Daimler mulls new site in N. America to hike Mercedes global capacity

Article by Anita Panait, on January 20, 2014

Daimler may build another site in North America to ramp up global production capacity for its Mercedes-Benz cars, chief executive Dieter Zetsche said on sidelines of a Mercedes event at the Detroit Auto Show. "We are starting work on our next generation of compact cars, and as part of that discussion, there is a discussion about additional plant capacity," Zetsche remarked, saying that an additional plant in North America is one scenario.

He, however, said that no decisions about such building a new plant in the region had been taken. On December 23, 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported that Daimler would decide on a second US site this year, citing Mercedes' production chief Andreas Renschler as saying the German carmaker would consider whether it requires new production capacity to hike output of its next-generation compact range.

According to Zetsche, the capacity limitations were a "luxury problem" since they were a symptom of strong car sales. "There is a shortage in every market" as demand for vehicles like the new S class was brisk.

Mercedes builds around two thirds of its vehicles in Germany but 80 percent of its sales come from overseas. Zetsche said that expanding production capacity for compact cars at its Alabama site was not a likely scenario.

Mercedes captured the US luxury sales crown in 2013, more than a decade since it last held the throne. Mercedes sold 312,528 vehicles compared to BMW’s 309,280. [source: Reuters]

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