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It has been well over a decade when Mercedes-Benz first opened its plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. What might have started out as just a production facility for the ML model has grown to accommodate production of the R-class, GLK-class and in 2014 will also produce the C-class for North American consumption.
But the news gets even better as Mercedes-Benz is now planning to add another model to its portfolio and it will also be built in the States. The vehicle is rumored to be the MLC, which will be Merc’s answer to the BMW X6.
Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Daimler Board of Management and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars said: “This new model from the Tuscaloosa plant is an important element of our growth strategy. It is one of the ten additional models which we will introduce within the next four years alone across all segments.”
This project will see this German brand investing $350-million and create an additional 400 new jobs, which is great news for the economy.
General Motors, recently announced that is preparing to invest $483 million and create 483 new jobs at it’s Spring Hill, Tennesse Powertrain complex, which currently builds Ecotec four-cylinder engines. Providing that state and local officials are in agreement, the investment should provide a major shot in the arm for the General, the Spring Hill area and also the United Auto Workers’ union, since the new jobs will be filled by workers laid off, in accordance with the UAW/GM National Labor agreement.
According to Mark Reuss; GM North America President; “The engines made in Spring Hill will drive the success of GM to meet our customer demands for advanced powertrains which offer high fuel economy without sacrificing performance.” He went on to say that, “this new commitment to the Spring Hill team will help GM almost triple its North American production volume of four-cylinder engines with direct injection by 2012.”
Included in the announced spending package is $23 million that will be used to add 30 hourly jobs in response to increased production of current generation Ecotec engines, beginning in the first quarter of 2011. The rest of the money and jobs are planned for development and production of the next generation of Ecotec engines, which are said to be significantly more efficient than those currently available in vehicles such as the Chevy Equinox, GMC Terrain, Buick LaCrosse and Regal.