Mercedes Benz GLS, BMW X6 rival to be manufactured in Tuscaloosa by 2015

To compete with BMW’s X6 luxury crossover which was launched in 2008, Mercedes Benz has announced to launch a new crossover which will most likely be titled, the GLS Class. Currently, BMW X6 is fighting a lone battle in the segment as there are hardly any serious competitors.

Earlier this week, Mercedes Benz released a press release announcing the birth of their new car. Mercedes Benz will be investing $350 million at their plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and will also create job opportunities for 400 people.

In India, BMW X6 is available in two variants, X6 xDrive30d (diesel) generating 241 bhp and X6 xDrive50i (petrol) generating 407 bhp and has a price of Rs 68.7 lacs and Rs 85.5 lacs (ex-showroom, New Delhi). Though it is too early to predict the technical specifications and pricing of Mercedes Benz GLS crossover, but expect these details to be close to BMW X6 figures.

Press Release

Daimler to Produce Additional Model at the Mercedes-Benz Tuscaloosa Plant (USA)
Stuttgart, Germany / Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA

– Expansion of production portfolio as of 2015
– US$350 million investment, 400 new jobs
– Dr. Dieter Zetsche: “This new model is an important element of our growth strategy.”

Stuttgart, Germany / Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA – Daimler will further expand its U.S. plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama: as of 2015, an entirely new Mercedes-Benz model will roll off the production line as its fifth product. The plant has been the traditional production site of the brand’s M-, GL-, and R-Class SUVs and will also build the C-Class for the North American market beginning 2014. For the production of the new model, Daimler will additionally invest US$ 350 million, and will create some 400 further jobs at the plant.

Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Daimler Board of Management and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: “This new model from the Tuscaloosa plant is an important element of our growth strategy. It is one of the ten additional models which we will introduce within the next four years alone across all segments.” Referring to the Tuscaloosa plant’s role within the global production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Zetsche added: “At the same time, we are systematically broadening our manufacturing footprint in the NAFTA region.”

Robert Bentley, Governor of the State of Alabama: “Since the time Mercedes-Benz chose Tuscaloosa County for its first US assembly plant 18 years ago, the company has proven to be an outstanding partner for the state. We join MBUSI in celebrating this milestone, and welcome the hundreds of jobs this announcement brings to Alabama.”

Just earlier this year, on the occasion of the Job #1 ceremony of the new Mercedes-Benz M-Class in July, Daimler had announced the decision to invest more than US$2 billion in the Tuscaloosa plant (Mercedes-Benz U.S. International – MBUSI). In total, investment in the plant between 2010 and 2014 will thus amount to US$2.4 billion, while the number of newly created jobs will add up to 1,400.

Markus Schaefer, President and CEO of MBUSI, commented on these decisions: “The entire MBUSI team is proud of its role in the success of the models made in Tuscaloosa. We are looking forward to making further important contributions to the product offensive of Mercedes-Benz.”