German carmaker Mercedes-Benz, which is investing heavily in the transformation of the company including the structural adjustment and realignment of production capacity and volume within the Mercedes-Benz Cars global production network, has sold off its Hambach plant in France to Ineos Automotive.
Since 2018, the Hambach plant has been part of the worldwide production network for compact cars, with the Mercedes-Benz plant in Rastatt as the lead plant.
Mercedes-Benz AG and INEOS Automotive have signed corresponding agreements for the sale of the Hambach plant. The effects from the sale were already recorded in the second and third quarters of 2020. 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. 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.
Markus Schafer, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, responsible for Daimler Group Research and COO Mercedes-Benz Cars: “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 digitalisation. 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."
Jorg Burzer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz AG, responsible for production and supply chain management, added: “The Hambach plant was part of the Mercedes-Benz Cars global production network for more than 20 years. The highly competent team has successfully mastered many vehicle launches and stands for experience and quality. I am therefore all the more pleased that we have found a buyer in INEOS Automotive who will lead the Hambach plant into the future. By realigning and relocating capacity within our global production network, we are increasing the production efficiency of Mercedes-Benz AG on a sustainable basis. In selling the Hambach plant, our goals were to continue production of the current electric smart models and to secure employment at the facility. We achieved both goals. My thanks and best wishes go to the employees at Hambach, who, with their know-how and commitment, contributed to the success of Mercedes-Benz and smart for many years and will now continue to produce top-quality vehicles with a new owner. "