Daimler Increases Mercedes Production in Alabama by 60K Vehicles

Sep 06, 2014 07:43 AM EDT | Matt Mercuro

Daimler will increase output at its Alabama Mercedes-Benz plant by 60,000 vehicles annually as it increases production of the C-Class sedan.

The automaker is also adding a new sports utility vehicle, the ML Coupe, Daimler's chief executive officer said this week.

Dieter Zetsche, Daimler's Chairman and Mercedes-Benz Head, made a visit to Daimler's plant in Tuscaloose on Aug. 5, where he gave specific numbers to the additional production that Daimler signaled in June.

Zetsche said the expansion in capacity will also bring along the advantage of "yet another increase in production," according to a Mercedes-Benz press release.

The company started production for the C-Class sedan back in June in Alabama, according to Reuters.

Last year, the German automaker produced 185,000 vehicles, like the GL-Class SUVs and ML-Class, at its Alabama manufacturing plant.

Zetsche said to community groups in Tuscaloose that the plant currently employs 3,400 works, according to the press release.

He added that the Tuscaloose plant has built more than 2 million vehicles since it first opened 20 years ago.

Daimler's best-selling model is the C-Class sedan, which is currently being made in Germany and South Africa before Alabama production began three months ago.

"North America is one of the places where we see growing demand," Zetsche said. "Capacity logically has to be installed where this growing demand is expected."

Total Mercedes production capacity in the U.S. is expected to reach 300,000 by 2015, meaning about 50 percent of all vehicles sold by the brand in the U.S. next year will be manufactured in Alabama.

Daimler also confirmed this week that it had purchased mytaxi and RideScout, two smartphone applications that could help the Mercedes-Benz limousines maker provide services to people who do not own cars.

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