Mercedes-Benz is making a so-called “strategic move” by shifting its R-Class production to AM General’s Commercial Assembly Plant in Indiana.
According to officials, there has been an increasing demand in Mercedes-Benz crossovers built by the Stuttgart-based carmaker in Tuscaloosa.
As a supply solution, Mercedes-Benz will transfer the R-Class production to Indiana, where AM General would take care of the rest.
We are talking about the same AM General that gave America and the world the famous HMMWV (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) or Humvee or Hummer, its civilian alternative.
According to Daimler, production capacity of the Mercedes-Benz Tuscaloosa plant is planned to reach more than 300,000 units this year.
Therefore, previous R-Class capacity will be used for the other SUV model lines. Besides SUVs, the plant has been producing the new C-Class sedan since June 2014.
“With the introduction of the new GLE Coupé and the ongoing strong demand for SUVs, Plant Tuscaloosa needs all available production capacities for this segment,” explained Jason Hoff, President and CEO of MBUSI (Mercedes-Benz U.S. International).
The Mercedes-Benz R-Class has been offered exclusively in China since 2013. The model series, which has been sold in China as a long version with six or seven seats, continues to be popular with Chinese customers, according to German officials. Contract manufacturing at AM General is planned to start in summer 2015.