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Washington — Daimler AG’s Mercedes Benz USA unit is considering moving its headquarters from New Jersey to either North Carolina or Georgia, two people briefed on the matter said Wednesday.

The move from the company’s suburban New York City office in Montvale, N.J., to either the Atlanta area or North Carolina’s Research Triangle area would impact nearly 1,000 jobs and mark the latest in a series of moves by foreign automakers. Earlier this year, Toyota Motor Corp. announced it is moving its U.S. unit corporate headquarters from Torrance, California, to Plano, Texas. Nissan Motor Co. in 2005 moved its North American headquarters from Gardena, California, to the Nashville, Tennessee area.

General Motors Co. is opening a new headquarters office for its struggling Cadillac brand in New York City, moving 30 marketing and sales employees to the Soho neighborhood in Manhattan. The office will have about 120 employees — most new — by next year.

Moving Mercedes-Benz headquarters to the south would move it closer to the company’s assembly plant in Vance, Ala., where it is building SUVs and its new C-Class. A decision on a move is expected by early January. Montvale is on the New York state border.

The Detroit News first inquired about rumors of a move about a month ago, but company officials declined to comment. The Atlanta Business Chronicle first reported the possible move to the Atlanta area or to North Carolina on Tuesday. The paper reported that the company is looking for at least 150,000 square feet of office space.

Mercedes-Benz USA has declined to comment on what it calls “rumors” — but isn’t denying them either. New Jersey could also offer incentives to try to keep the luxury automaker. New Jersey is home to other foreign automakers, including Subaru of America, based in Cherry Hill and BMW’s U.S. marketing arm is based in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

DShepardson@detroitnews.com

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