Mercedes-Benz will increase production capacity at Alabama plant to 300,000 units

Article by Christian A., on September 8, 2014

By the end of 2015, around 300,000 vehicles will roll out from Mercedes-Benz’ plant in Alabama. These words came from Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, who revealed the fact that the German company plans to increase production in the United States. Mercedes-Benz plans to almost double the production, as last year the plant built 185,000 vehicles.

This year, the plant will add 60,000 vehicles and we already know that a fifth model will be built there starting next year. That new model is the new M-Class Coupe, previewed earlier this year by the Concept Coupe SUV at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show.

In addition, Dieter Zetsche also confirmed the fact that Mercedes-Benz is considering changing its naming scheme. Apparently, the M-Class will become GLE-Class, while the production version of the Concept Coupe SUV will debut as the GLE Coupe.

Mercedes-Benz wants a new naming structure and its SUVs and CUVs will start with G. The GLK Class will become the GLC-Class as it is based on the C-Class, while the GL Class will become the GLS.

Mercedes-Benz already started the new naming scheme with the GLA Class, which is based on the A-Class. The redesigned GLK will make its debut next year, so we will probably see the GLC soon.

Thanks to its newly designed exterior, the new Mercedes-Benz GLK has become more dynamic. For instance, its body is a combination of the typical attributes of an all-terrain vehicle and the design idiom of current Mercedes models.

It is marked by expansive surfaces, strict lines, as well as volume-emphasizing front and rear section – all complemented by signature GLK details typical of functional all-terrain vehicles. Mercedes designed the new GLK to be drivable not only just for daily trips but also on off-the-road advantages. The GLK boasts of a high seat position for a more commanding view of the road, with its body lines delivering outstanding visibility.

The dashboard of the new Mercedes GLK has received a complete revision, as penned by designers at the Centre of Competence for Interiors. The new dashboard has its entire width trimmed in aluminum or optionally in wood, while featuring new round vents and additional trim elements in silver shadow. Customers may have the instrument cluster be specified with an optional high-end color display.

The interior of the new GLK is provided with a three-spoke sports steering wheel, new seat designs and new upholstery colors. It also features indirect ambient lighting through LED fiber-optic technology.

Customers could now choose from a lineup of one petrol engine and six diesel mills – all boasting of low fuel consumption and low emissions -- to power their new Mercedes GLK. A 2,143-cc four-cylinder diesel engine is found on the hood of the new GLK 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC, with capacity to deliver 150 kW (204 hp) of max output and 500 Nm of peak torque.

This considerable power, however, doesn’t compromise with consumption and emissions, as the GLK 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC could consume between 6.1 liters and 6.5 liters of diesel per 100 km while emitting between 159 grams and 169 grams of carbon dioxide per km (NEDC combined mode).

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