MBUSA Looking South For New Home
With Cadillac getting its inner hipster on in SoHo, and Subaru trekking four miles west to conduct its American hustle in Camden, N.J., Mercedes-Benz USA is feeling the urge to heed the song of the South and go with the wind.
Automotive News reports MBUSA is looking at relocating its 800 employees to either Georgia, Florida or North Carolina, leaving Montvale, N.J. after 42 years. Representatives for the company wouldn’t confirm or deny the plans, believing it to be nothing more than rumor and speculation.
The company is currently looking over tax incentive packages, with New Jersey working on its own package in the hope of keeping MBUSA’s headquarters in Montvale. JLL Inc., the commercial real estate firm that is helping Toyota move its U.S. headquarters to Texas from California, is also lending assistance to the company.
Subaru just recivd $108 million in tax incentives over 10 years to move from Cherry Hill, NJ to a new site in Camden, right next door to Campbell's Soup. This will retain 500 employees and possibly hire another 100. I think the closest Subaru plant is in Indiana. Pure and simple corporate welfare and it should be outlawed. This move by MB is just a shakedown and an attempt to grab some economic development funds. Besides, I don't see those corporate types moving to bug tussle, GA or AL. They can't even get good rye bread down there. BTW, skor is spot on. New Jersey has 528 municipalities and an almost equal number of school districts. A school district superintendent makes $300k per year plus benefits and a generous retirement. Teachers with an Masters make $120k for a job with summers off. They can retire with a great pension plus health benefits. Yet voters don't want to merge districts, so they are stuck with the high cost of govt. they vote for.
I've been to montvale. The grounds are well kept. The cafeteria is amazing and all the food is subsidized by MBUSA. I do envy the guys who get free airfare, boarding and loaners to get there though. If we do move I'll get to have my own mini vacation.
One of the more fascinating road trips I've taken down South, and there have been many since I lived down there for 27 years, was from Auburn, AL on the backroads to the Redneck Riviera. We were just motoring along 2-lane highways, would occasionally see a clearing and low and behold, there would be small factories in those clearings. Based on the Korean names, one would assume they're making parts for Hyundai and Kia. But that was in Alabama. I know it's happened over in South Carolina too.
I am not saying NJ is not messed up it is and too dam pricey but I still think the lure of NYC is big to corp, and the fact is most folks in metro NY want good schools and a safe towns, do not know about the safety of Hotlanta but the perception is NJ has some great schools, the reason property taxes are so high is 75% of that money stays in the town for schools and does not matter if it makes sense or not people vote yes to keep it that way. As soon as my last kid gets out of high school here I will think about moving out of the state but not before that time, I bet MB stays in NJ. Yes the winter suck here but I doubt the summers are a joy in Hot lanta . I think NJ leads the US in auto HQ, who would have thought that.