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Expansion of the Mercedes-Benz Production Network: Ground-breaking Ceremony in Romania
- Additional capacities in transmission assembly from 2016
- Investments of more than EUR 300 million
- Around 500 jobs to be newly created in Sebes
- Markus Schäfer: "The additional assembly capacities in Sebes supplement our production operations at the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant optimally. They also are an important contributing factor in the economics and the flexibility of our international production network of Mercedes-Benz."
An important milestone at Daimler and the Romanian subsidiary Star Transmission was celebrated today attended by numerous guests: the ceremonial ground-breaking for a new assembly plant in Sebes was laid in the presence of Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta and representatives from both companies. Starting in 2016 the new Mercedes-Benz 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission will be assembled here.
Markus Schäfer, Divisional Board Member Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain Management, said: "The additional assembly capacities in Sebes supplement our production operations at the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant optimally. They also are an important contributing factor in the economics and the flexibility of our international production network of Mercedes-Benz. With this set-up we will successfully satisfy the continuing increase in demand for automatic transmissions."
Victor Ponta, Prime Minister of Romania: "The expansion of the Sebes location and the connected further investments of Daimler underline that we are on a good way in Romania and have created an attractive investment climate. With this, we aim to further extend our position as an important automotive manufacturing location in Europe and to create further new jobs."
"In Mercedes-Benz' global production network for passenger cars the Untertürkheim engine and transmission plant serves as a center of competence," said Peter Schabert, Head of Production Powertrain and Head of the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant. "From here the experienced production team has shared its know-how with the Romanian employees as part of a special qualification program over the course of several months. The great teamwork in the international powertrain team strengthens our competitiveness on a sustainable basis."
Automatic transmissions from Mercedes-Benz are manufactured in the flexible production network of the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant and Star Transmission. The 9G-TRONIC transmission has been produced and assembled at the Untertürkheim parent plant since last year and starting in 2016 this automatic transmission will also be assembled at the Sebes location. Investments in Sebes total more than EUR 300 million, and the capacity expansion at the Romanian plant will create 500 new jobs.
About Star Transmission SRL
The Daimler subsidiary Star Transmission was founded in 2001. Since then, gearwheels, shafts as well as machined components for engines, transmissions and steering systems are being produced at the Cugir location. Moreover, the technology center which contains a production of prototypes and a training center is located here. The Sebes location started the assembly of 5-speed automatic transmissions in 2013. The start of the assembly of 7G-DCT dual-clutch transmissions in Sebes this year provides additional capacities beyond the manufacturing operations previously concentrated exclusively in Stuttgart. Currently the company employs a total workforce of more than 1,200 people.
With support from the Romanian government Star Transmission is one of the first Romanian companies to offer a dual education system modeled after the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. The goal of the dual education system is to offer young people in the Alba region a good career outlook while at the same time ensuring the development of young talents for Star Transmission. Since September 2013 the plant has been training young people in technical professions, such as electrical mechanics or model founder, for example.
To further optimize the working conditions for its more than 1,200 employees, Star Transmission has been offering a health program since late 2013. A doctor's office on the plant premises provides free medical check-ups and advice on ergonomics for the employees. In addition, once a week the employees can get consults from specialists, among them cardiologists, dermatologists and professional nutritionists.
About the Mercedes-Benz Cars Powertrain production network
The powertrain production network comprises several locations in Germany, and is being expanded with international production sites as part of the Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy and the associated increasing production of Mercedes-Benz vehicles in proximity to markets and customers. The central location is the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant, which manufactures engines, transmissions and axles at a total of six sub-plants. The Mercedes-Benz Berlin plant manufactures engines and powertrain components, the Mercedes-Benz Hamburg plant produces axles and various other components. The subsidiary MDC Power manufactures engines in Kölleda, Thuringia.
Among the international locations the Romanian subsidiary Star Transmission is responsible for producing engine and transmission parts as well as for the assembly of automatic transmissions. In China, the production of engines for supplying the local Mercedes-Benz cars and vans manufacturing operations started at the Beijing location (BBAC - joint venture between Daimler and Chinese partner BAIC) in 2013. In the US, Daimler and Nissan will start up the joint production of four-cylinder petrol engines based on a Mercedes-Benz design at the Nissan plant in Decherd, Tennessee, in 2014 as part of a strategic cooperation between Daimler and the Renault/Nissan alliance. Among others, the engines are destined for the future production of the C-Class at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
About the nine-speed 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission from Mercedes-Benz
The world's first nine-speed automatic transmission with torque converter for premium vehicles impresses with outstanding comfort and barely perceptible gear changes. In the Mercedes-Benz E 350 BlueTEC, which is available in Saloon and Estate models and comes equipped with the new 9G-TRONIC as standard, the 185 kW (252 hp) V6 diesel engine has an average NEDC fuel consumption of 5.3 litres of diesel per 100 kilometers (Estate: 5.5 l/100 km), corresponding to CO2 emissions of 138 g/km (Estate: 144 g/km). As a result, the new models with 9G-TRONIC undercut their predecessors in terms of both consumption and CO2 emissions.