Mercedes-Benz to decide whether to shift some C-Class production to its U.S. factory

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 27, 2010

To protect itself against currency swings, Daimler AG is considering an option to shift some of its C-Class passenger-car production to its factory in Vance, Ala.

At a media briefing held recently, Daimler AG said that it will announce its decision by January. Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said that a decision on expanding production for the new C class would have to be made in the near future.

The company would be making its decision based on currency rates and on whether the dollar will remain weak against the euro. The C-Class is the largest-selling Mercedes-Benz vehicle in the US and transferring production to its Alabama plant would shield Daimler from further currency swings.

Reports from Germany say Daimler estimates it will produce 80,000 C-Class cars each year in Alabama.

A Daimler AG spokeswoman said that shifting the production to the US would require additional investment for the factory expansion and for new tooling.

The next-generation C class is expected in 2013. The Vance, Ala. factory rolls out the M-, GL- and R-Class models. For 2009, the plant has built 83,461 units so far. In 2008, it built a total of 152,500 units. [via autonews]

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