Mercedes To Invest $1 Billion in Alabama Electric Vehicle Project
According to Made in Alabama, Mercedes-Benz announced on Thursday that it plans to invest one billion dollars in its Tuscaloosa operation, where it will begin production of electric vehicles and build a battery plant. The German automaker is also set to expand its logistics operations across the country, with a new North American after-sales parts hub and Global Logistics Center set to be built in Bibb County.
Mercedes’s new investment is on track to create over 600 new Alabama jobs, and upgrade one of the world’s “smartest” manufacturing facilities. The automaker began production at its Vance manufacturing facility 20 years ago, sparking an automotive boom for the Yellowhammer state. Mercedes said its Alabama plant is already undergoing a $1.3 billion expansion that will position it to shape the future of electric mobility worldwide.
“With this $1 billion investment, we are significantly growing our manufacturing footprint here in Alabama, while sending a clear message to our customers across the U.S. and around the world: Mercedes-Benz will continue to be on the cutting-edge of electric vehicle development and production,” said a member of the divisional board of Mercedes Cars, production and supply chain, Markus Schafer.
Mercedes will begin producing its EQ brand SUV models in Alabama by 2020. The automaker hopes to offer more than 50 various electric vehicle models by 2022. Currently, the Tuscaloosa plant produces the GLS, GLE, and GLE Coupé sport utilities, as well as the C-Class sedan. The plant is also being prepared to produce plug-in hybrids.
Construction on the one million square foot battery facility is set to begin next year. The Bibb County Global Logistics Center will support the company’s worldwide logistics for its Alabama-made products. Moreover, the North American after-sales parts hub located on the same site will provide spare parts to markets around the world. It is set to open in late 2020.
Mercedes has a continuing history of investment in the state of Alabama. The automaker originally invested $325 million in the state. However, with the expansion announced on Thursday, the company will have invested a total of $6.8 billion in the Yellowhammer state in just over 20 years. Mercedes has been and will continue to be the leading contributor to economic development in the state.
“The fact that Mercedes-Benz continues to expand its operations in Alabama makes a powerful statement about the quality of the automaker’s workforce in the state, and underscores that we are achieving our goal of ensuring businesses in Alabama don’t just survive, but thrive,” Governor Kay Ivey said.