A 20-Year Milestone
This year MBUSI celebrates 20 years of production in Alabama. MBUSI built its first vehicle on February 14, 1997. After MBUSI’s first customer-ready M-Class rolled offline, team members celebrated in a private ceremony attended by James David Power, III (founder of J.D. Power and Associates).
A Global Greeting
In May 1997, the plant held its grand opening, and the M-Class was unveiled to the public for the first time. More than 6,000 people from 60 countries attended. In July, the visitors center also opened to the public.
The Mercedes-Benz Visitor Center—newly designed in 2015—lets guests experience firsthand the rich history and exciting future of Mercedes-Benz. The museum features iconic classic Mercedes-Benz vehicles, authentic racecars and safety exhibits.
Investing in the Future
Last year, MBUSI announced its parent company, Daimler AG, would invest an additional $1.3 billion to pave the way for the plant’s next generation of SUVs. Construction is expected to be done summer of 2017, with equipment installation and hiring of new team members to follow. The expanded plant will be in full production in 2019.
A Big Production
The plant rests on 1,000 acres in Tuscaloosa County and consists of two assembly shops, two body shops, a paint shop and a logistics center on site—more than 6 million square feet under one roof.
Since the announcement of Mercedes-Benz coming to Alabama, the plant has donated more than $10 million to charities and community organizations in Alabama ranging from area colleges, universities and schools, Habitat for Humanity, Kid One, American Cancer Society, Children’s Hospital, Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Junior Achievement, and many more.
MBUSI is a “Zero Waste to Landfill” plant—meaning that all waste in the production plant, offices and cafeterias is recycled or turned to energy. Nothing is sent to landfills.
One Plant, Four Models
MBUSI now builds four models—the GLE, GLS and GLE Coupe Luxury Sport Utility Vehicles—and the C-Class for North America. (The original M-Class still exists, but it’s now the GLE.) The vehicles were renamed in 2016 as part of a comphrenesive renaming strategy by Mercedes-Benz Cars.
Masters of the Trade
Many of MBUSI’s 3,500 team members had never worked in the automotive industry when they came on board. Today, many travel the globe to other Daimler AG plants to help train others in automotive production techniques and skills.
MBUSI has an estimated 20,000-job impact on the state when suppliers, contractors and support services are factored in. The plant has an economic impact of more than $1.5 billion annually.