In the new GLE to suppliers
Wilko Stark in Tuscaloosa/USA. The ramp-up of the new SUV generation from Mercedes-Benz is in full swing. What is the situation with suppliers in Alabama?
Alabama in two days. Packed with appointments. Topic: The new SUV generation. Wilko Stark, Divisional Board Member Mercedes-Benz Cars, Procurement & Supplier Quality, got his own impression of the current status. On the road with the new Mercedes-Benz GLE. Decisive question: How can the suppliers keep up with the speed of the ramp-up? Do they manage to deliver top quality even in the required quantities? And that in the long term? Wilko Stark and his management team visited suppliers who have settled in the vicinity of the plant in Tuscaloosa. ‘I like Powerpoint presentations, but I always want to see our partners’ production and products,’ explains Stark. ‘How are the processes organized, in what condition are the machines, what impression do the employees make?’
Tuscaloosa has served as the traditional production site for SUVs since 1997. This factory supplies the current GLE, GLE Coupé and GLS models to customers worldwide. These models are made exclusively in Alabama and two thirds of them are exported to almost every country in the world. Therewith Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. (MBUSI) is the second largest automotive exporter in the U.S.. First new Mercedes-Benz GLE rolled off the line
in October and it will be delivered from the beginning of 2019.
Conclusion of the Alabama Tour: Wilko Stark was impressed by the commitment of the suppliers. A lot was invested here in the USA. New machines, new production halls, partly completely new locations, new jobs. In dialogue with the suppliers, it was discussed how the challenges with regard to the now increasing quantities could be mastered. In partnership with each other.