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image: REUTERS

How Mercedes turned a ‘crazy’ idea into gold

A little more than 20 years ago, the Mercedes-Benz W163, dubbed “Job1,” rolled off the assembly line at the company’s U.S. plant in Vance, Ala., launching the M class.

It was a risky experiment for what was known then as Daimler-Benz: its first manufacturing plant outside Germany, building an entirely new product and its first wholly manufactured SUV.

Mercedes production boss Markus Schaefer said the idea, hatched by former Mercedes boss Juergen Hubbert, was considered “crazy.”

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