The Mercedes-Benz Vans, a division of Daimler AG, announced on Friday that the company will be constructing a brand new assembly plant in South Carolina. The plant for company’s Sprinter vans will require a half-billion dollar investment. Once fully operational the plant will provide 1300 more jobs.
The aim behind the plant is a more economic production of vans and to cater growing domestic market. Sprinter vans will sport nameplates of Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner.
The United States is the second largest market for Sprinter after Germany, said the company which sold around 26,000 Sprinter vans last year.
This plant is an addition to other major assembly plants in the South, where the auto industry is growing steadily.
“The domestic market in America is constantly growing, Supplying imported vehicles to customers here doesn’t make any sense in terms of budget,” said Volker Mornhinwig, the head of Mercedes-Benz Vans at the press conference near Daimler Assembly plant.
Currently, South Carolina plant conducts very complicated process. Due to high duties on imports of the finished vehicles, plant reassembles Sprinter vans which are manufactured in Germany. Then the parts are again disassembled to ship it to North Charleston.
The company plans to build new plant in 200-acre site near the existing plant. The estimates of production of Sprinter vans by plants and starting date are not yet available, but the company has informed that construction will begin next year.
With the launch of mid-sized Metris in the United States, the company will add 60 more jobs in the existing facility. Currently it employs around 140 workers in the plant, which will import assembled mid-sized Metris, disassembled and shipped to the present plant.
The influential factors while choosing the location were availability of the local workforce, a supplier network and infrastructure like a port of Charleston. The incentives from the state government include $14 million grant and additional job incentives.
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