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Germany’s Daimler to start talks on sale of plant in France

BERLIN (AP) — German automaker Daimler said Friday it plans to start talks on selling its plant in Hambach, France, where it has made the Smart compact car for years.

Daimler currently has some 1,600 employees at Hambach in eastern France. CEO Ola Kallenius said in a statement that the company is working to increase efficiency in the light of high investments in electrification and other areas, and on top of that “the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy are creating new framework conditions in the market.”

Board member Markus Schaefer said that “an important goal for us is to secure the future of the location.” Another condition for the potential sale is that the current Smart models continue to be produced at Hambach, he added.

The next generation of Smart electric cars is to be produced in China.

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