Economic development office tries to lure Mercedes plant


James Fielder, director of Harford County's Office o Economic Development, said his office is making a strong bid for a Mercedes-Benz assembly plant that will be built in the United States.

"I am in the process of putting together a package on Harford County, which will be sent this week to the individual who will make the eventual site decision," said Mr. Fielder last week. He said the state sent a similar package that gives the company an overview of Maryland.

"At this stage, both Harford County and the state are just letting Mercedes know who we are, where we are and that we would like to be considered as a possible location," said Mr. Fielder. He said that if Mercedes shows interest, a more comprehensive proposal would be compiled.

Mercedes has not focused on any particular U.S. location, according to Mr. Fielder. "Obviously," he said, "they [Mercedes] will probably be looking for the proximity of port facilities, which means locating on a coast."

Mercedes officials in Stuttgart, Germany, have said it will be several months before a site is selected. The plant, which would employ about 1,500 workers, will produce a new four-wheel-drive sports vehicle that will sell in the $20,000 to $30,000 range.

Mercedes officials estimate the cost of the plant at $650 million.

The German-owned firm runs a 187,000-square-foot vehicle preparation plant in the Riverside Business Park in Belcamp.

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