The online retailer Amazon revealed Wednesday it plans to buy thousands of new vans assembled in South Carolina.
Just as Mercedes-Benz Vans marked the opening of its Sprinter van factory in North Charleston on Wednesday, the company revealed its first customer is Amazon.
In a statement, the German company said the new partnership with Amazon includes the delivery of 20,000 vans for small businesses across the U.S., making the online retailer the world’s largest Sprinter customer.
“This 20,000 (purchase) is all about this 2019 version of the Sprinter van,” Senior Vice President of Global Operations Dave Clark said at Wednesday’s event.
Mercedes-Benz Vans opened its new Sprinter plant for the North American market. The company has spent the past decade re-assembling vans which were manufactured in Europe. However, Mercedes announced three years ago it would begin actually assembling the vans in South Carolina due to increased demand from North American customers.
The North Charleston facility is now up and running following a two-year construction period. The total investment adds up to approximately $500 million, with more than 900 people working at the expanded site. The company hopes to grow that number to 1,300 employees by late 2020.
Amazon has previously said it wants to rely less on delivery by the post office, UPS and FedEx.