Chip Harp | Feature Writer
SANDY SPRINGS – Another example of Georgia’s place as the “best state to do business” in the country opened its doors during a ceremony in metro Atlanta. Mercedes-Benz, the country’s leading luxury car brand, welcomed visitors to its new 200,000 square foot North American headquarters Thursday.
The building will house leadership and sales for all Mercedes-Benz products sold in North America. According to Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, the move from New Jersey demonstrates Georgia’s place nationally in attracting Fortune 500 companies.
“All of the stars are aligned”, said Exler during the event. “Our new Atlanta headquarters marks a highpoint for Mercedes-Benz in the U.S. Market.”
The building will be home to hundreds of workers in the new facility located on a 12-acre campus in Sandy Springs, just north of Atlanta, right off Georgia 400, north of Interstate 285.
The facility is state-of-the-art in design, earning at LEED Silver Certification for efficiency and use of materials. The open design welcomes collaboration and teaming through open windows bathing the work space in natural light. The campus includes a fitness center, on-site childcare, a roof deck, and a cafeteria serving a variety of high-quality foods for the company’s employees and visitors. There’s even an onsite barista from local roaster Octane operating a coffee bar in the main lobby.
The event featured reasons for Georgia’s push to land the employer, the sales of new cars and trucks. Not only is the headquarters located in Atlanta, but the port in Brunswick ships new GLC, GLE, and GLS sport utility vehicles around the world. Over 260,000 were shipped from the Tuscaloosa, Alabama plant to dealers around the world through the Georgia port last year alone. On display were not only the new Mercedes-Benz models for sale, but the new Hyper Sport Car, Concept Car, and even a replica of the original Benz motor car, the first car made, which drove up during the presentation.
Mercedes is joined by Porsche and PCA (Peugeot Citroen) as European car firms with their North American headquarters located in Atlanta. Exler touted the quality of life, workforce, business climate, and education as the primary reasons they were attracted to Atlanta.
During the ceremony, Axel Harries, Daimler vice president sales Mercedes-Benz Cars and product management Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars, announced Daimler’s intention to also establish a global incubator-type entity called Lab1886 in Atlanta. Lab1886 will help drive innovation by combining a big corporation’s expertise and know-how with the spirit of a startup. The Atlanta entity will open in the summer of 2018 and joins three existing locations in Beijing, Berlin and Stuttgart.
“In the last few years, we have watched Atlanta carefully: excellent colleges and universities are offering highly skilled and motivated graduates, and more and more innovative technology and digital companies make their home here. Atlanta is a true city of the future – a perfect match for Mercedes-Benz,” said Harries. “We will build the fourth Lab1886 opening here in Atlanta this summer.”