The Grand Tour of German Automotive—Daimler Truck Wörth

Daimler Wörth Aerial Photo
Mercedes-Benz Wörth aerial photo

The last plant of my visits to Mercedes-Benz  as part of my Grand Tour of German Automotive, was not a car plant, but the world’s largest heavy-duty truck plant, in Wörth (albeit it is technically a separate company, not Mercedes-Benz but Daimler Truck). Seeing three parallel heavy-duty truck assembly lines popping out a truck every minute is quite impressive. And it is one of the few instances where they actually use an Exoskeleton for work rather than merely to impress others. Read on!

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The Grand Tour of German Automotive—Mercedes-Benz Rastatt

Daimler Rastatt Aerial
Mercedes-Benz Rastatt aerial photo

The third and last Mercedes-Benz (also known as Daimler) is its newest and comparatively smallest plant, in Rastatt. I have been to Rastatt many times, but this blog post is based on public information and on information from the guided tour. It is in my view the best-performing plant of Mercedes-Benz, and among the top automotive plants in Germany (albeit behind BMW and Porsche). Read on…

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The Grand Tour of German Automotive—Mercedes-Benz Bremen

Daimler Bremen Aerial Foto
Mercedes-Benz Bremen aerial photo

The second plant of Mercedes-Benz (also known as Daimler) in my Grand Tour of German Automotive was their plant in Bremen. This was also their second final assembly plant. It produces a few cars more than Sindelfingen, and hence claims to be the largest Mercedes-Benz plant by the number of cars. It was also a good and interesting visit. Keep on reading…

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The Grand Tour of German Automotive—Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen

Daimler Sindelfingen AerialMy Grand Tour of German Automotive continues now with plants from Mercedes-Benz (also known as Daimler). I visited a total of four plants from Mercedes-Benz, including all three automotive final assembly plants Sindelfingen, Bremen, and Rastatt. I also had a tour at their quite good Daimler truck plant in Wörth, the largest heavy-duty truck plant in the world.

My first tour was in Sindelfingen. I had spent quite a few months in Sindelfingen in the past, but this was long ago, and what I learned is also covered by confidentiality. Hence, for this series I relied on public plant tours combined with public knowledge.

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The Grand Tour of German Automotive—BMW Berlin Motorbikes

The last plant of BMW I visited in Germany was in Spandau, Berlin. This was different from BMW Munich and Leipzig. For one, it makes motorbikes, not cars. But its performance was also not as stellar as the best of (German) benchmark plants Leipzig and Munich. But despite some issues, it still performed on an equal level with German car plants. Let’s dig deeper.

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The Grand Tour of German Automotive—BMW Leipzig

BMW Leipzig Aerial Photo
BMW Leipzig with lots of space

The second BMW plant I visited was in Leipzig. This modern greenfield plant had a very good material flow, where especially the finger line impressed me a lot. In terms of efficiency it was the best-performing plant in Germany, shortly after Munich, and on par with Toyota. It was also exceptionally clean. The only flaw I saw was that they have the order to never stop the line… which goes against my lean philosophy. But read on.

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The Grand Tour of German Automotive—BMW Munich

BMW Munich from TV Tower
BMW Munich plant surrounded by Munich

The Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, or short BMW, is a maker of luxury vehicles, sport cars, and motorcycles. As part of my Grand Tour of German Automotive I visited their plants in Munich and Leipzig, and was quite impressed. In my view, it these are the best-performing automotive plants in Germany, and close to the performance of Toyota in Japan. I also visited their motorbike plant in Berlin, which was a bit different. Let me show you what I saw, starting with Munich.

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