Daimler Buses focuses on electric city buses in Mannheim
Daimler Buses is turning its plant in Mannheim, Germany, into a centre of competence for electric city buses. From 2024, the plant will focus entirely on producing electrically powered city buses and become more involved in component production.
According to a company statement, it is part of an agreement reached by the company’s management with the works council of EvoBus GmbH on the future of the German locations. The Citaro and the electric eCitaro version are built at the Mannheim plant. The second German site, Neu-Ulm, will remain the competence centre for coaches.
Daimler Buses says it will invest around 150 million euros in the two German plants by the end of the decade. From the second half of the decade, fully electric intercity buses will also roll off the production line in Neu-Ulm, as well as coaches with battery-electric and hydrogen-based fuel cell drive systems from the end of the decade. Daimler Buses is focusing on both technologies, in line with the dual strategy of its parent company Daimler Truck.
Concrete data on the planned models has not yet been provided. However, it is clear that Daimler Buses wants to offer CO2-neutral vehicles in all segments in Europe and Latin America by 2030 and sell only fully electric vehicles for city buses in Europe. In the ELCH project, Daimler Buses is working with partners to develop e-coach drives.
Bodyshell construction in Czech Republic from 2028
Daimler Busses wants to “significantly optimise use of its European production network.” Therefore, the complete bus bodyshell construction for both plants will take place at the Holýšov site in the Czech Republic from 2028. In return, the company and General Works Council agreed not to lay off employees for operational reasons until after 2033.
“In intensive discussions with the works council, we have agreed on a target picture that is intended to ensure our long-term competitiveness,” says Till Oberwörder, CEO of Daimler Buses. “In this way, we are creating a long-term vision for our production sites in Mannheim and Neu-Ulm. We are and remain the only manufacturer that continues to produce city buses and coaches in Germany.”
Bruno Buschbacher, Chairman of the General Works Council of EvoBus, adds: “With the target picture for EvoBus, we have achieved a viable result. Both sides had to move in the negotiations. We have sustainably safeguarded our tradition-rich plants in Mannheim and Neu-Ulm and given our colleagues a reliable future perspective. Both plants.”
Mannheim is the competence centre for city buses of all drive types and employs 3,300 people. The Neu-Ulm is the competence centre for coaches of all drive types and employs around 3,600 people in central functions as well as in bus production. The final assembly of Mercedes-Benz and Setra coaches takes place at the Neu-Ulm plant. In addition, intercity bus and coach seats for both brands are produced at the plant’s own seat production facility.