Facility will process 50,000 vehicles annually, create jobs in Georgia

Governor Sonny Perdue congratulated Mercedes-Benz USA for choosing Brunswick as the site of its new vehicle preparation center (VPC) for vehicles being imported into the United States.

‘We have made wise investments in replacing the Sidney Lanier Bridge, deepening the Brunswick Harbor, completing the overpass on Highway 17 and constructing the North/South connector road on Colonel’s Island,’ said Governor Sonny Perdue. ‘Mercedes-Benz USA is the first of what I hope will be many of our state’s customers to benefit from our increased accessibility for automobile manufacturers.’

The announcement today of 50,000 additional imports through Brunswick will be consolidated with the more than 75,000 Mercedes-Benz vehicles already exported through the Port of Brunswick each year. This consolidation follows a similar move in recent years by Hyundai/Kia to combine its import operations in Brunswick.

“The move to Brunswick represents a tremendous opportunity for Mercedes-Benz in terms of further improving efficiencies for our southeast Vehicle Preparation Center - one of the critical steps in the process of bringing new vehicles to market,” said Ernst Lieb, president & CEO, Mercedes-Benz USA. “The proximity to the port, combined with better railroad and highway access and room for expansion, make Brunswick an excellent location for this facility. With quality being our top priority, the new VPC is an important step toward consistently delivering the best vehicles to our dealerships and ultimately our customers.”

The announcement today will either transfer or create 41 Mercedes-Benz USA jobs in Brunswick in addition to other jobs that will be generated in the shipping, rail and trucking industries. The company’s current vehicle preparation center is located in Jacksonville.

Mercedes-Benz USA expects construction to be complete by the first quarter of 2009. The Vehicle Preparation Center is the first stop - after US Customs -for new vehicles destined for Mercedes-Benz dealerships throughout the United States. It is the final quality inspection point, equipped with advanced computerized control systems and inspection facilities designed to ensure the high quality condition of each new vehicle. Vehicles are released only after they have been thoroughly inspected and have met the high standard of Mercedes-Benz.

‘The harbor deepening and new access to the south side of Colonel’s Island means the Brunswick Port can meet the needs of any automaker in the world,’ Georgia Ports Authority Chairman of the Board Mack Mattingly said. ‘Mercedes-Benz USA has achieved 13 consecutive years of sales growth, and we are proud that they will continue to grow and thrive because of increased efficiencies provided by this new facility.’