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Daimler to invest €3B to boost production capacity

Daimler AG is investing €3 billion to expand production capacity as its Mercedes-Benz Cars unit seeks to increase its annual sales to 3 million vehicles, Reuters reported, citing an executive's interview with German publication Automobilwoche.

The new capacity, up from 2.4 million units in 2017, comes as the sites in the global production network are running at high utilization rates, Markus Schaefer, a board member overseeing manufacturing and procurement at Mercedes-Benz Cars, told Automobilwoche.

An increase in the number of Mercedes-Benz models to 40 is also part of the plan, the report said.

Three new production sites will be added by the end of the decade, one each in Aguascalientes, Mexico; Kecskemet, Hungary; and Beijing, according to Automobilwoche.

The German automaker said in February that it expects a slight increase in unit sales and revenue in 2018 but warned of higher spending on new cars and technologies, forecasting group earnings before interest and tax in 2018 to be similar to that in 2017.

For full-year 2017, Daimler's net profit increased 24% to €10.9 billion from 8.78 billion in the previous year.