Mercedes-Benz Cars has broken ground on a new battery factory near the vehicle production facility in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, US, which will provide batteries for future electric SUV under the product and technology brand EQ.
Mercedes-Benz US International president and CEO Jason Hoff and Alabama Governor Kay Ivey were among those who participated in the programme.
The new battery manufacturing site, along with the new Consolidation Center, is located seven miles from the Mercedes-Benz Cars vehicle production site in Tuscaloosa.
The Consolidation Center, which will comprise three major areas – the body parts preparation area, the assembly parts preparation area and the empties storage – is expected to be operational in 2019.
The company has invested more than $6bn in the Tuscaloosa plant since 1995 and the additional $1bn is expected to help Mercedes-Benz Cars expand its footprint in the region.
These investments are expected to create more than 600 additional jobs in Alabama.
The Tuscaloosa battery facility is part of a global battery production network of eight factories in Kamenz (Germany), Stuttgart-Untertürkheim (Germany), Sindelfingen (Germany), Beijing (China), Bangkok (Thailand) and Tuscaloosa (US).
The global network of battery factories enables the company to flexibly and efficiently meet market demands and requirements.
Mercedes-Benz US International (MBUSI) has also commenced production of the first new Mercedes-Benz GLE.
MBUSI manufactures the GLE, GLS and GLE Coupe SUVs around the world, as well as the C-Class sedan for North America.
Mercedes-Benz Cars member of the divisional board, production and supply chain, Markus Schäfer, said: “The widely export oriented Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa is a high-tech production facility with a successful history and an exciting future in terms of our brand in the United States.
“We aim to play a pioneering role in the development of e-mobility and are well prepared to accomplish this mission. One year ago, we have announced $1 billion investment in Tuscaloosa mostly for the production of electric SUVs and a battery plant.
“We are bringing electric mobility for Mercedes-Benz to the United States. Around the globe, we are preparing six sites for production of EQ models and our battery network will consist of eight factories.”
Image: Official start of construction works for the new battery factory nearby the Mercedes-Benz plant Tuscaloosa. Photo: Courtesy of Daimler AG.