Daimler says it will significantly hike U.S. car production

Daimler says it will significantly hike U.S. car production

Daimler will “significantly” raise production capacity at its U.S. plant in Vance, Alabama, from a current level of around 185,000 cars, as it adds new models including its Mercedes C-class sedan and a new sports utility vehicle.

Daimler’s push to expand vehicle production comes after car sales in the United States recovered to levels seen before the 2007 financial crisis and after rival BMW said it would raise U.S. production by 50 percent to 450,000 cars by 2016.

Daimler on Wednesday said it had started production of the next-generation C class in the Vance plant.

A Daimler spokesman declined to give a figure or a timeline for the factory’s planned production increase, but said it will be “significantly above our previous capacity of SUV production.”

In 2013, the Vance plant built 185,000 cars.

Daimler is raising manufacturing capacity with the introduction of its C class as part of a global rollout of its best-selling model, which is already being produced in South Africa and Germany.

The U.S. plant currently makes sports utility models including the M class and the GL class. In 2015, Vance will also start making a production version of the Concept SUV Coupe unveiled at the Beijing auto show earlier this year, Daimler said.