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Mercedes reveals full plans for ‘World’ centre

Mercedes-Benz World will be the carmaker’s largest brand centre in Europe when it opens in summer 2006.

The 155-acre site at Brooklands in Surrey will offer visitors the chance to experience the full range of Mercedes-Benz models and products.

Alongside an unparalleled display of new and used cars on view in the 21-metre high building, a brand gallery will allow visitors to see some of the company’s rich heritage and history, alongside celebrations of its motor sport achievements.

Wilfried Steffen, president and CEO of DaimlerChrysler UK, says: “Mercedes-Benz has brand centres around Europe; the first opened in Berlin in 2000. Mercedes-Benz World is the only one to offer on-site driving courses, and to act as a top-class leisure and business destination.”

The site includes 2.5km of test circuits, available in nine configurations, as well as a 10-acre 4x4 course to promote responsible off-roading for M-Class buyers.

All tracks will be visible from a café and restaurant, offering a wide range of food and refreshments. Around 100 cars will be on display, with Mercedes-Benz cars, AMG, SLR McLaren, Maybach and Smart all represented. Initially these will be new cars.

A spokesman for Mercedes-Benz declined to comment on exact business targets for the centre but did say: “We’re confident that Mercedes-Benz World will deliver on its objectives.”

Conference and business space is included for corporate guests, while younger visitors can learn about vehicle design and technology in the interactive educational areas.

The centre will employ “a few hundred members of staff”.

Construction partner is Warings and Aukett is the architect.

It will also feature an on-site hotel. The five-star Columbus Brooklands is owned by Scottish entrepreneur and hotelier Ken McCulloch and Formula One driver David Coulthard.

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