Mercedes-Benz, after more than 40 years in New Jersey, is considering moving its U.S. headquarters south to Georgia or North Carolina, according to media reports.
The Atlanta Business Chronicle first reported the possibility of the move Tuesday. A relocation would mark the end of the company's 42-year-old ties with Montvale, N.J., where Mercedes-Benz employs about 800 people.
Mercedes-Benz is also studying several cities in North Carolina, two people briefed on the matter told The Wall Street Journal.
Mercedes-Benz declined to comment.
“MBUSA has not made any announcements with regard to this issue,” a company spokesman told the Journal. “There’s a lot of rumor and speculation out there -- none of it’s coming from us. As a matter of policy, the company does not comment on rumor or speculation.”
If it materializes, the move would mark the third recent relocation by an automaker in North America.
Toyota Motor Corp. is moving North American sales, marketing and other corporate operations from southern California and the Cincinnati area to suburban Dallas. And General Motors' Cadillac brand is relocating from Detroit to New York.
The Journal said Mercedes-Benz is reviewing several tax incentive packages. New Jersey is also expected to extend a package to retain the company, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported.
JLL Inc., a commercial real-estate firm that assisted with the Toyota move, is also handling Mercedes-Benz activity, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Meredith O’Conner, an international director for JLL, is reportedly leading the company's internal site selection team, but declined to comment, the paper said.
John Boyd, a principal at The Boyd Co., corporate site selection consultants based on Princeton, N.J., told NorthJersey.com that he first heard from industry contacts about a month ago that Mercedes was considering Savannah, Ga.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Atlanta as possible relocation sites.
Boyd, citing clients in the auto industry, said Atlanta has emerged as the front-runner.
Atlanta is about 200 miles from Vance, Ala., where Mercedes has manufactured light vehicles since the late 1990s.