Administrative centers are seen as the figurehead of successful corporate policy. Sometimes as a sign of megalomania. The Untertürkheim headquarters from 1958 with its 13 floors stood for proud restraint (there were plans for 20 floors at the time) and for the golden years of Daimler-Benz AG. The board of directors of the automotive group resided here until 1990, when Edzard Reuter and his colleagues moved to the Möhringer complex in 1990, which Jürgen E. Schrempp later called "Bullshit Castle".
When Dieter Zetsche wanted to work again in 2006, "where the action is", in other words near the production area, the first problems with the old building were already apparent. A fire protection check came to the conclusion that a basic renovation would have been necessary. The board was planning to demolish and build a new building. It should be completed in 2012.
The sales crisis in 2009 meant that the management board did not consider the demolition and new building costs to be acceptable. The new building has been postponed again and again "to make the balance sheets look better," as one supervisory board criticized. "It is a bad symbolism when the Mercedes star turns on a ruin," he criticizes and does not want to be named. The topic is known to the supervisory board and is also seen by others. "Something must finally happen!"
The board made a start two years ago. An architectural competition led to interesting opportunities, which are still not definitive to this day. In any case, the headquarters should be significantly higher than the high-rise from the fifties. And it shouldn't necessarily be built at the old location.
Now the planning seems to be moving again "and we hope that it is not just planning again", says the critic in the supervisory board. He accuses the board of directors of delaying the topic "to make the numbers look better". He points to Munich: “BMW has shown how to deal with such an industrial heritage monument. They made their four-cylinder from 1972 fit for the next 50 years, beautifully refurbished and created an additional architectural and tourist highlight like our Mercedes Museum with BMW Welt. ”For Daimler it was“ a shame that the administration tower is in ruins allow". Fortunately, the museum was built, "which would probably never have been built under Dieter Zetsche because of the high costs".