Mercedes-Benz has officially started production of the all-new, all-electric EQS SUV model at its Tuscaloosa plant in Alabama, where large SUVs have been produced since 1997.
It's the first Mercedes-EQ built in the US, but not the last, as later this year it will be joined by the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV (according to the plan from 2020). The Mercedes-Maybach EQS is also in the pipeline.
According to the German manufacturer, the EQS SUV will be exclusively produced in the US for global markets. Together with the EQE SUV, the volume might exceed 100,000 units annually, which would be about a third of the plant's capacity.
The EQS SUV production has been integrated into the existing manufacturing lines for the conventional GLS and GLE models, which should give the company some flexibility in the transition period from ICEs to BEVs.
Jörg Burzer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Production and Supply Chain:
“Our production network is very well positioned for the sustainable and rapid scaling of electric vehicle volumes. With the new EQS SUV joining our production portfolio of all-electric Mercedes-EQ models, we reached another important milestone in our strategy to go all electric by the end of the decade – wherever market conditions allow. I am absolutely sure that our great Tuscaloosa team will make the electric SUV another global success.”
Let's recall that sedan versions of the EQS and EQE SUVs are produced in Germany. All four models are based on the Electric Vehicle Architecture (EVA) platform.
Production of the EQS SUV and EQE SUV is supported by the local production of battery packs, at the recently opened Mercedes-Benz Battery Factory in Bibb County, Alabama.
"The new battery factory, which opened in Bibb County in March, produces the battery systems for the EQS SUV on an approximately 300-meter or 985 feet-long production line with more than 70 workstations. A host of components is assembled into a complete system in a fully digitized production process, including up to twelve cell modules and what is known as the EE compartment for the intelligent integration of the power electronics."
By the end of 2022, Mercedes-Benz intends to expand its production EQ production to eight models, at seven sites on three continents.
The list includes EQA, EQB, EQC, EQE, EQE SUV, EQS, EQS SU,V and EQV.