Mercedes-Benz Went to Absurd Lengths to Stay away from the ‘Chicken Tax’

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2016

We have, maybe unfairly, categorized German automakers as far more calculating and effective than their American counterparts. While there is undoubtedly a case to be created for this good stereotyping, there are also a lot of examples calling this perceived Germanic precision into question. One such instance is the absolutely ridiculous lengths Mercedes-Benz have been going to avoid the chicken tax on its imported vans.

To keep away from the truck-primarily based tariff, Mercedes has spent the last decade manufacturing complete vans in Germany only to tear them apart and ship them to South Carolina. American workers could then reassemble the vans in a small kit assembly constructing, making them technically domestically constructed and saving the firm the 25 percent import tax.

“I truly couldn’t think it,” Volker Mornhinweg, global head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, told Automotive News. “To construct up and tear down, that is genuinely anything that hurts me, personally. And the charges!” he stated, shaking his head at the memory.

The discovery was made in 2010 when Mornhinweg became head of van production. Given that that time, he has steadily been establishing a less convoluted way to get German product into the United States.

Mercedes-Benz Vans intends to remove the wonky supply line starting with the next generation of the Sprinter. The new vans will be be assembled more-typically in South Carolina using a new production and painting system Benz has put collectively for half a billion dollars.

“Finally, we have the opportunity to build the Sprinter from scratch here in the United States, from this new manufacturing facility,” Mercedes-Benz Vans CEO Michael Balke said.

Transforming the MB van factory from a tiny assembly workshop to a full-scale manufacturing plant is no measly feat. The enlarged facility is anticipated to generate more than 1,300 new jobs and should commence accepting applications for these positions by the middle of next year.

[Image: Mercedes-Benz]

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Fiat Serbia Workers Demand Larger Wages, Get Chicken Discount


The union representing workers at the Fiat 500L factory in Kragujevac, Serbia has a big job ahead of it. Workers are demanding raises, bonuses, and a steady operate schedule. In its most recent newsletter, the union listed these demands when once more, but alternatively of news of a pay negotiation the union told workers they’ve negotiated a chicken discount at a regional butcher.

Samostalni Sindikat FAS has represented workers at the 500L factory since their collective bargaining agreement was signed in 2010. At the time, the union was in a position to negotiate fair wages and additional positive aspects for workers, including a 31,000 RSD ($ 294 USD) monthly average salary. Workers had been content as numerous were unemployed right after Yugo production was shut down in 2008, and the wage was considered fair at the time.

Because 2010, FCA Serbia has turn out to be the greatest exporter in the nation. The price of living has also gone up since 2010 and workers have demanded raises along with confirmation of a second model for the factory. A new model would give the workers a sense of stability. Not only has a second model not been announced, the factory has been shut down numerous instances in the past 6 months due to slow sales of the 500L.

In attempts to stay on the very good side of its members, the union has aimed for little, cease-gap positive aspects. 1 such benefit is a gift of 10,000 RSD ($ 95 USD) to workers who have a child to assist with baby supplies.

With no news on the true demands, the fringe benefit in this month’s newsletter is a chicken discount from a nearby butcher. Sitting directly across the web page from the wage demands, we locate out that the workers can get chicken drumsticks at a discounted price equivalent to $ 2.51 per kilogram ($ 1.14 per pound).

[Image Credit:  Eli Duke/Flickr/CC BY-SA two.]

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