However, that's precisely what it did with its 2019 Sprinter van campaign, and as it turns out, that's getting it into some hot water with Truth In Advertising, according to a report released by the nonprofit consumer advocacy organization on Monday.
See, Mercedes assembles plenty of vehicles in the USA. Most of its SUVs are assembled here, and a portion of the world's Sprinter vans are, too. The problem is that there are tons of brand-new Sprinters on sale here in the US that weren't assembled at Benz's factory in South Carolina but rather, in Germany. Even worse is that the Sprinters that are put together in South Carolina are done so using predominantly foreign parts.
"MBUSA is modifying the current marketing campaign to focus on the jobs and capital invested in the United States. MBUSA is proud of its investments in the United States and has addressed the concerns raised by Truth In Advertising by modifying the content of some of its marketing material," said Mercedes representatives, in a statement to Roadshow. "As always, MBUSA desires to accurately describe its products and technology to its valued customers."
To its credit, Mercedes almost immediately pulled its ad campaign after receiving a letter from Truth In Advertising that threatened to report the automaker to the Federal Trade Commission for violating its policy which states:
"Unqualified US-origin claims in marketing materials -- including claims that products are "Made" or "Built" in the USA -- likely suggest to consumers that all products advertised in those materials are "all or virtually all" made in the United States."
"Mercedes-Benz engineered an entire marketing campaign on the false premise that itswas 'built in the USA,'" said Bonnie Patten, TINA.org executive director, in a statement. "While the changes Mercedes-Benz made are welcome, there's no question consumers were misled by the automaker's deceptive marketing."