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Transformation plan for the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen: The Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen is preparing for its further development as a center of competence for the C-Class
- Company and Works Council open up excellent prospects for the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen through transformation plan
- Bremen plant to receive two new models
- Company will hire 500 new employees and increase the number of trainees at the plant
- Modernization of vocational training in line with the digital transformation
- Markus Schäfer, Member of the Mercedes-Benz Cars Divisional Board with responsibility for Production and Supply Chain Management: “The transformation plan for the Mercedes-Benz Bremen plant will allow increasing production at the facility, while also making it more flexible and efficient. We are also investing heavily in our employees, who play a major role in ensuring the top quality the plant delivers.”
- Andreas Kellermann, Head of the Mercedes-Benz Bremen plant: “We are systematically preparing Bremen for the future. Our plan will safeguard the Bremen location and its employees’ jobs for years to come. It will also strengthen Bremen’s role as the lead plant for C-Class production worldwide.”
- Michael Peters, Chairman of the Works Council at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen: “We successfully concluded difficult negotiations to produce a framework agreement. The transformation plan that is now in place offers employees in Bremen solid prospects for many years to come. The important thing for us on the Works Council is that we were able to achieve our goal of ensuring the creation of many new permanent jobs.”
Daimler is modernizing the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen, and on the basis of a forward-looking agreement it is also setting the course for the plant’s further development as a center of competence for global C-Class production. The agreement reached between plant management and the Works Council will keep the facility competitive and safeguard jobs for years to come. The “ Transformation Plan” contained in the agreement calls for an expansion of production through the use of highly flexible shift models and the hiring of 500 new employees. The Bremen plant will also build the successor of the current C-Class series, as well as two additional models. The number of trainee positions at the plant will be increased to 150 over seven years beginning in 2017. Daimler is investing more than €750 million in the modernization and expansion of the Bremen plant. In line with its digital transformation approach, the company will completely network all processes at the facility, implement digital planning systems, improve processes with the help of big data analyses, and introduce human-robot cooperation. Together with the plant’s highly flexible working-time models and type flexibility, these measures will generate additional momentum to make the manufacturing operations in Bremen highly profitable.
“The transformation plan for the Mercedes-Benz Bremen plant will allow increasing production at the facility, while also making it more flexible and efficient. We are also investing heavily in our employees, who play a major role in ensuring the top quality the plant delivers,” says Markus Schäfer, Member of the Mercedes-Benz Cars Divisional Board with responsibility for Production and Supply Chain Management.
The Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen built approximately 340,000 vehicles in 2014. Eight models are currently manufactured at the facility, including the highest-volume model series at Mercedes-Benz, the C-Class. Bremen will receive two additional models over the next few years. “We are systematically preparing Bremen for the future,” says Andreas Kellermann, Head of the Mercedes-Benz Bremen plant. “Our plan will safeguard the Bremen location and its employees’ jobs for years to come. It will also strengthen Bremen’s role as the lead plant for C-Class production worldwide.”
Since 2014, the C-Class has been produced at four locations on four continents at the same level of Mercedes quality: Bremen; East London, South Africa; Beijing, China; and Tuscaloosa, Alabama (USA). Production was launched at all four plants within just six months. The Bremen plant is responsible for managing global production of the C-Class.
The Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen currently has around 12,500 employees and is operating with high capacity utilization. Plans call for production volume to continue to rise in the years ahead. The new working-time arrangements will be needed to accommodate this increased volume. The Bremen plant will also create new jobs for 500 men and women. Moreover, to ensure a constant pool of new talent, between 2017 and 2023 the facility will increase the number of trainees it takes on each year to 150. The plant is investing more than €1 million in a modern training system that will also prepare trainees for new technologies such as the digitalization of manufacturing processes associated with the ‘ smart factory’ and the digital transformation.
“We successfully concluded difficult negotiations to produce a framework agreement,” says Michael Peters, Chairman of the Works Council at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen. “The transformation plan that is now in place offers employees in Bremen solid prospects for many years to come. The important thing for us on the Works Council is that we were able to achieve our goal of ensuring the creation of many new permanent jobs. The direct participation of employees in the preparations for the negotiations was also important to us. In addition, we wanted to make sure that the planned substantial increase in production volume would put as little strain as possible on our people, and we succeeded in this regard. We also ensured that the company will invest in key areas such as egonomics, training, and areas related to the demographic change. Another success here is the increase in the number of trainees at the plant and the modernization of the training system.”
The agreement also addresses specific demographic challenges. This will make the Bremen plant a pioneer in new working arrangement concepts at Mercedes-Benz Cars. All of the planned measures are aligned with a human resources strategy that focuses on demographics and qualification. The plant will also apply new ideas for a holistic, culture-changing approach to the demographic issues. To this end, the plant and the Works Council are working together with researchers to develop innovative measures for addressing the demographic change. The implementation of these measures will begin in Bremen in the course of this year.
About the Mercedes-Benz Bremen plant
With around 12,500 employees, the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen is the biggest private employer in the Bremen region. Eight models are currently produced at the plant: the C-Class sedan, estate, and coupe; the E-Class coupe and convertible; the GLK SUV; and the SLK and SL roadsters. The plant built approximately 340,000 vehicles in 2014. As the center of competence for the C-Class, the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen manages the production launches and manufacturing operations for Mercedes-Benz’ best-selling model series at the overseas plants in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (USA); Beijing, China; and East London, South Africa.
About Mercedes-Benz Cars Operations
Mercedes-Benz Cars Operations is responsible for passenger car production at 26 locations around the world as part of a flexible and efficient production network involving more than 70,000 employees. This includes the central functions of planning, logistics and quality. Mercedes-Benz Cars produced more than 1,754,000 Mercedes-Benz and smart passenger cars last year, marking the fourth record in a row.
The network is based on the product architectures of front-wheel drive (compact cars) and rear-wheel drive (for example the S-Class, E-Class, and C-Class) as well as the SUV and sports car architectures. In addition, there is a powertrain production network (engines, transmissions, axles and components). Each of these production networks is grouped around a lead plant that serves as a center of competence for the ramp-up of new products, technology and quality assurance.
The focus of day-to-day work is on the continuous improvement and refinement of state-of-the-art production methods, which allow future high-tech vehicles to be produced in a way that is efficient, flexible and environmentally friendly, according to the typical Mercedes-Benz quality standards. All of this revolves around the employees and their expertise, whose work is systematically supported by ergonomic workplace design and intelligent automation. In addition to its own production plants, Mercedes-Benz is increasingly leveraging partnerships and utilizing capacities at contract manufacturers as part of its growth strategy.