Daimler is converting its engine plant in Berlin into a digital campus and hundreds of jobs may be in danger

02 September 2020, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Sindelfingen: Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG speaks during the opening ceremony at the "Factory 56" plant. The new S-Class will be built in the new completely digitalized and networked factory.
Costing around $2.4 million, the conversion project could offer employees long-term prospects.

  • Daimler plans to close its oldest plant in Germany and make it digital, Handelsblatt reported.
  • The $2.4 million conversion is part of a cost-cutting scheme that will cut 20,000 jobs by 2025.
  • The future factory will focus on electromobility and will assemble smaller parts for electric cars.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Daimler is planning to gradually shut down its engine and transmission production plant in Berlin-Marienfelde and convert it into a digital campus, Handelsblatt reported.

The German factory opened in 1902 and is the oldest Daimler plant producing conventional combustion engines. Its closure will now put 2,500 jobs at risk at the Mercedes Benz parent company.

Costing around $2.4 million, the conversion project could, however, offer employees long-term prospects, as the future factory will focus on electromobility and will also assemble smaller parts for electric cars.

Daimler management and the works council in Berlin agreed to convert the factory into a “digital start-up factory with a series of state-of-the-art pilot lines and test cells,” the company announced Wednesday.

Assembly in the digital plant will be carried out using sensors and software applications, including the latest enhanced reality tools.

There will also be training sessions for representatives from over 30 international Mercedes factories.

Some of the technologies that will be used are already being used at Mercedes. For example, Daimler used the new MO360 ecosystem to produce the S-class.

Daimler is also investing in self-driving cars, teaming up with Alphabet’s Waymo. It is now backing a high-end car service that aims to compete with Uber and Lyft.

FILE PHOTO: A Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA car is displayed prior to the Daimler annual shareholder meeting in Berlin, Germany, April 6, 2016.  REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
Daimler plans to transform and put electric cars at the fore.

“We will significantly reduce the workforce,” a manager told Handelsblatt.

According to Daimler, however, its top priority is designing and implementing the project in a socially responsible way.

Jan Otto, chairman of IG Metall in Berlin, told Handelsblatt that the number of jobs to be cut had not yet been decided although the union is demanding that the Daimler plant in Marienfelde remains a production site.

According to Otto, Marienfelde could also be expanded again in the future, perhaps to produce battery systems or at least recycling batteries.

Daimler’s planned transformation from a hardware provider to a software-based company with electric cars at the fore is putting particular pressure on the group’s engine sites which still manufacture classic internal combustion engines.

Daimler CEO Ola Källenius is also pursuing a number of cuts across the board, particularly affecting engine locations.

The main plant in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim is being hit particularly hard by these cost-cutting measures, and thousands of jobs are to be cut at the plant by 2024.

Overall, Daimler plans to cut more than 20,000 of its 300,000 jobs worldwide by 2025.

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The fanciest Mercedes sedan now starts at $185,000 – take a look inside the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class

2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.
2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

  • The 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is the latest generation of the company’s most luxurious sedan.
  • Mercedes announced Wednesday that it comes with a starting price of $184,900.
  • The 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S 580 is built for the chauffeured and hits dealerships this summer.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

For some, the $100,000-and-up Mercedes-Benz S-Class just isn’t luxurious enough. For them, there’s the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

It’s a lavish land yacht that will carry an eye-watering MSRP of $184,900 when it hit dealers this summer, the carmaker announced Wednesday.

Mercedes took the wraps off of the 2021 version of the sedan during an online event in November, revealing a revamped exterior design and a host of new, ultra-luxurious features inside the cabin. It stands to reason that, since Maybach owners don’t spend much time in the driver’s seat, most of the exciting interior upgrades can be found in the back seat.

And – with a wheelbase that’s several inches longer than the standard S-Class – there’s plenty of room back there for swanky features like massaging leg rests, a multicolored ambient-lighting setup, champagne flutes, and copious amounts of wood trim.

Although most of us will never know such luxury firsthand, you can take a virtual look at the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S 580 below:

The new-for-2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class sports a new design with an exclusive, imposing radiator grille.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

It comes in ten two-tone paint options, a signature Maybach feature.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

You can also tell it apart from a standard Mercedes offering by the Maybach lettering up front …

2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

And by the illuminated Maybach emblem on the C-pillar.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

The 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S 580 has a wheelbase that’s seven inches longer than the standard model, and is larger all around than its predecessor.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

It’s powered by a twin-turbocharged V8 with a claimed 496 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, and it rides on cushy air suspension.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

However, you don’t spend deep six figures on a Maybach for its classy look or its performance, you do it for its palatial interior packed with optional and standard luxury features.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

The leather seats have more massaging capability than before, now offering up ten preset programs, two levels of intensity, and massaging calf rests.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

Naturally, the seats are climate-controlled as well, and they now include neck and shoulder heating functions.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

The “executive rear seat plus” package swaps the standard bench seat for two individual rear seats separated by a center console.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

Even the Maybach’s new rear airbags are fancy, deploying in a “gentle manner,” according to Mercedes.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

The electronic rear doors swing open at the push of a button and can be operated from the driver’s seat.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

The doors have flush-mounted handles that pop out when they’re needed.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

Buyers unsatisfied with the leather-to-wood balance in the cabin can now opt for wood trim on the front seat backs.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

They can also potentially outfit their vehicle with up to five screens, including a digital gauge cluster, a 12.8-inch center touchscreen, a rear tablet, and two rear-mounted displays.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

The entertainment system comes with two wireless headsets.

maybach tablet
2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

Other options include a refrigerated cubby and a champagne flute set with spots on the armrest to hold them.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

The silver-plated flutes cost $830 each on Maybach’s website.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

Some other standard features include 64-color ambient lighting, a fragrance system, and powered window shades.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

For extra comfort, Mercedes outfitted the Maybach S-Class with an active noise-canceling system.

maybach speaker
2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

Mercedes says the upgraded drive-mode selector now delivers smoother acceleration in “Chauffeur mode.”

2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

Mercedes said the new model will arrive at US dealers in the middle of 2021.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

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