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Mercedes-Benz has just announced that the German automaker will invest more than $2 billion into its Tuscaloosa, Alabama manufacturing facility. The cash is slated to go toward production of current the current M-Class, though funds will also go toward producing the next-generation GL-Class and C-Class at the factory. The funds will also be used to expand the overall capacity of the plant. The announcement came at a Job 1 celebration to mark the creation of the first production 2012 M-Class. Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz cars, said that the Tuscaloosa plant continues to serve as the blueprint for the automaker's facilities outside of Germany.

Mercedes-Benz also took the opportunity to announce that the company would donate an additional $100,000 to Alabama tornado relief and recovery efforts. The latest donation brings the company's total contribution up to $1.1 million. The Tuscaloosa community was struck by an EF4 tornado last April that took the lives of 32 people. Click past the jump for Benz's official press release.
Show full PR text
Daimler AG Invests more than 2 Billion USD into the Mercedes-Benz U.S. Plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA

Jul 21, 2011
Investments for the production of current and future model lines and capacity expansions

First all-new M-Class customer vehicle produced

Dr. Dieter Zetsche: "We're continuing to write new chapters of the Tuscaloosa plant's success story with significant investments into the future."

Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA – On the occasion of the production of the first new Mercedes-Benz M-Class customer vehicle at the Mercedes-Benz Tuscaloosa plant (Mercedes-Benz U.S. International - MBUSI), Daimler AG announced significant investments for its North American passenger cars plant. A total amount of more than 2 billion US dollars is invested for the production of the new M-Class, the successor generations of the GL-Class and the C-Class, and the expansion of production capacities.

Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Daimler Board of Management and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: "We're continuing to write new chapters of the plant's success story with significant investments into the future. Tuscaloosa was the first production location of Mercedes-Benz Cars ever outside Germany, and today it is among our best. As our 'pioneering plant', it is also the blueprint for our new operations in emerging markets." In a special address to the entire MBUSI team, Zetsche highlighted their contributions: "A big thank you to the team that helped us get that far – all of you."

MBUSI hosted a special new M-Class "Job 1" Celebration on July 20th in which Markus Schaefer, President and CEO of MBUSI, welcomed the 2,800 MBUSI team members, as well as guests including Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox. Also attending the ceremony with Dr. Dieter Zetsche were Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, board member Production and Procurement Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans, Dr. Thomas Weber, board member Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars development, and Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, Mercedes-Benz Cars.

Referring to the production launch of the new M-Class, Schaefer said: "Demand for the M-Class in our 14 years of production has clearly surpassed all our expectations – in terms of sales, customer loyalty, and popularity. And customers will soon recognize that our all-new M-Class is again setting new benchmarks in the SUV segment – in terms of efficiency, safety, agility, driving enjoyment and design."
Schaefer also pointed out the value of the outstanding community relations which MBUSI enjoys: "Today, we also celebrate the successful cooperation we have had with the State of Alabama and local governments since we first announced our decision to come to Alabama. We truly appreciate this leadership. "

Looking back at the disaster of the tornados that hit the South of the U.S. and especially the City of Tuscaloosa on April 27, 2011, Schaefer also announced that MBUSI will donate an additional 100,000 US dollars to Alabama tornado relief and recovery efforts. On May 05, Daimler and MBUSI had committed a cash donation of 1 million US dollars to a number of charities in West and Central Alabama to support emergency and reconstruction projects and to help the Alabama community begin on this path to recovery.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      Danny Eckel
      • 4 Years Ago
      I always like reading about plant expansions and upgrades. Even though as for helping our economy it's a drop in the bucket it's a drop in the right direction.
        Matt
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Danny Eckel
        Nationally, it's a tiny drop. Locally, in Tuscaloosa, it's a huge job creator. If every city had the benefit of a $2B industrial investment it would be a totally different year in our economy, I'm ecstatic to hear that Mercedes is doing their part.
      1guyin10
      • 4 Years Ago
      Its good to see someone using the US as an export base.
      Richard S.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Building the C-Class here is a good move. It will help MB increase sales vis-a-vis BMW's 3-Series. The question is, does BMW bring the 3-Series production to South Carolina?
      RJC
      • 4 Years Ago
      Excellent news. Foreign investment, possibly more jobs, in this country. Also, a cut to the trade deficit if machinery and services are sourced locally.
        stclair5211
        • 4 Years Ago
        @RJC
        Cut to the trade deficit? lol Yeah, ok. This won't even register.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @RJC
        [blocked]
      darkness
      • 4 Years Ago
      Alabama sucks, from the weather to the lil republicans with their stupid beiber mop haircuts.
      rlog100
      • 4 Years Ago
      They're here to avoid the Chick Law Tarriff because as we know, protectionism doesn't work.
      Adrian
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wonder if this will change the European Delivery Program on the C-Class. Also hoping that build qualities on these models do not slip. The current M-Class that is produced in Tuscaloosa has done well quality-wise, but the first generations were known to be amongst the worst in their class for reliability.
      Justin Garak
      • 4 Years Ago
      And UAW think they have a right to unionize this plant? LAUGH ME A RAINBOW
        Matt
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Justin Garak
        UAW did try to unionize the Tuscaloosa plant in 2003.. AND FAILED MISERABLY!!! +1 for the good guys :)
      founerra
      • 4 Years Ago
      If they even try to build the Mercs in Seattle, I am going to burn it down.
      Carman
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is this Mercedes money, or money they stole from Chrysler? Just asking...
        Matt
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Carman
        Naa.. just money they didn't have to pay the UAW :)
      imoore
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not to nit-pick, here, but that should be Vance, not Tuscaloosa. The plant is in the Vance city limit. Tuscaloosa only annexed the thin strip of right-of-way alongside the interstate to supply utility lines because Vance's utility systems were not large enough to handle the demands of the Mercedes plant. As for the M-Class, it's okay.
        Matt
        • 4 Years Ago
        @imoore
        It is in Vance, which is in Tuscaloosa County. And, since nobody knows where Vance is, even Mercedes refers to it as the Tuscaloosa assembly plant.
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