VITORIA, Spain - A day after the shareholders' meeting, Daimler-Benz announced a new DM30 million ($17 million) investment for a model maintenance package at its truck plant here. The investment may help the plant make a few more units daily. The Vitoria plant produced a total of 78,000 units in 1997 (64,000 commercial vehicles and 14,000 V-class luxury vans, left).
Volker Heuer, chief executive officer of Mercedes-Benz Espana SA, wants to boost production to 80,000 units.
Vitoria is currently operating three shifts and producing 362 units per day.
Wages in the Basque country are 50 percent below German wages, which permits the use of labor-intensive processes without raising costs. The plant uses 174 local suppliers, and outsources about 60 percent of the production. Only 8 percent of the Vitos and V-class vans stay in Spain.