Daimler said its seeking to sell its Smart factory in Hambach, France, southeast of Luxembourg. Pictured: Smart Fortwo EQ Cabrio seen at the Geneva motor show, 17 March 2018. Photo: Cristian Ghisla / Shutterstock.com
The German automaker Daimler said it wants to sell its Smart compact car factory in nearby eastern France.
Ola Källenius, Daimler’s board chairman, said the company is seeking to “increase efficiency” given its planned “high investments” in electric and digital technologies. He stated in a 3 July press release that:
“...the effects of the covid-19 pandemic on the economy are creating new framework conditions in the market and in this context we are optimizing our global production network. That is why we intend to start talks on the sale of the Hambach plant.”
Board member Markus Schäfer said a condition of any future transaction was that “current smart models will continue to be produced in Hambach.”
Its next generation of Smart electric cars will be manufactured in China under a joint partnership with Zhejiang Geely Group.
Hambach is located approximately 100km southeast of Luxembourg. The Smart site was founded in 1997 and employs around 1,600 workers. The facility produces the Smart Fortwo, a two-passenger hatchback. Daimler said the site had build 2.2m Fortwo cars.