Although the car has been in production since the spring, yesterday marked the first official Mercedes A class rolling off the production line in Uusikaupunki. The contract to make the car is breathing new life into the local industry, which has in recent years produced Porsche and Fisker Karma sports cars. As those contracts came to an end, Daimler stepped up to fill the gap.
Robert Blumberg of Valmet Automotive, which owns the plant, says his firm now employs some 800 people and could hire around 200 more in the spring.
The town itself is also experiencing the benefits of big business: a new freight line offers a connection with Germany which carries the cars directly to the market.
The plant's current production capacity is 100,000 cars per year, yet over the next three years only 100,000 vehicles are scheduled for production. Hence, operators are keen to lure more business, either from Mercedes or other big names.