The new Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé ... Production Made in Tuscaloosa


Stuttgart 5 December, 2019

The history of premium SUVs from Mercedes-Benz is also the history of the plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Since 1995, Daimler has invested more than six billion dollars in this location in the southern USA, and has produced more than three million vehicles since 1997, of which two thirds were exported. Tuscaloosa is the only production location for the new GLE Coupé. The GLE and the GLS are also produced here, as is the C-Class Saloon for the North-American market.

Daimler's history in the USA goes back to the year 1888, when the first distributorship in the United States was founded, and since 1981 it has also included the heavy-duty trucks of the American icon Freightliner. However, the major strategic decision to produce passenger cars in the USA was closely allied to the introduction of the large SUVs, for which the American market is by far the most important worldwide. The Tuscaloosa plant and the M-Class were therefore two parts of one and the same decision announced in April 1993: the history of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. – MBUSI for short – had begun.

The plant was completed in July 1996, and production of the first M-Class commenced in the following year. Daimler took its corporate culture to the USA with thorough preparatory training and education. The originally planned production output of 65,000 units quickly became more. In recent years over 300,000 vehicles have rolled off the production lines in Tuscaloosa. Well over three million vehicles have left the plant since 1997. Around two thirds of the installed parts and components come from North American suppliers. Some two thirds of the SUVs produced in Alabama are exported from the USA. This makes MBUSI the second-largest car exporter in the USA.

  • Dynamic exterior design in the style of Sensual Purity
    The modern luxury, elegance and sportiness of a coupé and the robustness of an SUV: that is the design message of the new GLE Coupé. Its elongated proportions with short overhangs and large flush-mounted wheels and its dynamic greenhouse with the long side-window line exude high value and exclusivity.

  • Significantly lower aerodynamic drag
    Lots of detail work lowers the drag coefficient by nine percent compared with the predecessor to as low as Cd = 0.32 in the corresponding configuration. Sources of wind noises were also eliminated specifically.

  • The vehicle offering the most active driving experience among the large SUVs of Mercedes-Benz
    Compared with the GLE, the wheelbase is 60 millimetres shorter and the steering ratio is more direct. The three suspension versions (steel suspension, AIRMATIC air suspension and the active suspension E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL on a 48-volt basis) have in part a coupé-specific set-up.
  • Comfortable spaciousness in the elegant coupé
    Crucial centimetres of more space for the passengers than in the predecessor and the largest boot in the vehicle category with a cargo capacity of up to 1790 litres and a loading length of almost two metres make the GLE Coupé spacious and versatile.

  • Modern luxury on board
    The ambience is characterised by the latest generation of the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system with intuitive operating structure and brilliant graphics with high picture quality, fine materials and high-quality workmanship. ENERGIZING comfort control enables the interconnected use of several comfort systems in individual wellness programmes.

  • In-line diesel engines of the latest generation
    The powerful diesel engines of the latest engine generation are refined, strong and smooth plus efficient and low in emissions to boot.

  • Plug-in hybrid of the third generation drives locally emission-free for up to 100 km
    With 100 kW of electric power, the new GLE Coupé turns into a close-range electric car and drives especially dynamic, energy-efficient and comfortable over long distances.

  • Fully variable transfer case with torque-on-demand as standard
    Driving fun on winding roads, grip on slippery surfaces and a high level of safety reserves in all driving situations thanks to constantly variable torque distribution between front and rear axle.

  • Latest generation of driving assistance systems and expanded PRE-SAFE® functions
    Cooperative assistants with a host of Intelligent Drive functions ease the burden on the driver in many driving tasks, PRE-SAFE® increases the protection in an ever growing number of situations in which an accident is impending or imminent. This makes driving in the new GLE Coupé a particularly relaxed and safe experience.