Mercedes-Benz's Alabama plant is committed to delivering the most expensive mass-production passenger vehicle made in America on time.
The Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC arrives in stores in December and starts at $161,550, including shipping. Fully loaded, the SUV will top out at nearly $200,000.
The plant in Vance, which builds the GLE, GLE Coupe and GLS and is tooling up to launch electric vehicle production, started making the Maybach SUV in September. Despite the plant being shut down temporarily in the spring along with the rest of the auto industry because of the coronavirus pandemic, a Daimler spokeswoman said the new ultraluxury SUV is on schedule for retail distribution.
The SUV could deliver fatter profit margins. Ultraluxury SUVs, which often share platforms with much less expensive vehicles, are cash cows for automakers. The global market for ultraluxury SUVs should grow from around 7,500 in 2018 to more than 20,000 by 2023, according to AutoForecast Solutions. About 75 percent of these vehicles will be sold in the U.S. and China.