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Recognizing that propulsion can come in many forms these days, Mercedes-Benz has created a new unit that encompasses the various technologies for electric, hybrid and conventionally powered vehicles.

(Images: Mercedes-Benz)

Dubbed Mercedes-Benz Drive Systems (MBDS), the subsidiary will be responsible for traditional combustion engines and transmissions, as well as electric drivetrains, batteries and all associated hardware and software. The team will include cross-functional disciplines, including engineering, planning, purchasing, quality control and manufacturing personnel.

Benefits

Mercedes’ plug-in hybrid lineup with EQ Power systems

Mercedes says the unit will provide operating synergies, reduce development costs, improve efficiencies and speed its transformation to electrified powertrains. The company also expects improved coordination among powertrain facilities and vehicle assembly plants in terms of processes and standards.

By the end of the year, Mercedes and its Smart minicar unit are expected to have five EVs and more than 20 plug-in hybrid variants on the road. The rollout includes the new “EQ” sub-brand, which launched its first model—the EQC compact crossover—last year in Europe.

Drive Leaders

Frank Deib will lead MBDS day-to-day operations and serve as chairman of the new unit’s executive board.

(Left to right) Frank Deib, Michael Haberle (Unterturkheim Works Council Chairman), Torsten Eder, Andreas Friedrich.

A 24-year Daimler veteran, Deib will continue to head the carmaker’s production powertrain operations and oversee the giant Unterturkheim factory in Germany. He will report to Markus Schafer, the Daimler board member responsible for group research and COO of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

MBDS’ other board members include Torsten Eder and Andreas Friedrich. Eder heads Mercedes’ powertrain development efforts, while Friedrich will lead eDrive development, effective Aug. 1.

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