Mercedes-Benz Plant donating 15 vehicles valued at $700,000 to Alabama high schools and colleges

VANCE, AL – As Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. (MBUSI) moves closer to start of production of its electric vehicles in 2022, the Alabama plant is also taking steps to accelerate the number of students who want to pursue a career in the automotive industry. MBUSI is donating 15 sport utility vehicles with a combined value of more than $700,000 to 13 high schools and two community colleges in Alabama for instructors to use as valuable classroom tools.

The majority of the GLE SUVs were previously used to test and ensure Mercedes-Benz quality standards. Once quality tests have been completed, these vehicles cannot be sold for customer use or driven on public roads, but they can be used for training in a classroom.

“Donating these vehicles to our schools is a win-win for everyone,” said Michael Goebel, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. “We have found a sustainable solution to re-purpose vehicles — that would have been destroyed at the end of their test cycle — and diverted them instead for an educational purpose. These schools are providing hands-on training and helping automakers develop a future workforce that will help us make sustainable vehicle production a reality. They are bridging the gap between the classroom and career readiness.”

“Our Mercedes-Benz SUVs will enable us to bring technology to the students,” said Rolf Wrona, Vice President of Human Resources for MBUSI. “Some of these vehicles will be steered to the Modern Manufacturing for Excellence program, which prepares students for entry level manufacturing careers with Alabama’s automakers. Our donations are all about providing an avenue for students to become engaged in manufacturing and technology.”

Currently, MBUSI has donated more than 40 vehicles to area high schools that serve as feeder schools to the two-year colleges. MBUSI is also seeing cross-collaboration as some schools and colleges have instructors visiting one another’s workshops to see how they are set up and inspiring some to duplicate or borrow one another’s ideas.

MBUSI Human Resource Specialist Steve Colburn has worked to develop relationships with both secondary and postsecondary educational systems to identify recipients of the vehicles.  Colburn works to encourage students to pursue careers in technical education and promote opportunities within the automotive industry, especially within Mercedes-Benz U.S. International.

“We are committed to getting vehicles out in the community when they become available – especially for those schools with automotive tech programs in place,” said Colburn.  WWe want these vehicles to be used and for the students to really learn the technical aspects of our SUVS.”

About Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc.

MBUSI – located in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama — is the production location for the GLE-, GLS-, GLE Coupe SUV and the Mercedes-Maybach GLS for all global markets. As of today, Mercedes-Benz Cars has invested over $6 billion USD in its production location in Alabama. The plant is further expanding its production footprint with a $1 billion investment for its second campus. The expansion includes construction of a new battery plant to prepare the plant to build electric vehicles at the beginning of this decade. MBUSI currently employs more than 4,400 Team Members and provides more than 10,000 jobs at suppliers and service providers in the region.

The Mercedes Technician program is focused on providing students with the fundamental skills associated with Mercedes-Benz advanced automotive technology. Not only do we provide the automotive basics, but we also focus on providing students with leadership skills for our production environment. Through the Mercedes TECH training program, students have the ability to earn an associate’s degree in advanced automotive technology. While in this program, MBUSI supports with tuition and fees and students earn money while working at the MBUSI plant. At the end of the program, all successful students are hired and some of those students go into an additional 4 months of training to become a highly skilled repair technician. This program is available at four (4) area community colleges and new classes begin every fall. The Mercedes TECH program develops careers, as technicians and as leaders. 

MBUSI is currently hiring several hundred Production Team Members through the end of 2021, with additional hires in 2022 and 2023. Starting pay is $20/hour with a top rate of $25+/hour in 4 years after regular wage increases plus shift premium. This position is a DIRECT HIRE to MBUSI with “Day One” eligibility for all of MBUSI’s excellent benefits.  For more info & to apply visit:

For more information on all of MBUSI’s student or professional career opportunities, visit:

Further information from Mercedes-Benz is available at: and