Vance's Mercedes-Benz plant rolled its first car off the line here 20 years ago Tuesday.
MBUSI President and CEO Jason Hoff looked over that 1998 model Mercedes Benz M-Class Tuesday.
"It shows the success we've had here over the last 20 years, the growth that we've had," Hoff told WBRC.
Some of Mercedes' first American employees autographed it.
The number of fulltime employees grew from around 1,000 to 3,600. More than 2.5 million vehicles have been built here since 1997. And Alabama's automotive industry has grown with it.
"If you think about what it lead to in development, growth. Now we have four automotive OEM's [original equipment manufacturer] in the state, plus countless suppliers and other businesses," Hoff explained.
He believes Mercedes future is even brighter in Alabama.
"We're getting ready for our next generation of SUV's. So the body shop we announced over a year and half ago has been finished," Hoff added.
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