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Mercedes-Benz USA Weighs Move From New Jersey
From the Wall Street Journal of Tue, 16 Dec 2014 21:51:28 EST
Mercedes-Benz USA executives are considering Atlanta and several cities in North Carolina for a new headquarters.
Mercedes-Benz USA executives are considering Atlanta and several cities in North Carolina for a new headquarters. Stan Honda/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Mercedes-Benz USA is considering a plan to move its headquarters to either Georgia or North Carolina from New Jersey, which would end a more than 40-year connection to the state where it employs about 1,000 people.

Executives are considering Atlanta and several cities in North Carolina, according to two people briefed on the matter. A variety of tax-incentive packages are being reviewed, although details have yet to be released. Mercedes-Benz USA, a division of Daimler AG , has been based in Montvale since 1972.

“MBUSA has not made any announcements with regard to this issue,” a company spokesman said. “There’s a lot of rumor and speculation out there—none of it’s coming from us. As a matter of policy, the company does not comment on rumor or speculation.”

If the move goes through, it would be the third major relocation to be announced in the past year in the U.S. auto industry. Toyota Motor Co. said in April it would relocate the majority of its U.S. operations to Plano, Texas.

Over the next three years, Toyota will move its manufacturing, sales and corporate headquarters to Plano from different sites throughout the U.S. The bulk of the people will come from Torrance, Calif.

General Motors Co. ’s Cadillac brand announced plans in September to open its own headquarters in New York next year, breaking away from the auto maker’s home in Detroit. The office will be located in SoHo and likely open in the second quarter, employing about 120 people.

A move south would put Mercedes-Benz’s headquarters much closer to its growing Tuscaloosa, Ala., plant, which has been expanding and is expected to reach an annual output of 300,000 vehicles by 2016.

Commercial real-estate firm JLL Inc., which helped Toyota, also is assisting in Mercedes-Benz’s relocation process, these people said. Meredith O’Conner, an international director for JLL who is reportedly leading the internal site selection team, declined to comment.

This isn’t the first time Mercedes-Benz has considered a move. In 1998, the company agreed to relocate its corporate headquarters to nearby Pearl River, N.Y., but later backed away over rising costs.

Write to Jeff Bennett at jeff.bennett@wsj.com



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