By on January 5, 2015

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Sources that Mercedes-Benz will announce Tuesday that their headquarters will move from Northern New Jersey to Atlanta, Georgia.

The move is the latest in a series of relocations to the South. Last year, TTAC was the first to break news of Toyota’s move from Los Angeles to Dallas.  Nissan previously departed Los Angeles for Nashville, Tennessee.

Atlanta offers several benefits for Mercedes-Benz, from easier access to already used ports in Georgia to direct commercial flights into Alabama, where Mercedes-Benz operates a large assembly plant. Mercedes was said to be considering Raleigh, North Carolina as another finalist.

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49 Comments on “Mercedes-Benz Set To Announce Move To Atlanta...”


  • avatar

    Toyota moved from LA to Dallas because LA was an out-of-control welfare state, overtaxing and underwhelming – while Rick Perry offered huge tax incentives.

    What’s the story here?

    Is Chris Christie not offering enough tax breaks?

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      New Jersey, the giant Suck Hole with onerous tax levels, massively bloated state/local level bureaucracy and regulatory insanity that makes Detroit seem like a relatively free market paradise by comparison.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        In stark contrast to Cadillac’s lame move to “trendy” Manhattan.

        I mean, doesn’t Daimler know that hipsters need their brands to emanate from fashionable places?

        (Whoops, I didn’t see below.)

  • avatar

    What, they’re not moving to NYC’s fashionable SoHo district?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Ronnie,
      Had the same thoughts.

      What does MB know that Caddy doesn’t?

      I remember the days when any product of class had “New York, London and Paris on it. Then they added Tokyo. It seems Caddy lives in the 60’s.

      When you enter Caddy’s new office your see Andy Warhol pictures while listening to the Kinks as background music.

      I wonder what pictures and music will be playing at MB’s Atlanta office?

      • 0 avatar

        Speaking of NYC, Mercedes also dropped its sponsorship of New York Fashion Week, which I believe is effective following the end of NYFW A/W 2015 in mid-February. The automaker is taking its relationship with fashion downtown, acquiring the rights to sponsor rival MADE Fashion Week from this September’s S/S 2016 showcase forward.

        Fun fact: The biggest “professional” moment in my brief time as a fashion blogger was attending NYFW A/W 2011, where I bought my first smartphone — a Virgin Mobile prepaid BlackBerry Curve — discovered the wonderful world of Robin Byrd on cable access, and got sick from the subway. Oh, and witnessing what was the final Simon Spurr menswear collection with its namesake at the helm.

        Anyway, source time: http://www.refinery29.com/2015/01/80270/fashion-week-loses-sponsor

        • 0 avatar
          MRF 95 T-Bird

          Robin Byrd on cable access? Thats right out of 80’s NYC when basic cable was starting to be installed in Manhattan and the outer boroughs. She did a show weekend evenings on Manhattan Public Access. Apparently she was a bit much for the outer boroughs and they did not run the program.

          • 0 avatar

            I was just shocked to see a show like hers at all outside of the Playboy Channel or Cinemax, let alone on cable access. Loved it, though!

            Her website’s still up, by the way, with clips of various female and male dancers shaking ’em off. :)

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        “What does MB know that Caddy doesn’t?”

        um, pretty much everything

      • 0 avatar

        Q: “What does MB know that Caddy doesn’t?”

        A: How to design cars that sell

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        Skynard. Oh wait, that’s Alabama.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Georgia Public Schools

    Because someone has to build America’s cars.

    • 0 avatar
      fvfvsix

      As a survivor or GA’s public school system, I can absolutely promise you there are worse places to get an education. Then again, I hail from an era where the adults hadn’t fully bought into the government’s BS about being better at raising kids than their own parents.

      • 0 avatar
        ect

        A supplier in Mississippi that I dealt with when I lived in Atlanta once opined to me that “folks in Mississippi are real glad that Arkansas exists, so we’re not last in everything”.

        And yeah, moving to Georgia was a real eye-opener at how much the quality of education could vary within a short distance. And even within the same Board.

  • avatar
    JD321

    No longer want to be a “host” to the bratty little Liberal Yankee parasites?
    Or maybe the stink of Cadillac from across the river.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    Having moved from Atlanta to northern New Jersey 10 years ago because of career opportunities, I am well aware of the reasons to relocate a corporation to Atlanta.

    – Plenty of smart, hard working folks are there.
    – Property taxes are about 1/5 of what they are in NJ.
    – $400,000 buys you an amazing house in suburban Atlanta. $400,000 buys you a 3 bedroom, 1 bath house on a busy street in northern New Jersey and your cat gets run over every other Tuesday.
    – Symphonies, opera, plays…Atlanta has all that and it costs about 1/3 of New York City.
    – Snow shoveling. It just doesn’t happen much in Atlanta.
    – Park your car at Marta, ride the train to the airport, save yourself a ton on parking and hassle. Plus, your car is still there when you come back!

    Let’s go back up to housing and taxes and employees. In Atlanta, you do have to drive. My house was six miles from big box stores, five miles from the mall. You have to actually drive in Atlanta and that means, Mercedes-Benz employees will be using their companies products EXACTLY like the company’s customers in Dallas, Houston, Miami, Los Angeles, Seattle, Orlando, Charlotte, etc. People in The South actually drive their cars places…to play golf, go to the beach, go to theme parks with the kids.

    Driving and car ownership is totally different in northern New Jersey.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Being an Atlanta out-migrator as well, I also remember calling the Mercedes E-Class the “Atlanta Taurus” because everyone there had one. (this was back when the Taurus was the #1 sedan sold in the US)

      • 0 avatar
        VelocityRed3

        2, I was thinking they wanted to be closer their mobile showroom that is I-285.

        Ok now the $64,000 question is, where in the ATL are they going to be? Porsche is moving to what used to be the Ford plant (where the Taurus was built, to bring this full circle), which is just south of downtown, near the original dwarf house.

        • 0 avatar

          The 285 is fast becoming the beltway. One little fender bender locks the whole thing up. My guess would be somewhere like McDonough, close enough via the I75 dice with death freeway to Hotlanta but far away from the daily gridlock

          • 0 avatar
            geozinger

            Most transplant companies used to locate to the upper tier of counties surrounding metro Atlanta. That may be different now, but during the relo heyday of the 1990’s, the northern counties were where the action was…

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      I had no idea there were so many former Atlanta residents on this board. Count me in as a Midwestern Yankee who got tired of all of the heat, humidity, traffic, pollution, noise and -isms (ageism, racism, North vs. South-ism, etc.) that I encountered every day for my 8+ years of life there.

      It’s a balmy 7 degrees Fahrenheit (with a wind chill of -3 degrees) in Western Michigan right now, but it’s still a helluva lot warmer than some of the receptions I got when I moved down there.

      The MB people, having lived in a Metroplex like the NY-NJ area, should have no problem adapting to the physical characteristics of the area. Getting used to the horribly corrupt (or inept, I can’t decide which, exactly) city government, and the general way of life may be another issue.

      Of course, more than likely they will put the HQ in the northern tier of counties surrounding Metro Atlanta, so they wouldn’t have to deal with any of that business. Much like Porsche did.

      Why is the availability of flights to Alabama a positive attribute? I mean it’s not *that* far by car. It’s about 2.5 hours or so… Maybe it’s the availability of flights back to Germany, in reality?

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      I had no idea there were so many former Atlanta residents on this board. Count me in as a Midwestern Yankee who got tired of all of the heat, humidity, traffic, pollution, noise and -isms (ageism, racism, North vs. South-ism, etc.) that I encountered every day for my 8+ years of life there.

      It’s a balmy 7 degrees Fahrenheit (with a wind chill of -3 degrees) in Western Michigan right now, but it’s still a helluva lot warmer than some of the receptions I got when I moved down there.

      The MB people, having lived in a Metroplex like the NY-NJ area, should have no problem adapting to the physical characteristics of the area. Getting used to the horribly corrupt (or inept, I can’t decide which, exactly) city government, and the general way of life may be another issue.

      Why is the availability of flights to Alabama a positive attribute? I mean it’s not *that* far by car. It’s about 2.5 hours or so… Maybe it’s the availability of flights back to Germany, in reality?

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      I had no idea there were so many former Atlanta res!dents on this board. Count me in as a Midwestern Yankee who got tired of all of the heat, humidity, traffic, pollution, noise and -isms (ageism, racism, North vs. South-ism, etc.) that I encountered every day for my 8+ years of life there.

      It’s a balmy 7 degrees Fahrenheit (with a wind chill of -3 degrees) in Western Michigan right now, but it’s still a helluva lot warmer than some of the receptions I got when I moved down there.

      The MB people, having lived in a Metroplex like the NY-NJ area, should have no problem adapting to the physical characteristics of the area. Getting used to the horribly corrupt (or inept, I can’t decide which, exactly) city government, and the general way of life may be another issue.

      Why is the availability of flights to Alabama a positive attribute? I mean it’s not *that* far by car. It’s about 2.5 hours or so… Maybe it’s the availability of flights back to Germany, in reality?

      Also, *having* to drive everywhere is not exactly a great feature. Even in my old neighborhood, you *had* to drive to do anything. And it was at least a 20 minute drive every time. I don’t miss the traffic at all. Or the good old ad valorem taxes, where as my car got older, the tax stayed the same. Or the three years it went up… That was neat…

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        You no like the 9/90/90 (nine months, ninety degrees, ninety percent humidity) and 24/7/365 rush hour? Yeah, me either

      • 0 avatar

        I see nothing wrong with Atlanta, unless you have kids that go to school, like short commuting time, public services and public safety

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          … and have a swimming pool to stay cool, a helicopter to get to work, being trapped for days because of a few inches of snow.

          Outs1de of *that* Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

        • 0 avatar
          Rod Panhard

          I disagree Swedishtiger. My boys attended schools in the Fulton County School District and a school district here in New Jersey. What makes a difference in a child’s education is parental involvement. Proximity to New York City and highfalutin’ jobs does not assure classroom brilliance. Three of my older son’s classmates in suburban Atlanta received full-ride scholarships to engineering schools. We can’t say the same for his school here in NJ.

          As for public safety, that’s also an erroneous assumption. Since living here, two houses in my neighborhood have burned to the ground, and three businesses were burned out of business. The fire stations for my township, and there are two in 3.96 square miles, are less than a mile from where these blazes were.

      • 0 avatar
        Rod Panhard

        Don’t confuse the “horribly corrupt (or inept) … city government” of Atlanta with the governments in the surrounding suburbs.

        But I’ll be straight-up with you. When it comes to corrupt city governments, New Jersey really has this this institutionalized corruption going on. It’s part of the culture of New Jersey. It’s not even fathomable by Atlanta standards and it truly gives Chicago a run for it’s money on the corruption scale.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Yeah, I’d say Atlanta is more inept then corrupt. Corruption takes some smarts

          • 0 avatar
            Rod Panhard

            It depends. Folks in Atlanta have different requirements for what they expect government to provide. Here in New Jersey, it varies from township to township. I’ll give you an example.

            Here in New Jersey, when you see a publicly funded construction project, such as a one where they tear up a patch of road for a minor infrastructure service, there will be two cops on duty at that location. In other places I’ve lived, a flagman or flag woman does the exact same job. The difference is $20 per hour for the flagman, versus $85 per hour for each cop.

            Yet, in New Jersey, my neighbors expect a cop to be there. Then they complain about the taxes.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            Or maybe both? In the late 90’s-early 2000’s, the AJC openly referred to Atlanta’s city government as a kleptocracy. And nobody even blinked.

        • 0 avatar

          Can you say George Washington Bridge

          • 0 avatar
            Rod Panhard

            It depends. Folks in Atlanta have different requirements for what they expect government to provide. Here in New Jersey, it varies from township to township. I’ll give you an example.

            Here in New Jersey, when you see a publicly funded construction project, such as a one where they tear up a patch of road for a minor infrastructure service, there will be two cops on duty at that location. In other places I’ve lived, a flagman or flag woman does the exact same job. The difference is $20 per hour for the flagman, versus $85 per hour for each cop.

            Yet, in New Jersey, my neighbors expect a cop to be there. Then they complain about the taxes.

          • 0 avatar
            Rod Panhard

            GWB is a different animal. In that situation, you have two corrupt state governments, “working together” to create the “Port Authority,” which is yet a third entity. This is what I mean when I say they have taken corruption and institutionalized it into the fabric of society.

            But I’ll take your GWB “scandal” and raise it one Passaic Valley Water Commission. Odd though, nobody wants to talk about that one.
            http://www.northjersey.com/news/convictions-mark-end-of-passaic-valley-sewerage-commission-crackdown-1.737079

    • 0 avatar
      rpol35

      I have worked on a lot of industrial development projects in the state of Georgia and they are a powerhouse at attracting industry; I would say second only to Alabama. They know what large organizations are looking for and they know how to provide the proper incentives – they realize the value of job creation as opposed to looking at corporations as just another potential tax payer. Georgia is also a right to work state which is generally a plus for consideration from the perspective of a site selection firm who does the initial filtering for corporate clients.

      No surprise actually, I’m sure MB will be glad they made the switch.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Asheville, North Carolina knows what they are doing, also, as judged by the sheer # of either general corporate or R&D headquarters of major companies I was witness to (as plastered on highway exit signs) when I was there.

        It was a deal eye-opener.

  • avatar
    319583076

    Atlanta sux, but so does New Jersey for fundamentally the same reasons: the residents and the traffic.

    I’d rather be across the river from NYC, given a choice. I currently live about equidistant from both…

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    In 2000, I left NJ for Atlanta to go to college. At that time, Ford and GM had assembly plants on the outskirts of town. BMW, Honda and MBZ had fairly new plants in neighboring states.

    Since 2000, VW built a plant in Chattanooga, Hyundai/Kia built plants in Georgia and Alabama and Porsche built/is building a shiny new HQ on the south side of Atlanta. GM has also built a new tech/research center in the area. Along with all these plants comes a local supply base.

    Ford and GM manufacturing left town many years ago with the abandoned plants sitting unloved until very recently.

    Thanks to the movie industry, Atlanta has established itself as a trendy hotspot. There are also a ton of excellent colleges in the area – GA Tech, UGA, Emory, Georgia State. For sure, there were additional incentives such as low property taxes, good climate, proximity to manufacturing and suppliers, proximity to the Savannah port, access to Hartsfield-Jackson airport, on and on.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    As a former NJ resident, I can agree with all of the above descriptions of the Garden State. Which is really unfortunate, as once you head south to the central parts and south it is really quite nice, rural even. I grew up on 7 wooded acres with a dirt track that I carved out in the forest which which to derby cars on. Trenton was a feeding ground for old rusted out hulks that needed a battery to run….I digress.

    My bidness partner used to live in the ATL, he a former upstate NYer, absolutely hated it there. He comments often on the amount of educated rednecks you find. College educated folk who are still upset ove the war of northern aggression,

  • avatar
    50merc

    Discussion of Atlanta–or any big urban area–should distinguish between “actual” Atlanta, a city of 448,000, and metro Atlanta, which has six million inhabitants and a geographic area about as big as Massachusetts.
    Fewer than one in ten “Atlantans” live in the central city. The main thing everybody has in common is traffic headaches.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The grass at MB there in the photo looks excellent.

  • avatar
    Steve Lynch

    One other factor in MBUSA’s move is the difficulty of getting talented field people and new hires to relocate to New Jersey.

    Five years ago, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services quietly closed their Southern California buying center and moved it to Fort Worth, Texas for similar reasons why MBUSA is moving from Montvale to Atlanta.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    I grew up in the Chicago area, lived in Atlanta for 13 years and now the Bay Area for the last 6 years.

    What’s great about Atlanta?
    ALTA (tennis)
    In-town restaurants and bars
    Low cost of living and low taxes
    Access to world class airport
    Smooth roads
    Great architecture in some of the homes
    Good suburban schools
    No snow or sub-zero weather

    What’s not so great?
    In-town vagrants, homeless, and general thug coefficient is pretty high in many areas
    Summer heat and humidity
    In-town schools are bad, except for Decatur
    Suburban traffic
    Salaries are lower, in line with cost-of-living differences
    No quick access to ocean or beaches
    Not bike friendly (compared to Bay Area)
    Rural areas are reminiscent of scenes from Deliverance

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Meh. Taxes.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Well I gotta eat some crow, I said MB would stay in NJ after they get their fair share of tax rebates, have fun in Hotlanta MB,

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