Car giant announces first all-electric van plant in European revamp

Mercedes-Benz Vans has announced it is to create its first all-electric production plant in Poland as part of its move to restructure its electric vehicles capabilities.

The company said it is to reorganise its European production network In what it said marked “a new milestone in its transformation as a provider of locally emission-free mobility”.

“Our ambition is to offer the most desirable vans and services. For this, we must be highly innovative and competitive in all areas. At the same time, we must safeguard our business in the long term. A key success factor is the realignment of our European production network,” says Mathias Geisen, head of Mercedes‑Benz Vans. “The decision for Jawor, Poland, is another milestone on the road to electro-mobility. We are not only repositioning our products, but also future proofing the entire value chain: From procurement to production, to logistics and sales.

“We are therefore investing in VAN.EA, our new all-electric van architecture. Thus we will also ensure our leading position in the field of all-electric light commercial vehicles also in the future. At the same time, we are preserving the long-term prospects of the existing plants in Europe.”

He added: “We signed a memorandum of understanding with the Polish government and other Polish economic partners. This shows that we use the excellent conditions and common infrastructure at the established Jawor location to build a new plant for the production of vans.

“As we flexibly manufacture vans with combustion and electric drivetrains in all our existing plants, we will build our first pure electric plant in Jawor. We thus set new standards and move forward on our path towards sustainable, fully electric mobility.”

Mercedes added in the future, its large vans (closed model/panel van) are to be produced on VAN.EA basis there.

“By consistently focusing on the production of all-electric vans, Mercedes‑Benz Vans aims to achieve productivity advantages and thus to significantly improve competitiveness,” It added. “The established location enables van division to optimise costs and supply chain as well as energy-efficient production of new generation vans. The decision about the location and the concrete implementation of the project still depends upon the final fulfilment of various framework conditions, including the granting of aid for the investment in Jawor.”

Mercedes-Benz Cars has been producing combustion engines in Jawor since 2019 and batteries since 2021.

The company added the option to expand the factory even further by establishing a new joint venture manufacturing company together with Rivian for large all-electric vans is on hold due to “Rivian’s ongoing reprioritisation of projects”.

In September 2022, Mercedes‑Benz Vans announced that it would seek to adapt its European production network for all-electric vans based on the platform VAN.EA. The respective employee representatives and location management have agreed on future visions for the plants in Düsseldorf, Ludwigsfelde, Germany and Vitoria, Spain.

The Mercedes‑Benz Düsseldorf plant already builds the current generation of the Sprinter and eSprinter (closed model/panel van). As of the second half of 2023, the successor generation of the eSprinter will be launched. In addition, the open model designations (platform for body manufacturers or platform vehicles) of the large van will be built on VAN.EA basis in the future.

The open model of the company’s current Sprinter generation has been built in the Mercedes‑Benz Ludwigsfelde plant since 2018. From the spring of 2024, the new eSprinter model will be produced there.

The Mercedes-Benz plant in Vitoria, Spain, currently produces the medium-sized vans including the V-Class, the EQV, the (e)Vito and (e)Vito Tourer. From the middle of the decade, the medium-sized van based on the purely electrical modular platform VAN.EA will also be manufactured at the facility.

The Mercedes‑Benz Düsseldorf plant already builds the current generation of the Sprinter and eSprinter (closed model/panel van). As of the second half of 2023, the successor generation of the eSprinter will be launched.

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