December 08, 2020 - On the road to CO2 neutrality, Mercedes-Benz AG is investing heavily in the transformation of the company. In the context of increasing efficiency, this also includes the structural adjustment and realignment of production capacity and volume within the Mercedes-Benz Cars global production network. Against this background, Mercedes-Benz AG and INEOS Automotive have signed corresponding agreements for the sale of the Hambach plant.
INEOS Automotive acquires all shares in smart France S.A.S. and will take over the Hambach plant in the coming weeks after the final details have been clarified. Based on the negotiations regarding the future of employees and continuation of production at the Hambach plant, no significant negative effects are expected in the fourth quarter of 2020, which weigh on the earnings of Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans. The common goal of Mercedes-Benz AG, INEOS Automotive, employee and government representatives was to secure employment at the facility. Production of the current two-seat smart EQ electric vehicles continues at the Hambach plant.
We are in the midst of a major transformation of our company and aim to successfully shape it for the future. To this end we are investing heavily in our electric offensive and comprehensive digitalization. In doing so, we must make the company even more efficient and, in this respect, the optimization of our global production network is a very decisive lever. The sale of our Hambach plant is therefore an important step in this direction. For us the focus was on implementing this sale in a socially responsible manner and securing jobs. Together with social partners, government representatives and the buyer, INEOS Automotive, we have found a viable solution for Hambach that offers the facility clear prospects for the future.
Talks with social partners and government representatives were decisive in ensuring that a timely solution could be found, which was confirmed by the local social and economic committee with a favorable opinion when the consultation process was completed. The committee represents the interests of the company’s employees.
Thanks to the constructive cooperation of all parties involved, a key negotiating goal was achieved: Securing jobs at smart France S.A.S. and those of system suppliers at the facility who accepted job offers. In total that represents about 1,300 employees.
As part of the sales process for the Hambach plant, Mercedes-Benz AG and INEOS Automotive were also in close contact with representatives of the French government as well as the regional and local authorities who actively accompanied the process.