Mercedes-Benz is reportedly planning to add a totally new SUV model to its production line in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
According to a report from The Tuscaloosa News (sub. req.) the new model will most likely be added in 2015. Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche told shareholders at a meeting this week in Stuttgart, Germany, that the fifth model destined for Mercedes’ U.S. auto assembly plant would be an SUV. He added that preparations for production of another SUV are currently being made at Mercedes’ plant in Vance, located 20 miles east of Tuscaloosa.
Mercedes officials have previously said that a fifth vehicle would be added to its Alabama production line in 2015, without saying what type of vehicle it would be.
The new SUV is one of 13 new models that Mercedes plans to start manufacturing by 2013, Zetsche said. Mercedes’ U.S. plant currently makes the M-Class and GL-Class SUVs and the R-Class crossover. A fourth vehicle will be added later this year at the plant – a new generation of the C-Class sedan, which will go on sale in 2014.
A prototype of the new, SUV was reportedly shown to Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and local officials who visited Stuttgart during a recent industrial recruiting trip.