Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa/Alabama starts production as the third location in the global C-Class production network
New Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan extends plant's traditional production program of SUV models M-, R-, and GL-Class
Markus Schäfer: "For the first time, the C-Class is manufactured also in Tuscaloosa – the team has done an excellent job in mastering this challenge."
Mercedes-Benz has started production of the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class at its U.S. plant in Tuscaloosa/Alabama. With this, the third location in the global C-Class production network has begun manufacturing. The new C-Class sedan is made for the first time in Tuscaloosa and extends the plant's traditional production program of the SUV models of the M-, R-, and GL-Class. The sedan of Mercedes-Benz' highest volume model line is the first model to be produced on four continents: Following the ramp-ups in Bremen, Germany (February), East London, South Africa (May), and now Tuscaloosa, the production location in Beijing, China will begin manufacturing shortly.
Markus Schäfer, Divisional Board Member Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain Management: "With the successful start of production at the Tuscaloosa plant, we are expanding our C-Class capacities and are ready for the market launch in the USA and Canada in the fall. For the first time, the C-Class is manufactured also in Tuscaloosa – the team has done an excellent job in mastering this challenge."
The Bremen plant, in its capacity as the so-called lead plant, is controlling global production of the C-Class – from the tooling strategy to the training of the colleages from the international plants to production quality. With this, the company ensures top quality at all production sites from the outset. In total, some 500 employees from the international plants - among them more than 100 from Tuscaloosa - completed intensive training also in Germany in order to pass on their knowledge as multipliers in their respective home plants.
Jason Hoff, Head of the Mercedes-Benz Tuscaloosa plant: "Many of our Team Members have spent weeks and months in Germany getting to know the C-Class and the technologies associated with this product. Thanks to our highly qualified and motivated team, we are optimally prepared to write the next chapters of our success story 'made by Mercedes-Benz in Alabama'."
About the Mercedes-Benz Tuscaloosa plant
The Tuscaloosa plant (Mercedes-Benz U.S. International - MBUSI) was founded in 1995 and started production of the Mercedes-Benz M-Class in 1997, later joined by the SUVs of the GL- and R-Class. In 2013, the plant manufactured more than 185,000 vehicles with more than 3,000 employees. As of 2014, the Tuscaloosa plant produces the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan and is hence one of the four locations of a global production network with the German lead plant in Bremen, the South African plant in East London, and the Chinese production site Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. (BBAC). In 2015, an entirely new Mercedes-Benz model will roll off the production line as the Tuscaloosa plant’s fifth product. Mercedes-Benz has provided an outlook on this model with the Concept SUV Coupe, which was presented at the Auto China in Beijing in April 2014.