News of March 14, 2001
DaimlerChrysler redevelops Gaggenau plant
Stuttgart / Gaggenau - DaimlerChrysler AG is gradually converting the Gaggenau plant, along with the Rastatt sub-plant, into the Group competence centre for manual and automated manual transmissions. 90% of the plants' employees already work on the production of components, and specialisation in this field should help secure the long-term future of the location. The redevelopment will involve investments of Euro 250 million by the year 2007.
Within the framework of the worldwide reorganisation of transmission production, one of the major activities of Gaggenau and the Rastatt sub-plant in future will be to supply the DaimlerChrysler Group worldwide with transmissions for light and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. The Gaggenau product range will be extended in the medium term to include passenger car manual transmissions for commercial vehicle use. The buildings and spatial capacity required to achieve this will be created by, among other things, relocating Unimog activities to the Wörth truck plant.
Integration of the Unimog into the Truck Unit increases competitiveness
At the start of 1999, Unimog activities were integrated into the Mercedes-Benz Truck Unit, and the synergies this created have improved the economical basis for the Unimog. The relocation of the Unimog Unit to the Wörth plant is designed to increase competitiveness still further. It will also create further synergies through the use of existing buildings and production equipment such as the paint facilities.
The employees, approx. 700 in number, will continue to work according to an optimally restructured version of the successful "Unimog business model" practised to date. The corporate management and the works council have created ideal conditions for ensuring that, if possible, all employees of the Unimog Unit will relocate to Wörth. Relocation of Unimog production, associated areas and Development, is scheduled to take place in the middle of 2002. Marketing and commercial activities will follow at the beginning of 2003.
Plant specialisation secures future
Consistent specialisation, the concentration of similar production processes and the associated economies of scale will help guarantee the competitiveness of the German DaimlerChrysler locations. The Gaggenau location has continuously developed from the manufacturing of the full range of vehicles at the beginning of industrialised car production via a later specialisation, first in commercial vehicles and then – following the Second World War – in Unimog vehicles and heavy-duty trucks, finally to become a component specialist. Today the Gaggenau plant and the Rastatt sub-plant employ 6,800 workers.
The DaimlerChrysler AG plant in Wörth was set up in the mid-sixties for the assembly of vehicles and has developed into one of the most cutting-edge and efficient truck plants in Europe. The current total of 8,600 employees manufactured around 87,000 Mercedes-Benz Atego and Actros trucks in the year 2000. Relocating Unimog activities to Wörth will allow the location synergies to be used in future for the smaller Unimog series too, further improving the economical basis of the Unimog Unit and ensuring a sustained growth in competitiveness, even of those all-new Unimog series introduced in the year 2000.
Employees at the Gaggenau plant were informed of the Board's plans at an extraordinary company meeting. The decision process should be completed by the end of the month.
(March 7, 2001)