Another massive victory for the State of Alabama and the United States of America as well as the American economy, as Mercedes-Benz has announced it will be building a $1 billion plant in Tuscaloosa.
The new facility will be a stage of the art hub for Mercedes-Benz and its plan to switch to having electric vehicles by 2022 for each of its current models.
This comes amidst a recent announcement from Mercedes-Benz building a new one million square foot battery plant near the vehicle factory, making it the company's fifth battery plant globally.
Construction on the battery plant is expected to begin next year, with production to begin around 2020 to help assist in the future of Mercedes-Benz Electric Innovations in America's South.
As if these announcements weren't already beneficial for the Automotive Industry in America, Mercedes is also building what's being called a new “Global Logistics Center” and a “after-sales North American hub” in neighboring Bibb County, just five miles from the plant.
A groundbreaking for those locations is currently scheduled for tomorrow, where Alabama politicians and celebrity guests will be on hand.
Mercedes-Benz has said it will soon offer a whopping 50 different electrified vehicle variants while developing plug-in hybrids and introducing 48-volt systems to the market to lead the cutting edge of Automobile Technology.
Mercedes-Benz EQ model SUVs are the focus of the new plant, and are expected to start rolling off assembly lines in Tuscaloosa by the beginning of the next decade, the company said. EQ models will be integrated into the plant's production.
Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said that while the specific details of the state's incentive package for Mercedes-Benz agreeing to build in Alabama are still being negotiated, because the timetable and scope of the project is still being determined, this is a huge boost for the state which is growing at a record pace as an industry leader.
He said the package will include statutory incentives, performance-based incentives, statutory tax abatements and tax credits.
Mercedes-Benz has been using the current plant in Tuscaloosa for nearly 20 years with its upcoming 20th-anniversary celebration being applauded showing a great commitment to the state of Alabama.
Markus Schafer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, via the Production and Supply Chain said, "We are excited to celebrate 20 years of production in Tuscaloosa by expanding our operations in the region and by bringing our electric initiative to the United States.”
Schafer, an adamant supporter of President Donald Trump said that this decision is in part made to stay in the United States of America because of strong state incentives in which can be negotiated due to President Trump's removal of Obama Era regulations which strangled industry leaders who were forced to take jobs into Europe.
Schafer said, "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 that Mercedes-Benz will continue to be on the cutting-edge of electric vehicle development and production."
Mercedes is already in the midst of a $1.3 billion expansion, which includes a new body shop, enhancements to the SUV assembly shop, and upgrades in logistics and information technology to research future improvements.
The battery plant planned is part of a $1.8 billion push by Daimler into its battery production network, with other production facilities in Germany and China.
The Global Logistics Center is expected to begin in 2019, while the North American hub is scheduled to start operations by the end of 2020; both every increasing the roots the company has planted into Alabama.
The new center will supply oversea assembly plants with car-kits, where Mercedes-Benz produces vehicles for local markets. The after-sales North American hub will also be located in the new logistics center and will provide markets abroad with spare parts.
This will allow the company to meet rising market demands amid the growing variety of models across the planet.
Next, to China, Germany is the biggest source of the U.S. trade deficit that Trump has vowed to narrow. The U.S. had a trade deficit of $68 billion last year with Germany.
Trump has complained repeatedly that Germany’s high trade surplus with the U.S. is hurting the American economy. In an interview in January, Trump singled out luxury-car maker BMW and threatened it with a 35 percent import duty for foreign-built vehicles sold in the country.
“If you go down Fifth Avenue everyone has a Mercedes Benz in front of his house,” he said.
“The Germans are bad, very bad,” President Trump in Europe to participants at a closed-door meeting earlier this year with European Union Officials in Brussels. “Look at the millions of cars that they sell in the U.S. Terrible. We’re going to stop that.”
It seems President Trump had an impact, and now Mercedes-Benz is on-board to build right here in the Heart of Dixie, where Alabama will not only have the greatest football team in collegiate sports but also produce rock-solid luxury cars as well.
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