Mercedes-Benz is putting its faith in the value of the Southern Californian market by opening a new regional facility in Long Beach. The new location will house several local Mercedes-Benz operations, including an upcoming Vehicle Preparation Center, and Western Region and Learning & Performance offices. The new center will open in the first quarter of 2015.
Mercedes' choice of location befits the importance of the SoCal market. The German firm describes it as "the car culture capital of the world", valuing its great weather, passion for cars and perhaps most pertinently, the growth of the luxury vehicle market there. Setting up shop in a facility once owned by the Douglas Aircraft Company and later a Boeing manufacturing facility, Mercedes' new base is located close to Long Beach Airport in a development known as Pacific Pointe at Douglas Park.
Among the functions of the new base are vehicle preparation for cars coming into the U.S.--joining further facilities in Baltimore, MD, Brunswick, GA and Carson, CA. The facility will also act as a western region base, responsible for operations in 12 states, as far afield as Alaska to the north and Hawaii to the west, and Texas towards the east. A Mercedes Learning & Performance center will also call Long Beach its home, used for instructor-led training, eLearning, virtual classrooms, peer-to-peer training, and mobile learning for customer-facing personnel.
Mercedes isn't the first German automaker to set up shop in California--a few years back, sports car maker Porsche announced a west coast "Experience Center", joining similar facilities in England, Germany and China. Porsche's facility covers everything from driver fitness and track driving, to programs for children.