It was in the boxes, yesterday Monday, the British group Ineos signed the takeover of the smart site in Hambach (Moselle) according to “sources close to the management of the Mosellan site”.
“The sale was signed on Monday evening,” the same source said, confirming information from the Republican Lorrain. Ineos is due to produce a 4 × 4 at the Hambach site, where Daimler has pledged to continue producing an electric smart until 2024 according to AFP.
As a reminder, Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes and smart, has decided to separate from the Hambach site, the historic site of the smart brand. This was a surprise, because Daimler had previously indicated that it wanted to produce an electric vehicle on the site under the Mercedes brand: the EQA .
The smart for its part goes to China where it will be assembled, 100% electric, before being reimported in Europe. For the Hambach site, which has long been a model, it was a cold shower until the arrival of the “white knight”, Ineos with his Grenadier. The 4 × 4 strongly inspired by the Land Rover should not replace 100% of the site’s production, but the future is already less gloomy.
The buyout was validated on November 12 by the social and economic committee (CSE) of smart France. According to the Republican East , the smart fortwo will remain produced there until 2024. At the same time, the Grenadier d’Ineos will be produced there from 2021. We are even told that everything took place remotely, each one at home. Therefore no beautiful photo to immortalize the assignment. We may not be completely quiet at Daimler and the confinements are timely.
Smartville, as the site has long been called, has been a model in several ways. First, it is located in Moselle and is the result of German-French cooperation. Inaugurated in 1997 by President Chirac and Chancellor Kohl, the site is also a model for integrating subcontractors who produce directly on the site, reducing costs, waiting times, etc. It is this whole ecosystem that is being undermined with the discontinuation of the smart fortwo.
Ineos has ambition for his Grenadier. In fact, in addition to pure thermal engines, the British group has signed an agreement with the Korean company Hyundai on the study and start of production of an engine group with a hydrogen fuel cell. One way to electrify the big 4 × 4 and green its image a little. For the Hambach site, it is a new form of mobility to be invented, moving from the microchip of cities to the big 4 × 4
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