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Daimler Planning New North American Plant

Maker looking at options in U.S. and Mexico.

by on Jan.25, 2012

The new Mercedes plant would likely produce a version of the next-gen A-Class - and possibly the Infiniti Etherea, as well.

Hoping to gain a leg up on its luxury market rivals, Daimler AG is looking at adding at least two more plants to its global production network – one in China and the other some place in North America.

The new plants could be a critical step in regaining the global sales lead as Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand battles key rivals BMW and Volkswagen’s Audi brand.  Mercedes narrowly lost the U.S. sales crown to the Bavarians in 2011.

Mercedes officials told Germany’s Manager Magazin the plan is to double the brand’s worldwide output to 2.7 million by 2020.  It sold 1.26 million Mercedes-badged vehicles in 2011, about 120,000 less than BMW. Significantly, the publication said Daimler is aiming for a 10% operating margin by the end of this decade.

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One of the questions TheDetroitBureau.com is hoping to resolve is what role Nissan will play in the selection and operation of a new Mercedes plant in North America.  Could Daimler be looking at adding production capacity of its own alongside a new Nissan facility newly announced for Mexico?

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Mercedes Adding New Model at U.S. Plant

All new product will be fifth in Tuscaloosa.

by on Oct.21, 2011

Mercedes-Benz will add an all-new model at its Alabama assembly plant.

Daimler AG plans to spend $350 million to produce another model at it US production center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, starting in 2015, and also plans to add jobs next year at its Western Star truck plant in Portland, Oregon.

The entirely new Mercedes-Benz model will roll off the production line as its fifth product and is expected to add some 400 additional jobs at the plant.

Tuscaloosa has been the production site of the Mercedes-Benz M-, GL-, and R-Class SUVs and is also slated to start build the Mercedes-Benz C-Class for the North American market beginning 2014.

Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Daimler Board of Management and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said the new model coming to Tuscaloosa is part of the company’s plans to broaden its product line.

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“This new model from the Tuscaloosa plant is an important element of our growth strategy. It is one of the ten additional models which we will introduce within the next four years alone across all segments,” said the CEO, adding that, “At the same time, we are systematically broadening our manufacturing footprint in the NAFTA region.”

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Mercedes Adding Coupe-Like SUV to Alabama Line-up

Maker also introducing its most powerful compact ever.

by on Jul.25, 2011

Mercedes unveils the most powerful C-Class ever.

Mercedes-Benz isn’t slowing down its product proliferation program.  The maker, once limited to a handful of models such as the C, E and S-Class sedans, now has a broad range of sedans, coupes, crossovers and SUVs – and will add a new model that apparently blends the off-road capabilities of its M-Class line with the sleek coupe-like shape of its CLS sedan.

Reports indicate the new model will be one of the new additions to go into the Mercedes plant in Vance, Alabama.  The maker has announced that it will spent about $2 billion to upgrade the factory – more than twice the original cost of the plant.  Among other things, the investment will permit Mercedes to produce its C-Class model in Alabama, as well.

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The C-Class line-up will also be getting bigger, the German maker revealed, with the 2012 launch of the new C63 AMG Coupe Black Series.  It will be the most powerful version ever in the compact line – originally known as the Baby Benz.  Powered by a 6.3-liter V-8 developed specifically for the AMG brand-within-a-brand, the Black Series coupe will make 510 horsepower and should launch from 0 to 60 in about 4.2 seconds, Mercedes says.

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