Mercedes-Benz Celebrates 20 Years in Alabama

Feb 16, 2017 10:55 AM EST | Joyce Vega

Twenty years ago, Alabama entered the auto industry with the production of the first M-Class vehicle at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa County. Alabama is turning out more than a million vehicles a year. Alabama accomplished that number through the work of Mercedes, Honda, and Hyundai, along with the hundreds of suppliers who followed.

Mercedes-Benz is a global automobile manufacturer. The brand is known for luxury vehicles, buses, coaches, and trucks. The Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Sport Utility and the full-sized GL-Class Luxury Sport Utility vehicle are all built at the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International production facility near Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

According to WIAT, February 14th of 2017 marked the 20th anniversary of the first vehicle manufactured at the Mercedes-Benz car plant in Vance. The plant which employs around 3,500 people, has rolled more than 2.5 million vehicles off their production lines. Vehicles such as GLS SUV, C-Class sedan, GLE Coupe, and the GLE. Mercedes has invested more than 4 billion dollars into their production facilities in Alabama. CEO Jason Hoff reported that he is looking forward to continuing to produce quality cars to provide a major economic impact for Tuscaloosa County. These are exciting times for the company.

According to web portal Alabama, Governor Robert Bentley said that the state’s partnership with Mercedes is stronger than ever. He said that the positive business climate they have created in the state has allowed the auto industry to continue to grow in the city of Vance and beyond, which makes Alabama one of the top auto=producing states in the country.

Twenty years ago, Alabama used the Mercedes opening as a way to recast the state’s image. In May 1997, M-Class was unveiled and 6,000 people from approximately 60 countries were present there. Later in 1997, the M-Class was named Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year. Mercedes-Benz contributes an estimated $1.5 billion in economic impact to Alabama. According to Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield, the entry of Mercedes-Benz into Alabama changed the state forever.

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