Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz Vans unit is celebrating fifteen years of procedure at its US assembly plant.
Mercedes refers to the manufacturing unit as being in ‘North Charleston’ but the former (fire fighting products maker) American LaFrance facility is officially in Ladson, South Carolina and has developed all over 200,000 vans because June 2006, quite a few below the Freightliner and Dodge makes.
The recent variety is the Sprinter big van and the medium Metris (US name for the Vito) and Sprinter also continues to be obtainable as a Freightliner product.
The Dodge nameplate dates back to the DaimlerChrysler times and the model, now element of Stellantis, these times rebadges and builds the big Fiat Ducato rival for the Sprinter as the Ram Promaster for the US.
Vans are classed as light trucks in the US and attract the extended-managing ‘chicken tax‘ 25% import duty tariff if imported entirely assembled. Freightliner to begin with assembled SKD Sprinters imported from Germany at a plant in Gaffney, also in South Carolina, from 2001 until 2006 until the recent plant was repurposed, established up to begin with for semi knocked down (SKD) assembly and was recognized initial as DaimlerChrysler Production International (DCMI) with one hundred staff.
Right now it operates as a Mercedes-Benz Vans manufacturing unit with 1,600 individuals and assembles automobiles from wholly knocked down (CKD) kits.
Passenger variants of the vans aren’t matter to the hen tax and are entirely imported.
The plant was expanded for a whole Sprinter product redesign in 2018 with new entire body and paint outlets and an prolonged assembly making.
The change from SKD to CKD followed two years of construction and new products set up costing US$500m.
The plant will also construct the following generation electric vans from 2023 “to fulfil long term shopper need and to construct the eSprinter vans near to market”.
Shop Floor Electronic (SFMdigital), an online platform that tracks essential efficiency indicators, monitors supply and good quality metrics in every single manufacturing store and collects details needed to analyse efficiency tendencies, follow up on necessary steps, perform balance audits and discover constant enhancement options.
From 2022 the plant will be one hundred% run by inexperienced strength.