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

Judge limits scope of jury verdict against JM Eagle

December 19, 2014 2:30 pm ET

A federal judge in Los Angeles said Dec. 18 that last year's jury verdict issued against J-M Manufacturing Co. — now JM Eagle — for...    More

Image

Jarden hiring for new plastics plant

December 19, 2014 1:45 pm ET

Consumer products conglomerate Jarden Corp. is hiring plastics technicians for a new operation in Erlanger, Ky.    More

Image

Antimicrobial polymers firm TiFiber launching pilot production in Ark.

December 19, 2014 10:58 am ET

TiFiber Inc., which makes synthetic compounds to control dangerous microorganisms, will locate a pilot production facility and its future company...    More

Image

Spray PU foam aids in NASA launch

December 19, 2014 9:22 am ET

NASA's test of the Orion spacecraft earlier this month took advantage of spray polyurethane foam insulation from North Carolina Foam Industries...    More

Image

Sabic: Rapid demand growth led to Ultem shortage

December 18, 2014 12:06 pm ET

Sabic Innovative Plastics has been increasing production capacity for its Ultem polyetherimide but it still got caught short by increasing demand for ...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events