By on June 20, 2014

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Good news for the people of Alabama: Mercedes-Benz is hiring. Bad news for car enthusiast. This abomination is going into production.

Mercedes will expand capacity at their Alabama plant, from about 185,000 cars, to an undisclosed level. Automotive News Europe reports that BMW is expanding American production to 450,000 units, though there’s no indication if Mercedes-Benz will follow suit, though the expansion will apparently be a “significant number” above current levels. With the addition of the C-Class and the new ML Coupe (shown in concept form above), Mercedes will likely expand in a big way, since these models offer the potential for big volume and big profit. Mercedes once built the R-Class in Alabama, but the new models should have no trouble absorbing that capacity.

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46 Comments on “Mercedes Will Expand Alabama Factory With ML-Coupe Production...”


  • avatar

    From the people that brought you the “4-door-coupe”.

  • avatar
    GranMarkeez

    Damn. Now THAT is ugly. Hurts my eyes just looking at it.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I assume the ML is supposed to be a “coupe utility vehicle”?

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Are we near the end of the Sport no-Utility Coupe-but-really-Sedan phase yet?

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      I got a prescription for some Stockholm Syndrome pills. Now I love our stylist overlords.

      God, what an awesome ride!

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Huh? There isn’t enough pills or Kool-Aid to make this useful or attractive

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          I’m reporting you. Expect a visit from willowy young men with those flashy-things from MIB.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Mercedes must be incorporating the latest sales tools, but no need just slap the three-pointed star on anything and they’ll sell all that they can make… Oh yeah, same thing

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            The Germans put a lot of effort into being the bastards of the 20th Century. They’ll be reaping the rewards for a while yet.

            And nothing says drive by dictator like that star.

          • 0 avatar
            Nicholas Weaver

            If they could take an unremarkable Civic hatch competitor, slap a swoopy body on it, and sell it (in practice) for $35k+ because they stuck a 3-pointed star on the front and a (you wish it was as good as an Android) tablet sticking up from the dash, they can slap a 3-pointed star on this abomination and make money on it.

            And they know it.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            Yes, Nicholas, they know it. But for how long? Once they don’t measure up to assumed Mercedes quality/durability, or everybody, including the convenience store cashier, is driving one, what’s left of the company’s “premium” reputation?

            I know a couple people from the Middle East, the usual Mercedes clientele, who were looking for Mercedes-level comfort, quality, and reliability recently. They were shopping Lexus.

  • avatar
    Tom Szechy

    Does anyone know if some sort of a psychiatrist’s report on the typical CUV-coupé buyer demographics exists?
    I’m really interested in the minds of people who find these vehicles appealing and actually pay shitloads of money to buy them.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    What? An SUV/crossover thinghy with 4 doors is a coupe? I guess it’s kind of irrelevant as long as you can seduce enough fools…err…paying customers to buy them.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    ML 4 door coupe thingy is TOO TALL for this body style. Forgive me for my role as Captain Obvious, had to get it off my chest.

    Doesn’t matter what we say, folks will buy ‘em (probably more than a few).

    Meet the newest accessory to be skipping happily down “I’m a Bored Wealthy Housewife” Lane.

    I see FAR more GL’s and little sibling GLK’s then any late model ML’s.

    The first gen ML’s must have made quite a splash, I see lots of those still running around, some rather roached and in the rougher areas of town, too. Interesting taking into consideration their “so-so” reliability.

    FWIW, our ’11 GLK 4MATIC is holding up rather nicely, with the exception of two things: A.) the hatch has developed a rattle. MB should be ashamed, and B.) I do hate going to the dealership for routine maintenance and never spending less than 1K/ a pop.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      $1000 for routine maintenance? Damn. What “routine” things are they doing?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Sounds like your standard 10,000 mile wallet flush.

        • 0 avatar
          raresleeper

          Bball, & 28, all kinds of much needed, mystical maintenance.

          Such as filters made of gold, and platinum fluids, and mystery tests and adjustments.

          And yes 28, you’re right, it’s about every 10k. Rather, when the Benz message center tells us its time for a wallet emptying.

          Strange thing is that I have never seen a car “prepare” you for a big expense like it does.

          “1500 miles to Service B_”. So, at least it gives you a warning.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Why is this a thing?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “With the addition of the C-Class and the new ML Coupe (shown in concept form above), Mercedes will likely expand in a big way, since these models offer the potential for big volume and big profit.”

    Agreed on C-class, disagreed on this other… thing. Nissan Murano Versa Coupe CrewCab Convertible was such a hit right?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      They’re expanding…but I don’t think horrifically overpriced compacts are good overall for the brand if it intends to keep the cachet it has now.

      I see them traveling a variation of the same road that Caddy did back in the 1970′s…a worthy name on some very unworthy vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      Chris FOM

      The X6 has been such a big hit for BMW they’re downsizing it as the X4. The current trend towards modular platforms really makes models like this surprisingly inexpensive to produce. The chassis, drivetrain, etc. all remain identical. It’s only the external sheet metal and trim that changes, and in exchange the profit margin skyrockets.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’ve seen one on the road and it happened to be on the way to Richmond, VA. The only Murano Conv I have ever seen happens to be in my bldg’s parking lot.

        • 0 avatar
          Chris FOM

          They’ve sold over 200,000 X5s with swoopier sheet metal and an extra $10+k on the price for minimal development cost. That’s a pretty significant success by any metric.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    OK, to sum up:

    AWD…check.
    “Coupe”…check.
    High seating position…check.
    Horrifically ugly…check.

    Maybe they should just call it the X-90. Suzuki would probably give them the name in trade for a six pack of Fat Tire.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Kids, for the nine millionth time, “coupe” has nothing to do with the number of doors. A coupe is a vehicle with lowered roofline, and typically a less commodious back seat. By that definition, this is a coupe, just like all the other 4dr coupes on the market. Just because Americans started calling all 2drs coupes 50 years ago does not make it right, and many of what we have referred to as coupes were actually 2dr sedans anyway.

    That said, this thing is hideous, and I think it is stupid, but it will sell and make them tons of money. Since the goal of a car company is, in fact, to make money, I am all for it. As far as I am concerned the profits that BMW makes on the X6 will let me buy my shiny new Track Package 228i that little bit cheaper in 2016.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      This is correct but for those fifty years coupe has indicated a two door model and ninety percent of the population doesn’t care about the proper circa 1935 definition.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Amazingly enough, America is not the center of the universe, and it is only here that coupe = 2dr. The Europeans have been making 4dr coupes all along.

        Ultimately the only people who care about it either way are on this board, when you get right down to it.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Depends on who your audience is for a product, Europeans have very different tastes than ‘muricans.

          Agreed on your last point. I think potential buyers of this, the Murano Conv thing, and others should be forced to drive a Pontiac Aztec two weeks a year. Call it community service.

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            “I think potential buyers of this, the Murano Conv thing, and others should be forced to drive a Pontiac Aztec two weeks a year. Call it community service.”

            Don’t do that. All those MB Coupe prospects will be trying to find where they can buy one of those sweet Aztecs.

            And I believe it was “Aztek”, no?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            +1

            I believe you are correct, damn my correct English :)

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      @krhodes1 – I remember a time when “two door sedan” was a common use. Car and Driver used to use the phrase to distinguish two door versions of 4 door cars that kept a useable back seat and a trunk (like the Accord, Solara, and 3 series) from dedicated coupes with a backseat that was more for show than anything (like a Prelude, Eclipse, Mustang, or Celica). Funny how phraseology can change.

  • avatar
    matador

    I still think that it looks like my computer mouse.

    It’s illegal to drive a mouse, and cruel to even try.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    I never had any doubt.


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