Mercedes-Benz Vans has announced a new US$500mn van manufacturing plant to be built in Charleston, South Carolina, USA. The new plant is to be built for making the new Sprinter van domestically. The Sprinter is sold in the U.S. as both a Mercedes-Benz and a Freightliner-branded van. The Vans division is also adding the Metris range of medium-size vans in fall 2015.
The company says that it is facing high import duties and a complex disassembly process of the units imported from Germany for sale in the U.S. The local production will allow for meeting the growing demand from the North American market and the reducing delivery time significantly.
The new plant will be spread across a total area of more than 200 acres. There will be a completely new body shop, a paint shop and an assembly line. Construction of the new van plant is set to begin in 2016. The new plant is said to create more than 1,300 new jobs and the company aims to become one of the biggest industrial employers with this plant.