60 years of vans from Mercedes‑Benz, including the iconic Sprinter van as well as historic legends such as the ‘Bremer’ and the ‘Düsseldorfer’ – that’s what the Mercedes‑Benz plant in Düsseldorf can look back on today. At the beginning of the 1960s, the then Daimler‑Benz AG took over the Düsseldorf plant from Auto Union.
Founded in 1962, it has developed into the largest van plant of today’s Mercedes‑Benz Group AG. To date, more than 4.9 million vehicles have been produced at the site. The panel vans of the Mercedes‑Benz Sprinter have been coming off the production line here since 1995, and since the end of 2019 the eSprinter as well. Innovation and quality are the hallmarks of the plant, as they were on day one.
“I would like to congratulate the plant and the team on their 60th birthday – a very special anniversary. The Düsseldorf plant has always been a supporting pillar in our global production network. With the start of eSprinter series production at the end of 2019, the team has proven this once again,” says Dr Ingo Ettischer, Head of Operations at Mercedes-Benz Vans. “I would like to thank the team, which is already preparing for the next generation of the eSprinter with the greatest commitment and full dedication. Added to this is the increasing digitalisation of production. All this requires innovative strength, know-how and professionalism – which the Düsseldorf team impressively demonstrates every day.”
“The state capital Düsseldorf also warmly congratulates the Mercedes-Benz plant in Düsseldorf. We have been in very good contact with the plant for decades and have been able to support the company in recent years in expanding the plant in order to further position the location for the future,” says Düsseldorf’s Lord Mayor Dr Stephan Keller. “We expressly welcome the fact that Mercedes‑Benz, an internationally active mobility and industrial company, has been based in Düsseldorf for 60 years and look forward to further cooperation.”
The workforce makes a significant contribution to the success of the plant and Mercedes‑Benz Vans.
Michael Hellmann, Head of the Mercedes‑Benz plant in Düsseldorf: “This anniversary would not be possible without our employees. The high quality, also in the area of eVans, is ensured in Düsseldorf by a competent and committed team, which always shows a high degree of flexibility and thereby excellent performance even in challenging times. For that, I thank my team very much and look forward to building the next generation of the eSprinter from 2023.”
For a sustainable future
“At Vans, we follow the approach of holistic sustainable mobility, not only in products but also in production,” emphasises Dr Ingo Ettischer. “To achieve this, we invest in our locations and products. We are investing around 50 million euros in Düsseldorf for the next generation of the eSprinter, which will be built here from the second half of 2023. As of this year, we are already producing CO2-neutrally in our own van plants worldwide.”
Quiet and locally emission-free transport – that’s what all electric vans from Mercedes‑Benz stand for. The Düsseldorf plant also consistently focuses on sustainability: the switch to CO2-neutral production will take place before the end of this year. To this end, emissions are completely avoided wherever possible and consistently reduced, for example through new mobility systems such as an on-demand factory shuttle, driverless transport systems and industrial trucks powered by fuel cells.
Furthermore, it is the declared goal to switch completely to renewable sources when purchasing electricity. Another example: the plant has been a paperless factory since 2012, which means that tablets replace paper for all information and required documentation in the production flow. All these measures complement each other and contribute to quickly achieving the ambitious goals we have set ourselves and thus to making a comprehensive contribution to climate protection.
Mercedes‑Benz is clearly committed to the Paris climate protection agreement. The series production of the eSprinter, based at the Düsseldorf plant, has been making a significant contribution to this since the end of 2019. Mercedes-Benz Vans has invested a total of around 330 million euros in modernisation and technical expansion for the new drive variant. The fully electric vehicles are built on a production line alongside the conventionally powered models. This creates the necessary flexibility for almost all customer and market requirements.
In addition to the extensive investments in production, the factory has also invested massively in training and further education for its employees. Since the decision to build the eSprinter in Düsseldorf, the plant has developed into a competence centre for electric drives and built up the necessary know-how. To date, more than 2,800 employees have already been qualified to handle and assemble high-voltage technologies.
• Van plant of the first hour: the "Bremer" and the "Düsseldorfer" already rolled off the production line here • More than 4.9 million vans have left the plant since 1995 • Series production of the eSprinter since December 2019 • Practised sustainability through paperless factory since 2012, permanent emission reduction and switch to electricity from completely renewable sources • For many years, the plant has been one of the largest employers and trainers in the region
A plant with social responsibility
The production site is also important for the region: as one of the largest employers and training companies in Düsseldorf, as well as through its social commitment. As an important economic factor in the region, the company is aware of its social responsibility and also performs exemplary work in this area. For example, the Düsseldorf Chamber of Industry and Commerce honoured the work with the 2020 Training and Further Education Award.
Supporting the disadvantaged people is also an important concern for the Düsseldorf plant. Donations in kind and money are regularly made to social institutions such as the Diakonie, the children’s hospice, the Gute-Nacht-Bus and the Bürgerstiftung. “As a traditional Düsseldorf plant, local commitment is a matter close to our hearts – we want to make a contribution to improving the lives of children, promote health initiatives and make a social contribution,” explains Michael Hellmann, site manager of the Mercedes‑Benz plant in Düsseldorf. And: “We know that our staff and employees follow these activities with great interest.”
About Mercedes‑Benz Düsseldorf Plant
With around 700,000 square metres of space - including body shop, paint shop and assembly - it is the world's largest Mercedes Benz van plant. The consistent use of new technologies and production methods and their rigorous testing benefit the entire Mercedes Benz Vans production network. With around 6,000 employees and trainees, it is also one of the most important employers in Düsseldorf.