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As the latest such announcement by China added momentum to a push for zero-emissions motoring, Daimler, Volkswagen and PSA Group made disclosures about their electric programs that could give policymakers some pause.
Planned electric Mercedes (MERCEDES.BENZ-FINANCIAL-SERVICES) models will initially be just half as profitable as conventional alternatives, Daimler warned — forcing the group to find savings by outsourcing more component manufacturing, which may in turn threaten German jobs.
"In-house production is almost irrelevant to the consumer," Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche told reporters and investors on the eve of the Frankfurt show, speaking in the midst of a German election campaign in which automotive jobs have loomed large.
Volkswagen, for its part, said it was seeking new global supplier contracts to source 50bn euros ($60bn) of electric car content including batteries, which are not yet manufactured competitively in Europe.
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