By Theodore Opara
MERCEDES-Benz USA CEO, Dietmar Exler, has unveiled a new SUV to the company’s lineup at the New York show. The GLC Coupe 63 S is a crossover between the company’s popular SUV and sports car line.
“We are proud of the newest addition to our SUV family. With the AMG, a high-performance engine, you’ve got the GLC Coupe 63 S,” Exler told CNBC. “It’s a bi-turbo 8-cylinder engine and 503 horsepower.”
Exler pointed out that he’s seen no slowdown in demand for the SUVs, in fact noting that factories are already working “overtime” to produce more.
When asked whether or not he sees the auto market plateauing in sales and slowing down, Exler remained positive for the auto industry’s future. “We don’t see a big dropoff or anything like that this year or next year,” Exler said. “Last year we were at 17.55 million units. We might be 17.4, that’s still 99 percent of the all-time high. It’s still a pretty good industry.”
Mercedes manufactures about 310,000 vehicles within the United States according to Exler, but has no plans at the moment to open another manufacturing plant in the U.S.
“Well, we’re always analyzing what the situation is, how to best optimize it and then kind of decide. These are not decisions we make lightheartedly or quickly because, obviously, once you build a factory, it has to run for 10-20 years, basically forever speaking for our industry, so we are always watching and readjusting,” Exler said. “It’s possible, but there’s no decision made nor do I expect any decision in the near future.”