On the road to CO2 neutrality, Mercedes-Benz AG is investing heavily in the transformation of the company. In the context of increasing efficiency, this also includes the structural adjustment and realignment of production capacity and volume within the Mercedes-Benz Cars global production network. Against this background, Mercedes-Benz AG and INEOS Automotive have signed corresponding agreements for the sale of the Hambach plant. INEOS Automotive acquires all shares in smart France SAS and will take over the Hambach plant in the coming weeks after the final details have been clarified. Based on the negotiations regarding the future of employees and continuation of production at the Hambach plant, no significant negative effects are expected in the fourth quarter of 2020, which weigh on the earnings of Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans. The common goal of Mercedes-Benz AG, INEOS Automotive, employee and government representatives was to secure employment at the facility. Production of the current two-seat smart EQ electric vehicles continues at the Hambach plant. Thanks to the constructive cooperation of all parties involved, a key negotiating goal was achieved: Securing jobs at smart France SAS and those of system suppliers at the facility who accepted job offers. In total that represents about 1,300 employees.
On October 27, 1997, then French President Jacques Chirac and Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl dedicated the Hambach, Lorraine production plant in France. Production began in 1998 with the first smart fortwo. In 2012, the Hambach plant was the first in Europe to launch series production of vehicles with electric drives in parallel with conventional models with combustion engines. Since 2019 the plant has been producing with the smart EQ fortwo (combined power consumption: 16.5 - 14.0 kWh/100 km, combined CO₂ emissions: 0 g/km) and the smart EQ fortwo Cabrio (combined power consumption: 16.8 - 14.2 kWh/100 km, combined CO₂ emissions: 0 g/km) the fourth generation of smart electric vehicles. To date, more than two million smart fortwo have rolled off the production line in Hambach.