Mercedes-Benz Will Bring All-New SUV to Alabama Plant
Luxury auto brand Mercedes-Benz has big plans for the next decade. Recently, at a Daimler Group Annual Press Conference in Stuttgart, the company’s CEO Dieter Zetsche laid out the brand’s aggressive plan to introduce 13 new models over the next eight years. All of these vehicles will be completely new to the brand, with no true predecessor model. Some of these vehicles include a reworked Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan, a four-door Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class coupe, a revamped flagship Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan, and a completely new Mercedes-Benz SUV, which will be added to the company’s production line in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
According to reports from Dieter Zetsche, the new SUV will most likely be added in 2015 as the fifth of the thirteen new models, and it will be the only new model to be produced in the U.S. Earlier reports stated that a mystery vehicle would be added to the Tuscaloosa County production lines, and now we know what kind of vehicle it will be!
Zetsche explains, “At our plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, we are currently preparing for the production of another new SUV: an especially dynamic all-terrain vehicle. You will hear more about that soon.” The Mercedes-Benz exec. does not elaborate further. A prototype of the new SUV (which is still without an official name) was recently shown to the state’s governor, Robert Bently and several local officials during a visit to Stuttgart.
Currently, the Tuscaloosa County plant produces Mercedes-Benz M-Class and GL-Class SUVs and Mercedes-Benz R-Class crossover vehicles. A new generation of the popular Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan will also be added to the Vance plant later this year, with the first new model likely appearing in early 2014.
Over the next two years, Mercedes-Benz will invest over 21 billion euro in research and development for its equipment and plants to battle BMW and VW for the number one automaker spot. (The company is currently in third place). Zetsche also recently noted that the upcoming Mercedes-Benz S-Class Series will make its world debut in the middle of this year. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is arguably the brand’s most important vehicle.
In a response to the fact that the S-Class is regarded as a symbol of luxury and the symbol of the impressive nature of German engineering, Zetsche also notes, “[Mercedes-Benz] will live up to this reputation once again with this new model: in terms of fuel consumption and safety as well as comfort and design. Plus, there will be unprecedented choice in models at the top end of our portfolio. In the coming years, we will launch five versions of the new S-Class.” The five model variants of the new S-Class are expected to include the standard and long-wheelbase models, a convertible, a coupe, and a flagship limousine.
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