German Federal President’s first official visit to Baden-Württemberg: President Steinmeier at the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant
- Rastatt, 90 km west of Stuttgart, the state capital of Baden-Württemberg, is one destination during the travels of the new German Federal President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and his wife Elke Büdenbender through Germany.
- Conversations with Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, and other members of the company’s management teams as well as representatives from the German works councils.
- The Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant is the lead plant for the production of compact cars worldwide and is the region’s largest employer.
Rastatt, Germany – The Mercedes-Benz compact car plant in Rastatt, 90 km west of state capital Stuttgart, is a major industrial location, and the largest employer in the region. This is making it an obvious destination on German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s first official visit. Accompanied by Winfried Kretschmann, Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, he was welcomed at the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt Customer Centre by Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management at Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. Further participants of the company were Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production & Supply Chain, Thomas Geier, Site Manager Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant, as well as Michael Brecht, Chairman of the General Works Council, Daimler AG, Ullrich Zinnert, Chairman of the Works Council at the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant, and further representatives from works councils of other German sites.
During the visit of the Federal President, the focus was on topics such as electric mobility and discussions with the workforce. “In the year of our 25th anniversary, it is a great pleasure for us to welcome the Federal President of Germany to the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant and to give him an impression of our site and our employees. More than 6,500 employees from around 50 countries work here producing the successful Mercedes-Benz compact car models, and they are also going to be building the compact cars for our new generation of electric vehicles. This site therefore has a very bright future,” said Thomas Geier, Site Manager Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant.
During a tour through the production facilities, Federal President Steinmeier talked to employees and gained an impression of the compact car production at Mercedes-Benz. The Rastatt plant is one of the most advanced passenger car production facilities in the world, integrating innovative smart factory applications and utilising highly flexible structures in the production process.
The birthplace of the Mercedes-Benz compact cars is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017. The site is currently preparing for the start of production of the next generation of compact cars in 2018. The Rastatt plant is part of the electric offensive of Mercedes-Benz and will be a centre of competence for the production of future electric vehicles. At the beginning of June, management and works council agreed to take up production of electric compact car vehicles of the product and technology brand EQ at the site.
“As a works council, we are particularly honoured that one station of the Federal President’s visit to Germany is here at our site. This makes the 25th anniversary of the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant an event richer. We have used the exclusive opportunity to talk with Dr Steinmeier about topics like the conversion process for our workforce, the location and the entire region with regard to the future,” said Ullrich Zinnert, Chairman of the Works Council at the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant.
About the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt Customer Centre
The Mercedes-Benz Customer Centre is just next door to the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant. Every day around 250 Mercedes-Benz cars and smart cars are picked up by their owners. For them and all the other 180,000 annual visitors, the customer centre offers plenty of opportunities to make the most of their time at the Rastatt plant, laying on 2,500 guided tours of the site and organising over 100 different special events a year.
About the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant
The Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant in Germany is the biggest employer in the region, with a workforce of around 6.500 employees. Within the global Mercedes-Benz production network, the Rastatt plant is the lead plant for the production of compact cars worldwide. The A- and B-Class as well as the compact SUV GLA are manufactured at the location. In 2016, more than 300,000 vehicles rolled off its production lines. The production compound of the current compact car generation further includes the plant in Kecskemét, Hungary (production: B-Class, CLA, CLA Shooting Brake), the Chinese production location BBAC (Beijing-Benz Automotive Co. Ltd – joint venture between Daimler AG and BAIC Motor; production: GLA) and the Finnish contract manufacturer Valmet Automotive (production: A-Class). In 2017, the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant is celebrating its 25th anniversary.