Mercedes-Benz is making a big investment in its Tuscaloosa, AL, factory to expand SUV production.
Mercedes-Benz first announced plans start building the C-Class at its Alabama factory back in 2009. It's taken a few years to get everything ready, but the first one finally rolled off the line on Wednesday. The milestone gave workers there enough reasons to be happy that they just couldn't help cranking up some Pharrell and dancing. Alabama governor Robert Bentley was at the plant to watch the first sedan be completed and uploaded this video of the celebration, as did local news outlet AL.com.
The United Autoworkers Union is struggling – and it is the first to admit it. With its membership dwindling after three decades of workforce cuts by Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, the union has pinned its future on organizing one of the transplants. Efforts to convince workers at Japanese-owned plants, like the Nissan factory in Smyrna, Tennessee, have fallen on deaf ears in the past, but there's now hope that the UAW might succeed at one of the newer German-owned plants.
Since settling on Alabama as its North American manufacturing base, Mercedes-Benz has produced an endless stream of SUVs at its Tuscaloosa plant. Over the years, the facility has expanded to accommodate the M-Class, GL-Class and R-Class models. And in 2014 it will start producing the C-Class for the local market as well. Now the German automaker is planning on adding yet another line.
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. Die
Tornadoes are wreaking havoc in the southern United States, causing Mercedes-Benz and Toyota to put the brakes on production at each of their respective Alabama manufacturing facilities. Mercedes-Benz builds GL-Class, M-Class and R-Class vehicles in Tuscaloosa, while Toyota's Huntsville plant produces V6 and V8 engines for the Tundra and Tacoma pickup trucks and the Sequoia sport utility vehicle.
Last week, we told you how despite the downturn, Daimler is upping its investment in the state of Michigan, coming to terms with the city of Ann Arbor to build a new hybrid and electric R&D facility. Now, Automotive News is reporting that the automaker is expected to actually expand its Vance, Alabama production plant.