It’s official: Mercedes-Benz USA is moving its corporate headquarters to Atlanta.
The news, released today, says the move is designed to better serve its growing customer base and strengthen the company’s position for long-term, sustainable growth.
A temporary facility in Atlanta’s Central Perimeter will serve as the new headquarters on an interim basis, with staff being relocated from the current Montvale, NJ, headquarters.
The company has plans to build a new, state-of-the-art headquarters. That should be completed in early 2017, according to Mercedes-Benz media contacts.
The move will impact about 1000 employees, the first of which will begin moving starting in July of this year. The announcement says employees will be phased in to minimize disruptions to business operations.
MBUSA President and CEO Stephen Cannon says, “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 US International, our Alabama manufacturing facility, which accounts for half of the vehicles we sell here in the US. For our employees, Atlanta offers a strong quality of life, terrific schools and wonderful cultural and recreational opportunities.”
Insiders tell me many employees only officially heard of the move this afternoon, after many had seen news reports on the decision. It’s not clear how many of those employees will be relocated to the Atlanta area, or how many new hires the company will be looking to make.
Mercedes-Benz follows another automaker by moving the headquarters to Atlanta. Last year, Porsche announced a similar move, with its headquarters now based near the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
On a personal note:
Atlanta is a wonderful community, but very, very different from Montvale, NJ. That’s great in many ways, not so good in others. I’ve been to the plant in Tuscaloosa, AL, for an insider’s tour of how the vehicles are constructed. I’ve also sat along the coast near Brunswick, watching the cargo ships come in and leave the port. It makes sense that Atlanta is between those spots. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Mercedes-Benz on multiple opportunities as a travel writer and member of the Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association. I’ve even been included in the annual meet up for Mercedes-Benz owners, StarTech, and have attended a couple press trips to get up close and personal with the vehicles (GL-class and ML), and ended up becoming good friends with many of the employees. I know many of the people in the Montvale offices are local to the area and this will be especially difficult for them as they face choices that may separate them from family, or force them to find other work in the area. I understand business is business, and tough choices have to be made. However, I also know this will be a hard decision to make. I certainly wish these employees all the best, and as a resident of Atlanta, I extend an offer to help any of them get to know the area better. Mercedes has been good to me in the past, and I’d like to be good to the people of MBUSA in return.