Economy

Works council “stunned”: Daimler wants engines to be built in China

Daimler boss Ola Källenius

REUTERS / Ralph Orlowski / File Photo

The German car manufacturer Daimler wants to have hundreds of thousands of engines built in China every year from 2024. In terms of production, the Stuttgart-based company is therefore working with the Chinese car manufacturer Geely, which is also a major shareholder in Daimler.

Daimler has confirmed the plans. “The companies plan to develop a highly efficient modular engine that will enable next-generation hybrid vehicle applications that will be manufactured in Europe and China,” said a company spokesman. The German factories would gradually switch to electric.

On the employee side, however, there is a lack of understanding for the decision. “We are stunned. Not even discussions about alternative production locations were possible, ”said Michael Häberle, head of the works council of the leading drive plant in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim, the Reuters news agency.

With the cooperation, Daimler apparently wants to improve its competitiveness. Geely can produce in China under much more favorable conditions. Daimler’s goal is annual cost savings in the three-digit million range.

According to the Stuttgart-based car maker, the jointly developed engines will not only be used in Daimler vehicles, but also in Volvo cars. Geely and Volvo are closely intertwined.

At the beginning of October, Daimler announced that it wanted to focus on e-mobility even more than previously announced. They are striving for nothing less than “the leading position” in electric drives and vehicle software, it said. The group now emphasized that it was continuing its efforts to “convert the existing drive train plants to electric scopes”.

hs / dpa

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