Two of the biggest economic development prizes come with a German accent. It has been known for a while that Volkswagen’s Audi brand is searching for a location to build its first North American plant. It now appears that Mercedes-Benz is also scouting locations in North America on the heels of its latest expansion of its plant located in Vance, Alabama.
Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand will build a new production facility in either the United States or Mexico as a part of its plan to sell 2.7 million vehicles by 2020, the company’s chief executive has disclosed.
Mercedes CEO Dieter Zetsche revealed in a recent interview with Manager Magazin that the company will build a new production plant in North America.
Automobile manufacturers now like to cluster their facilities near existing ones, but have also found benefits of moving across state lines for additional political clout – such as having two additional U.S. Senators and additional U.S. House members to look out for their interests. Georgia was successful in luring Kia in part because parent company Hyundai has a manufacturing facility a short drive away in Alabama.
Audi’s parent Volkswagen has recently opened a new plant in Chattanooga, while Mercedes has again expanded a successful facility in Alabama. Georgia’s proximity to both – and willingness to put strong incentive packages on the table – should put the state on the list for consideration for both manufacturers.