The Mercedes C-Class is the best-selling model for the Company in the United States, which is actually odd when you think about it. The smallest Mercedes available is the one that sells the best and you can’t say it is because it’s cheap. At a base price near $38K you can get a fully loaded 2010 Nissan Maxima SV or a very well equipped 2010 Ford Taurus. Generally speaking, the larger car with more options wins in the States, but Mercedes has definitely found a good balance with the C-Class.
The decision about where the C-Class will be made is set to happen by January 2010. The current focus is whether to shift production of some of the C-Class models, specifically the ones designated for U.S. export, to the Vance, Alabama facility. The Alabama plant produces the M-, GL- and R-Class models and has built some 83,461 total units in 2009. That is down from the 152,500 total units produced in 2008, which is why the estimated 80,000 C-Class’ Mercedes would want to build at the plant if they shift production makes some sense. It isn’t a straight trade and would require investment into plant expansion and new tooling.
The production workflow isn’t really the real driver here. No, it is really the economy. The Dollar is weak against the Euro, which makes moving production to the U.S. advantageous for Mercedes even with additional investment in to the plant. This might also save Mercedes on import taxes, which begs the question: Would Mercedes be able to price the C-Class more competitively in the market?
That and more questions will probably arise, so stay tuned to AllSmallCars.com for the latest in everything small cars.