VANCE, Alabama – Workers at Alabama’s Mercedes-Benz plant have produced an all-new model that the company calls the peak of SUV luxury.
The first customer-ready Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 built in Alabama rolled off the assembly line at the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International facility in Tuscaloosa County in September.
Mercedes unveiled the vehicle late last year, saying that it represents a new form of luxury in the SUV segment, as the Maybach badge is reserved for the highest-quality equipment and appointments.
Features include a powerful yet discreet V8 engine, advanced suspension systems for a smooth and comfortable ride; automatic and illuminated running boards, and electrically operated roller sun blinds on the rear side windows.
“Its spacious interior with the highest-grade materials and extremely effective noise insulation creates a stylish, cocoon-like feel-good atmosphere,” the automaker said.
Other features include temperature-controlled cup holders and a fragrance generator system.
Starting prices have been estimated at $200,000 by industry trade reports.
For more than 20 years, Alabama’s Mercedes-Benz workers have produced luxury vehicles for drivers worldwide, and their success speaks for itself, said Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.
“The company continues to place enormous trust in their skill and craftsmanship, and the Mercedes-Maybach GLS will be the latest in a long line of winners for the Alabama plant,” Secretary Canfield said.
In unveiling the vehicle, Mercedes discussed the attention to detail involved in the production process.
At MBUSI, a dedicated Mercedes-Maybach team produces the specific interior equipment and appointments by hand in a separate area.
“The team members, selected based on their skills and knowledge, were trained for this at the Mercedes-Maybach Manufaktur hand-finishing facility in Germany. Two team members are responsible for the complete finishing of each car, which takes place away from the assembly process for the other SUV models. Before and after these stations, the Mercedes-Maybach GLS models are sent to Mercedes-Benz SUV production for final acceptance.”
Further, the company added, the Mercedes-Maybach specialists assume a high level of personal responsibility and identify strongly with the product.
“Particular attention is paid to the careful handling of the high-grade interior appointments with a high proportion of nappa leather and wood trim parts. The entire process, from the production of these parts by the highly specialized suppliers to assembly by the specially trained team members to final acceptance, is geared towards achieving a flawless result.”
Mercedes parent Daimler has invested more than $6 billion in the Alabama auto assembly plant, which has produced more than 3 million vehicles since 1997. The product lineup includes the Mercedes GLS and GLE SUVs and GLE Coupe.
The automaker is making a major investment in Alabama to produce electric vehicles and is building a battery assembly facility.
(Courtesy of Made in Alabama)
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