Move over Mercedes, there's a new luxury SUV being made in Alabama.
Thursday, the first of the newly redesigned Acura MDX vehicles rolled off the assembly line at the Honda plant in Talladega County.
The midsized SUV got a ceremonial rollout and workers who drove off the new car gave high-fives all around. Governor Robert Bentley attended the ceremony as well.
"The reason that Alabama is so special is because we have in Alabama, the best workers of any state in the country," Bentley said. "When I see an Acura MDX, I will know that you made it."
Acura's newly redesigned, best-selling vehicle has already brought 400 new workers and a $400 million investment to Lincoln, where the car is now the plant's most technically advanced vehicle. It will be assembled exclusively in Lincoln.
Honda officials say it's now the most technically advanced vehicle ever made at the plant.
"One of the challenges we had with development of this, with all the new technology that's being applied in the product, and I think the customer is going to see the benefit of that. But it's been something that's really helped our growth here in Alabama," Tom Shoupe, President of Honda Alabama, said.
Shoupe adds that there has been a recent spike in sales of other Honda models built at the Lincoln plant.
Governor Bentley says the work done at Honda in Lincoln is used in recruiting new industry to the state.
"These are outstanding products that will be seen all over the world. Anywhere I go in the world, anywhere I go in the United States, when I see this vehicle I know it was produced in Lincoln, Alabama," he said.
There's a new feature allowing the driver to adjust for sport, comfort or normal driving. Edmunds.com reviewed the SUV and praised its improved fuel economy, better second and third row seat access and its crafted interior. The review site lists limited storage space and less horsepower as two cons.
Workers hope overall that the new MDX will mean a smooth ride for their future.
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