Mercedes will invest billions of dollars in the coming years to modernize its plants in China, Germany and Hungary, Automobilwoche magazine reported, as the carmaker prepares to switch to electric vehicles and reduce emissions.
The European Union has set a target of halving lifecycle CO2 emissions per passenger car by the end of this decade compared to 2020, and is aiming for an agreement by 2035 to end the sale of fossil fuel cars .
Mercedes has said it will be ready to go electric by the end of this decade when market conditions allow.
“We are investing a three-digit million amount per plant for the ramp-up,” production manager Jörg Burzer is quoted by the magazine as saying, adding that these investments will be made in the plants in Beijing, Rastatt in Germany and Kecskemet in Hungary.
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The carmaker will start work at the Rastatt plant in the coming months and will produce the first model of the MMA compact vehicle platform from 2024. The number of models produced there will be reduced from seven to four, said Burzer.
In addition, Mercedes is investing in the low single-digit billions to modernize the paint shops in the German plants in Sindelfingen, Bremen and Rastatt.
According to the report, the modernization aims to reduce energy and water consumption as well as the painting system’s reliance on gas as opposed to carbon-free energy.
Mercedes is also considering expanding its US plant in Tuscaloosa, where it can benefit from government subsidies under last year’s Inflation Reduction Act, Automobilwoche said.
Burzer said Mercedes is ready to respond to further changes in the regulatory environment.
“The framework conditions worldwide are constantly changing, and we may have to react to them,” said Burzer.
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