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Van upfit company to expand Ladson operations

Staff Report //September 22, 2020//

Van upfit company to expand Ladson operations

Staff Report //September 22, 2020//

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Driverge Vehicle Innovations, a commercial van upfit company that specializes in wheelchair transportation and accessible taxis, plans to expand its Charleston County operations and create more than a dozen jobs. Earlier this year, the company presented a pop-up camper with Mercedes-Benz Vans at the Chicago Autoshow. (Photo/Provided)

Driverge Vehicle Innovations LLC is investing $350,000 to expand its Charleston County operations and create an estimated 13 jobs, the S.C. Department of Commerce said in a news release.

Driverge, formerly TransitWorks, has manufacturing facilities in Akron, Ohio, Kansas City, Kan., and Ladson, totaling more than 140,000 square feet of production space.

Founded in 1997, the company serves businesses that transport individuals by building and shipping commercial shuttles, wheelchair-accessible vans, transporters and small buses throughout North America.

The company said the Charleston County expansion will help meet increased demand for Driverge’s camper van production.

Gov. Henry McMaster said Driverge’s expansion and the job creation are a win for the state, which has developed a cluster of automotive manufacturing in several markets.

Mercedes-Benz Vans, which Driverge includes in the company’s line of upfit vehicles, are manufactured in North Charleston. Earlier this year, Driverge and Mercedes-Benz Vans debuted a pop-up camper conversion for the Metris van at the Chicago Auto Show.

“Driverge joins the city of North Charleston’s growing automotive sector, and with the creation of 13 jobs, this industry leader will take a notable position in our local business community,” North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said in a statement.

Expanding within the Charleston area is important to Driverge Vehicle Innovations, said company President Mark Minatel.

“Our commitment to Charleston is the result of a talented local workforce and the enterprising government support for the automotive industry,” he said in a statement.