MotorWeek was on-hand for the groundbreaking of the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter production facility in North Charleston, South Carolina last week. The nearly $500 million dollar investment brings Sprinter production to North America for the first time, and with it, an estimated 1,300 jobs.

Mercedes-Benz cites an increased demand for Sprinter vans in North America as the reasoning for the new facility, with sales numbers trending up in recent years. 

Another bit of news coming from the event, as reported by, suggests that the Sprinter may have electified and semi-autonomous capabiliities coming to it in the near future, if there is enough market demand for it.

While we were there, MotorWeek's Zach Maskell got behind the wheel of Benz's smaller van, the Metris, in its new WORKER trim level. The WORKER is designed for plumbers, electricians, HVAC specialists and other general contractors.

Check out our First Look below: