The Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa is the traditional home of SUV production for the current GLE, GLE coupé, and GLS model series. Since June 2014, the plant has also produced the C-Class for the North American market. The most-produced model in the Mercedes-Benz product range is also manufactured under the leadership of the Bremen plant in East London, South Africa, and by the BBAC joint venture plant in Beijing, China. The next generation of SUVs will be launched in Tuscaloosa in 2018. They will include models with a plug-in hybrid drive system. In the future, electric SUVs of the product and technology brand EQ will roll off the assembly line there as well. In addition, a battery factory is being built near Tuscaloosa’s existing vehicle plant. The facility in Tuscaloosa is thus part of the global battery production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars, which has locations on three continents. The plant in Tuscaloosa was the first major Mercedes-Benz production facility outside Germany and is regarded as the nucleus of the automotive industry in Alabama.