Mercedes launches Thai battery assembly
The Mercedes plant in Bangkok has started local production of batteries for Mercedes-Benz plug-in hybrids. The new battery factory building announced last year sits on a 50,000 square meter site.
Mercedes will use the battery systems produced in the new battery assembly in the C-Class, E-Class, S-Class, Mercedes-Benz GLC and GLC Coupé. According to the press release, the PHEV limousines of the C- and E-Class are currently in particular demand in Thailand.
The model for the battery assembly announced in 2018 is the battery factory in Kamenz; the central assembly stations were built analogously to the Saxon plant, but further developed for the “site-specific requirements”. On the line, however, the battery types for all current and future plug-in hybrids can be produced. Mercedes, however, only assembles the batteries for installation in the vehicles, the cells continue to be purchased from Asian suppliers.
According to the information, the battery production systems should be highly standardised and flexible in use. This should enable production to be adapted to local market conditions “in the shortest possible time”. With the relatively high number of PHEV models, Mercedes intends to adjust output to the respective demand of the model series.
“Our location is well prepared for the future of mobility and can react even more flexibly to developments in the Southeast Asian market,” says Roland Folger, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz (Thailand) Limited. “Above all this strategic course-setting was made possible by the long-standing, trusting cooperation with our local partners”.
Besides, the existing car plant was expanded. Together with its local partners Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant (TAAP) and Thonburi Energy Storage Systems (TESM), Mercedes-Benz has invested more than 100 million euros in the plant expansion and the battery factory. In total, more than 300 new jobs will be created, 100 of them in battery production.
This makes Bangkok one of seven planned battery assembly factories at Daimler and the third to go into operation. The first factory in Kamenz is in series production. The second factory in Kamenz (Germany), the battery factory in Beijing (China) and in Bangkok (Thailand) started series production in 2019. The battery factories in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim (Germany), Tuscaloosa (USA) and Jawor (Poland) will be added in the early 2020s.