A groundbreaking ceremony marked the start of the construction of a new battery factory. The factory will be built near the Mercedes-Benz’ production site in Tuscaloosa providing batteries for future electric SUV under the product and technology brand EQ.
Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain, attended the ceremony: “The widely export oriented Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa is a high-tech production facility with a successful history and an exciting future in terms of our brand in the United States. We aim to play a pioneering role in the development of e-mobility and are well prepared to accomplish this mission. One year ago, we have announced $1 billion investment in Tuscaloosa mostly for the production of electric SUVs and a battery plant. We are bringing electric mobility for Mercedes-Benz to the United States. Around the globe, we are preparing six sites for production of EQ models and our battery network will consist of eight factories.”
The groundbreaking ceremony took place in the presence of Jason Hoff, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz U.S International, the Governor of Alabama Kay Ivey and other regional and international guests at its location in Bibb County, Alabama.
The new production site for batteries, along with the new Consolidation Centre, is located seven miles from the Mercedes-Benz Cars vehicle production site in Tuscaloosa. The Consolidation Centre, also announced as part of the 2017 investment announcement, will consist of three major areas, including the body parts preparation area, the assembly parts preparation area and the empties storage. It is expected to be operational in 2019.
More than $6 billion has already been invested in the Tuscaloosa plant since 1995. The additional $1 billion will help Mercedes-Benz Cars expand its industrial footprint in the region, most of which is slated for the electric initiative. It is expected that, once completed, these investments will create more than 600 additional jobs in Alabama.
The new battery facility near the Tuscaloosa plant is part of a global battery production network of in total eight factories in Kamenz, (Germany), Stuttgart-Untertürkheim (Germany), Sindelfingen (Germany), Beijing (China), Bangkok (Thailand) and Tuscaloosa (USA).
The worldwide network of battery factories allows Mercedes-Benz to react flexibly and efficiently to market demands and requirements. The different sites supply local vehicle production and are ready to export batteries, if required.
Mercedes-Benz Cars will offer at least one electrified vehicle in each model series by 2022 totalling up to more than 130 models. Mercedes-Benz is about to start the production of electric passenger cars as part of its worldwide electric initiative. This includes the production of an all-electric SUV in the U.S.