Daimler to supply first in-house electrical motor at Berlin plant By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Daimler logo can be seen ahead of the automaker’s annual general meeting on April 5, 2018 in Berlin. REUTERS / Hannibal Hanschke / file photo

BERLIN (Reuters) – Daimler will produce its first own electric motor in its oldest plant in Berlin, the automaker said on Thursday, relieving workers who were concerned that the diesel engine production facility was on the verge of massive job cuts.

Workers who feared for their positions after Daimler (OTC 🙂 announced in September 2020 that it would cease production of the 6-cylinder diesel engine within a year would also be offered retraining in software and coding, the German company said.

The investments in the 120-year-old Berlin-Marienfelde plant, which were previously set at a double-digit million euro amount, will increase to a low three-digit million euro amount over the next six years, announced Daimler.

The motor, known as the axial flux motor and developed by the British startup YASA, which Daimler acquired earlier this year, weighs a fraction of its diesel equivalent and can increase the range of an electric vehicle by up to 7%, YASA founder Tim Woolmer told Reuters in July.

Woolmer said at the time that Daimler directed YASA to cut costs on future iterations of its engine so that the automaker can use them across its range of electric vehicles.

The electric motor is easier to manufacture than its diesel equivalent, so the plant will eventually need fewer workers – but the exact number of future job losses is not yet clear, said production manager Jörg Burzer in a press conference. A start date for the production of the engine was not given.

The digital training campus, which Daimler developed together with Siemens in March and which should go live in 2022, would also create new jobs, said Burzer.

The approximately 2,300 employees at the plant are guaranteed their jobs until the beginning of 2030 under an existing union agreement.

“A year ago we didn’t know what was going to happen at the plant. Today we are starting the hopefully successful transformation with our heads held high, ”said Michael Rahmel, Works Council Chairman Berlin-Marienfelde, in a statement.

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