The reason Mercedes-Benz Vans decided to build a Sprinter manufacturing plant in North Charleston is simple: The U.S. market can’t seem to get enough of the tall, boxy commercial vehicles.
“Production follows the market,” Bobby Hitt, the state’s Commerce Secretary, said Wednesday as Mercedes-Benz Vans broke ground on a $500 million facility at Palmetto Commerce Park. “Companies want to produce where they sell.”
Mercedes-Benz Vans sold 28,600 Sprinters to U.S. customers in 2015 — it’s fifth consecutive year of record growth and an 11 percent increase over 2014 totals. Sales are up 16.5 percent so far this year. By the time the North Charleston plant starts producing vans at the end of this decade, the company expects to be selling at least 40,000 vehicles per year throughout North America.