Report: Mercedes-Benz building $1B electric battery, SUV plant in Alabama

September 21, 2017

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Mercedes-Benz parent-company Daimler AG will spend $1 billion on a battery and electric SUV plant near the company's facilities in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

A company spokeswoman said the automaker would make an official announcement later in the day. The cars will reportedly be constructed under the nascent Mercedes-Benz EQ subbrand.

The report said that Mercedes-Benz could produce an electric SUV at the plant before 2025, and produce batteries at the site for that, and other cars too.

The move by Mercedes-Benz follows other automakers who have moved production of SUVs and crossovers to the U.S., specifically facilities located in the South. BMW recently announced it would add 1,000 jobs to its plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, which builds SUVs including the BMW X3, X4, X5, and X6.

Volvo announced this week its plan to double its capacity at its Charleston, South Carolina facility by adding more than $1 billion to the plant that hasn't yet started production. Volvo announced it would add 2,500 new jobs to the 2,000 workers it originally planned to hire, according to Reuters.

Toyota and Mazda announced earlier this month that they would seek a site for a joint facility to build electrified vehicles somewhere in the South. The planned facility could produce as many as 300,000 cars and SUVs annually, according to reports.

Mercedes-Benz already has a facility in Tuscaloosa that builds the GLE-Class and GLS-Class SUVs, C-Class sedan and GLE-Class SUV Coupe. That factory opened in 1997.

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