First customer vehicle leaves the assembly line
New generation GL-Class slated to continue its predecessor’s success
Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard: “Quality is our first priority. The team in Tuscaloosa is doing a great job in executing a flawless launch of the GL - just like last year with the M-Class.”
Mercedes-Benz today celebrated another milestone as production of the new-generation GL-Class was officially started at the Mercedes-Benz Tuscaloosa plant (MBUSI – Mercedes-Benz U.S. International). Markus Schaefer, President and CEO of MBUSI, welcomed more than 3,500 team members and numerous guests, among them state and local officials, along with Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, Daimler AG Board of Management member responsible for manufacturing and procurement Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans.
Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard: “Quality is our first priority. The team in Tuscaloosa is doing a great job in executing a flawless launch of the GL - just like last year with the M-Class. That puts us into a very good position for the important launches here in Tuscaloosa in the future.“
MBUSI President and CEO Markus Schaefer added: “The new GL is yet another shining star from the Mercedes-Benz Tuscaloosa plant and our latest contribution to the Mercedes-Benz growth strategy. While we are taking the time to celebrate this milestone today, we have a lot on our plate and must continue to forge ahead with full steam.” Referring to the production launch of the next-generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class in 2014, Schaefer said: “We will now more and more shift our focus on the preparations for the C-Class, which will challenge us as an entirely new product for our plant. At the same time, I am convinced we are very much on track to maintain and further improve our level of production excellence.”
About the new Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
The new Mercedes-Benz GL-Class demonstrates leadership qualities in all the decisive SUV disciplines. Innovations such as the standard-specification Crosswind Assist, the STEER CONTROL steering assistance system, the load recognition and the COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST (CPA) increase the active safety. With excellent driving dynamics and high levels of ride comfort – both on the road and on difficult terrain – the GL-Class offers the first-class comfort of a luxury sedan and an excellent amount of space for up to seven passengers. More than 200,000 vehicles of its predecessor were sold since the first GL hit the market in 2006.
The Tuscaloosa plant was founded in 1995 and started production in 1997. The Mercedes-Benz M-Class was the first product and has been built ever since the start of production in 1997, later joined by the SUVs of the GL- and R-Class. In 2011, the plant produced more than 148,000 vehicles and employed more than 2,800 team members at the end of the year. As of 2014, the Tuscaloosa plant will be one of the four global production locations of the successor generation of the current Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and will build these vehicles for the North American market. In 2015, an entirely new Mercedes-Benz model will roll off the production line as the Tuscaloosa plant’s fifth product.