M-B breaks ground on new West Coast sales, training center

Mercedes-Benz USA began construction today on a new home for its West Coast operations that will consolidate a vehicle preparation center, a learning and performance center and a regional sales office.

The company expects operations at the Long Beach, Calif., site -- once home to Douglas Aircraft Co. and later a Boeing 717 aircraft manufacturing facility -- to begin in the first quarter of 2015.

Mercedes said it will close its vehicle preparation center in Carson, Calif., a learning and performance center in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and its western regional office in Irvine, Calif., when the new West Coast operation center opens.

Mercedes-Benz USA spokesperson Diedra Wylie said in an e-mail that the new center will house about 200 employees, and workers will have the option to relocate.

The complex will consist of two buildings with 1,091,754 square feet of space on a 52.2-acre lot.

Mercedes-Benz said it plans to invest $15 million to $20 million on the site. The Long Beach Press Telegram reported the company is leasing the property for 15 years.

The decision to consolidate was prompted by Southern California’s status as one of the largest markets for Mercedes-Benz in the country, along with the overall growth in the luxury market in the United States, company officials have said.

“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,” Dietmar Exler, vice president of sales for Mercedes-Benz USA, said in a statement.

Mercedes-Benz’s western office supports 82 dealerships with sales and fixed operations in 12 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington.

You can reach Katie Burke at kburke@crain.com -- Follow Katie on Twitter: @KatieGBurke



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