Daimler sells Mercedes-Benz Minibuses plant

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GERMANY

Daimler Buses says it intends to focus on the production of buses over eight tons and chassis, and is to sell its minibus plant in Dortmund to German industrial group Aequita, securing the employment for all 240 staff at the Dortmund site. Aequita will continue to produce Mercedes-Benz minibuses and further develop the facility.

Daimler Buses announced in late November that it planned to concentrate on its core business, the production of complete buses and chassis over eight tons. In light of its renewed focus, the firm has sold the Dortmund-based Evobus subsidiary Mercedes-Benz Minibus GmbH to Munich-based owner-managed industrial group Aequita.

The two parties signed a purchase agreement on 22 November, with the transaction set to be completed on January. The production of Mercedes-Benz brand minibuses at the Dortmund plant will continue, and Daimler said there will be a continued close partnership between Daimler Buses and Aequita in sales and aftersales.

Till Oberwörder, Head of Daimler Buses and Managing Director of EvoBus GmbH, said: “We are on the road to the CO₂-neutral mobility of the future and will be investing heavily in the electrification of our product range and the digitalisation of services and company processes in the coming years. In light of the related considerable future investments, we want to concentrate even more than in the past on our core business and our strengths. This involves a strong focus on chassis and complete buses over eight tons. In this context we will even more consistently implement measures to increase efficiency and cost savings, as well as streamline our European production network at the same time. The sale of our minibus plant in Dortmund takes us an important step towards that direction. Our focus was on maintaining jobs at the site and providing the plant promising prospects for the future. We are therefore very pleased that we have found a very good solution in the Aequita Group as a buyer.”

Mirko Sgodda, Head of Sales, Marketing and Aftersales at Daimler Buses, added: “Since 2008 we have been producing high-quality minibuses at the Dortmund location for use in public transport, among other applications. The highly competent team has used the past few years to renew this product range and bring the new generation of Sprinters to the market. Our goals in selling Mercedes-Benz Minibus were to secure employment at the facility and to continue production of minibuses. We are very pleased to have succeeded in doing so with the Aequita Group. My big thanks go to the employees at the site, who have made a significant contribution to the success of the Mercedes-Benz minibuses with their commitment and know-how over the past few years.”

Dr Axel Geuer, Managing Partner of the Aequita Group, commented: “We are very pleased to welcome Mercedes-Benz Minibus employees to our group. The minibus business has very good growth opportunities, which we will tackle together in a long-term partnership with Daimler. Daimler is already Aequita’s largest customer, accounting for more than 25% of our sales. We thank Daimler for the trust in us and aim to further strengthen this close partnership.”

The Dortmund plant has produced the new Sprinter generation of minibuses since 2019, and to date more than 20,000 minibuses have left the facility.