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Sunday, January 26, 2020

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter on the manufacturing line North Charleston, S.C. — Mercedes-Benz Vans has opened its new Sprinter plant for the North American market. After considering the high market potential for the new Sprinter in North America, the decision to build a new production facility in time for the launch of the new Sprinter model in the USA was announced in March 2015. The facility is now up and running following a two-year construction period.

The total investment adds up to approximately $500m, and more than 900 people currently work at the expanded North Charleston site, although that number is set to grow up to 1,300 by the end of 2020. According to estimations, suppliers will create an additional 600 new jobs in and around North Charleston.

"The USA is already the second largest market for our Sprinter today. With the new, state-of-the-art production site in South Carolina, we will be able to supply our customers in North America even faster and with more flexibility in the future. This makes better use of the dynamic market potential, placing our new plant in North Charleston as a central component of our growth strategy," said Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans.

"The new plant in North Charleston combines our global expertise and experience resulting in a state-of-the-art facility in every respect. It is a valuable asset that completes our global production network. Our priority at Mercedes-Benz Vans during the planning process for this facility was maximum flexibility. This enables us to react in an agile and anticipatory manner to current developments and customer desires. Additionally, it guarantees excellent quality within our proven, standardized production system," said Frank Klein, head of operations Mercedes-Benz Vans.

To coincide with the opening, Mercedes-Benz Vans also announced it will be producing Amazon branded Sprinter vans for the retail company's new Delivery Service Partner program at the new plant. Small business owners will work with third-party fleet management companies to procure their customized vans and get special leases in order to keep their startup costs low.

Amazon is now the world's largest Sprinter customer "We're proud to partner with Mercedes-Benz Vans to contribute to local economies through the order of Amazon branded Sprinter vans produced at their new plant in North Charleston," said Dave Clark, Amazon's senior vice president of worldwide operations. "Thanks to the tremendous response to Amazon's new Delivery Service Partner program, we are excited to increase our original order of branded Sprinter vans to 20,000 vehicles so new small businesses will have access to a customized fleet to power deliveries of Amazon packages."

The opening could not come at a better time—2018 marks the U.S. market launch of the new generation of the highly acclaimed van.

The third generation of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter defines the top class of large vans in all sub-disciplines. Its classic strengths have been improved upon and are complemented by new intelligent products and services.

Among the outstanding innovations in the North American market are the new multimedia systems MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience), the control and display concept in the cockpit, as well as ergonomically shaped seats and modern assistance systems - some of them were taken over by the car sector and, for the first time, found their way into a Mercedes-Benz van.

New standards are being set in the field of digitization and connectivity, which is why the new Sprinter can be described as the first van in a new category with a holistic overall system solution. The previously available version of the proven Mercedes-Benz Sprinter was in high demand among customers in the USA, the second largest market in the world for Sprinter vans.

Since 2006, Semi-Knocked-Down kits have been assembled in North Charleston for imported Sprinter vans and since 2015 also for imported Metris Midsize Vans (known in other markets as "Vito"). With the new plant and the "made in USA" vehicles, the business area will be able to serve the growing demand of North American customers more economically and significantly reduce delivery times in this market.

The new Sprinter will be made under the brands Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner.

Visit mbvans.com for more information.

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