German magazine Auto Motor und Sport quoted the head of production and procurement at Mercedes-Benz Cars saying the company may build a new manufacturing facility in North America if demand for compact cars further increases.
Mercedes produces about two thirds of its cars in Germany, but now 80 % of its sales come from the rest of the world, with the best regions being Europe, the United States, China and Japan. The executive was quoted saying that the company needs to produce more cars outside of the home country.
“Next year we will begin to manufacture the C-class in Tuscaloosa, though we will then be getting close to the capacity limit at that plant,” Andreas Renschler said in an interview with Auto Motor und Sport. “In China, we have an engine plant that has gone on stream, which will be followed by an engine plant in the United States, and for our next generation compact car platform, we’ll have to think about a location in the NAFTA area, if demand for compact models rises there,” Renschler added
He disclosed that in addition to the C-class production scheduled to begin in 2014 at Tuscaloosa, there would also be a new SUV coming out of the production lines there from 2015. Renschler also said last month that the company was still valuing the idea of joint production of small premium cars together with Japan’s Nissan at one of their plants in Mexico.