The Basque Country and the Daimler Mercedes Benz Group to seek to further consolidate their partnership in areas such as the Basque supplier network, dual VT and R&D&i
- The multinational Daimler Mercedes Benz has reiterated its commitment to the Vitoria-Gasteiz plant
- Lehendakari: “Germany and the Basque Country are growing together in the industrial and in the automotive sector”
Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu, the Basque Premier, met with senior executives of the Daimler Automotive Group, the owner of the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vitoria, in Stuttgart (Germany) today. The multinational Daimler has confirmed that it will continue to be committed to the future of the Vitoria plant and has agreed to work with the Basque Government to study lines of cooperation linked to R&D&i, to dual vocational training and to the involvement of Basque suppliers in their production processes. When taking stock of the day, the Lehendakari stressed that "Germany and the Basque Country are growing together in the industrial and in the automotive sector".
Lehendakari Urkullu held several meetings with the Senior Executive of Mercedes Benz Vans and member of the Board of Directors, Wilfried Porth; the Executive Vice-President and Head of the Vans Division, as well as with the Director of the Vitoria-Gasteiz Plant, Emilio Titos. The Lehendakari was accompanied by the Basque Government’s Minister for Economic Development and Competitiveness, Arantxa Tapia, the General Secretary for External Action, Marian Elorza, and the Internationalisation Director, Ainhoa Ondarzabal.
R&D&I in the Basque Country
The Daimler Group and the Basque Government will study the possibility of part of the automotive multinational’s technology development being carried out from the Basque Country. The Lehendakari told the Mercedes Benz managers that the Basque Country has the skills to work with and provide value added to the company through the stakeholders of the Basque Science, Technology and Innovation Network. The network already has the Automotive Intelligence Center (AIC), a specific centre exclusively devoted to collaborative research in different automotive technologies,
Another of the areas to be studied is the possible involvement of Basque suppliers in the development of Mercedes Benz services and products. In this regard, the Basque Government is willing to make further progress in improving the set of companies comprising the supplier and auxiliary industries in order to ensure that they meet the company's requirements.
On the other hand, both parties concurred in the positive appraisal of the outcomes of the dual training model. The Basque Government and the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vitoria-Gasteiz currently have a signed partnership agreement in place to bring the professional profiles of the student in line with the technical needs of the company. Both parties have stressed their commitment to this programme that leads to obtaining the "Certificate of Specialisation in Managing Means of Production in Highly Automated Industry"
Lehendakari Urkullu stressed that the Basque Country considers Germany to be “within close reach” as 85 Basque companies are set up there. It is the destination of 14% of Basque exports and the source of 12% of imports. The Lehendakari also recalled the strategic importance of the automotive sector in the Basque Country, which employs 36,000 people. Mercedes Benz alone accounts for 2.9% of the Basque GDP and directly employs 3,500 people.
The Lehendakari stressed that Daimler is an example in basic areas of Basque economic policy, such as innovation and public-private partnership, on the one hand, and training and management on a global market and the internationalisation of the company, on the other hand. “Germany and the Basque Country are growing together in the industrial and in the automotive sector,” pointed out Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu.