Mercedes set to invest billions in e-vehicles plants

BERLIN: Mercedes will invest billions of dollars to modernize its plants in China, Germany and Hungary in the coming years, Automobilwoche reports, as the automaker prepares to switch to electric cars and cut emissions.

The European Union has set a goal of increasing CO2 emissions per passenger car over its life cycle by the end of this decade compared to 2020 and is seeking a deal by 2035 to end the sale of fossil fuel cars.

Mercedes said it will be ready to go electric by the end of this decade, as market conditions allow.

“We are investing a triple-digit amount for the run up,” production manager Joerg Burzer was quoted as saying by the magazine, adding that these investments will be in plants in Beijing, Rastatt in Germany and Kecskemet in Hungary.

Burzer said the automaker will start work at the Rastatt plant in the coming months and will produce the first prototype of the MMA compact vehicle platform from 2024, Burzer said.

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In addition, Mercedes will invest a low single-digit amount in upgrading paint systems at its Sindelfingen, Bremen and Rastatt plants in Germany.

The report said the modernisation is aimed at reducing energy and water consumption, and the coating system's reliance on gas, rather than carbon-free power.

Automobilwoche said Mercedes is also considering expanding its US plant in Tuscaloosa, where it could benefit from government subsidies under last year's Inflation Control Act.

Burzer said that Mercedes is ready to respond to any further changes in the regulatory environment.

"Framework conditions around the world change over and over again, so we may have to react to that," Burzer said.

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