Production of Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé Starts in the U.S.
Mercedes-Benz has dubbed 2015 as the year of the SUV for the brand, with the majority of its SUV portfolio being renewed, including the model update of the GLE (former M-Class). The GLE Coupé is a completely new series of Mercedes-Benz. It combines typical attributes of a coupé with the versatility and robust nature of a SUV. Mercedes-Benz thus expects additional sales momentum in this year. In 2014, Mercedes-Benz Cars as a whole set new records with over 1.75 million vehicles produced and more than 1.74 million sold.
In March 2015, Mercedes-Benz increased its U.S. sales by 9.2 percent to 29,921 passenger cars and set a new sales record on monthly basis. Sales of C-Class increased by almost 35 percent to 7,635 units. In the first quarter, U.S. sales grew by 7.6 percent to 78,156 passenger cars. Worldwide sales of Mercedes-Benz in the first three months of 2015 increased around 14.8 percent to 429,602 units, making it the first quarter with the strongest sales in the history of Mercedes-Benz. The SUV models enjoy great popularity: Since the beginning of the year, sales grew by 31.9 percent to 107,321 vehicles.
"For more than 20 years, we have been successfully building sport utility vehicles in Alabama for the world market. We have had three keys to our success here. First, we have an excellent partnership with the State of Alabama. Second, we are integrated in the global production network of Mercedes-Benz. And third, we have a fantastic workforce that continues to put in 100 % of effort every day," says Jason Hoff, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc.
To date, Mercedes-Benz has made a $4.5 billion capital investment in the Tuscaloosa operations. Besides the models GLE and GL, Plant Tuscaloosa has built the C-Class sedan since 2014. Production of R-Class vehicles will be moved to the U.S. contract manufacturer AM-General in Mishawaka, Indiana, which will gradually free production capacities to be used for the SUV series. In 2014, MBUSI produced more than 232,000 vehicles.