As the first of its all-new 2012 M-Class models rolled off of the production line at Mercedes-Benz' United States International (MBUSI) plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the automaker announced that it would be investing over $2 billion to expand and upgrade the facility over the course of the next several years. Along with the M-Class, MBUSI is currently home to the GL-Class and R-Class models and will become the U.S. source point for M-B's redesigned 2014 C-Class.
In his statement, Dr. Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the Daimler Board of Management and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars noted: "We're continuing to write new chapters of the plant's success story with significant investments into the future. Tuscaloosa was the first production location of Mercedes-Benz Cars ever outside Germany, and today it is among our best. As our 'pioneering plant', it is also the blueprint for our new operations in emerging markets."
Along with hosting a huge M-Class Job #1 celebration that was attended by the 2,800 MBUSI employees and numerous Daimler and M-B execs, MBUSI President and CEO, Markus Schaefer, announced that the operation will add an additional $100,000 to its original $1 million contribution intended to help local recovery efforts for the city of Tuscaloosa that was ravaged by a tornado in April.