SINDELFINGEN (dpa-AFX) - Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has emphasized the importance of the automotive industry for Germany's economy. "Germany is a country in which the economy is very dependent on our success in building cars," said Scholz on Monday during a visit to Mercedes-Benz in Sindelfingen. Mercedes-Benz is directly linked to the country's history and its ability to produce vehicles and export them worldwide.

At the invitation of Works Council Chairman Ergun Lümali, Scholz first took part in a works meeting before the Chancellor went to a test track, where Scholz got behind the wheel himself. Finally, a tour of the plant was on the agenda, during which Scholz also exchanged views with employees of the car manufacturer.

According to Mercedes-Benz, high-end and luxury-class vehicles - such as the S-Class, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class and the EQS - are manufactured in Sindelfingen. A total of 35,000 employees work at the site, 21,500 of them in production. Last year, around 220,000 cars were produced in Sindelfingen, according to Mercedes-Benz./rwi/DP/nas