The Mercedes- Benz plant in Tuscaloosa is the traditional production location for the SUVs of the current model series of the GLE, GLE Coupé, and GLS. Since June 2014, the plant has also produced the C‑Class for the North American market. As a result, Tuscaloosa is part of the global production network for the best-selling Mercedes- Benz model series, which is controlled by the lead plant in Bremen. In 2015 the Tuscaloosa plant launched production of the GLE Coupé. The plant is currently being expanded to turn it into a high-tech facility for manufacturing SUVs. The Tuscaloosa plant will also build the next generations of SUVs, including plug-in hybrids. The plant in Tuscaloosa was the first major Mercedes- Benz production facility outside Germany and was the nucleus of the Alabama automotive industry. The plant was founded in 1995 and began to produce the former M‑Class (now called the GLE) in 1997. The Tuscaloosa plant celebrates its 20th production anniversary in 2017.