By on January 7, 2015

Georgia Welcome Sign

We first mentioned this Monday evening, and now it’s official: Mercedes-Benz USA is leaving New Jersey for the old, sweet song of Atlanta.

The move from Montvale, N.J. begins in July with the first group of employees heading southbound and down. Mercedes will relocate the over-1,000 employees in phases through 2017 to minimize disruption during the transition.

As for where everyone will be working, “a new, state-of-the-art headquarters” will be constructed in or around Atlanta, with completion set for 2017. In the meantime, the transferring employees will work from the city’s Central Perimeter.

Though MBUSA CEO and president Stephen Cannon spoke in kind about his subsidiary’s 50-year history with the Garden State, he said that the decision to relocate to Atlanta allows MBUSA to be closer to its growing customer base in the Southeastern United States, its port in Brunswick, Ga., and its plant in nearby Alabama, as well as provide “the sustained, profitable growth and efficiencies” required for success in the decades to come.

More details on the impending move are expected to be announced by the end of January.

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11 Comments on “Southbound And Down: Mercedes Moving To Atlanta...”


  • avatar
    thornmark

    How do you say “We don’t need no stinkin Manhattan” in German?

    Daimler to Cadillac in any language: “You have no clothes.”

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Mercedes Benz is doing what it does best running an efficient profitable car company. They decided that moving to Atlanta was in the best interests of that business. Is Mercedes concerned about brand cachet and image? Of course they are, that’s why they *hire* ad agencies and PR firms probably from Madison Ave to handle that, because that’s what *they* do best. They don’t move their headquarters to SoHo, like that in itself has some magical cool, that’s for amateurs and wannabees

  • avatar
    Onus

    I hope this sign pictured isn’t in reference to the Beatles song. They do realize the song is about the country and not the state.

    Anyway the South is cheaper. Why wouldn’t they move there. Seems to be all the rage in businesses these days.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    I wonder how many buckets of money the state gave them for this move. I’d guess it’s more than a few.

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      Interesting question. Historically, Georgia has not been very generous to companies looking to move, which is why the auto industry plants (e.g., Mercedes, Michelin, BMW) tended to go to AL or SC.

      Atlanta has naturally attracted regional offices, due to being the transportation hub for the Southeast. Head offices tend to be either the big companies that started there like Coca-Cola, Delta, Home Depot and Southern Company, or much smaller companies that also started there.

      I remember the head of the Chamber of Commerce telling me how shocked they were when UPS moved its head office to Atlanta in the early 90’s. According to him, UPS just showed up one day, had not asked for any form of state or local “assistance”.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        When the Kia plant came in, the state spent about $165 million for the site and sitework, plus another $130 million in tax incentives. That’s close to 30 percent of the plant’s total cost. The state also paid to train the workers. All this for 2100 or so jobs that average $17 per hour. That comes out to around $140,000 per job.

        I’m not sure how much they’d have to give for you to consider the offer generous.

        For that matter, Porsche got a couple million to move across town in Atlanta.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        When the Kia plant came in, the state spent about $165 million for the site and sitework, plus another $130 million in tax incentives. That’s close to 30 percent of the plant’s total cost. The state also paid to train the workers. All this for 2100 or so jobs that average $17 per hour. That comes out to around $140,000 per job. I’m not sure how much they’d have to give for you to consider the offer generous.

        For that matter, Porsche got a couple million to move across town in Atlanta.

      • 0 avatar
        skor

        They are not moving because of the corporate tax rate, nor are they leaving because property taxes on their Jersey HQ are a million dollars a year, although property taxes figure into it. NJ has 565 incorporated municipalities….more than California. NJ also has over 600 school districts…many of those districts are made up of only a single school. The cost to run all these Podunks and schools had gone out of control. Every little one-stop-sign town has its own 20 man police department with a $250K police chief and $150K patrolmen. Bergen County alone has 70 municipal police departments. It’s not uncommon for NJ teachers to make $100K and school superintendents can earn over $250K What this means is that NJ had the highest median property tax in the US. Even small crap-shacks are taxed at $10K per year…depending on the location. All this makes living in NJ very expensive.

        Mercedes Montvale HQ employes mostly accountants, analysts and marketing/advertising professionals. So let’s do the math. There are 1,000 white collar professionals employed in Montvale. Let’s assume that the median salary of those employees is $100K. By moving to suburban Atlanta, where the cost of living is considerably lower, Mercedes could offer salaries that are 25% lower and still attract the talent they need, since a $75K income in Georgia buys the same, or better lifestyle, than does a $100K salary in NJ. By moving to Atlanta, MB can save, on average, $25K per employee. $25K X 1,000 employees amounts to an annual savings of $25 million. Over a 10 year period the savings will be $250 million. That’s a quarter of a billion dollars that will drop straight to their bottom line by moving from NJ to Atlanta. It’s a ‘no brainer’.

        Obscene police salaries, and hordes of teachers and school administrators have driven our property taxes to the point where they choked the goose that lays the golden eggs. Don’t believe that MB is the last big corporation to pack the U-Haul, watch as BMW packs up next. Over the next few years, tens of thousands of good paying corporate jobs will head for the exits, My advice to people who own homes in NJ is to sell now, while you still can get something for your house, because the future of this state looks very bleak.

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