Daimler chooses French plant to build new EQ electric models

05 June 2018

05 June 2018

Daimler has chosen its plant in Hambach to produce its first fully electric compact car to be launched under the EQ sub-brand of Mercedes-Benz.

The factory in France currently produces Smart electric vehicles and will be the first plant in the country to build Mercedes-Benz units. The German manufacturer plans to launch more than ten electric cars by 2022 throughout all segments from city cars to SUVs.

The company assumes that unit sales of electric models will represent a share of somewhere between 15 and 25% of total Mercedes-Benz sales by 2025. From 2020, the brand Smart will only offer electric vehicles. Thereby, the small car manufacturer will be the first global automotive brand to move from combustion engines to full electric-only vehicles.

′20 years ago we started an exemplary German-Franco project with the production of the smart in Hambach. Now we take the next step, and for the first time in our more than 100-year old history, we bring the production of Mercedes-Benz to France. With the compact EQ model from Hambach we continue our electric initiative,’ says Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars after a meeting with the French President Emmanuel Macron at the Élisée Palace in Paris.

Using Hambach is a good move for Daimler and Mercedes-Benz. Smart launched a battery-powered vehicle in 2007 and has been producing electric versions of its cars at the factory since 2012. Two electric vehicles, the Smart EQ fortwo coupé and the Smart EQ fortwo cabrio, are currently being produced there. In Germany, the smart brand is the market leader among all-electric vehicles in the first quarter of 2018.

′The Hambach site in France features many years of experience in building fully electric cars. We want to take advantage of the enormous expertise and prepare the plant for the production of an electric Mercedes-Benz,’ says Annette Winkler, Head of Smart.

The preparations for the new EQ model to be built at Hambach will start shortly, with an investment of €500 million. This will fund the construction of new facilities which will benefit the vehicles developed and built at the plant. A new body shop and surface treatment centre will be built using state-of-the-art technology, while assembly facilities will also be expanded.

The first Mercedes-Benz EQ electric vehicle will roll off the assembly line at the brand’s Bremen plant. Production of the EQC, a fully-electric SUV, will start in 2019.