Mercedes-Benz will use its Tuscaloosa County, Ala., plant to build a vehicle described as a combination of sport utility vehicle, station wagon and touring car.
The DaimlerChrysler subsidiary said production will begin in late 2004 of the Vision Grand Sports Tourer, unveiled as a design concept in January at the North American Auto Show in Detroit.
The prototype on display was a six-passenger, 15-foot-long vehicle with a 5.5-liter V-8 engine. It featured 22-inch tires, butterfly side doors and a glass roof that becomes tinted at the touch of a button.
The Alabama plant is undergoing a $600-million expansion that will double the number of employees to 4,000 as it doubles production.