In view of numerous production start-ups for new vehicles and a positive demand picture, Daimler is investing several hundred million euros in 2011 and 2012 respectively in its main Mercedes-Benz powertrain plant in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim.
In all, more than 1.5 billion euros are to be invested in the extension and conversion of various parts of the plant and in the launch of new products and production technologies.
“With full order books behind us, we are investing in our powertrain production to ensure it is fit to face future competition,” explains Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, Member of the Daimler AG Board of Management, responsible for Manufacturing and Procurement, Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans. “These investments represent an important contribution to the implementation of our Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy.”
“Untertürkheim is the birthplace of the automobile,” notes Peter Schabert, head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Powertrain production and head of the Untertürkheim plant. “These investments will ensure that we continue to play a role in shaping the ongoing evolution of mobility from our base here.”
The investments will be allocated to extension and conversion measures and to new manufacturing technologies in the area of axle, transmission and engine production – for the new generation of compact cars, for example. 270 million euros are earmarked at the Hedelfingen subplant for the ramp-up of the new dual clutch transmission, which is being deployed in the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class. The area of upstream operations, the foundry and forging works at the Mettingen subplant, has also been brought up to scratch for the future: the production of turbocharger housings by means of a specially developed casting process was started up this year at the former grey iron foundry on the back of investments in the order of 65 million euros. Next year will also see the commissioning of a die-casting laboratory in which 30 million euros have been invested. This lab will serve to simulate and optimize casting processes and to develop tool concepts.
About the Untertürkheim plant
Stuttgart’s largest industrial facility is based in the Untertürkheim city district. The core of the automobile – engines, transmissions, axles and other powertrain components – is produced at the seven sub plants, including Esslingen-Mettingen, Hedelfingen and Bad Cannstatt, with a total production and administrative workforce of around 17,000. Powertrain and parts kits are delivered from Untertürkheim to Mercedes-Benz production plants in Germany and around the world.
On average, the powertrain production network produces axles, transmissions and engines for more than one and a half million vehicles annually, corresponding to a daily output of around 6000 drive systems. The full order books have led to the creation of 600 new jobs in Untertürkheim this year.
Source: Daimler AG