Daimler to build electric cars in existing Mercedes plants
Daimler to build electric cars in existing Mercedes plantsThe German carmaker Daimler (DAIGn.DE) is planning to build their new electric cars in existing Mercedes plants by integrating them with serial production of cars with combustion engines, the group said.
Markus Schaefer, Mercedes-Benz Cars production chief said on Wednesday "In this way, we are taking advantage of the opportunities offered by electric mobility and are significantly limiting the required investment,".
Daimler said its Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands are planning to launch more than 10 electric cars by 2025, with zero-emission vehicles accounting for 15 to 25 percent of Mercedes sale.
They are planning to build the first model under its new EQ electric vehicle brand in the northern German city of Bremen, and on Wednesday it made Sindelfingen the second plant designated to join the electric cars push.
Daimler will invest up to 10 billion euros ($10.8 billion) in the development of electric vehicles, and labour representatives have been pushing for a large part of that investment to be made in the carmaker's home country.
The group said on Wednesday its factories in Germany's Bremen, Rastatt and Sindelfingen as well as its Smart model plant in Hambach, France, would be competence centres for its electric vehicle production.
Labor representatives welcomed the move as it gives existing German plants a stake in the shift to electric vehicles.
"It must be clear that the jobs are safe despite all the challenges," works council chief Michael Brecht said.
Daimler has agreed to keep on 125 temporary workers at its Sindelfingen plant, its biggest German factory with 25,000 workers, for another year and make it a centre for car electronics.
In return, workers' representatives have agreed to discuss more flexible working hours.
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