Mercedes to Move EQS SUV Production to Make Room for GLC EV in Alabama

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

Mercedes jumped into electrification with both feet but is now learning that buyers aren’t quite as excited about its more expensive models as it is. The automaker is eying plans to move production of the flagship EQS electric SUV to Germany to make room at its Alabama facility for a higher-volume EV.

Sources told Automotive News that the automaker is clearing the way for the GLC EV, an SUV scheduled to start production in early 2026. Mercedes could reach 50,000 vehicles in the first year of manufacturing the GLC EV, and the EQS’ move to Germany will add 20,000 vehicles to the Bremen factory.

Beyond logistics, the move makes great financial sense for Mercedes. Moving a higher-volume, less-expensive model to the U.S. makes it eligible for tax credits and more attractive to buyers. It will also help the automaker meet its goal of having electric vehicles account for 40 percent of sales by 2026. It had reached a little more than 14 percent through the first nine months of this year.

Despite its lofty goals, Mercedes still has to contend with consumer demand, which has been a hot topic in recent months. Automakers have announced heavy losses on EV business units, and some have committed to a more robust mix of hybrids to reduce their fleets’ carbon footprints. An improving charging network and slowly falling prices should help, but goals aside, Mercedes needed the cheaper model to remain competitive.

[Image: Mercedes-Benz]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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7 of 8 comments
  • MaintenanceCosts MaintenanceCosts on Nov 29, 2023

    The electric GLC will probably do well, just like the EQB has, in the traditional habitats of EVs. This is a sensible move.

    • See 1 previous
    • MaintenanceCosts MaintenanceCosts on Nov 29, 2023

      We'll see how they do on reliability with EV powertrains. But something like the EQS is so complex away from the powertrain that it probably can fulfill that Tavarish role pretty well even without an insane engine.

  • Tassos Tassos on Nov 29, 2023

    For whoever may care, this was yesterday's news.

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Nov 29, 2023

    It's ironic that Mercedes needs a cheaper model to stay competitive.

    This move reflects poor planning and execution on the EQS specifically, but also their product roadmap in general.

    You don't just casually pick up and move a whole new production line to Germany. Perversely, this will make the EQS even more expensive, which tells me they may have given up on it already.

    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Nov 29, 2023

      "You don't just casually pick up and move a whole new production line to Germany."

      I agree, is it possible assembly is just so f'd up like a parent they are taking it away from a child?

  • VoGhost VoGhost on Nov 29, 2023

    This just means more Americans will get back some of their taxes. Smart move.