German carmaker Daimler announced on Wednesday plans to invest more than EUR 300 million in Romania to expand its transmission assembly facilities in Sebes city, Alba County, in a key investment designed to accommodate higher forecasted demand for this component.
Daimler will make the investments at its local Subsidiary Star Transmission, which operates two facilities in neighboring Sebes and Cugir cities. The local plant currently produces Mercedes-Benz car engines and transmissions and employs around 800 people.
Andreas Renschler, member of the Daimler Board of Management for Manufacturing and Procurement Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans, said: “The expansion of our production network to include an additional location for transmission assembly is designed to perfectly complement our existing capacities. Our goal here is to serve the high customer demand with even greater flexibility in the future.
Daimler representatives said the Stuttgart transmission plant will act as a center of competence in the production network, adding that it lacks the space for further expansion. Thus, the carmaker decided to invest in Romania.
In the middle of this year, the carmaker will start the production of a 5-speed automatic transmission at the new Sebes location until its discontinuation. The assembly of front dual clutch transmission will be made in this location starting 2014.
“Subject to the support of the Romanian government for the expansion of the production capacities, it is planned that a new generation of automatic transmissions for cars will also be produced in the new production network involving the locations in Stuttgart (full production including assembly) and Sebes (assembly only) starting in 2016,” said Daimler in a statement.
Mercedes-Benz Cars manages the power train production through several plants located in Germany and abroad. The Untertürkheim plant is the central manufacturing point, where engines, transmissions and axles are produced. The company has invested over EUR 900 million in this location in the last fiscal year and plans to invest another EUR 800 million in 2013.