Mercedes will swap EQS electric SUV production for new 300-mi GLC EV at US factory

Mercedes-Benz plans to stop building its EQS SUV in the US in favor of a new longer-range electric GLC. The move comes as Mercedes plans to make room for its upcoming GLC EV.

According to supply chain sources via Automotive News, Mercedes will move EQS SUV production to its Breman plant in the second half of the decade.

The EQS is currently built at its Tuscaloosa plant in Alabama. It was the first all-electric Mercedes built in the US, starting last August. Mercedes has since also introduced the EQE SUV.

Mercedes is moving production to make room for the new GLC EV, which a source claimed is a “cash cow.” According to AutoForecast Solutions, Mercedes will begin building the GLC EV in the first quarter of 2026.

More importantly, the auto intelligence firm predicts the new electric SUV will reach 50,000 in volume in its first year. That’s more than double the current EQS SUV.

The EQS SUV currently leads Mercedes’s US sales, with 7,086 units sold through September. However, sales were down 48% in Q3 (1,596 units sold) compared to last year (3,077).

The GLC EV will be the EQC’s successor. The EQC was expected to launch in 2020 in the US as Mercedes’ first mass-market EV but ditched the plans over its limited range.

Mercedes EQS production in Alabama (Source: Mercedes-Benz)

Mercedes to launch new GLC EV

According to those briefed on the new model, the GLC EV will feature around 300 miles of range and a redesign. One dealer said the new EV has a “rounded front and rear,” replacing the boxy styling of the gas-powered version.

The new model was recently spotted testing for the first time by Auto Express, revealing a sleek crossover SUV with a short bonnet and tighter stance.

Producing the new model in the US will enable it to qualify for the IRA tax credits, according to AutoForecast VP Sam Fiorani. Mercedes also sources batteries locally at its new factory in Bibb County.

Mercedes is quickly transitioning to electric in the US. Electric vehicles accounted for nearly 15% of its US sales in the third quarter.

At a dealer meeting in May, Mercedes’ global marketing and sales chief said the automaker expects EVs to represent 40% of new car sales in the US by 2026. By 2030, she expects that number to be around 70%.

Electrek’s Take

With the US being Mercedes’ No. 1 market, according to Seeger, shuffling production makes sense.

The new GLC EV is expected to be a much higher-volume model than the current EQS. A smaller, higher volume model (presumably at a lower price point) will fit better in the automaker’s transition.

It’s also expected to ride on the new Mercedes MMA platform designed to cut costs and improve efficiency.

The automaker plans to go all-electric by 2030 “where market conditions allow.”

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