Mercedes-Benz USA is rumored to be considering moving its headquarters from New Jersey to the South, eyeing Atlanta and multiple cities in North Carolina, according to news reports. 

The Wall Street Journal cited unnamed sources with knowledge of the automaker’s review process, which is reportedly weighing tax incentive packages and other factors. Mercedes-Benz said it does not comment on rumors or speculation. It employs more than 1,000 workers at its current location. Moving to Atlanta would put Mercedes-Benz’s office operations closer to its factory in Tuscaloosa, Ala. 

It wouldn’t be the first German automaker to make a splash here: Porsche Cars North America is on the cusp of opening a new test track and headquarters building with a test track near the Atlanta airport, moving from a more traditional office space in Sandy Springs. 

A site consultant cited in the Atlanta Business Chronicle noted that the metro area’s experience with other automotive giants would serve it well in bidding for new investments.  Mayor Kasim Reed has called the City of Atlanta the “central actor” in attracting Porsche inside the Perimeter, citing its use of land as an incentive. 

The Mercedes-Benz rumor comes days after Atlanta was named top city in the U.S. for foreign-investment strategy. The South is budding as an automotive hub. Georgia is home to a Kia Motors plant, but surrounding states have been particularly successful in attracting German firms: BMW in Spartanburg, S.C.; Mercedes-Benz in Alabama and Volkswagen in Chattanooga, Tenn. 

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...