Mercedes ML-Class SUV – W166 (Spy pics & info)

Discussion in 'GLE-Class' started by LaArtist, May 7, 2009.

  1. LaArtist

    LaArtist Banned


    Looks like something out of transformers:D

    I like it:)
    • Like Like x 8
  2. GBOY

    GBOY Well-Known Member

    Interesting! I want to see more.
  3. Gullwing

    Gullwing Well-Known Member

    Looks like it could be a face lift. Not much change.
  4. Sunny

    Sunny Well-Known Member Staff Member GCF Guru

    Looks like an acura chop to me.
  5. Yaz

    Yaz Well-Known Member

    I was just wondering when it's gonna show up. We already have a facelift, so we should be seeing test mules by now.
  6. SKY

    SKY Well-Known Member

    This is what Mercedes needs to do to the ML, make it more agressive.
  7. Merc1

    Merc1 Well-Known Member Contributing Member

    I don't know why you guys are so in a hurry for a new The facelift just came out for the 2009 model year so it has to go through at least 2011. I'd say a new one for the 2012 model year in the U.S. with it being presented about 2 years from now....

  8. Gullwing

    Gullwing Well-Known Member

    Current one came out as MY 06.
    So if you go 7 years... new one in 2013
    6 years 2012
    5 years 2011
  9. Wolfgang

    Wolfgang Well-Known Member GCF Guru Contributing Member

    Interesting. Production of the W166 should start after October 2011 after the current expansion in Vance is finished. Here's a recent article:

    Mercedes plans $290M expansion for plant

    Organizers hope it will create more jobs as economy recovers


    By Patrick Rupinski Staff Writer

    Published: Friday, March 20, 2009 at 3:30 a.m.

    Last Modified: Friday, March 20, 2009 at 12:02 a.m.

    TUSCALOOSA | Mercedes-Benz plans to spend $290 million for a plant expansion and high-technology equipment at its Vance factory over the next 2 1/2 years.

    The expansion, announced Thursday, will include a 200,000-square-foot addition to the plant’s body shop, new equipment and new robotics that will be used to make a new generation of SUVs and possibly additional models.

    Mercedes officials said the expansion would bring new production, but they stopped short of saying Mercedes planned to add models to production lines at Vance.

    “That is something that our board would have to decide,” said Ruediger Schrage, chief financial officer of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International — the Vance-based subsidiary that makes Mercedes’ SUVs.

    “We have built where our market is, and the USA is our strongest market,” he said. “We are proud to stay here and invest for the future,” he said.
    Mercedes said the new equipment and processes that will be a part of its investment will be used to build M-Class and GL-Class successors. MBUSI now makes M-Class, GL-Class and R-Class SUVs.

    Construction on the expanded body shop will start in April and the work should be completed in October 2011, Schrage said.

    The expansion is a bright spot in an otherwise dismal automotive industry that has been hard hit by the global recession.

    Detroit’s Big Three automakers are fighting for their survival and shutting plants with GM and Chrysler getting billions of dollars in bailout loans from the federal government just to stay afloat. Foreign automakers have put new plants and expansions on hold — among them Toyota’s planned automotive plant in Mississippi. And even German-based Mercedes is looking at its global operations.

    That point was not lost by Mercedes officials who publicly announced the Tuscaloosa County expansion during a presentation to the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Board.

    “This is an investment in the future,” said Matt Kendrick, general counsel for MBUSI. “There is no doubt that we are going through the most historic times in our work lives. So what is this company doing? We are not asking for a bailout. We are here to partner with you. ... We are investing with confidence in the products that we make. We are investing in Tuscaloosa County and the Southeast.

    “We are confident the economy will come back, so we took this effort to put almost $300 million into the facility so we will be competitive with the Big Three, the other [foreign] transplants and even our sister manufacturing plants,” he said.

    MBUSI is Mercedes’ only plant in the United States.

    There have been hints that Mercedes could bring new production to the plant. In February 2008, Mercedes-Benz Chief Operating Officer Rainer Schmückle told Automotive News that if Mercedes-Benz sales continue to grow in the U.S. the automaker might build C-Class cars here.

    “If we perceive developments on the purchasing-power side of the U.S. continuing as they did in the last several years, maybe the day will come when we are discussing adding capacity [in the U.S.],” Schmückle was quoted as saying in the trade publication.

    Schmückle also told the publication that Mercedes’ new GLK-Class compact SUV crossover, which is being made in Germany and South Africa, could not then be made Vance because most of its electronics, chassis and interior parts are shared with the C-Class. He said Mercedes would have to set up a second set of parts logistics before it could build the GLK-Class here.

    “It’s certainly one of the thoughts for the future of that site, if we would want to give ourselves a larger presence in North America,” he told Automotive News.

    In making Thursday’s announcement, Kendrick said more than half of the Mercedes’ investment — $150 million — will go to build and equip the expansion of the body shop, the part of the factory where the exterior bodies of cars are put together. The rest of the money will be used for new equipment in the plant’s paint shop and assembly area.

    The Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority approved $11.5 million in tax abatements over 20 years for the project. The abatements cover non-education property taxes and sales and uses taxes that will be abated during the construction.

    The authority also approved a site preparation grant of up to $150,000 for the project. The authority usually ties tax abatements to guaranteed new jobs. But the contract has no guaranteed jobs requirement. The authority’s executive director, Dara Longgrear, said the authority’s board waived the job requirement because of the size of the project and the belief that the expansion will create more jobs when the economy recovers. “In today’s automotive world, whoever survives and comes out of this recession will benefit,” he said. “We also are sending a message to Stuttgart [Mercedes’ headquarters city in Germany] that we still are a great place to be doing business.”

    Reach Patrick Rupinski at 205-722-0213 or

  10. Merc1

    Merc1 Well-Known Member Contributing Member

    ^^^ Maybe now the ML/GL/R will match the fit and finish of the German built products. Less plastic in the grilles and more robust construction.

    Yep that figures out and sometimes it goes by when it was 2005 + 7 = 2012...making it a 2013 model year...only sale spring 2012.

  11. NarutoRamen

    NarutoRamen Well-Known Member

    That front does look good, but mostly it just looks like a facelift. Doubt it's even 10% of the real thing in that chop.
  12. far2000

    far2000 Well-Known Member

    Hey, I had no idea the GLK is being made here in USA...Im really surprised, i know C Class is made here but im abit hesitant 2 beieve the GL;K is made here in South Africa....:t-hands:
  13. Leech

    Leech Active Member

    AFIK glk is produced in germany

    bremen plant if I'm right?
  14. tennmb

    tennmb Well-Known Member

    Be expecting an early redesign of the ML.

    If you don't already know that next Jeep Grand Cherokee (2011) will be a reskinned, modified ML. That is a pretty good indicator that MB is done with the 165. I about puked in my cheerios when I found out the Jeep was getting MB architecture.

    So, don't expect MB to keep the current style ML around for long. Plus the ML has underperformed. MB should do much better in this mid-sized SUV segment. The ML is a nice vehicle, but the GLK out styles it, and actually looks more upscale. The face-lift failed to energize the ML and it doens't fit in with the new design language MB is driving for. Expect edgier styling. The ML isn't soft enough for RX350 ladies, and isn't egdy enough for X5 urban cowboys.
    • Like Like x 2
  15. Merc1

    Merc1 Well-Known Member Contributing Member

    Bet you anything the ML goes the full 7 model years like anything else. Just because the Jeep is using the ML chassis doesn't mean Mercedes will dump the current ML early. Jeep will be building their version in their own plant. A new ML is 2011 or 2012.

  16. GBOY

    GBOY Well-Known Member

    Out January 2012 as a 2013 Model in US I believe.
  17. Gullwing

    Gullwing Well-Known Member

    First SLK was still out when the Crossfire came out.
  18. Merc1

    Merc1 Well-Known Member Contributing Member


  19. NarutoRamen

    NarutoRamen Well-Known Member

    Chrysler Crossfire was based off of the SLK chassis. It's just going back to what you said earlier.
  20. cawimmer430

    cawimmer430 Well-Known Member

    Definitely NOT.

    MB's sell because of their conservative styling. There isn't really a single Mercedes' I can think off that was really aggressive in terms of styling. Perhaps the most aggressive MB design I can think of right now is a C63 AMG which just looks mean. Everything else looks conservative. But it sells.
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