Mercedes GLB to be built in Mexico; on sale before year's end

feedback@motor1.com (Adrian Padeanu)
Mercedes-Bens Concept GLB

The boxy compact crossover will also be made in China for the local market.

Rumours of a GLB have been making the Internet rounds since mid-May 2014, and Mercedes finally confirmed the boxy crossover last week by unveiling a concept at Auto Shanghai. Later the same week, the company announced during the New York Auto Show plans to reveal the production version this summer. Fast forward to current day, more news has emerged about the GLK-esque model set to offer a seven-seat layout.

In an article detailing the hurdles it had to face while developing the concept, we learn the production version is going to be built in Aguascalientes, Mexico. It’s a new factory representing a 50:50 joint venture between Mercedes’ parent company Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance. The A-Class Saloon will also be assembled there, which isn’t really all that surprising considering the two models share a lot of the hardware. Mercedes will also assemble the GLB in Peking, China to cater to the local market.

The blog post published on Daimler’s website goes on to mention the GLB will go on sale before the end of the year, although it does not specify which markets will be getting the crossover first. China seems like a safe guess, but reports are indicating Mercedes will have the high-riding vehicle on sale in the United Kingdom in early 2020.

As for the Concept GLB, it has a rather interesting story since the people involved in the project were given the green-light in September 2018. As Mercedes explains, a showcar takes about 12 to 18 months from start to finish, but in this case, the team only had about 7 months to get the job done in order to have the concept ready for Auto Shanghai. Codenamed SC 037 (after Showcar Number 37), the vehicle had to have a seven-seat layout to highlight its special status in the company’s compact car range.

The people working on the concept had to borrow parts from several other vehicles to complete the GLB showcar. The first version of the concept went on to receive more than a thousand parts to become worthy of an auto show, with many of the bits and pieces specifically developed for the concept.

You can read the full story about the Concept GLB’s road to Auto Shanghai in the press release area below.

Future GLB versions spotted: