By 2020, Daimler will invest €1.5 billion at the Mercedes-Benz Cars Sindelfingen Plant and will significantly improve its competitive position. The company has reached a multi-year agreement with the Works Council on cost reductions in a triple-digit million euro amount.
In return, Daimler will invest billions of euros in the modernization of the plant and will produce another model in Sindelfingen. “We are growing dynamically abroad while continuing to make enormous investments at our sites in Germany. The agreement combines investments for the future with the necessary savings. This approach is the basis for our success and the foundation of our growth strategy ‘Mercedes-Benz 2020’. With this package we strengthen Sindelfingen’s position and secure jobs,” stated Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
Ergun Lümali, Chairman of the Works Council at the Mercedes-Benz Cars Sindelfingen Plant, is delighted with the investment and the new model to be produced in Sindelfingen: “It was important to us to protect jobs and maintain the existing wage tariff agreements. I’m proud that the works council was also able to secure a new model for Sindelfingen in addition to the investments. Together we have safeguarded the future of Sindelfingen Plant beyond 2020 and will celebrate our 100 year anniversary with even more confidence.”
Dr. Willi Reiss, Head of the Mercedes-Benz Cars Sindelfingen Plant, explained: “With the committed investments, we are placing production in Sindelfingen on a new and competitive foundation.” The main projects include the construction of a new body shop, a new paint shop and a new assembly hall for the new generation of the E-Class and its successors. At the world’s biggest production plant of Mercedes-Benz Cars, a new logistics center for the new E-Class will also be established, where suppliers and service providers will be responsible for incoming and outgoing goods. The assembly lines will continue to be supplied by Mercedes-Benz employees.
With regard to the outsourcing of work by the plant, the Works Council has ensured that comparable work has been found for the employees. “That applies in particular to colleagues with health issues,” explained Ergun Lümali. “Furthermore we have achieved that 100 employees who have been at Daimler on temporary contracts since this spring will be taken over into permanent employment.” In addition, the number of apprentices will be increased by totally 150 over five years beginning in 2016.
The agreement reached with the Works Council includes measures to be taken to reduce the depth of manufacturing, to increase working flexibility and to enhance efficiency. This will result in cost reductions for the company in a triple-digit million euro amount over several years. “This is an big accomplishment for the company. Through the overall package agreed upon with the Works Council, we will make Sindelfingen fit for global competition. Our growth strategy and investments in the future will protect our employees’ jobs and income. The plants in Germany form the backbone of our global production network,” stated Markus Schäfer, Head of Production and Supply Chain Management at Mercedes-Benz Cars. In the coming years, Daimler will renew the range of models produced in Sindelfingen and add a new vehicle to that range. By 2020, Mercedes-Benz Cars plans to launch twelve new models without a predecessor.
“The works council has always brought constructive ideas for flexible work time to the table”, says Lümali. “Together we have developed concepts which will bring more flexibility for the employees and the company. Regular shifts on Saturdays are out of the question for us.”
The flexibility of the Sindelfingen Plant increases significantly. For example, in order to react more flexibly to fluctuations in demand, the Mercedes-Benz Cars Sindelfingen Plant will transform existing free-shift accounts into two separate working-time accounts, the so-called “individual account” and “collective account.” In the future, overtime worked will be credited 50:50 to an employee’s individual account and the collective account, the credit upon which is at the company’s disposal. The latter can be used to manage production shifts more flexible. This is particularly important when ramping up new models and phasing out current models.
The Mercedes-Benz Cars Plant in Sindelfingen will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year. With more than 22,000 employees, Sindelfingen is the Daimler Group’s biggest production plant worldwide. At present, the S-Class sedan (normal and long wheelbase) and the S-Class coupe are manufactured there. Three additional versions are planned. The other models produced in Sindelfingen are the sedan and wagon versions of the E-Class, the CLS and the CLS Shooting Brake. In a few weeks from now, production of the new Mercedes-AMG GT sports car will start there. The plant is the competence center for large and luxury automobiles and is also the basis of the so-called “A-Team” – a group of employees who support new model ramp-ups in the worldwide Mercedes-Benz Cars factories.
Source: Daimler AG