Mercedes celebrates opening of North Charleston plant expansion

Local News
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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.

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