The Smart EQ, which is produced in Hambach. - Wikicommons
- Is this the end of "Smartville", the factory which has produced the famous small cars since 1998 in Hambach, in the Moselle?
- The owner of the site, Daimler, who also owns Mercedes, announced this Friday his intention to sell the site.
- "We fought like devils for five years, we made sacrifices to have projects, we had projects and now we are released", denounces Mario Mutzette, CFE-CGC delegate.
The famous Smart tower, with the small cars one above the other, is visible from the eastern highway. Established since 1998 in Hambach, in the Moselle, the factory currently employs 1,400 to 1,500 employees.
Is it soon over? The management of the site announced this Friday the intention of Daimler to sell this factory, where was to start the production of models of the German manufacturer in the fall, we learned from the unions. “They sell the Smart site and therefore they are looking for a buyer. It is enormous. They abandon us, "said Jean-Luc Bielitz, CGT representative on the Moselle site, confirming information from the Lorraine Republican.
Relocation to China
"The company intends to start discussions on a sale of its French automobile factory in Hambach," Daimler confirmed, adding that it has implemented numerous measures to improve its cost structure in the long term and become significantly more efficient ”. "An important lever for this is the adaptation and reorientation of the capacities of our global production network", adds the German manufacturer.
In March 2019, the automotive group Daimler, owner of the Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands, announced the end of production of the Smart in France and its relocation to China from 2022. Instead, Mercedes had to be manufactured in from autumn 2020. To adapt the Moselle site to this new production, Daimler had announced an investment of 500 million euros.
"We had projects and now we are being released" "
"Concretely, the Smart ends between 2022 and 2024 and we will not manufacture Mercedes on the Hambach site", called "Smartville" and the historic cradle of the small car since 1998, added Mr. Bielitz.
Employees had approved in a consultative referendum in 2015 the "2020 Pact", which provided for the return to 39 hours of weekly work, paid 37, with a restoration of 35 hours in 2020. "We fought like devils for five years, we made sacrifices to have projects, we had projects and now we are released ”, denounced Mario Mutzette, CFE-CGC delegate. "In terms of social fabric, it will be a disaster," he feared.
"Everything that we were promised, the hiring promises, the resumption of activity, the sustainability of the site ... We can make all the efforts we want ... The group lets go after having made the most of the employees", reacted Mr. Bielitz. According to the CFE-CGC, an extraordinary social and economic committee (CSE) is planned for Wednesday on the site.
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