By on May 30, 2017

[2015 Mercedes C-Class, Image: Daimler AG]

Call it the Americanization of Mercedes-Benz. While the German automaker has assembled C-Class, GLE and GLS models in Alabama for some time (and, more recently, Sprinters in South Carolina), recent pressure from the Trump administration has led the automaker to reconsider what goes into those vehicles.

After being characterized by President Trump as “very bad,” it’s possible other German automakers operating in the U.S. could follow Mercedes’ lead in a bid to avoid further heat.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler AG has announced it will source more parts from U.S. suppliers. The automaker recently told suppliers it “sees value” in securing components from areas closer to its Tuscaloosa assembly plant.

For Mercedes, the timing of the move implies it has more to do with politics than logistics or cost. Trump claims a $15.4 billion automotive trade deficit exists between the two countries, lumping Mercedes-Benz in with BMW and Volkswagen as automakers which import more vehicles than those produced on U.S. soil. In total, about 28 percent of those automakers’ vehicles sold in the U.S. are built in the U.S.

While Trump has mentioned his desire for a border tax on automobiles, automakers are awaiting the results of North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations scheduled to begin in late summer. Automotive organizations have appealed to Trump in the hopes of avoiding changes to the rules of origin law.

Already, Mercedes-Benz models made in America are fairly American. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows 60 percent of a GLS’ parts originate in the U.S. or Canada. That percentage rises to 80 with the C-Class.

[Image: Daimler AG]

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27 Comments on “U.S.-Built Mercedes-Benz Models to Become More American...”


  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    It’s quite possible that Trump is smarter than we think. By advocating drastic and crippling penalties toward foreign-built cars—that are unrealistic—he’s compelling them to make smaller yet noticeable changes toward favoring domestic labor.

    Otherwise, I don’t see what the point is.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Because what I want from my fancy German car, is for it not to be a German car.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      cdnsfan27

      +2

    • 0 avatar
      turbo_awd

      @28-Cars-Later

      I think your choices are more along the lines of:
      -I want my fancy german car to have a large chunk of chinese components
      -I want my fancy german car to have a large chunk of american components, which I can laud to those around me who are wont to complain as “being patriotic” and “buying american”..

      What’s more “patriotic” (hypothetical numbers)? A MB with 35% US-sourced parts, or a Cadillac with 15% US-sourced parts?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        In your scenarios, “luxury” ceases to have any relevance.

        Regarding the hypothetical match-up, as far as I am concerned both marques can fold if they aren’t going to be serious. Tesla is the new Cadillac and new Mercedes (at least when they are not on fire).

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    Does this mean that in the future, Benz cars are gonna handle really sloppy?

  • avatar
    JRobUSC

    What percentage of Toyota, Honda, and Lexus models are built here? Seems silly to go after the Germans, as BMW, Benz, and VW combined probably sell fewer cars in a year here than Toyota and Honda sell in a month.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      He is going after Germany for reasons larger than annual automotive sales. There is a broader strategy against Germany and the EU at play here.

    • 0 avatar
      spw

      There is a massive difference, Toyota sells consistently over 70% NA made vehicles, and has been for a very long time.

      Trump or no Trump, there is certainly a case for lowering trade deficits with Germany, Mexico and China. It was major part of Sanders campaign, so traditionally that’s a left view on trade.

  • avatar
    redapple

    So I m in my local Chevy dealer parking lot kicking tires. 2018 Equinox. 40% Mexican Content. USA-Canada Content- 45%.
    Engine and Trans- USA
    Final Assy – That plant by London ONT.

    Trans, engine and assy is in USA/Canada and mexican content is almost the same>?????

    Mercedes can do what ever they want. Why bother. All that s left in the USA- especially in tier 2-3 shops are zombie companies. The lights are on, there are cars in the parking lot but they aint making money.

    Kiddies- what ever you do- STAY AWAY FROM VEHICLE MANUFACTURING. You will be hollowed out and crushed down.

    More H1-B now !!!

    (how d I do Deadweight?)

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    More American-like may or may not be a good thing, I don’t know, but for now their lineup takes after Hyundai.

    The aesthetics, the look and feel are a turn off to me. The handling is still there but it wouldn’t win me over enough to overlook everything else.

    Last-generation Benzes were perfect in my opinion. It was those cars that impressed me enough to consider Mercedes for my next vehicle but I’m afraid that whatever they have out by then will be an indiscernable blob.

    It’s a trend all across the industry. Imitate and/or uglify.

  • avatar
    redapple

    What turns me off on new M-Bs?
    A four banger in a large sedan like an E class.

    Save the heavy breathers and shakers for Cadillac.

  • avatar
    06M3S54B32

    “It’s quite possible that Trump is smarter than we think.”
    No it’s not. He’s a fuc*^ng moron of epic proportions. This jackass has been bankrupt like a dozen times? He’s unfit for anything less Tweeting.

    • 0 avatar

      Trump, a dealmaker? Ha! A flamethrower and not even very good at that.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      List of Trumps 515 businesses

      https://www.reddit.com/r/The_Donald/comments/4blkhg/list_of_donald_j_trumps_successful_businesses/

      Yea his 98% success rate makes him a failure. Delusional much?

      Saying he’s a bad deal maker or bad business man, I mean who are you kidding? Long before he ran for president he was more than just a well known business tycoon. You don’t become a billionaire by being lucky.

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