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Mercedes-Benz to boost annual Alabama output to 300,000 vehicles

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – Mercedes-Benz, which launched Alabama’s auto industry nearly two decades ago, plans to sharply increase production at its Tuscaloosa County plant over the next two years, boosting annual capacity to 300,000 vehicles from the 185,000 produced there in 2013.

Daimler AG and Mercedes executives said at the Vance plant today that the automaker plans to begin producing a compact sport utility vehicle called the ML Coupe in Alabama beginning next year. Earlier this year, Mercedes began mass production of the redesigned C-Class in Vance, the first time it has produced a sedan in Alabama.

Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche told auto journalists today that the SUV market is expected to outpace growth in the overall automotive market, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Production plans for the compact SUV had been previously announced.

“We’re calling 2015 the Year of the SUV for Mercedes and Tuscaloosa,” Zetsche said. “The market for these vehicles is only getting stronger.”

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Baxter International will add 200 jobs at Alabama facility

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