Daimler AG, the world’s second largest maker of luxury cars is to shift production of its best-selling Mercedes-Benz-C-Class from Germany to Alabama in the United States.
The Sindelfingen plant, close to Stuttgart, will cease production after more than 25 years leaving Bremen as the sole production plant for the model in the country. The unions are furious. Erich Klemm is chair of the works council: “ This is a bad decision for Daimler, a bad decision for Sindelfingen and Germany, because a decision has been made, which could have knock affects for suppliers.” The Tuscaloosa site is Daimler’s only factory in North America and will begin production of a new model in 2014. Job cuts are the talk of the town. Jörg Howe is Daimler’s spokesperson: “We assume that there won’t be any redundancies due to business operations. We have identified some 1,800 employees who are affected and we have firm alternative employment offers for all of these 1,800.” Daimler claims it will save 2,000 euros per car by moving out of Germany as the company continues to cut costs. It is looking to save as much as 5 billion euros this year alone. German workers are planning a protest rally on December the 9th.