Mercedes-Benz Vans broke ground Wednesday on a new $500 million North Charleston plant that the company hopes will eventually employ up to 1,300 new jobs when fully operational.
The new plant when complete will manufacture Sprinter vans with the Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner nameplates. The company is building the facility near an existing plant that assembles van components manufactured in Germany.
“Today we are writing automotive history in South Carolina!” Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans Volker Mornhinweg said in Wednesday’s ceremony. “The groundbreaking also marks an important milestone for our growth strategy ‘Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global’: With our new plant we will continue with our success story in North America even more dynamically.”
Gov. Nikki Haley, US Sen. Lindsey Graham and other dignitaries spoke at the event.
The company hopes the new full-scale plant will offer faster supply to its customers. Work will first begin on the body shop of the new plant, followed by the paint shop and the assembly lines later this year. The company hopes to begin production of the next-generation Sprinter before the end of the decade.
Volvo Cars held a groundbreaking last year for its own plant a few miles away from the Mercedes plant that will build the S60 compact sedan. Volvo hopes to hire 2,000 workers there during the next decade.