Tuscaloosa is a city in and the seat of Tuscaloosa County in the west central part of the U.S. state of Alabama. Located on the Black Warrior River, it is the fifth-largest city in Alabama with an estimated population of 90,221 in 2008. Tuscaloosa is named after the Choctaw chieftain Tuskaloosa who battled and was defeated by Hernando de Soto in 1540 in the Battle of Mabila. Tuscaloosa is the regional center of industry, commerce, healthcare, and education for West Alabama. Tuscaloosa is also the home of the University of Alabama. While the city attracted international attention when Mercedes-Benz announced it would build its first automotive assembly plant in North America in Tuscaloosa County, the university remains the dominant economic and cultural engine in the city. Tuscaloosa is the principal city of the Tuscaloosa Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Tuscaloosa, Greene, and Hale counties.