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DaimlerChrysler AG has indefinitely delayed construction of a new factory in Georgia, where the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van was to be produced.
Building a plant for the diesel-engine Sprinter, which some in the RV industry believe has Class B and Class C motorhome applications, was postponed because the German-American automaker anticipates its Chrysler Group will report a $1.2 billion loss for the second quarter, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Currently, components for the Sprinter are assembled in Germany and shipped as a kit to the Freightliner plant in Gaffney, S.C., where the van is assembled for North American customers.
Freightliner is Daimler’s North American commercial vehicles subsidiary.
Although the Sprinter now carries the Freightliner brand name in North America, recently published reports stated that the Sprinter would eventually be marketed in North America through the Dodge dealer network.
Meanwhile, Georgia state officials now are worried because they invested $60 million to prepare a site near Savannah for the Sprinter plant, according to the Journal-Constitution.
However, the newspaper quoted several auto industry analysts who believe the Sprinter plant eventually will be built at the site. Such delays, because of the cyclical nature of the auto industry, are common, they said.