US - Mercedes-Benz Vans has started making the Sprinter in North Charleston, South Carolina. This follows on from an investment of US$500m in the facility, which was announced back in March 2015.

"The USA is already the second largest market for our Sprinter today," commented Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. "With the new, state-of-the-art production site in South Carolina, we will be able to supply our customers in North America even faster and with more flexibility in the future. This makes better use of the dynamic market potential, placing our new plant in North Charleston as a central component of our growth strategy ‘Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global’."

The company had been assembling vehicles in North Charleston since 2006 from semi-knocked-down kits. Over the past two years, a body shop, paint shop and new final assembly area have been built, tripling the footprint of the facility to almost 10m sq.ft. News of the start of Sprinter production coincides with another announcement, in which Mercedes-Benz Vans has said it will make Amazon-branded Sprinter vans at the plant.

Daimler is not the only European OEM to invest in South Carolina. Volvo Cars recently opened its Charleston plant where it is making the S60 sedan. The story was published in the AMS North America supplement, which explores OEM activity across the country and delves into the current issues that are impacting the automotive industry.