Mercedes wants to build new electric cars in Germany

Mercedes wants to fill the big German factories with new electric cars and thus secure employment. The automaker agreed this with employee representatives after weeks of tug-of-war, both sides announced Wednesday in Stuttgart.

The plants in Bremen, Rastatt and Sindelfingen in the greater Stuttgart area will therefore operate at full capacity in the next decade, said the head of the general works council Ergun Lümali. “A turning point has been reached”.

The Rastatt, Baden plant, with around 6,500 employees, will remain a center for compact vehicles, Mercedes said. So far, classes A and B have come off the assembly line. As Mercedes is now mainly based on heavy luxury cars that bring more profits, it was speculated that the two series could be phased out.

In the future, Mercedes-Benz intends to focus on the product categories “Top End Luxury”, “Core Luxury” and “Entry Luxury”. The highest luxury category will be built in Sindelfingen, “Core Luxury” in Bremen and Kecskemét, Hungary, based on the MB.EA platform, and the lowest luxury category also in Kecskemét and Rastatt. From the following year, models based on the new Mercedes Modular Architecture (MMA) electric platform will be built there.

For the smaller cars, however, there will be only four body variants instead of the previous seven. Mercedes board member Jörg Burzer has not explicitly commented on the future of the A and B classes. It is too early to commit to individual models. “We assume that we will use Rastatt at full capacity,” he assured.

In total, Mercedes will invest over € 2 billion in European plants by 2026. Sindelfingen, where the S-Class luxury sedan is built, remains the center of expertise for flagship vehicles. About 35,000 people work there. In Bremen, where around 12,500 people work and where, among other things, the C-Class rolls off the assembly line, a model based on a new platform from the mid-decade will be available. By 2030, Mercedes says it is ready to go full electric wherever market conditions allow.

Mercedes also relies on its own network for batteries. There are factories in Kamenz, Saxony, Stuttgart-Untertürkheim and international locations.

Despite the limited gas supply to Germany, Mercedes-Benz does not suffer from shortages. “The gas supply is currently secured to Mercedes-Benz,” said Burzer. The producer already signed a contract to purchase green electricity last year, Burzer said. Green electricity comes from plants that produce electricity from renewable energy.

The automaker has already shut down all combined power plants in Europe. Currently Mercedes also relies to some extent on oil and other fossil fuels. The manufacturer wants to support the federal government in its measures, Burzer said.


(anw)

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