Mercedes C-Class Production Shifted To Alabama

Cammy Corrigan
by Cammy Corrigan

After writing about Spyker transferring production from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom, I thought I’d seen it all. Well, now I have. Production going OUT of Germany and into the United States. After much debating, Daimler have finally decided to switch some production from Germany to the United States. According to Reuters, roughly a fifth of Mercedes-Benz C-Class models will be built in Alabama by 2014, in hopes of protecting against currency fluctuations and maintaining profit margin. Naturally, the unions weren’t happy, in fact they downed tools in protest, claiming it was a “blatantly wrong decision.” Dr Z saw it differently, especially considering the move is said to be worth $100m in incentives from the state of Alabama.

“From a strategic and economic point of view, this step is absolutely necessary for Mercedes-Benz to remain competitive in the future and utilise its chances for growth,” Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said in a statement on Wednesday. Not to mention a great chance to snag $55 million in training, as well as $20 million in state and local cash grants in addition to other Alabama tax abatements.

The union further claimed that 3000 jobs are at risk, which directly contradicted what Daimler’s personnel head, Wilfried Porth, said. He claimed that there would be no job cuts in Sindelfingen, where the C-Class is made, and that when the production comes online in the United States in 2014, it will create 1000 to 1200 jobs there.So, Daimler’s management are happy because this move will maintain their profit margins, the United States will have extra jobs & more manufacturing, and the stock market reacted favourably with Daimler’s stock price rising 0.3% to €35.19 per share. It seems the only people not happy are the unions, even though Herr Porth said there would be no job cuts. Honestly, there’s no pleasing some people!
Cammy Corrigan
Cammy Corrigan

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  • Porschespeed Porschespeed on Dec 03, 2009
    What will this do for Benz build quality? Build quality is (mostly) about design and management. Personally, I wouldn't want to own any MBZ post-93/94. The gadget fest is neat. When it works. Which is to say, not often enough. W140 is the last S-class that lives up to the 'freight-train-panzerwagen' reputation. I hope they pull the quality back up to where it was, but the push to make MBZ a 'volume player' took a serious toll.
  • Nick Nick on Dec 03, 2009

    Based on my experience with a German built C-Class, moving production to 'Bama means their quality has nowhere to go but up. Regrettably, I doubt that it will as it has more to do with design and component sourcing than it does with the people putting it togtether (with some extreme exceptions). Pith these folks aren't getting something good to build.

  • Wjtinfwb Funny. When EV's were bursting onto the scene; Tesla's, Volt's, Leaf's pure EV was all the rage and Hybrids were derided because they still used a gas engine to make them, ahem; usable. Even Volt's were later derided when it was revealed that the Volt's gas engine was actually connected to the wheels, not just a generator. Now, Hybrids are warmly welcomed into the Electric fraternity by virtue of being "electrified". If a change in definition is what it takes, I'm all for it. Hybrid's make so much sense in most American's usage patterns and if needed you can drive one cross-country essentially non-stop. Glad to see Hybrid's getting the love.
  • 3-On-The-Tree We also had a 1973 IH Scout that we rebuilt the engine in and it had dual glass packs, real loud. I miss those days.
  • 3-On-The-Tree Jeff thanks. Back in 1990 we had a 1964 Dodge D100 with a slant six with a 3 on the tree. I taught myself how to drive a standard in that truck. It was my one of many journeys into Mopar land. Had a 1973 Plymouth duster with a slant six and a 1974 Dodge Dart Custom with 318 V8. Great cars and easy to work on.
  • Akear What is GM good at?You led Mary............................................What a disgrace!
  • Randy in rocklin I have a 87 bot new with 200k miles and 3 head gasket jobs and bot another 87 turbo 5 speed with 70k miles and new head gaskets. They cost around 4k to do these days.