Out the door: One million Mercedes-Benz M-Class
23rd September, 2009
The only Mercedes-Benz plant in North America celebrated a significant
milestone – the production of the plant’s 1 millionth M-Class.
The milestone vehicle is a fuel-efficient ML 350 BlueTEC diesel, destined for a West Coast Mercedes-Benz
“Everyone here at MBUSI is extremely proud to have reached this milestone,” said Ola Kaellenius, who assumed
leadership of the plant in June 2009 as the new President and CEO of MBUSI. “This year has posed some challenges,
but our Team Members have worked to maintain our momentum and they’ve turned those challenges into opportunities. I’m
personally excited by the passion and dedication I’ve seen in our Team Members as they’ve worked to help us achieve
our goal of delivering superior products to our customers.”
Initially, the M-Class was the only vehicle produced at the Alabama plant. More than 570,000 vehicles were built
during the original M-Class’ eight-year 'lifecycle' - from 1997 to 2004. That success led to a $600 million plant
Today, three vehicles are built at the Tuscaloosa facility – the second model M-Class, the R-Class SUV Tourer,
and the GL-Class luxury SUV. In total, MBUSI has built more than 1.2 million vehicles and MBUSI is the sole
production location for these three products.
In October 2006, Mercedes-Benz was the first manufacturer to begin a BlueTEC offensive within the U.S. passenger
vehicle segment to coincide with the introduction of ultra low-sulfur diesel fuel. The E320 BlueTEC was a huge
success right from the beginning.
Mercedes-Benz is now pushing forward with this initiative with the R, ML and GL 350 BlueTEC - the world's first
three diesel SUVs that not only meet the particularly demanding targets specified in the U.S. BIN5 (50-state)
standards, but which also have the potential to fulfill the stringent EU6 standards due in the future, thus also
significantly exceeding all current emission standards for diesel passenger cars worldwide.
In the U.S., around 20 per cent of all customers order their Mercedes-Benz SUVs as a BlueTEC diesel version.
In addition to the innovative clean BlueTEC diesel technology, MBUSI will begin building the new ML 450
MBUSI currently has more than 3,000 employees who are building the M, R and GL-class SUVs for all global