Mercedes celebrates opening of North Charleston plant expansion

Local News
MERCEDES SPRINTER VAN_1536125431400.jpg.jpg

On Wednesday, Mercedes-Benz will host a celebration as it opens a new portion of its Sprinter van plant in North Charleston.

The ceremony marks the beginning of production for the company’s next-generation Sprinter van.  The vehicle will be the first of its kind ever produced end-to-end in the United States.

Mercedes-Benz broke ground on the plant expansion in 2016.  The project represents a $500 million investment that is expected to create as many as 1,300 jobs over the next 10 years.

“In the past we have been a reassembly here in North Charleston,” said Michael Balke, President & CEO of Mercedes-Benz Vans, in a November interview. “That means we have reassembled vehicles that have already been pre-assembled in Germany.  We don’t do that in the future anymore.  We will build them here from scratch.”

According to Mercedes-Benz, the U.S. is one of the fastest growing van markets in the world.  America is now the company’s second-largest Sprinter market.

Mercedes-Benz unveiled its third-generation Sprinter in Germany earlier this year.  Among the new features are comprehensive internet-based services that allow fleet managers to track vehicle locations, fuel levels and maintenance intervals almost in real time.  There are more than 1,700 potential Sprinter configurations worldwide.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.