Conversion to electric mobility
Mercedes reorganizes production in Europe
Luxury in Sindelfingen, middle class in Bremen and Hungary, as well as smaller vehicles there and in Rastatt: Mercedes Benz carmaker distributes the three future model classes at its factories in Europe. Initially, the cars with and without plugs will be built there in parallel.
At its assembly plants, Mercedes-Benz is laying the groundwork for the switch to electric cars by the end of the decade. According to the luxury strategy, the three German factories and the Hungarian plant will be oriented towards the three model classes “Entry”, “Core” and “Top End”, as announced by the Stuttgart carmaker. From 2025, Sindelfingen, home to the S-Class luxury sedan and its electric counterpart, the EQS, will be the main plant for top-of-the-line electric models. The Bremen and Kecskemét plants in Hungary have produced the mid-range models, while the smaller vehicles will be produced in Rastatt and Kecskemét from 2024. “We are ready for the rapid downsizing of electric vehicle volumes,” explained the production manager. Jörg Burzer.
All plants will continue to produce electric and conventional vehicles on flexible lines. There are no own electric car systems. Probably around 2025, however, almost exclusively electric cars will be built in the first plants, Burzer said. He also expects the Rastatt plant to be fully utilized.
Mercedes-Benz has announced that it will reduce the number of entry-level models from seven to four. Burzer left open the question of whether the A-Class would be discontinued – this would only be announced shortly before the start. It was recently speculated that Class A would be discontinued starting in 2025.
The Swabians will invest over two billion euros in European locations by 2026. The new “European production order” had been agreed with the works council, the automaker explained. Measures were also negotiated to make production even more flexible and efficient. Head of the works council Ergun Lümali said this means safety and prospects for employees. “We expect the same for our powertrain locations. As a works council, we will continue to work hard to achieve this goal.”
Components, engines and transmissions are produced in the powertrain or transmission systems. They need to change much more than assembly plants in the age of the electric car, as fewer workers are required to drive electric cars than combustion models.