed that at the tail end of the roof panel where the sheet metal is bent 90 degrees to create the well into which the back glass sits, at the corner where the roof panel meets the side rail the finish on the metalwork is not very neatly done. I don’t know if it’s too much body filler or poorly ground welds, but it was noticeable on every single MKZ without a glass roof. Some were worse than others, and the problem seemed to be more on the passenger side than on the driver’s side but it was hard not to miss. When I realized it was on every steel roof MKZ, I took a few pics with my cell phone. Even without high resolution photos, you can see what I’m talking about. Since the sloppy metalwork appeared to be on all the MKZs that I saw that had metal roofs, if it really is a problem, and not me just being picky, then it’s a problem with process or design.
Pictures of the roof issue TTAC is referring to:

World class facilities shouldn't be falling on their face like this, these QC issues really impacted the launch, shoppers were showing up to dealers to check out the car they had seen plastered everywhere during the superbowl only to find there were none to be found.

Its not like Ford didn't have a strong interest in the successful launch of the MKZ, Lincolns future essentially hangs with the MKZs success as a mid level lux sedan.

Same goes for Mercedes, if the GLA suffers from fit and finish issues shoppers wont hessitate for a second to jump ship to Audi Q3s, BMW X1s or Porsche Macans. Not to mention if they run into a delay like Ford.
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