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Mercedes-Benz Kicks Off Expanded Plant In SC


Snapped at the groundbreaking recently for the new Mercedes-Benz Vans Sprinter plant in North Charleston, SC: Michael Balke, incoming CEO of Mercedes-Benz Vans and director of production at the plant; SC Gov. Nikki Haley; Mercedes-Benz Vans head Volker Mornhinweg; and Mercedes-Benz Vans head of operations Frank Klein.

The new 1.1M SF plant is an expansion of the existing van assembly site, representing an investment of around $500M, and it will also hold a 2.8M SF marshaling yard for finished vehicles. The body shop of the new plant will be built first, followed by the paint shop and the assembly lines later this year. Production of the next-generation Sprinter will begin at the facility before the end of the decade.

Sprinter vans for the US market have so far been produced at German plants, according to the automaker. Because of high import tariffs, they've been partially dismantled in a time-consuming process, and reassembled at the North Charleston plant. The new plant and the "Made in the USA" Sprinters will enable the company to meet the growing demand more economically.