Sep. 5--MERCEDES-BENZ SPORT-UTILITY VEHICLE OUTCLASSES THE COMPETITION: The all-new Mercedes-Benz factory in Alabama -- the company's first plant outside Germany -- is cranking out an all-new sport-utility designed for the U.S. market.
But there's a potential problem brewing here.
This plant won't be able to build nearly enough of these new Mercedes ML320s to satisfy an American market that is ravenous for upscale sport-utilities.
The plant's capacity is just 65,000 vehicles a year. But if consumers looking to buy a $35,000 sport-utility happen upon this new Mercedes, they might well choose to leave a good many of those comparably priced Jeep Grand Cherokees, Ford Explorers and even Chevy/GMC Suburbans sitting in their showrooms. …