How An Atlanta Headquarters Move Will Hurt Mercedes-Benz

Jan 19, 2015 06:00 PM EST | Matt Mercuro

Mercedes-Benz CEO Steve Cannon said this weekend that just 40 percent of company employees are expected to move when its New Jersey headquarters heads to Atlanta.

"We will lose talent, and that is an unfortunate byproduct of a move like this. It will be painful for people who have helped our company," Cannon said, according to Automotive News. "For us, this is an important opportunity for the future."

The automaker has already made offers to some of the 1,053 employees it wants to keep, and they now have until April 15 to decide if they want to move or not. Cannon wouldn't give details on how many offers have been made, but did say the estimate was based on other company's experiences.

Mercedes-Benz is leaving its Montvale, N.J. home after 40 years to build a new headquarters in Atlanta by 2017. The automaker will start moving the employees it wants to keep on and agree to make the move to a temporary building a mile away from the new site this July, according to a company release.

Cannon said the new headquarters will be just a couple hours away from a Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where a new employee immersion center opened in 2014. More than 26,000 employees will have to attend a 2-day immersion program in company culture by 2017, according to Automotive News.

Since it costs less to live near the new headquarters, estimated to be about 30 percent less than Montvale, Cannon said it will be easier to move people from the "field force and vice versa."

"We looked at this as a 50-year decision. We have outlived the useful life of the building we are in. That building does not support our future growth," he added.

Cannon said that Mercedes-Benz customers have a lot to look forward to from the company, like other vehicles added to the Maybach sub-brand that debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show and was on hand during the Detroit Auto Show. 

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