TUSCALOOSA, Alabama—To prepare for production of its all-electric EQ SUV, Mercedes-Benz announced a $1 billion investment into its manufacturing hub in Tuscaloosa. Mercedes reports the planned expansion will create 600 new jobs for the region.
This sizeable investment will be divested in three distinct ways, beginning with retooling and reworking portions of the primary plant in preparation for the forthcoming EQ model. This will be the first all-electric SUV from the automaker and one of the first products of the new EQ sub-brand.
Prior to the additional EQ model line, the Tuscaloosa facility currently produces all GLS, GLE, and GLE Coupe SUVs for the global market, as well as the U.S. market’s C-Class sedan. This is one of Mercedes’ busiest plants, producing more than 310,000 vehicles in 2016.
The new investment will also support the creation of a new battery production facility close to the plant. This is the fifth battery production facility for Mercedes, and it will support the automaker’s efforts to completely electrify each segment of the Mercedes lineup by 2022. Construction begins next year with full operation beginning after 2020.
A new Global Logistics Center is the third prong of the investment, providing Mercedes with stronger supply chain management and after-sales support, including the export of car kits to overseas assembly plants.
This investment follows a $1.3 billion expansion in 2015 that included revamping the SUV assembly facility and adding a new bodyshop.