Daimler may build Czech warehouse

The carmaker is looking for a site for part for the CEE region

German carmaker Daimler is looking for a location to build a distribution center for spare parts, and the Czech Republic is under consideration.

The company is planning to expand its global logistics network and is looking for a location in Central and Eastern Europe to better manage logistics of its spare parts, Evelyn Schwedes of the Daimler communications office told daily Hospodářské noviny. The exact location has not been decided, she added.

Sites in Poland are also under consideration, and the logistics center would have parts for Mercedes-Benz, according to the daily. State agency CzechInvest could neither confirm nor deny the information regarding a possible Czech site.

A Czech location would make sense regarding the expansion of Daimler's Mercedes-Benz division. The brand manufactures some of its models in Kecskemet, Hungary, and is currently spending €1 billion on a second plant there. Daimler is also planning a factory near Moscow that should open in 2018. The firm is also building a €500 million engine plant in Jawor in southwestern Poland. All of these factories will need access to parts. Increased sales in the CEE region will also mean that parts will be needed for car service and repairs.

Only a few Czech locations would meet Daimler's requirements in terms of location and size. A site in Úžice, some 20 kilometers north of Prague on the D8 highway, is one location that might be suitable. Logistics developer CTP has a warehouse at that location, but it is already almost full. CTP has more land in the area for further development. CTP did not confirm whether or not Daimler had shown interest, according to Hospodářské noviny.

The Czech Republic already has a large number of automotive parts producers due the presence of several large carmakers. Poland is also planning a highway that pass the planned Daimler engine factory and head to the Czech Republic and connect to the D11, which is still under construction.

Mercedes-Benz currently operates the world's largest automotive logistics center in Germersheim, Germany. It has over 1 million square meters of storage and uses 2,900 employees. It has 420,000 different parts of the brands Mercedes-Benz, smart and FUSO.

The new CEE distribution center planned by Daimler should have 250,000 sqm. Construction of such a hall in the Czech Republic would come to over Kč 3 billion counting land and the cost of equipment and new technologies.

The Czech Republic due to its central location is a popular site for logistics centers. Online retailer Amazon opened a 95,000 sqm fulfillment center in 2015 in Dobrovíz, west of Prague. It was an investment of Kč 2 billion counting the cost of the land.

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