Daimlerchrysler Inaugurates Charleston Assembly Plant

By: Glady Reign

On March 27, a new plant for DaimlerChrysler was opened with the Governor of South Carolina present during the inauguration. The new plant is located ion Ladson, South Carolina and this is found just on the outskirts of Charleston.

The new assembly plant will be producing the Sprinter - a full size van for the Dodge and Freightliner brands. The Sprinter has been sold in the U.S. since 2001 and it has received quite a good response from American business owners. Since these vans are not designed for private buyers, the primary buyers of these vehicles are those from the commercial sector.

The demand for the Sprinter has been growing steadily in the United States. In response to this, DaimlerChrysler see it fit that a new assembly plant be constructed to meet the demands for the practical vehicle. Until recently, DaimlerChrysler's only plant producing Sprinters is the facility in Gaffney. The former assembly plant has an annual production capacity of 22,000.

Meanwhile, the new plant will be able to produce 32,000 units of the Sprinter every year. The plant is located in a 42,780 square meter site and the company has invested $35 million on the said project.

Wilfried Porth, the head of the Mercedes-Benz Vans Business Unit of DaimlerChrysler AG, has this to say at the inauguration: "The Dodge Sprinter and Freightliner Sprinter set standards in their sector for safety, variability and environmental protection. We are proud to be able to offer our latest product in the van segment also on the American market so soon after its presentation. I thank all colleagues who made the opening of this plant possible today through their personal effort and commitment."

The Sprinter sold in the U.S. under the Dodge and Freightliner brands is dubbed as North America's top performing van. The full size van is offered in three different vehicle lengths and two options for the length of the wheelbase. The vehicle also offers three different roof heights which is the most offered by a full size van. Consumers can also pick between two V6 engines to power the Sprinter and both of which are as reliable as . A 3.0-liter diesel V6 or a 3.5-liter gasoline V6 is the choice offered by the Sprinter to its potential costumers.

Aside from the massive powerplant, the Sprinter is also equipped with an ADPTIVE ESP. This technology is said to be the latest in electronic stability program. The ESP gives drivers of vehicles equipped with it adequate control of the vehicle even on tight cornering. The new ADAPTIVE ESP has additional sensors which makes it much safer than the original stability program used by its predecessors. The new Sprinter produced at the newly opened plant will be available for consumers this spring.

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