Bloomberg News

Daimler Plans $2.4 Billion U.S. Plant Expansion to Add Models

October 21, 2011

Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Daimler AG, the world’s third- largest maker of luxury vehicles, will increase investment in its U.S. car factory to $2.4 billion as it adds new Mercedes- Benz models at the site.

An unidentified new Mercedes vehicle will be built at the factory in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, starting in 2015, the Stuttgart, Germany-based company said today in a statement. Investment in production facilities for the vehicle will total $350 million, adding to the planned spending of more than $2 billion at the site, Daimler said.

“This new model from the Tuscaloosa plant is an important element of our growth strategy,” Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche said in the statement. “It is one of the ten additional models which we will introduce within the next four years.”

Mercedes aims to overtake Bayerische Motoren Werke AG as the luxury-car leader by 2020. The company is working to boost sales by rolling out new models, including a line of five small cars. Mercedes also plans to expand its lineup of high-end luxury cars with new variations of the S-Class flagship model after the vehicle is overhauled in 2013, two people familiar with the situation said last month.

The Tuscaloosa plant, Mercedes’s only factory in the U.S., currently has capacity to build about 160,000 cars a year. The planned investment between 2010 and 2014 includes adding facilities to produce the best-selling C-Class sedan as of 2014 and buying equipment for new versions of the M- and GL-Class sport-utility vehicles.

--Editors: Robert Valpuesta, Tom Lavell.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Reiter in Berlin at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at

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