Daimler needs to review its US expansion plan, says labor chief

Article by Andrew Christian, on March 2, 2015

Daimler needs to review its plans to expand its production in the United States if the European currency remains weaks against its trans-atlantic counterpart, according to the carmaker's top labor chief, Michael Brecht. In October 2014, Daimler said it will transfer some output of its Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans from its Duesseldorf site in Germany, to a new factory somewhere in North America.

In recent months, however, the weaker euro has rendered European plants more competitive than a year ago, according Brecht said. "If the situation stays like this over a longer period, then the question is: Do I go in now, or can I do it later," Brecht said during a roundtable discussion in Stuttgart.

The Sprinters being sold in the US are currently built kit form at Daimler’s Duesseldorf and Ludwigsfelde sites and reassembled in Charleston, S.C. Brecht remarked that some projects that have been agreed upon but are yet to be fully implemented may be amended.

In 2014, Daimler disclosed the steps it would take to expand its production capacity. For instance, Daimler said it plans to build a new site in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and would produce four-cylinder engines for Mercedes at a Nissan factory in Tennessee.

In June last year, Daimler commence output of the C class at its Tuscaloosa facility in Alabama. At its home turf Germany, Daimler is trying to hike production efficiency at its facility by 2 to 3 percent every year, according to Brecht.

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