Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) has started work on a new West Coast regional facility in Long Beach, California that will house its vehicle preparation centre (VPC) for imported units.

The company is moving to the new facility from its current location in Carson, just ten miles further inland, and expects the new facility to be fully operational by the first quarter of 2015. Investment in the new facility is between $15m-$17m.

Mercedes-Benz Usa Begins Construction On New 1.1mm Square Foot W

A spokesperson for the carmaker said the VPC will handle approximately 70,000 units annually with the ability, based on market growth, to handle a projected increase in volumes over the next 10-15 years.

“The move was made in order to ensure that we had sufficient space/capacity to handle the processing of vehicles,” the spokesperson told Automotive Logistics. “It’s also a great opportunity to bring in other business areas of MBUSA in southern California and provide synergies for business units being able to be located in one facility.”  

The facility will also provide the base for MBUSA’s regional office in the West supporting 82 dealerships as well as accommodating a dealership training facility.

The 100,000 sq.m facility, divided into two buildings, is located opposite Long Beach airport on the former home of the Douglas Aircraft Company, which later served as a Boeing manufacturing facility until it closed in 2006.

As with the current facility, the VPC will provide a range of services for imported vehicles including receiving them from the delivery vessels, port of entry services, inventory management for US market, shipping and wholesale. Quality tasks undertaken include vehicle inspection and factory quality checks. Along with Carson, MBUSA has VPCs on the US East Coast in Baltimore and Brunswick.

“Thirty years ago Mercedes-Benz planted roots in Southern California and expanding sales volume necessitates that we have the most efficient and effective structure to support our dealers in providing a world-class customer experience,” said Dietmar Exler, vice-president of sales for MBUSA.