Daimler Truck has made an important location decision for its electric trucks. In future, further battery-electric and fuel cell trucks are to be built in series at the Wörth plant. Accordingly, Daimler Truck will continue to invest “substantially” in the location in the coming years.
According to Daimler, the company management and the works council have agreed on the “future orientation of the Wörth plant”. As reported, the group wants to split up before the end of this year – the Cars and Vans divisions will be bundled, as will the Trucks and Buses.
In addition to the eActros, which will go into series production there in October 2021, the production of other models such as the eEconic and eActros LongHaul is also planned for Wörth in the future. From 2027, “the first series-production trucks with hydrogen-based fuel cell drive could be handed over to customers”, according to the statement. This probably refers to the series version of the GenH2 truck that Daimler is currently developing.
The production of the different electric drive technologies together with the combustion engines is to be made possible by a flexible production, which is to be established in the coming years. For the production of trucks with alternative drives, new assembly processes will be introduced at the Wörth site, including the necessary infrastructure. For this, Daimler Truck also announces the “qualification of the workforce within this transformation, as well as the further expansion of digitalisation at the location”. However, the exact investment amount for Wörth is not mentioned in the announcement.
“Today we are laying the foundation for the future of the Mercedes-Benz truck production. The technology shift in our industry towards locally emission-free trucks also implies an immense transition for our locations and production,” says Sven Gräble, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks Operations, responsible for the global production network of Mercedes-Benz Trucks. “With the new target picture for the Wörth plant, we are securing the competitiveness and thus the long-term future of the location: In the future, we want to greatly expand the series production of our electric trucks here and are already creating the conditions for this.”
Thomas Zwick, Chairman of the Works Council at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Wörth, sees the agreement as a “viable vision for the future of our plant”. “We have thus secured the long-term future of the site and can confidently shape the transformation together with the employees,” said Zwick. “The new products offer many career opportunities and development possibilities.”
According to Gäble, Wörth is to become “the hub for the transport of the future in the Mercedes-Benz truck production network”. The vision of the future referred to by Zwick is laid down in a company agreement with a term until the end of 2029, but: the details of implementation will be further elaborated between management and employee representatives in the coming months.
Daimler has been building trucks in Wörth am Rhein since 1963. Currently, in addition to the heavy-duty truck Actros, the plant produces the Arocs, Atego, Econic, Zetros and the well-known Unimog. The plant’s production capacity is up to 470 vehicles per day. Around 10,000 people are employed at the plant.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.