Last spring, rumors began circulating that Toyota planned to consolidate its U.S. operations under one roof -- not in California, its longtime base of American operations, but in Plano, Texas. As it turns out, those rumors were true.
Now, another barrage of rumors are flying across the internet, and this time, they're about Mercedes-Benz. According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Mercedes is looking to pack up its U.S. headquarters in New Jersey and head south to Atlanta, Georgia.
The move wouldn't be surprising. The automaker has been reevaluating its U.S. operations and has shopped a number of sites for relocation. Atlanta could be a good match for Mercedes-Benz because:
1. The company already has a large manufacturing facility a few hours away in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
2. Atlanta would be attractive to the 800+ white-collar workers Mercedes-Benz would need to employ at its new HQ, offering cosmopolitan amenities like cultural events and an international airport, as well as a lower cost of living than New Jersey.
3. Atlanta has a growing pool of auto industry employees for Mercedes to pilfer, thanks in part to Porsche, which is headquartered there.
4. Unlike New Jersey, Georgia is a right-to-work state, which gives unions less sway.
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Sadly, the Atlanta Business Chronicle doesn't cite its source -- not even obliquely, which is odd -- and Mercedes-Benz hasn't issued any comment on the matter, so at this point, it's all the vaguest of speculation. But we wouldn't be surprised.