Mercedes selects AM General to make R-Class SUV in the US for export to China

IndustrialsAssociated Press

Military and commercial vehicle maker AM General will start making Mercedes-Benz SUVs this summer under a new, multi-year contract with the German automaker.

AM General will make the R-Class, a seven-seat SUV, at its commercial vehicle plant in Mishawaka, Indiana. The R-Class was briefly sold in the U.S. but is now sold exclusively in China.

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Mercedes says it needs to move production of the R-Class from its Tuscaloosa, Alabama, assembly plant to make way for a new SUV, the GLE Coupe, and increase production of other models to meet growing U.S. demand.

AM General spokesman Jeff Adams said his company will hire and train several hundred workers to make the R-Class. The Indiana plant currently employs 1,500 people and makes the MV-1, a wheelchair-accessible van.