I am proud to share that we’re not only celebrating 20 years of Mercedes manufacturing history in Tuscaloosa these days. We also have a special forward-looking announcement to make: we will invest $1 billion in Alabama. As part of our global electric offensive, this investment will include our next battery plant and local EV production in Alabama. Once we’re up and running we expect to create an additional 600 jobs in the area.
And I fully agree with Tesla’s Elon Musk, who recently claimed on Twitter that investing one-billion dollars into one plant is only the beginning of an electric revolution at Mercedes. He’s right. And we know.
That’s why we’ve long started putting 10-billion dollars in our new fleet of electric carsand another billion in our global network of battery plants. Tuscaloosa will become our fifth battery factory on the planet – and we’re far from done yet.
Our Tuscaloosa site has long been the cradle of large Mercedes SUVs such as the GLE (formerly known as ML) and the GLS (ex-GL). Some 20 years ago, the first M-Class to drive off the line there established a whole new category of vehicles, which today ranks among the most successful around the world: premium SUVs. And our team and partners in Alabama have a major share in this success story.
We are committed to building on this story with a chapter on the electrified future. Yes, we still have a way to go. But we’ve been on the move for quite a while now. With our very first series-built fully electric SUV, the EQC, we will soon take the next step. And it is only natural that future EQ-models will also be manufactured locally in Alabama.
As an important pillar in our global production network, our Tuscaloosa plant will be ready to flexibly serve dynamic market demands. Our next generation SUVs – all available with combustion engines, plug-in hybrids or as fully electric EQ-vehicles - will roll off the very same assembly line.
I’m happy to see that we can further develop our partnership in Alabama– not only by celebrating a successful past but also by shaping the future of mobility together.
Thanks to our sweet home in Alabama. Roll Tide!