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MONTVALE, N.J. — Mercedes-Benz USA opened the doors earlier this week to a more than 100,000-square-foot Vehicle Preparation Center in coastal Georgia that will process vehicles on their way to the automaker's Southern region, Texas and Oklahoma dealerships.

Mercedes-Benz USA chief executive officer Ernst Lieb hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday at the VPC in Brunswick, Ga., with employees and state dignities — including Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle; Steven Green, chairman of the board for the Georgia Ports Authority; and U.S. Sen. for Georgia Mack Mattingly — in attendance.

"Today's event is a prime example of the impact one company can have on a community and why job creation is our top priority," Cagle said. "We are proud to welcome Mercedes-Benz and stand ready to assist and support them as they continue to invest in Georgia."

There are four structures (under roof) comprising the Brunswick VPC that, when combined, make up 103,260 square feet. The VPC is located on a 50-acre site.

With the opening of this facility, Mercedes-Benz now has five VPC sites in the U.S. Basically, when Mercedes-Benz units are imported into America, after going through U.S. Customs, they go to these VPC sites before being distributed to dealerships.

Officials said this Brunswick VPC is strategically located at a port.

"The opening of the new VPC, and the choice of this location, represents our ongoing commitment to drive operational efficiencies that ensure we are giving our dealers what they need to provide the very highest levels of customer satisfaction," Lieb explained.  

"This new facility has already enabled reductions in terms of cost and time in the delivery of new vehicles, and this is obviously to the benefit of our customers," he added.

Beyond increasing efficiency through the location of the VPC, there are also advanced computerized control systems and facilities that will be implemented in vehicle inspection and preparation to make sure that each new vehicle is of top quality, the company pointed out.

It can offer accessory installation, full body shop operations, homologation operations, and vehicle detailing and distribution operations.

Executives said the company constructed the VPC with "functional design and efficiency" to create the best possible work environment and the center is currently going through LEED certification.

Its eco-friendly aspects include reduced water usage. The company has also implemented indoor environmental quality controls in such as area as using daylight in three-quarter of the facility's space, thermal monitors and construction materials.