Mercedes-Benz will build ultra-high-performance axial-flux electric motors at its Berlin site, as the world’s pre-eminent luxury car brand prepares to go all electric by 2030, where market conditions allow. Mercedes-Benz announced the acquisition of YASA, UK-based manufacturer of ultra-high-performance electric motors in July (earlier post), securing access to unique axial-flux technology, deepening its vertical integration and value creation in development and production.
Production of the motors will begin next year. YASA will continue to do all the design and innovation on the motors from their UK base, and will also continue to manufacture at the UK facility for other OEM customers (Ferrari etc).
The portfolio of the Berlin plant already includes assembly volumes of electric drive units and the EE Compartment. In addition, the build-up of the Mercedes-Benz Digital Factory Campus—a campus for the development, testing and implementation of MO360 software applications—has reached an advanced stage. A series of state-of-the-art pilot lines will go into operation next year.
The Mercedes-Benz Cars Operations 360 (MO360) digital ecosystem comprises a family of software applications which are connected via shared interfaces and standardized user interfaces. These applications use real-time data to support the worldwide vehicle production of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
Berlin will become the competence center for digitalization in the global Mercedes-Benz production network and support the worldwide rollout for new releases and apps in the MO360 ecosystem. At the same time, the campus will become a MO360 training and qualification centre with innovative approaches in the area of digital implementation. Mercedes-Benz is investing a low triple-digit million euro amount in the transformation of its Berlin plant within the next six years.
The transformation of the automotive industry is more evident at our Berlin site than at any other Mercedes-Benz plant. The transformation from a production site for purely conventional drive components to a competence centre for digitalization and production in the field of e-mobility is a significant step for us and our employees. We are offering groundbreaking new opportunities for this traditional location and underlining its role in our global production network—not least as a decisive driver of our digitalisation offensive. With the production of high-performance electric motors, the Berlin plant will become a key pillar of the sustainable Mercedes-Benz electrification strategy.—Jörg Burzer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz AG, Production and Supply Chain