ML-Coupe to Be Built at Daimler’s Vance, AL Plant
Daimler has announced that it intends to expand the annual output at its Vance, Alabama production plant by 60,000 to accommodate needs for the new Mercedes-Benz ML-Coupe (or MLC), which is scheduled to join the luxury brand’s lineup sometime next year.
The move is the latest aspect of a five-year, $2.4 billion expansion plan, which Mercedes estimates will result in 1,400 new jobs created in the region and make it the third largest Mercedes manufacturing plant in the world.
“We’re calling 2015 the ‘Year of the SUV’ for Mercedes and Tuscaloosa because we will roll out the all-new ML Coupe and have facelifts of the ML and GL,” said Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche. “That also means more investment and yet another increase in production.”
The ML-Coupe will be a hybrid coupe/crossover based largely upon the Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupé SUV that debuted at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show.
Gallery: Precursor to the ML-Coupe, The Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupe
Including temporary employees, Mercedes’ Alabama plant boasts a workforce of more than 5,000. Production of the C-Class moved to Vance in order to accommodate high US demand, and it is expected that the ML-Coupe will be a popular choice among those looking for a small crossover with luxurious flourishes.
“The local production will enable us to supply the US market more quickly and flexibly. We will lower logistics costs and safeguard ourselves better against exchange rate fluctuations through ‘natural hedging,” said Markus Schafer, member of the board of the Mercedes-Benz Cars.
News Source: USA Today