Production of the electric luxury SUV began today at the automaker’s Alabama plant
This factory will be the only assembly point for this model around the world
The EQS SUV will arrive on sale in the US in the fall of this year
Mercedes-Benz launched the production of the EQS SUV at its Alabama plant earlier today, marking the first time it built an electric vehicle in North America.
The EQS SUV is the most luxurious electric SUV in the automaker’s lineup and it acts as an electric version of the current GLS model.
The Alabama factory that has made Mercedes SUVs for over two decades will be the only source of the EQS SUV for the global market and it will continue to assemble the GLE and GLS gasoline-powered models in parallel.
This is made easier by sharing the same production line for the two types of vehicles, with the electric models being diverted to a different station at the stage of powertrain assembly.
In the coming years, more electric models will be added to the production, such as the EQE SUV. This is why Mercedes expects about a third of this factory’s total capacity of 305,000 units per year to be taken up by EVs.
In order to supply the assembly plant with US-made batteries, Mercedes-Benz recently built a new battery production facility nearby.
The automaker’s Alabama operations are part of a new EV belt that is forming around the south of the United States.
Indeed, the electrification of the Auto industry brought in a change of plans for a number of automakers that is shifting the Auto manufacturing business further south, away from Michigan and the Mid-West where it traditionally resided.
This is exemplified by the Mercedes factory in Alabama, but also by Hyundai and Rivian currently building new plants in Georgia, Volkswagen, General Motors, and Ford in Tennessee as well as Volvo in South Carolina.
All of those factories are either currently producing electric vehicles or they will be doing so in the next few years.