DaimlerChrysler joint venture with TKA stalls

Dusseldorf. Employees at steering systems company Mercedes-Benz Lenkungen GmbH are baffled why six months after DaimlerChrysler announced the subsidiary would start a joint venture with ThyssenKrupp Automotive AG (TKA) in Bochum the project is still very much up in the air.

"Unbelievable," was the short comment by IG Metall. The two corporations concerned don't have much to say either. A spokesperson for TKA, which is supposed to take over 60% of the joint venture, said: "We are still negotiating." Legal details supposedly still need to be discussed and it is hoped that an agreement will be reached in 2003.

DaimlerChrylser also mentioned "legal reasons" for the delay but said they are just a formality and that the contract will soon be signed.

One thing is certain because a 10-year contract was signed recently: DaimlerChrysler will assemble one version of the new VW transporter LT3 at the Sprinter plant in Dusseldorf. Another version, probably with an open loading area, will be built at the DaimlerChrysler plant in Ludwigsfelde.

The production of the LT3 at the Dusseldorf plant from 2006 will compensate the factory for the loss of the Sprinter successor. DaimlerChrysler will transfer part of the Sprinter production to Ludwigsfelde where the Vaneo s manufactured.

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