Mercedes bets $1.3 Billion on its Tuscaloosa SUV plant

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Mercedes-Benz has announced the expansion of its North American plant, set in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. A further $1.3 Billion investment will be made towards the increase of production output for future SUVs in the company’s portofolio, including hybrid variants.

An all-new body shop as well as upgraded logistics and IT systems are said to benefit the quality of American made Mercedes SUVs.

The new 1.3-million square foot – about 125,000 square meters; building will be brought up using the latest advancements in lightweight materials and modular manufacturing, with environment protection first and foremost in mind.

A seamless integration of the upgraded supply base into the Mercedes-Benz plant operations will only be possible after the complete upgrade of the plant’s Logistics. This means the IT systems dedicated to this area of expertise will make the leap to a new generation of computing power, capable of sustaining the increased volume of vehicles expected to be churned out every day by the updated Tuscaloosa plant.

Mercedes is also set to overhaul its assembly shop in Tuscaloosa. An additional 139,930 square feet will host a larger “marriage” station which is said to allow the increase in production output for a wider, increasingly diverse range of Mercedes SUVs. In case you’re wondering, this is the place where the cars literally take birth and the body is merged with the powertrain.

“With this expansion and modernization of our plant, we will create 300 new jobs and continue the success story of Mercedes-Benz in Tuscaloosa,” said Jason Hoff, President and CEO of MBUSI. “In the next years we invest $1.3 billion into the expansion of our SUV production and turn the Mercedes-Benz plant Tuscaloosa into a high-tech location,” Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board Mercedes-Benz Cars, Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management, added.

Founded in 1997, the Tuscaloosa plant has built more than 2.2 million cars. Currently, Mercedes builds here the GLE, GLE Coupe, GL (soon to be renamed GLS) and the North American market C-Class. The further investment announced today is only targeted at the expansion of the SUV assembly lines. Last year, the production volume exceeded 232,000 cars while this year Mercedes is targeting more than 300,000 vehicles.