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‘India plant helped us study versatile manufacturing’: Mercedes world manufacturing boss | Autocar India

Written by Rashmi

With vegetation having to provide each ICE and EVs collectively, India CKD amenities are serving to Mercedes adapt to a versatile manufacturing mannequin.

With the eventual transfer to electrical mobility, a giant problem dealing with legacy carmakers is how and when to change over manufacturing vegetation from making ICE vehicles to creating EVs. With markets around the globe going electrical at totally different phases, world carmakers want to provide each, ICE autos and EVs concurrently. 

Establishing a devoted new EV facility is pricey

The problem lies in constructing them collectively in the identical vegetation, as organising new, devoted electrical car amenities is pricey and never superb for these with current manufacturing vegetation. “It prices a few million euros to adapt a plant to make each ICE and EVs, however not a few 100 million which you would need to spend to construct a brand new plant” says Jörg Burzer, member of the board of administration of Mercedes-Benz AG, manufacturing and provide chain administration, talking to the Indian media at an occasion in Stuttgart, Germany. 

Classes from Pune utilized in Germany

The corporate is thus adapting its vegetation around the globe to be versatile in making totally different powertrain fashions collectively, and Burzer says its CKD vegetation like India have helped. “We already had the flexibleness in Pune as a result of we’re producing loads of totally different vehicles already on the identical line, so we now have realized just a few classes in manufacturing flexibility from CKD vegetation like these,” mentioned Burzer. He additionally added that “the flexibleness in India is even increased as a result of you might have SUVs and sedans on the identical line, we don’t have that in our quantity manufacturing.” 

This has helped Mercedes adapt its Manufacturing facility 56 at Sindelfingen Germany to a versatile mannequin able to producing the ICE, hybrid and BEVs on one line. That is vital as Manufacturing facility 56 serves greater than 100 markets and this flexibility helps Mercedes fulfil their totally different necessities. Burzer illustrates this level by saying that when the EU goes all-electric in 2035, they’ll nonetheless be producing a “very small quantity” of ICE vehicles for markets which can be but to change over. Nonetheless, having mentioned that, the Mercedes manufacturing chief can be positive that, by 2025, there will probably be some manufacturing amenities that may swap over 100 p.c to EVs. 

The problem past persevering with ICE automobile manufacturing, nonetheless, will even be lifecycle administration and know-how upgradation of the engine itself, as they should be up to date to fulfill buyer calls for and effectively as harder laws. This might be difficult with small volumes. Clearly then the swap to electrical mobility is not going to be as simple as throwing a swap.  

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Rashmi