Desperate for more SUV building space at its Alabama assembly plant, Mercedes is contracting out build of its now China-only R-Class to AM General of Hummer fame.

In a statement, AM General said it would build the model in its 675,000 sq ft commercial assembly plant in Mishawaka, Indiana.

Production at Mercedes-Benz's first and only contract manufacturer in the US begins this summer.

AM General said the plant is a full service manufacturing and support factory with robotic welding, painting and assembly capability "with a lean manufacturing culture and highly skilled workforce".

Its contract assembly includes work for General Motors and other OEMs.

"With the introduction of the new GLE Coupe and the ongoing strong demand for SUVs, Tuscaloosa needs all available production capacities for this segment,” Jason Hoff, CEO of Mercedes-Benz US International, told German magazine Automobilwoche.

Freed up R-Class production capacity at Tuscaloosa would be used for other Mercedes-Benz models, such as the GLE-Class and the GL-Class.

Production tools would be shifted to AM General.

The R-Class was launched in early 2005 and has been a China-only vehicle since 2013.

A source told Automobilwoche Mercedes production would be around or slightly over 10,000 units annually. Only the long-wheelbase version would be made.

Daimler chose the US over China because of the existing supplier network, Automobilwoche said. It was also easier to move the tooling to another US site.

The production run is indefinite and demand is strong enough to justify several more years of production, Automobilwoche said.