The United States are a massive market for Mercedes-Benz, closely following Germany and China. Therefore, the German grand brand has established one of its biggest factory right there. But between the moment the cars roll of the assembly lines of the Alabama plant and the moment they hit the road, there is a rough testing procedure on the company’s test tracks.
Bumpy surfaces, plain asphalt, banked curves, artificial river beds and a bit of mud every here and there. All these make up the perfect testing scenario for the Mercedes-Benz cars made in America. Simulating all imaginable driving conditions help the company deliver the top of the line cars and SUVs by the end of the procedure. The plant is manufacturing the GLE, the GLE Coupe, the GLS and the C-Class sedan.
The vehicles are put through their paces so that their creators cut off any possible road noise, any mobile part vibration, engine rattles, bad alignment and various other problems that might – at a given moment – cause a recall on the model.
The Alabama plant has one large road track and two small one, but also an off-road course that Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, producing luxury SUVs and sedans in Tuscaloosa County, uses to make sure everything is perfect by the time it reaches customers. And so it should be, as the car maker regularly updates the testing facilities. Mercedes-Benz is currently investing $2 million to upgrade it.
“Everything must be checked and these tracks are an important step to ensure the highest level of quality”, says Andreas Ogger, quality manager at the facility.
The off-road track includes a 70% slope and an obstacle course that puts vehicles over stairs, rocks and through a creek, even though studies indicate that the vast majority of people buying SUVs exclusively use them on the road.
As for the tracks, they provide a variety of road conditions. Smooth asphalt, concrete and even cobblestones also put the tires to the test. They even fitted speed bumps on the testing circuit to make sure the car stays in one piece if it goes over them at high speed.
Photos source: Yellow Hammer News.