Alabama's Mercedes-Benz plant launches production of sporty coupe-style SUV -

VANCE, Alabama -- The Mercedes-Benz plant on Wednesday officially kicked off production of a new coupe-style SUV that marks the fifth model running on the German automaker's Tuscaloosa County assembly lines. The GLE Coupe is a sporty, high-performance vehicle that is set to compete against the BMW X6. It is expected to go on sale this summer. Workers at the Alabama plant began building customer-ready versions of the GLE Coupe about a week ago. The GLE Coupe combines the sportiness of a coupe with the strength of an SUV, said Schaefer, who is now a member of the Divisional Board for Mercedes-Benz Cars, overseeing the company's manufacturing and supply chain operations. The milestone vehicle, destined for a customer in the Czech Republic, is a Hyacinth Red Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S 4MATIC Coupe. Another variant, the GLE 450 AMG 4MATIC Coupe, has a biturbo V6 engine with 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. Mercedes showed off the GLE Coupe in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, where it was a star of the show, said Jason Hoff, current head of Mercedes' Alabama operations. He credited the plant's employees for the successful launch of the GLE Coupe, which is part of one of the most aggressive periods in the automaker's history in Alabama. Source: