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Surging sales of SC-built Sprinters has Mercedes-Benz seeking more space

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Sprinters built by Mercedes-Benz Vans are lined up near the German company's North Charleston manufacturing plant. File/Staff

Sales of Sprinter vans are on the rise in the U.S., and that has the Mercedes-Benz plant in North Charleston expanding its storage area for completed vehicles.

The manufacturer has applied for a permit that would allow a 63-acre expansion of the parking area where new Sprinters are stored before they are delivered to customers. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control is reviewing plans for the site off Palmetto Commerce Parkway.

The plans also show a proposed car wash and van work station and office.

Mercedes-Benz Vans set a record in 2019 with 31,851 Sprinter sales to U.S. customers — nearly 7 percent better than the previous year. That demand has been buoyed by online retailer Amazon's order for 20,000 of the vans to be used in its home delivery network. 

inland Port Dillon

The State Ports Authority's inland port in Dillon is driving development of another speculative industrial building in the area. Provided/State Ports Authority

Inland improvement

The State Ports Authority's inland port in Dillon is attracting more speculative warehouse and distribution space.

Equus Capital Partners Ltd., a developer and private-equity real estate fund manager, has broken ground on a 373,100-square-foot logistics facility in Dillon County. The project, named 95 Inland Port Logistics Center, is located along U.S. Interstate 95 less than a mile from the inland port site and about five miles from the South Carolina-North Carolina state line.

The inland port, completed in April 2018, has CSX Corp. rail service to and from the Port of Charleston

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"Inland Port Dillon has been an economic driver in our region since it opened," said Jeff McKay, executive director of the North East Strategic Alliance economic development group. "We have seen significant interest throughout our region from companies who are seeking to utilize its many advantages."

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Volvo builds its redesigned S60 sedan at a $1.1 billion manufacturing campus off Interstate 26 near Ridgeville. The vehicle was a finalist for 2019 North American Car of the Year. Provided/Volvo Cars

Rolling along

Volvo Car USA marked its 13th consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth in the United States in January, with 6,157 new vehicles purchased by consumers.

That total includes 1,348 sales of the new S60 sedan that's built at the carmaker's manufacturing campus off Interstate 26 near Ridgeville.

Volvo's line of XC SUVs grew a combined 28 percent year-over-year, with the XC90 notching 1,994 sales.

"The XC range continues to attract people into the Volvo family,” said Anders Gustafsson, president and CEO of Volvo Car USA. “We anticipate this momentum to continue as we ready the introduction of our first electric SUV, the XC40 Recharge, which has already garnered significant interest from customers."

Globally, Volvo sold 45,752 cars in January — down 9.7 per cent compared with the same period last year. The Swedish automaker, which is owned by China's Geely Holding Group, said volumes were down last month because of a new, updated tax system in Sweden and lower sales performance in China.

Reach David Wren at 843-937-5550 or on Twitter at @David_Wren_

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