Among legacy automakers, Daimler has been one the most active in converting gas-powered car production to electric car production lately.
Earlier this year, they announced that their major Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant will adapt to produce electric motors and today, they are adding battery pack production to the factory.
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The Untertürkheim factory is one of Daimler’s oldest and biggest factory for its internal combustion engine vehicles and now it looks like it’s going electric.
Daimler said that today’s announcement “paves the way for a successful transition from the production of conventional engines, transmissions and axles to the future powertrain components for electric vehicles.”
They added that it includes “new battery production at the site and the assembly of electric modules for front and rear axles.” It should result in making the Untertürkheim plant a “competence center for the integration of the entire electric powertrain into production.”
Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain, commented on the announcement:
“In the global production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars, we are actively shaping the future and showing that we can do both: sprint and marathon. In the coming years, we plan to produce a rising number of powertrains for conventional and hybrid vehicles. At the same time, we are creating competitive conditions in our plants with regard to electric mobility. With this further development, Untertürkheim will continue to be the lead plant in the global powertrain production network,”
Untertürkheim will also be the site of new in-house development groups to work on “the next generation of an electric drive system.”
The company came to an agreement with the local union to create 250 more jobs related to “e-mobility” at the factory.
It follows the recent unveiling of Daimler’s own new battery Gigafactory for electric vehicles in Germany and the announcement of a new $740 million battery factory in China for Mercedes-Benz’s EVs.
The new electric car production capacity comes as the company started transitioning its Smart brand to electric and Mercedes prepares to launch its ‘Mercedes EQ’ brand with its first electric vehicle, an SUV, by the end of the decade.
By 2025, Mercedes-Benz is aiming for all-electric vehicles to account for “between 15 and 25 percent of the total unit sales”, which is more aggressive than most automakers who have a similar goal but for all-electric and hybrid vehicles.
Featured Image: Aerial view oft the Mercedes-Benz plant Untertürkheim