FORT WORTH, Texas — Daimler Financial Services Americas officially launched its new, cutting-edge, 164,000-square-foot operations center this week, which employs 550 people and has the capacity for 800.

During an outdoor celebration that included all Texas employees, U.S. Congresswoman Kay Granger, executives from Germany, area dealers, local officials, community partners and corporate neighbors in the Alliance, Texas development, Daimler Financial Services Americas' chief executive and president Klaus Entenmann talked about the company's expansion and commitment to the North Texas region.

"While any expansion might seem like a trend contradicting the current economic environment, we feel it is important to make significant investments in our future, our employees and the community," Entenmann said.

According to Insight Research of Dallas, Daimler Financial Services' expansion in the North Texas region will result in a positive economic impact of $115 million in the first 12 months and $48.5 million annually going forward.

"Companies across the country are looking to Texas as the place to locate their business thanks to a reasonable regulatory environment, fair tax structure and educated work force," Texas Gov. Rick Perry reported.

"Especially when the nation is facing economic challenges, Daimler's decision to expand in North Texas and the capital investment it will generate will help continue to bolster Texas' economic well-being and competition in the global marketplace," he added.

Late last year, Daimler Financial Services announced a re-engineering strategy of its operations in the Americas to contain costs and increase efficiency. Entenmann traveled the country explaining the strategy to employees.

One outcome of the re-engineering was the consolidation of operations and facilities into two main locations: Michigan and Texas. The headquarters for the business is in Farmington Hills, Mich., with nearly 400 employees. Meanwhile, the operations center is located in Fort Worth with about 550 employees.

"We strongly believe these strategic decisions will create greater job opportunities for employees and help us improve service to our dealers and customers," Entenmann said. "Additionally it will contribute to a lower cost structure and bring together the national knowledge base of our organization."

Entenmann went on to say that the company is creating a customer service powerhouse at the Texas location that will enhance opportunities for employees and increase efficiencies.

"This will create a large talent pool where our people will have a wide range of career opportunities in both the luxury car market and the heavy trucking industry," he said. "Most importantly, they will not have to re-locate all over the country during their careers. We will be able to share best practices between the two business units to maintain our high levels of customer service," he concluded.