Daimler completes the sale of the smart plant in Hambach, France, to INEOS. The company will start building its first model there, the Grenadier, in 2021.
Daimler and INEOS Automotive thus get to safeguard thousands of jobs that might otherwise have been lost. Approximately 1,300 people currently work at the Hambach production center. The new car company will be able to meet its expectations and deliver the new off-roader to customers starting 2022.
The Hambach plant, located near the French-German border, is only 200 kilometers from Stuttgart, the headquarters of Mercedes-Benz.
According to the terms of the purchase, Mercedes-Benz will contract INEOS to proceed with the production of smart EQ fortwo and several Mercedes-Benz components. The premium car maker will thus continue to benefit from the expertise of the Hambach employees and the facile access to the supply chains.
“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” says Markus Schafer, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz Cars, responsible for Daimler Group Research.
Mercedes-Benz and INEOS Automotive confirm the move
“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”, Schafer states.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe confirms the transaction. The INEOS Chairman came with the idea of building a Land Rover Defender-like off-roader back in 2017. From that moment on, the billionaire businessman has been searching for a production center to build his Grenadier. INEOS Automotive is a subsidiary of INEOS Group, a leading manufacturer of petrochemicals, employing 22,000 in 26 countries.
INEOS is also the main sponsor of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team.