Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, in Vance, Alabama, is expanding again. According to news reports citing the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority, a 500,000-square-foot facility is slated to be complete in 2022, that will add approximately 370 jobs to Tuscaloosa County.
To help facilitate this build, the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority’s board of directors, in late September, approved a tax abatement for Mercedes-Benz U.S. International for 10 years’ worth of local ad valorem or sales and use taxes when building this logistics and parts storage facility near its plant in Vance. The sales and use tax abatements during the construction period were estimated at about $3.2 million. Mercedes would still be responsible for paying more than $1.5 million in education taxes for schools.
According to news reports, the abatement decision hinged on internal IDA estimates showing that MBUSI and the new employees will generate more than $27 million in tax revenue for the construction and operation of the facility during a 20-year span.
The facility will be used as a storage and sequence facility for parts used in electric vehicles. Its completion will follow the construction of MBUSI’s Global Service Parts Warehouse in Woodstock, Alabama, that will house all vehicle service parts for dealerships and service centers in regards to vehicles originally built at MBUSI.
The company also has a battery plant under construction to facilitate electric vehicles being produced at MBUSI in the near future. The battery plant was initially mentioned as part of the company’s $1 billion expansion of MBUSI announced in 2017. The battery plant will be one of eight such facilities globally and the only one in the United States. This network of battery facilities will allow Mercedes-Benz to offer at least one electrified vehicle in each model series, including the production of an all-electric SUV, starting in 2022.
In early October, Mercedes-Benz announced a new strategic course at its investor meeting. “We intend to build the world’s most desirable cars. It’s about leveraging our strengths as a luxury brand to grow economic value and enhancing the mix and positioning of our product portfolio,” said Ola Källenius, chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG. “With this new strategy we are announcing our clear commitment to the full electrification of our product portfolio and our determination to ensure the business is fully carbon-neutral, in line with our Ambition 2039 target.”