Automakers go to great lengths to avoid being hit with the 25 percent chicken tax when they import trucks or vans into the U.S. Mercedes-Benz takes the cake for the most absurd method.
For the past decade, Mercedes-Benz would build Sprinter vans fully in Germany before disassembling them and shipping the pieces to South Carolina. Workers in a small assembly building would put the vans back together. This method allowed Mercedes-Benz to claim the vans as "locally made".
"I really couldn't believe it. To build up and tear down, that's really something that hurts me, personally. And the costs!" said Volker Mornhinweg, worldwide head of Mercedes-Benz Vans.
Mornhinweg first learned about this back in 2010 and like us, found himself wondering 'WHY?!' Thankfully, Mornhinweg began working on making this process not seem like Rube Goldberg machine which will fully culminate with a new assembly plant in South Carolina that will be tasked with building the next-generation Sprinter, most likely in 2018.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)