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 Automotive, United States, Mexico, Canada
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

Cascade Engineering founder Keller to step down as CEO

September 16, 2014 8:33 pm ET

Cascade Engineering Inc. is undergoing a transition as President Mark Miller will also add the role of CEO, replacing founder Fred Keller, who has...    More

Image

DuPont investing $100 million for more ethylene copolymer capacity

September 16, 2014 1:51 pm ET

Increased packaging demand is leading materials giant DuPont Co. to spend more than $100 million to increase capacity for ethylene copolymers at its...    More

Image

Heineken swapping out plastic for wood for its pallets in Mexico

September 16, 2014 4:35 pm ET

Dutch brewer Heineken NV is to replace all its wooden pallets in Mexico with a high impact-resistant plastic pallet, co-designed and produced by...    More

Image

SPE Thermoforming Division picks 3 scholarship winners

September 16, 2014 4:25 pm ET

Three college students have earned scholarships through the Society of Plastics Engineers' Thermoforming Division, division officials announced at...    More

Image

Canadian, Mexican injection molders form auto supply joint venture

September 16, 2014 2:26 pm ET

A new automotive parts manufacturer will open in Querétaro, Mexico, through a joint venture between Canadian automotive supplier Papp Plastics and Dis...    More

Market Reports

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

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

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