Jörg Burzer, member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Production and Supply Chain, and Michael Goebel, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz US International (Photo: Business Wire)

The EQS SUV will be produced exclusively in America at the automaker’s Tuscaloosa, Ala., plant, working in tandem with a local battery factory

 August 25, 2022

TUSCALOOSA, Ala.—Mercedes-Benz is producing the first all-electric Mercedes-EQ to be built in the United States—the EQS SUV—at its North American passenger vehicle plant in Alabama, the automaker said in a release.

The full-size EQS SUV is integrated in series production at the Mercedes-Benz Tuscaloosa plant, the production site for large SUVs bearing the three-pointed star since 1997. Tuscaloosa serves as a key production location for the Mercedes-EQ luxury electric SUVs—the EQS SUV and EQE SUV, which goes into production later this year, the company said.

A key factor in Mercedes-Benz’s electrification initiative is local production of batteries for the EQS SUV. Highly efficient battery systems will be supplied by the recently opened Mercedes-Benz Battery Factory in Bibb County, Alabama, according to the automaker.

Jörg Burzer, member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Production and Supply Chain, said in the release that Mercedes-Benz’s production network is “very well positioned for the sustainable and rapid scaling of electric vehicle volumes.”

“With the new EQS SUV joining our production portfolio of all-electric Mercedes-EQ models, we reached another important milestone in our strategy to go all electric by the end of the decade—wherever market conditions allow. I am absolutely sure that our great Tuscaloosa team will make the electric SUV another global success,” Burzer said.

The Tuscaloosa plant uses state-of-the-art digital, sustainable, efficient, and flexible production methods. It follows the blueprint of the company’s Factory 56 in Sindelfingen, Germany, which is said to symbolize the future of automotive production of Mercedes-Benz. Owing to early investments in flexible production and use of the state-of-the-art MO360 digital production ecosystem, Mercedes-Benz is now able to produce battery-electric vehicles in large volumes, the company said.

“We have a highly skilled and motivated team that has absolutely delivered in the successful product launch of the new EQS SUV,” said Michael Goebel, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz US International (MBUSI), in the release. “Our team members in Tuscaloosa have shown a lot of flexibility, energy, and commitment in helping us to achieve milestone after milestone since our first Mercedes-Benz rolled off the production line more than 25 years ago. The employees here at the site can be proud that the first all-electric SUV from Mercedes-Benz and its battery are being built in Alabama.”

The new battery factory, which opened in Bibb County in March, produces the battery systems for the EQS SUV on an approximately 300-meter or 985 foot-long production line with more than 70 workstations. Components are assembled into a complete system in a fully digitized production process, including up to 12 cell modules and what is known as the EE compartment for the intelligent integration of the power electronics.

The battery for the EQS SUV is based on a modular architecture that is also used in the EQS and EQE Sedans. With the new plant, Bibb County is now a part of the global Mercedes-Benz battery production network, which comprises factories on three different continents.

Mercedes-Benz said it has invested more than $7 billion in Alabama since the 1990s. Of this amount, $1 billion was invested in the battery plant, the logistics centers, and to upgrade the production line to make electric vehicles (EVs). Today, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI) employs approximately 4,500 people and secures an estimated additional 11,000 jobs with suppliers and service providers in the region, the company said.

About 4 million vehicles have left the Tuscaloosa plant since 1997, with approximately 260,000 SUVs rolling off the production line in 2021 alone. Roughly two-thirds of annual production is exported, making MBUSI one of the largest exporters of automobiles from the United States, the company said.

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