Daimler is to invest US$2bn in 2011 and 2012 at its main Mercedes-Benz powertrain plant in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim.

The money is to be invested in the extension and conversion of various parts of the plant and in the launch of new products and production technologies.

“With full order books behind us, we are investing in our powertrain production to ensure it is fit to face future competition,” said Daimler manufacturing and procurement, Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans board member Wolfgang Bernhard.

“These investments represent an important contribution to the implementation of our Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy.”

The investments will be allocated to extension and conversion measures, as well as to new manufacturing technologies in the area of axle, transmission and engine production, for the new generation of compact cars for example.

Some EUR270m are earmarked for the Hedelfingen sub-plant for the ramp-up of the new dual clutch transmission, which is being deployed in the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class.

The foundry and forging works at the Mettingen sub-plant has also been brought up to scratch for the future: the production of turbocharger housings by means of a specially developed casting process was started up this year at the former grey iron foundry on the back of investments in the order of EUR65m.

Next year will also see the commissioning of a die-casting laboratory in which EUR30m will be invested. This lab will serve to simulate and optimise casting processes and to develop tool concepts.

Stuttgart’s largest industrial facility is based in the Untertürkheim city district. The core of the automobile – engines, transmissions, axles and other powertrain components – is produced at the seven sub plants, including Esslingen-Mettingen, Hedelfingen and Bad Cannstatt, with a total production and administrative workforce of around 17,000.

Powertrain and parts kits are delivered from Untertürkheim to Mercedes-Benz production plants in Germany and around the world.

On average, the powertrain production network produces axles, transmissions and engines for more than 1.5m vehicles annually, corresponding to a daily output of around 6,000 drive systems.

Full order books have led to the creation of 600 new jobs in Untertürkheim this year.