Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim Plant To Produce Electric Powertrain In The Future

Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim Plant To Produce Electric Powertrain In The Future Image Credit: Mercedes Media

Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim Plant To Produce Electric Powertrain In The Future

In the transformation process towards electric mobility, Mercedes-Benz Cars is taking another important step into the future. After intensive negotiations, the management and works council of the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant in Germany have reached an agreement: In the future, the Mercedes-Benz plant in Untertürkheim will manufacture and assemble parts of the electric powertrain (eATS).

The production of the eATS is a commitment to the traditional Mercedes-Benz facility in Untertürkheim and a forward-looking signal for the employees. At the same time, the company and the employees have agreed on measures to increase competitiveness and profitability.

“Right from the start, it was of great importance to the company management to produce the eATS with our Untertürkheim team – preconditions for this were long-term profitability and competitiveness. I am delighted that after intensive discussions with the works council, we have been able to agree on a future-proof framework. Producing the eATS at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Untertürkheim is the consistent continuation of our transformation in the Neckar Valley,” says Frank Deiß, Head of Production Powertrain Mercedes-Benz Cars and responsible for the Mercedes-Benz plant in Untertürkheim.

“For the works council, the long-term future viability of our site has been the focus from the very beginning. We have not allowed a mere discussion of figures or an intervention in collective agreements. With the eATS, we have taken another important step towards the future. In combination with the combustion engines, the battery factory and fuel cells, we are broadly positioned and have anchored all drive technologies in Untertürkheim so that we can continue to be Daimler’s lead plant and competence center for drive technologies in the future,” says Michael Häberle, Chairman of the Works Council of the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant.

The Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant will become the production site for the electric powertrain (eATS) in the global Mercedes-Benz Cars powertrain production network. The management and the works council have agreed on a package of measures. This includes defined production ranges of the eATS as well as measures to increase the competitiveness and profitability of production. The Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant sees itself as a flexible partner for the Mercedes-Benz car plants, which produce electric vehicles of the EQ product and technology brand.

The eATS is the drive unit of electric vehicles. The eATS consist essentially of the three subsystems: an electric motor, its power electronics and the transmission part for power-transmission. The power-transmission wheelset and other components such as the electrohydraulic control system will be manufactured in Untertürkheim. The assembly of these components into a complete system will also take place at the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant.

Mercedes-Benz Werk Untertürkheim produziert künftig elektrischen Antriebsstrang (eATS) Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant to produce electric powertrain in the future
Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant to produce electric powertrain in the future. Left: Frank Deiß, Head of Production Powertrain Mercedes-Benz Cars and responsible for the Mercedes-Benz plant in Untertürkheim. Right: Michael Häberle, Chairman of the Works Council of the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant. Image Credit: Mercedes Media

The agreement focuses on competitiveness and profitability

“Right from the start, it was of great importance to the company management to produce the eATS with our Untertürkheim team – preconditions for this were long-term profitability and competitiveness. I am delighted that after intensive discussions with the works council, we have been able to agree on framework for the future. Producing the eATS at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Untertürkheim is the consistent continuation of our transformation in the Neckar Valley,” says Frank Deiß, Head of Production Powertrain Mercedes-Benz Cars and responsible for the Mercedes-Benz plant in Untertürkheim.

The company and the works council agree that the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim site has the necessary conditions to implement the production of parts of the electric powertrain and its assembly economically and competitively. In addition, the objective of the agreed measures is on one hand to react even more flexibly to changes of the market and, on the other hand, to further expand the Untertürkheim plant as a competitive location for electro mobility. Adjustments in the organization of operations are a key lever for achieving these preconditions. They include, for example, a platform for making the use of staff more flexible, which employees will be able to apply for.

“For the works council, the long-term future viability of our site has been the focus from the very beginning. We have not allowed a mere discussion of figures or an intervention in collective agreements. With the eATS, we have taken another important step towards the future. In combination with combustion engines, the battery factory and fuel cells, we are broadly positioned and have anchored all drive technologies in Untertürkheim so that we can continue to be Daimler’s lead plant and competence center for drive technologies in the future,” says Michael Häberle, Chairman of the Works Council of the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant.

The eATS is the engine unit of electric vehicles The eATS consists essentially of the three subsystems  electric motor, its power electronics and the transmission part for power-transmission..jpg
The eATS is the engine unit of electric vehicles. The eATS consists essentially of the three subsystems: an electric motor, its power electronics and the transmission part for power-transmission. Image Credit: Mercedes Media

Ongoing progress with the development of the Untertürkheim site

Transformation at the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim site is continuing at a good pace:

  • The production of electrified axles for electric vehicles from the compact to the upper and luxury class of the EQ product and technology brand at the Untertürkheim plant was agreed already in 2017. The “eATS Project House” has been in operation at the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant since 2017, for example. This is where the expertise for the next generation of an electronic powertrain (eATS) was generated. In addition, prototypes for the electric drive system are being built in the “E-Technikum.”
  • Since the beginning of 2019, the Untertürkheim plant has also been responsible for the battery ramp-up factory, which forms the bridge between development and series production.
  • A battery factory is being built at the Untertürkheim site in Hedelfingen.
  • A second battery factory is being built at the Brühl facility near Esslingen. Mercedes-Benz Cars will start carbon neutral production here on floor space of 12,000 square meters early in the next decade.
  • Because the utmost precision and expertise is required in battery production, all employees who will be working on battery assembly in the future, will be trained in high-voltage technology. In addition, they will receive training in the ramp-up factory for batteries at the Untertürkheim site.

About the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant

The Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant has a 115-year tradition, is the largest facility in the worldwide powertrain production network, and the headquarters of the Daimler Group are located here. With more than 19,000 employees, the plant produces engines, axles, transmissions and components. With a proud tradition, the plant is a high-tech location and a competence center for highly efficient engines, hybrid-drive systems and the production of fuel-cell systems.

The research and development department is also located here, with a test track for vehicle testing. The plant consists of a total of six sub-plants. While engines are manufactured in Untertürkheim and Bad Cannstatt and the forge is also located here, transmission production takes place in Hedelfingen. Axle production and the foundry are located in Mettingen. Training is based in Brühl and flexible production is in Esslingen at the Sirnauer Bridge.

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