The Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant will also produce the next generation of Mercedes-Benz compact cars. Between now and 2020, Daimler will invest around one billion euros in the further technological development and expansion of production at the location. At the same time, within the framework of the “Transformation Plan” for the Rastatt plant, the company and Works Council have agreed a package of measures that will lead to significant improvements in the location’s competitive position and ensure stable employment for the next years. This includes more flexible working time arrangements and overall cost savings in the triple-digit million euro range. In addition, the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant will create 250 new permanent jobs. The agreement will run until the end of 2024.
“With our transformation plan for the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant we have laid the foundation for the successful production of the next generation of our compact cars. We will achieve significant gains in flexibility and efficiency. At the same time, we will strengthen the role of the location as the lead plant for compact cars within our global production network”, said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain Management.
Capacity utilization at the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant, which has a workforce of around 6,500 employees, is running at a high level. In 2014, the plant posted a new production record of 292,784 vehicles and thus contributed significantly to the growth seen in the successful compact car segment: In 2014 unit sales grew by 24.7 percent to 463,152 vehicles of the A-Class, the B-Class, the CLA and the GLA. Mercedes-Benz has never before delivered so many compact cars in a single year. In addition, a new sales record was achieved in the first five months of 2015, with 215,148 vehicles sold. The success story of the Mercedes-Benz compact cars began in 1997 with the market launch of the A-Class. Since then, over four million customers have opted for an A-Class, B-Class, a CLA, or a GLA.
In line with the Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy, the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant will significantly increase its production in the coming years. “The transformation plan for the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant has been pivotal for us as we could secure the production for our next generation compact cars. Our growth course will lead to significant improvements in economic efficiency and will secure employment at the location for the long term. The investment of around one billion euros provides is a clear proof, that we trust in the motivation and professional competence of the workforce at this location, which delivers top quality on a daily basis”, said Stefan Abraham, Site Manager of the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant.
Furthermore, the Rastatt plant will maintain the number of vocational training positions over several years and will offer trainees the opportunity for a permanent job after the successful completion of their programs. At present, the location trains 70 apprentices and dual university students each year. The agreement also includes extensive measures for improving ergonomic working conditions, including 250,000 euros per year that will be reserved from the investment total for ergonomic measures which can be implemented on short notice. Other measures include a health center, which is currently in the planning stage and will require further investments.
Ullrich Zinnert, Chairman of the Works Council of the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant: “With the significant investments, the permanent hires, and the conservation of our previous number of vocational training positions, the Rastatt location has been placed on a secured foundation for the future. We are glad, that we were able to push and agree upon these items. This is a very positive signal for the workforce. One particularly important issue for us are the investments to improve ergonomics and address the demographic change.”
Source: Daimler AG