Mercedes-Benz said today it plans to spend $500 million to build a new plant in Charleston, S.C., so it can assemble its next-generation Sprinter commercial van there, providing more evidence that the commercial van segment in the U.S. is continuing to get more competitive.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the investment will create 1,300 new jobs.
“This plant is key to our future growth in the very dynamic North American van market,” Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz vans, said in a statement.
Mercedes-Benz said construction of the 8.6-million-square-foot plant is expected to begin in 2016. The plant will include a new body shop, a paint shop and an assembly line.
Daimler AG was the first automaker to sell a European-styled commercial van in the U.S. in 2001.
But over the past three years, the commercial van segment has become vastly more competitive as Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Nissan have all introduced new or completely redesigned commercial vans in the U.S.
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