Mercedes-Benz to build new e-model in Bremen
The Mercedes plant in Bremen in northern Germany has been awarded the contract to build a new electric model – which one is unknown as of yet. The EQC will continue production at the plant.
According to the local German newspaper Weser Kurier, Bremen will remain the main plant for C-Class cars: All new variants will be built at this plant in the future. The German automobile giant also says that a new electric vehicle in the EQ series will definitely be made in Bremen.
Production start for the EQC was “seamless” said Michael Peters, Chairperson of the Bremen Works Council. “We were very proud at the time that the EQC was the first electric vehicle to come from Bremen,” he revealed. Production of the five- and the seven-seater electric crossover is to be ramped up this year.
“It is now clear that considerably more hybrid vehicles are to be built this year and that EQC production will continue to increase,” Peters revealed. “We’re also talking about completely different numbers now. It’s really starting.” Despite the enthusiastic announcement, neither Peters nor Mercedes gave figures on this.
This runs contrary to reports earlier this year where the company seemed to be plagued with trouble getting enough batteries for the large all-electric car. An article from Germany’s Manager Magazine in January reported insider information that Daimler was having trouble building enough batteries for the electric SUV because LG Chem could not supply enough battery cells. This was going to reduce the sales targets from around 50,000 EQC to about 30,000. Daimler denied the reports, with a company spokesperson telling electrive that “The production planning for 2020 has not been withdrawn. We are still planning to have around 50,000 EQC units in production for this year and have purchased cells from various suppliers accordingly.” However, further reports from the German trade and business newspaper Handelsblatt this month seemed to echo the battery-problem thesis.
For the life-blood of the Bremen plant and its workers, it is of secondary importance whether electric motors or combustion engines are used. Overall, Peters says that the plant plays a unique role within the group – among other things because the model diversity of models is unusual.
Currently, Daimler is struggling, not only because of having to cut jobs but also the German giant has just been slapped with a recall of diesel E ad CLS models from the years 2015-19 because of fire danger. Daimler will have to recall some 300,000 diesel models globally, around 100,000 of these in Germany.
The EQA planned for this year is the second electric model of the EQ sub-brand after the EQC, and will be built at the Smart plant in Hambach, France, as Daimler announced as early as 2018.
weser-kurier.de (in German)
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