Mercedes Ditching Robots For Humans On S-Class Production Line

While many automakers are replacing workers with robots, Mercedes-Benz is actually doing the opposite due to the range of high-end options for the S-Class.

While speaking with Bloomberg recently, the head of production at Mercedes-Benz, Markus Schaefer, said that the company’s manufacturing robots can’t cope with the individualization options offered for Mercedes’ range-topping sedan.

“Robots can’t deal with the degree of individualization and the many variants that we have today. We’re saving money and safeguarding our future by employing more people. The variety is too much to take on for the machines. They can’t work with all the different options and keep pace with changes,” he said.

The S-Class is currently built at the carmaker’s plant in Sindelfingen, Germany which itself produces some 400,000 vehicles annually. While most factories of this size rely almost exclusively on robots performing defined tasks over and over again, Mercedes believes it is quicker and makes more economical to have humans cater to varying customization options, rather than having to build new or reprogram existing robots.

The company’s selection of bespoke options are particularly evident with the Maybach-branded S-Class models that include options like distinct leather and wooden trims, a high-end Burmester sound system and the Magic Sky Control suspension.