Daimler May Shift Production To U.S.

STUTTGART, Germany (AP) -- German carmaker Daimler AG is considering whether to move some production of its Mercedes-Benz C-Class models to Alabama from Germany, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

The daily Stuttgarter Zeitung reported, without citing sources, that the company's management is mulling whether to move production of the C-Class from its Sindelfingen plant, in the Stuttgart suburbs, to Tuscaloosa.

That would allow the company to take advantage of lower labor and other costs and avoid swings in the value of the U.S. dollar against the euro, and would leave Bremen as the only German site producing the C-Class, the newspaper said.

Daimler builds a C-Class four door sedan, a two-door sedan and a station wagon. The report didn't specify which models could be affected.

Daimler spokesman Markus Mainka said that "there is neither a decision nor a recommendation on C-Class location politics." He declined to comment further on the matter.

The Stuttgarter Zeitung reported that, if Daimler did move C-Class production, it could move some production of the SL roadster from Bremen to Sindelfingen.

Still, Erich Klemm, the head of Daimler's employee council, told The Associated Press that moving production could cost about 3,000 jobs at Sindelfingen alone.

"We expect a plan from the company that would secure jobs at the German locations," he said. "We demand that the management comes to a reasonable decision regarding the Sindelfingen and Bremen locations."

Daimler shares were about a third of a percent lower at €34.30 ($50.70) in Frankfurt morning trading.

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