Even though Mercedes-Benz Vans, LLC is still building its new North Charleston facility, the company is hard at work hiring and training the employees who will fill the production plant. The company will add more than 1,000 positions over the next three years, with the majority of those in manufacturing.
Mercedes-Benz Vans (MBV), previously known as Daimler Vans Manufacturing, had been producing Sprinters since October 2006 under the Freightliner and Dodge brands – until the launch of the new Mercedes-Benz brand of Sprinter replaced the Dodge line in January 2010. As momentum of this new product line increased, Daimler executives began looking to the Mercedes-Benz Vans facility in Charleston as the forefront for expanding the
Mercedes-Benz vans product offering across the United States.
All vans built until this point were produced through what is known in the automotive industry as “semi-knocked-down” assembly process, meaning that the vans were fully assembled in a European Daimler van plant, partially disassembled for shipping, and then received and re-assembled in the MBV Charleston facility. To date, Mercedes-Benz Vans Charleston has re-assembled more than 100,000 vans since 2006, and the United States has become the second-largest market for these vehicles worldwide.
In March 2015, Daimler announced the expansion of the existing Mercedes-Benz Vans assembly operation, in addition to the creation of a brand new paint and body shop for the original assembly of Sprinter vans. This massive expansion will significantly increase the physical footprint of the MBV Charleston facility.
“Mercedes-Benz Vans’ growth can be seen each day as you drive by on Palmetto Commerce Parkway, but also within our expanding team,” CEO Michael Balke said.
Over the last year, the company has brought several specialists on board. And the first group of manufacturing team members in body and paint have begun their training, including visits to similar Mercedes-Benz facilities in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and the Sprinter van facility in Germany.
This group consists of external hires as well as existing Mercedes-Benz Vans team members looking for a new challenge.
As Mercedes-Benz Vans grows, so does its engagement with the tri-county community. With a focus on health and wellness, education and the environment, Mercedes-Benz Vans supports several local organizations, including the South Carolina Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Recovery Center and the Cooper River Bridge Run.
“At MBV, we believe in engaging with the community around us,” Balke said. “We are proud that, for the last two years, we have sponsored the Bridge Run, and more than half of our total number of employees has run, walked or volunteered together at this event. That says a lot of our team.”
The Mercedes-Benz Vans recruiting team also can be spotted at local events like Second Sunday on King and job fairs across the tri-county region. MBV is seeking specialists in several fields, as well as manufacturing positions in body, paint and assembly.