Mercedes-Benz has started production of the latest C-Class at its US plant in Tuscaloosa/Alabama, the third global source.

This is the first C to be made in Tuscaloosa which up till now has built SUVs only.

Some previous generation C-class for the US were assembled in Daimler's under-utilised Brazilian first generation A-class plant which has since been converted to build trucks.

Production in Beijing, China, will begin "shortly", Mercedes said.

The Tuscaloosa C-class goes on sale in the US and Canada next autumn.

Bremen is the model's lead plant and 100 Tuscaloosa workers were trained there.