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William Maley

Mercedez Benz News Mercedes-Benz's Absurd Way Of Avoiding the Chicken Tax

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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) 


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Very cool, I agree that it is crazy to make a product, break it into pieces and ship it over for reassembly and then say it is local. Glad to read MB is doing the right thing in building them truly locally for the NA market.

My gut tells me that more and more companies are gonna want to have core models built locally or face the wrath of the local country tax man.

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Or they could just bolt a second row seat in, then remove it at port and recycle it like Ford does with the Transit Connect...

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10 hours ago, ocnblu said:

Or they could just bolt a second row seat in, then remove it at port and recycle it like Ford does with the Transit Connect...

I think Ford was moving some Transit production to North America...

5 hours ago, daves87rs said:

LOL @ the taking it apart to ship....

The kid in me that built model cars just wants to get one, some assembly required...lol...

:unsure::unsure::unsure::unsure::D:D:D

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^^^ Proof that common sense is not so common!

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Most companies put seats in the back like oncblu stated.  Then they are passenger cars, once said n the USA they take the seats out, ship the seats back to Europe and repeat the process.

this is one of the dumbest taxes ever too.  But kudos to Daimler for creating American jobs while Ford and Chrysler ship them to Mexico.

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8 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

So why not just build it here in the first place?

That's what I thought as well.. Why spend the time assembling it just to immediately disassemble it?

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