Mercedes Alabama Plant Rolls Out Millionth SUV

VANCE, Ala. (AP) -- Mercedes-Benz has reached the 1 million mark for its M-Class SUVs built at its plant in Vance since the Alabama operation began 12 years ago.

Employees gathered around the SUV after it rolled off the German automaker's assembly line on Wednesday. Officials reminisced about the first M-Class built at the plant.

Ola Kaellenius, head of Mercedes' Alabama operations, challenged employees to "go for the next million."

Work is under way at the plant on a $290 million expansion of the body shop to accommodate the next-generation versions of the vehicles now built there.

The 1 millionth Alabama-built M-Class is a palladium silver ML350 BlueTEC diesel destined for a West Coast Mercedes-Benz dealership.

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