Daimler Truck AG will become a major anchor shareholder in German high-tech engineering company Manz AG through a capital increase of around ten percent, subject to approval by the relevant antitrust authorities. In addition, in a first step both companies have signed a cooperation agreement on a strategic partnership to establish a pilot line for the production of lithium-ion battery cells and for the assembly of batteries at Daimler Truck’s Mannheim site. Within the framework of this partnership, both companies will pool their expertise and develop further projects for their joint future. The aim is to develop innovative battery technology and associated production processes for trucks and buses.
Manz AG is a globally active high-tech machine manufacturer with a focus on the automotive industry and electro mobility. The Reutlingen-based company has more than ten years of process and product experience in plant engineering for cell and battery production. With this investment, Daimler Truck is taking a strategically important step in the design of CO2-neutral transport and in the transformation from conventional drive systems to alternative drive technologies.
Dr. Andreas Gorbach, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck Holding AG and in this function responsible for Truck Technology: “The partnership between Daimler Truck and Manz forms an essential cornerstone of our battery strategy. We aim to be the innovation leader in the commercial vehicle industry. To do so, it is fundamental to have battery cells that meet the extremely specific requirements in trucks and buses. The prerequisite for this is the very close integration of product development and the development of production processes. Together with Manz, we will shape this requirement – our pilot line for the production of battery cells at the Mercedes-Benz plant Mannheim is a key step in this direction.”
The Mercedes-Benz plant Mannheim is the competence center for battery technologies and high-voltage systems at Daimler Truck. Mannheim already supplies the Mercedes-Benz plant Wörth with battery packs for series production of the all-electric eActros.
In the so-called “InnoLab Battery” in Mannheim, development and production areas work closely together to generate innovative market solutions for trucks and buses. In the future, the company’s own lithium-ion battery cells will be developed here, produced on a pilot line and assembled into complete battery systems. Over 60 new machines and systems will be set up in the coming months in the approximately 10,000 square meter InnoLab. By the end of 2024, the research findings will be incorporated into the development of Daimler Truck’s battery-electric product platform. The “InnoLab Battery” thus lays the foundation for the future competence of proprietary battery technology within Daimler Truck and generates knowledge for the production of lithium-ion battery cells and their commercial vehicle-specific application. The findings from this lab will also form the basis for future decisions regarding the manufacturing depth for own battery systems.
Yaris Pürsün, Head of Global Powersystems Operation Daimler Truck: “Our InnoLabs are working on the further development of the drive systems of the future: from prototyping to preparing for possible series production. With this partnership, we will create benchmark solutions for the production of battery electric drive technologies in Europe. Our goal here is to be pioneers in the commercial vehicle industry and offer competitively differentiated solutions for our customers.”
Martin Drasch, CEO of Manz AG: “The strategic cooperation with Daimler Truck as one of the world’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturers reflects our strong position as an innovation driver and technology leader in the field of lithium-ion battery production. Manz has decades of experience in process & product development in the battery sector as well as proven expertise in the realization of large-scale projects. With our innovative production concepts and solutions for the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries, we are therefore the ideal partner to successfully play an active role in shaping Daimler Truck’s electrification strategy.”