Nearly 18 years have passed since Daimler-Benz AG (now Daimler AG) selected Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, as the home for its first passenger vehicle plant outside of Germany. Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI) is now deep into its second chapter of life, creating new products and expanding its impact on the Tuscaloosa community and the State of Alabama.
Initially, only one vehicle was produced in the plant - the M-Class sport utility vehicle. The M-Class exceeded all expectations and more than 570,000 were built during the vehicle's eight-year life cycle. That success paved the way for a $600-million expansion, completed in 2004, which doubled the size of the plant and production capacity. A $290,000 million expansion of the plant’s Body Shop was announced in 2009 to help the plant prepare for successor products. Starting in 2014, the Tuscaloosa plant also will produce the successor generation of the current C-Class exclusively for the North American market.
Today, three vehicles are built at the Tuscaloosa facility: the second-generation M-Class, the R-Class Sports Tourer and the GL-Class luxury SUV. The $1.3 billion facility has a vehicle capacity of about 160,000 vehicles, our products are sold in more than 135 countries around the world and the plant employs approximately 3,000 "Team Members" or employees - significantly more than the 1,500 originally planned.
The new and expanded facility exceeds 3.2 million square feet and spans almost one mile from end to end and includes Assembly, Body and Paint shops.
FACT: MBUSI is responsible for more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs in the region, and has an annual economic impact of more than $1.5 billion. MBUSI also has become the state's largest exporter, with more than $1 billion in exports each year to countries throughout the world. Roughly two-thirds of the components used in MBUSI-built vehicles come from North American suppliers, and about 30 first- and second-tier suppliers are now located in Alabama.