Dr Pepper Snapple Group has started construction of its production and distribution centre in California.

The recently-spun off unit of Cadbury Schweppes broke ground on the facility, in Victorville, yesterday (22 October). The site, which will produce up to 40m cases of beverages each year and employ around 200 people, will be the company's Western hub in a regional manufacturing and distribution footprint serving consumers in California and parts of the desert south-west.

"Breaking ground on our Victorville facility is an important milestone in the history of our newly independent company," said Larry Young, DPSG's president and CEO. "This is the final step in establishing five major US distribution hubs that will allow us to more efficiently serve our customers and consumers and strengthen our route-to-market."

Victorville's mayor, Terry Caldwell, described the occasion as "a great day for High Desert residents".

"This means hundreds of new jobs for our local residents," he said

At a cost of US$120m, the centre is expected to open in 2010.