Birmingham, Ala., October 7, 2015 — Mercedes-Benz has selected an Alabama joint venture, BL Harbert International and Gray Construction, to design and build a new Body Shop, add to its Assembly Shop, and relocate its Energy Center in Vance, Alabama. The project will support the plant in the production of its next generation luxury SUVs.
“The impact that Mercedes Benz has made in the state of Alabama over the past twenty years has been immense,” said Jeremy Pipkin, Vice President, Division Manager of BL Harbert. “ BL Harbert International and Gray Construction are honored to be partners with Mercedes for their next chapter of growth.”
The facility will consist of a new 1,300,000-square-foot body shop, an assembly addition, and energy center renovation. Construction has already begun and is slated for completion summer of 2017.
“With this expansion and modernization of our plant, we will create 300 new jobs and continue the success story of Mercedes-Benz in Tuscaloosa,” said Jason Hoff, President and CEO of MBUSI. “Our entire team is proud to reinforce the State of Alabama’s growing reputation as a leader in high-quality automotive manufacturing.”
Mercedes-Benz opened its plant in Vance in 1997 and currently employs more than 3,500 people and more than 8,000 people who come onsite everyday to support operations, including contingent workforce, contractors and suppliers. Last year, Mercedes added theC-Class sedan production to its expanded Vance plant, which also makes the GLE-Class and the GL-Class sports utility vehicles. Earlier this year, a new SUV coupe— the GLE Coupe was added. The Mercedes-Benz plant Tuscaloosa will also assemble the next SUVgenerations including the hybrid versions.
BL Harbert International completed the Mercedes-Benz Consolidation Center in 2014. More than 3 million parts are moved throughout the 935,000-square-foot building daily. Gray Construction, currently ranked 5th in automotive plant construction by ENR, also brings more than 50 years of design-build experience to this project.
“Gray Construction is excited to be part of this significant automotive project for Mercedes,” said Stephen Gray, President and CEO of Gray Construction. “Because the entire team of Gray, BL Harbert and Mercedes is committed to success, we believe our strong partnership will make it possible.”
Together, the joint venture has completed more than 70 years of automotive experience with 375 automotive projects totaling more than $3.75B in volume.