© daimler Electronics Production | July 13, 2017
Another Mercedes-Benz plant to produce batteries for EV's
The German company plants to further develop its Untertürkheim plant into a high-tech location for electric components – and with that offering employees good prospects in the coming era of electric mobility.
The basis for the transformation of the plant is a set of measures that has been jointly approved by the plant’s management and works council. It paves the way for a successive transition from the production of conventional engines, transmissions and axles to the future powertrain components for electric vehicles. This includes, for example, a new battery production at the site and the assembly of electric modules for front and rear axles. This makes the Untertürkheim plant a competence center for the integration of the entire electric powertrain into production. However, in order to ensure competitiveness, the company has reached an agreemed between the plant’s management and works council which includes measures to enhance flexibility and efficiency. This includes for example to the optimisation of the plant’s operating time as well as to variable shift models and flexible workforce deployment. “After intensive discussions with the works council, we have reached an agreement that places the Untertürkheim plant on a competitive basis. At the same time, we are moving forward in the direction of electric mobility. This is excellent news for the employees and the region. In the future, products from our plant will be in every electric vehicle from Mercedes-Benz. The transformation of the Untertürkheim plant in the Neckar Valley with its long tradition has thus been initiated,” states Frank Deiß, Site Manager Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim Plant and Head of Production Powertrain Mercedes-Benz Cars. The establishment of a flexible battery production will bring a completely new product to the Untertürkheim plant. If the combustion engine so far has been the “heart” of the conventional powertrain, the battery is the heart of an electric vehicle. In the future, for example, the passenger car plant in Sindelfingen will be supplied with batteries for electric vehicles of the EQ product and technology brand from Untertürkheim. This means that Daimler is now planning the fourth battery factory in its global battery production network, after the two plants in Kamenz and one in Beijing. Battery production in Untertürkheim will be located in the Brühl section of the plant. The plant’s management and works council have also agreed that powertrain modules for electric vehicles from the compact to the upper and luxury class of the EQ product and technology brand will be assembled in Untertürkheim. Increasing numbers of conventional axles will still to be produced. “Untertürkheim is taking a large step towards electric mobility. We want to produce the electric-drive system in the Neckar Valley. This decision is the basis for that. We are getting a project house in which experts from our research and development department will develop know-how for the electric drive systems of future EQ models. In addition, battery-system assembly is being set up in the Neckar Valley. The technology factory will be expanded, thus strengthening our competencies for alternative drive systems. These are good signals for the Untertürkheim plant,” states Wolfgang Nieke, Chairman of the Works Council Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim Plant. In total, the agreement creates over 250 new jobs in the area of e-mobility and has long-term effects for safeguarding the employees at the site.
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