It’s possible that the esteemed Mercedes-Benz company just had a fender bender with their reputation. The luxury car maker is now being forced to backtrack on its $16 million marketing campaign that claims their 2019 Sprinter Cargo Van is made in the USA. Evidently, the cars are not made in the United States, according to a recent investigation.
A majority of the Sprinter Cargo Vans were made in Germany, despite the fact that the company sunk millions into advertising television, radio, and social media, claiming that the vans were made in America.
Per the NY Post, a 30-second TV ad, for example, shows a worker in the company’s new South Carolina plant putting together the vehicle. The final message of the ad is “built in the USA.”
Mercedes’ Instagram account posts pictures of the cars being built alongside the hashtags #southcarolina #builtintheusa and #myvanusa.
The company pulled back on these Made In America claims after an investigation looking at the VIN numbers of these vehicles showed only around 10% were made in the U.S.
This is a direct violation of an FTC policy that requires companies that use the tagline “Made In America” or “Made In The USA” to be completely truthful about these claims.
Mercedes-Benz has announced that they will begin to “discontinue actively using” the slogan, but have yet to admit any liability in the situation. Furthermore, a spokesperson for Mercedes-Benz claims that the company is “modifying the current marketing campaign to focus on the jobs and capital invested in the United States,” and that it has addressed these concerns.
These Sprinter Cargo Vans cost upward of $35,000 and have been featured prominently in the news of late, as Amazon has agreed to buy 20,000 of the vans as part of their effort to rely less on the USPS, FedEx, and UPS for their daily deliveries.
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