Mercedes considers expanding production in North America

Diana T. Kurylko
AUTOMOTIVE NEWS

Published: March 4, 2014 9:43 am ET
Updated: March 4, 2014 9:47 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Canada, Mexico, United States, Automotive
Companies & Associations Mercedes-Benz AG

GENEVA — Daimler AG is looking to add production capacity in North America for both its compact and rear-wheel drive models, CEO Dieter Zetsche said March 4.

Plans are in the "very early" stages for the rear-wheel drive vehicles and "it is totally open," Zetsche said on the sidelines of the Geneva Motor Show here.

He would not say whether Mercedes is looking at expanding its factory in Vance, Ala., or building a new plant. Mercedes just began production of the redesigned rear wheel drive C-class sedan in Alabama, primarily for the U.S. market.

Alabama builds the all-wheel-drive M and GL-class crossovers and will add a M-class coupe crossover next year.

To cope with the shortage of front-wheel drive cars, Mercedes-Benz is adding shifts and outsourcing some production to Valmet Automotive Inc., which assembles cars for multiple automakers in Uusikaupunki, Finland. There are already shortages of the CLA sedan in the United States that aren't likely to be remedied until early summer.

Mercedes expects worldwide sales of its front-wheel drive models, which include the A-class not sold in the United States, to rise to 500,000 units this year from last year's 370,000.

The B-class electric car goes on sale in the United States in July and the GLA crossover debuts this summer.

Zetsche said there will be even more variants with the new generation of the front-wheel drive family.

"Independent of what we are planning mid-term, for the next generation front-wheel drive (cars) we need additional plant capacity with probably a new location," Zetsche said.

The front-wheel drive vehicles would be built in the North American free trade zone, he said. That includes Mexico where Mercedes-Benz has been considering joint production at a Nissan factory.

Zetsche would not give a timetable but said "we are evaluating different scenarios."


Comments

Mercedes considers expanding production in North America

Diana T. Kurylko
AUTOMOTIVE NEWS

Published: March 4, 2014 9:43 am ET
Updated: March 4, 2014 9:47 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

P&G removing PE microbeads from its Crest brand toothpaste

September 18, 2014 1:57 pm ET

After months of prodding, Procter & Gamble Co., the makers of Crest brand toothpastes, say polyethlene microbeads will be completely removed from its ...    More

Image

Bill Kent named Thermoformer of the Year

September 18, 2014 12:11 pm ET

Bill Kent flew 6 million miles in a 50-year career at Brown Machine LLC — where he began assembling thermoforming machinery on the factory...    More

Image

Nolato Contour beefs up white room molding capabilities

September 18, 2014 11:56 am ET

Nolato Medical has extended its controlled environment options to include a white room at its Baldwin, Wis., Nolato Contour plant.    More

Image

Thermoforming conference draws 300 first-time attendees

September 18, 2014 10:39 am ET

The Society of Plastics Engineers Thermoforming Conference drew 814 attendees, according to Jim Arnet, conference chairman.    More

Image

Kydex, Allen Extruders joined under Sekisui SPI name

September 17, 2014 4:12 pm ET

Sekisui Chemical Co. Ltd. is combining plastic sheet makers Kydex LLC and Allen Extruders LLC under one roof as Sekisui SPI.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook – North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events