Mercedes-Benz this week announced it will start production in Brazil, initially with the next-generation C-Class and the new GLA-Class crossover. The announcement comes just a few weeks after Audi announced plans to build its new A3 and Q3 models in Brazil and a year after BMW said it was seeking to build cars in the country.

Mercedes hopes to start production in Brazil by as early as 2016 and is investing some $230 million in the project. A new plant will be constructed in Iracemápolis, which is near São Paulo. The foreseen production should reach up to 20.000 vehicles each year. Around 1,000 new jobs will be created in the process. Furthermore, this should develop approximately 3.000 new jobs for suppliers and other related businesses.

The cars will be built for sale in Brazil and some surrounding markets. Some readers may recall that Mercedes will also be building the C-Class in the U.S. once the new model is launched in 2014.

Production of its passenger cars in Brazil means Mercedes stands out as the only company to act in all segments of mobility in the country, with cars, trucks, buses and vans.

With the completion of the Brazilian plant, Mercedes will have plants in Germany, Hungary, the U.S., South Africa and China. There are also CKD and SKD assembly plants in Egypt, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

As sales of luxury cars in China start to mature, major automakers are now looking for the next country or region to offer the most growth. One of the top contenders is Brazil, which benefits from strong demand for its resources, a growing service industry and access to markets in both North and South America.


Follow Motor Authority on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.