The movement of automakers from long-standing homes in the U.S. to new locations continued as Mercedes-Benz USA announced it plans to move its headquarters from Montvale, New Jersey, to Atlanta, Georgia.
The move could mean relocating as many as 1,000 employees. It will begin in July with a phased effort into temporary offices until the company’s new $93 million headquarters is complete in 2017.
“New Jersey has been a wonderful home to our U.S. operations for our first 50 years, and still is today,” said MBUSA President and CEO Stephen Cannon. “The state has worked tirelessly with us as we evaluated our options.“Ultimately, though, it became apparent that to achieve the sustained, profitable growth and efficiencies we require for the decades ahead, our headquarters would have to be located elsewhere. That brought us to Atlanta.”
With the relocation, Mercedes joins Toyota and Cadillac as companies electing to move to a new locale: Toyota from Torrance, California, to Plano, Texas, and Cadillac from Detroit to swanky digs in Manhattan.
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However, there has been a longer term trend during the last decade: Nissan moved from California to Nashville, Tennessee, in 2011 and Volkswagen moved to Herndon, Virginia, from metro Detroit in 2007.
The speculation about a possible move for Mercedes began in recent weeks when a list of possible new locations, including the final choice of Atlanta, became apparent. Other potential homes for there German automaker’s U.S. operations included: Savannah, Georgia, or Charlotte, North Carolina.
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The move makes sense on several fronts, including proximity to the automaker’s plant in Alabama.
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“Atlanta is a premier city which places us closer to our ever-growing Southeast customer base, our port in Brunswick, Georgia, and to Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, our Alabama manufacturing facility, which accounts for half of the vehicles we sell here in the U.S. For our employees, Atlanta offers a strong quality of life, terrific schools and wonderful cultural and recreational opportunities.”