Daimler is investing $1 billion in its Tuscaloosa, Ala., assembly plant that will include a new battery plant and the creation of 600 jobs, the company announced.
The investment will transform the plant's operational capabilities so it can produce electrified passenger cars and SUV models for the company's EQ brand, which will roll off the plant's assembly line after 2019. The first EQ vehicle will be known as the EQC.
Mercedes-Benz plans to offer electrified versions of its entire lineup by 2022, including models powered by 48-volt systems.
The company is still working out the final details of the plant upgrade with the state of Alabama.
In addition to the electrification initiative, the company will expand its logistics activities by building a Global Logistics Center and North American after-sales hub to export car kits to global assembly plants and spare parts from the U.S. and North America to worldwide markets.
The Alabama plant, which is known as MBUSI (Mercedes-Benz U.S. International), now builds the GLE, GLS and GLE Coupé. The company is planning to develop a range of plug-in hybrid SUV models.
Mercedes-Benz exports more than 70% of its SUVs to global markets. With an earlier investment of $1.3 billion announced in 2015, the plant is currently being expanded to prepare for the production of the next SUV generation that includes the hybrid models. The plant expansion includes a new body shop, major enhancements to the SUV assembly shop as well as upgraded logistics and IT systems.
Originally posted on Automotive Fleet