Weak dollar forces Mercedes to build more in US

Weak dollar forces Mercedes to build more in US
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First Published: Wed, Dec 02 2009. 03 08 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Dec 02 2009. 03 08 PM IST
Frankfurt: Daimler is moving roughly a fifth of the production of its upcoming C-Class volume model from its Sindelfingen plant in Germany to its US factory in Alabama starting in 2014 to compensate for a weak dollar.
“From a strategic and economic point of view, this step is absolutely necessary for Mercedes-Benz to remain competitive in the future and utilise its chances for growth,” Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche said in a statement on Tuesday.
In addition to the current Mercedes-Benz SUV models built in Tuscaloosa, the Alabama plant will manufacture nearly 20% of the future C-Class volumes.
Production of the next C-Class for European markets will be concentrated in its northern German plant in Bremen, which in exchange will lose the SL-Class niche model to Sindelfingen to partly compensate its southern German rival plant in near Stuttgart.
As a result, Daimler will offer “attractive job opportunities” to the remaining 1,800 workers in Sindelfingen to secure employment in Germany.
Roughly 10% of future C-Class production will be built in Mercedes’ South African plant of East London, where the model is produced for right-hand markets.
Another 10% will be built at Beijing Automotive’s (BAIC) site in China.
By comparison, about a half of current C-Class production is in Bremen, while another third comes from Sindelfingen. The rest is built in South Africa and China.
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First Published: Wed, Dec 02 2009. 03 08 PM IST