Despite the downturn in the U.S. economy, luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz continue to see sales growth in the world's biggest car market. The falling dollar has made it even more profitable to build cars in America - and Mercedes already builds M-, R- and GL-class vehicles in its Alabama plant. It is now beginning to look like the company could also include C-class production in its American facilities, especially with the new GLK, which is based on the same platform as the C-class, coming this fall.

The GLK, which shares parts from chassis to electronics with the C-class, is expected to do well in the U.S., so moving C-class (and GLK) production there could prove very fruitful. Mercedes has already invested more than US$700 million in its Alabama plant since 2004, according to Automotive News. Adding C-class and GLK production on top of the plant's annual output of nearly 175,000 M-, R- and GL-class vehicles would be one of the easiest ways to increase sales and presence in North America.

The talk of such an expansion of the Alabama plant is still very speculative, however. Despite the clear trend of the last few years showing increased sales of Mercedes-Benz products in the U.S., the company isn't yet sure if the return will be worth the investment. A company executive has been quoted as saying "maybe the day will come when we are discussing adding capacity" to the Alabama plant. It seems that day is yet to come - but we are certainly drawing nearer.