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.