VANCE, AL—Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI) plans to launch an accelerated campaign to hire several hundred permanent production workers before the end of 2021.

MBUSI will begin assembling two electric vehicles—the EQS and EQE sport utilities—in 2022. In addition, MBUSI is opening an EV battery pack assembly facility on a second factory in nearby Bibb County, AL.

MBUSI is seeking workers with production experience, especially those in the auto industry, and less-experienced workers who have completed manufacturing training programs.

New hires will be immediately eligible for all MBUSI benefit programs and a starting hourly pay rate of $20, rising to more than $25 an hour after regular wage increases over four years, plus a shift premium.

“MBUSI’s commitment to being the best luxury auto manufacturer in North America is most evident in our workforce,” said Michael Göbel, president and CEO of MBUSI. “As our production continues to accelerate and evolve, we are growing the team we’ve built with additional support on a local level.”

To qualify for the positions, applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED certificate, one to three years of manufacturing or industrial experience and be able to perform the essential functions of the jobs.

MBUSI, which began assembling vehicles at the Tuscaloosa County facility in 1997, has some 4,400 permanent employees. Since 1995, Mercedes-Benz has invested more than $6 billion in the Alabama plant and expanded its involvement in the Tuscaloosa region with another $1 billion in 2018.