BERLIN - DaimlerChrysler's new common procurement process will share best practices of both the former Daimler-Benz and the former Chrysler side, said Hans-Joachim Schopf, head of Mercedes-Benz passenger car development.
'We will shape the future together with our suppliers,' Schopf said in a speech at the Automotive News Europe Congress. 'We will apply the (Daimler-Benz) Tandem philosophy, which focuses on long-term supplier relationships, and we will apply the (Chrysler) Score philosophy, which focuses on supplier cost management.'
Meanwhile, he said the Mercedes-Benz side is pushing for reduced in-house parts content. At the moment, Mercedes cars average 35 percent in-house content.
'With the A-class we managed to get below 30 percent in-house production, and the Smart even gets under 20 per cent.'
DaimlerChrysler will also look for synergies from parts and production. Stuttgart will be the future center for fuel cell development. Auburn Hills will be the center for electric vehicles, and Stuttgart for diesel engine development for all brands.
Future Chrysler passenger cars in Europe will be fitted with adapted Mercedes-Benz common rail diesel engines.
Schopf said internal studies have shown current diesel engines used in Chrysler cars and supplied by Detroit Diesel have lagged in fuel economy, emission reductions and production cost.
Although there will be no platform sharing for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars with any other brand there could still be plant sharing.
Asked about plans to build a new Chrysler compact car in Europe, Schopf said: 'Before we think about producing a Chrysler model in Rastatt (the
A-class factory), we first need the right Chrysler models for Europe.
'Then we can think about building the cars here. And then it is obvious that we would rather fill the lines in plants where there is excess capacity or room for expansion than set up a totally new factory.'
Speaker: Hans-Joachim Schopf
Title: Member of the management board of the Mercedes-Benz brand, responsible for passenger car development
Theme: DaimlerChrysler will try to combine best practices from the former Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler systems
Quote: 'Quality is the No. 1 factor, and there will be no compromise on top quality at Mercedes-Benz.'