Daimler has announced it has invested $500 million into building a new Mercedes-Benz assembly plant in the U.S. The new facility will primarily build the Sprinter van, which has experienced increased demand in the U.S.
Set to start construction near the Charleston, S.C., area sometime in 2016, the new plant will not only create more than 1300 jobs, but it will also help Mercedes meet growing demand for its vans at a lower cost while also reducing delivery times.
“This plant is key to our future growth in the very dynamic North American van market,” Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, said to Automotive News. After Germany, the U.S. is the second-largest market for the Sprinter van.
Since 2001, most U.S.-market Sprinter vans have been produced in kit forms at German plants and then shipped to South Carolina for assembly. Cutting out the extra step would definitely have its benefits, with one of those being the possible addition of the newly revealed midsize Metris van to the assembly line. The U.S.-market Metris, which slots below the Sprinter, just made its official debut this week and will go on sale in October 2015 as a passenger and cargo van. The Metris will also be shipped in kits and assembled here, though we wouldn’t be surprised to see it built at the new plant once it’s up and running.