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Old 11-23-2012, 08:11 PM
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ML Assembled in USA

I learned that the M-Class is made in USA. E-Class and S-Class are made in Germany. Are there any differences in terms of the quality made between the two countries? I would assume that MB, being a Germany company, would have all their cars made in Germany?
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:23 PM
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No real differences. It's all in perceived quality with the connotations and associations with different countries. MB makes cars all over the world including Indonesia, India, and China for their perspective markets.

100% of MB engines are made in Germany (for the most part). Some of the smaller 4 cylinder etc. are made by partner companies in other countries, but for the sake of argument all of the engines for the US market are made in Germany.
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Lowbee View Post
I learned that the M-Class is made in USA. E-Class and S-Class are made in Germany. Are there any differences in terms of the quality made between the two countries? I would assume that MB, being a Germany company, would have all their cars made in Germany?
Well... Many ppl say that the assembly quality is very different. US version is not good typically. So more car noise, door misaligned, etc... Yes... I got ML2013 recently but went to a dealer twice to fix those two problems. this issue is the same for x5.
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by soomba View Post
Well... Many ppl say that the assembly quality is very different. US version is not good typically. So more car noise, door misaligned, etc... Yes... I got ML2013 recently but went to a dealer twice to fix those two problems. this issue is the same for x5.
I have the same feeling about built/assembled in USA with regards to cars. However, German auto marques have always had their issues, too.

The ML's trans and engine are built in Germany, FYI, which I'm happy about.

In my experience and understanding, build quality for cars is best when built in Japan. While Korea is closing the gap.

I really wouldn't think too much about the US assembly of the ML. There's enough to worry about.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:10 PM
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Let's be a bit clearer on this - ALL ML's and GL's are assembled in Alabama and ALL engines and tranny's are assembled in Germany/Austria and shipped to the US.

MB started with the Vance plant for the ML launch in '97, added production in Graf Austria in limited #'s in '01 thru '03 (from what I remember), then shut down German/Austrian production to make Vance sole source.

C's for the US are made in Germany, as well as a good number for US market are also brought in from South Africa.. C's are "made" in quite a few countries, when MB shipps "kits" into those target countries for assembly. E's are getting spread out into local assembly into a good number of those target countries as well.

Vance is being expanded dramatically to begin US assembly of C's, and ultimately GLK's as well.

Vance is operating at new higher production levels than ever before - but at the same time the engineering quality of the new generation ML and GL are much higher than before - at the same time I haven't personally seen any dramatic evidence of assembly issues with the new generation.. meaning assembly by and large has seamlessly adjusted for the more sophisticated engineering levels on the new gen.

Germany still controls spare parts - now that gets cumbersome at times, there have been (2) GL550's "missing" owner's manual nationwide from 1st rollout (including one of mine) and those two manuals are on back order still eight weeks later..

Keep the beat !
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:49 AM
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You'll always run into problems with cars no matter where they're built. But with these modern era Benzes, it just isn't apparent where the car's made from just upon feel and drive. It's really more mental than anything else.
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:13 PM
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Well the assembly quality is all about "man quality". To attach the doors and others things are STILL done by man (semi-auto) and US facility is not that good. That's why Japanese cars are always better in terms of noise and reliability. This is the one of main reasons why US cars lose their market to Japan. Anyway, MB has super good engines and transmissions and thats why ppl want to buy! So the best way is to buy MB built in Germany.

Last edited by soomba; 11-24-2012 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:52 PM
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It's of my personal opinion that the reason those Japanese cars are more "reliable" is because in general they are much more simple. Therefore they are less prone to run into trouble.

But if you're talking about build quality, no way would I say a Japense car is better than a German car. They're made out of so much plastic/ thin metal. In terms of materials used, they don't feel anywhere as solid nor as well built- again this is all my opinion.

To me, I don't feel any quality difference between the current gen US built MB vs. German built MB vs. China built MB. It's the same parts just assembled in different places.
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:58 AM
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Originally Posted by soomba View Post
Well the assembly quality is all about "man quality". To attach the doors and others things are STILL done by man (semi-auto) and US facility is not that good. That's why Japanese cars are always better in terms of noise and reliability. This is the one of main reasons why US cars lose their market to Japan. Anyway, MB has super good engines and transmissions and thats why ppl want to buy! So the best way is to buy MB built in Germany.
Don't worry what ever ur on will wear off.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:54 PM
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As a visitor from the GLK 350 arena, our GLK arrived from Germany with a placard on the window which stated that 73% of the parts originated in Germany. Very few things today are built from parts from a single country.
The most fun I have while driving is sucking the doors off of CR-Vs on two lane roads with a European vehicle. It wakes up the brain dead CR-V operators for sure.

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Last edited by venchka; 11-30-2012 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:16 PM
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US vs. German quality

Originally Posted by Lowbee View Post
I learned that the M-Class is made in USA. E-Class and S-Class are made in Germany. Are there any differences in terms of the quality made between the two countries? I would assume that MB, being a Germany company, would have all their cars made in Germany?
All large manufacturers do foreign manufacturing as the market conditions dictate. BMW has been producing cars in South Carolina since 1994, now making the X3, X5 & X6 there. Mercedes US production started at the beginning of 1997.

I'd say past MLs (I had the very first of the W163 & 164 delivered in my state) have been less than stellar on build quality. But, on my current W166, delivered mid-July this year, I have not had one single quality issue with now over 4k miles.

Last edited by GregW / Oregon; 11-29-2012 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:07 PM
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i don't know about MBs made in other countries (outside of germany) but the ones made in china (C/E/GLK) are not up to the german standards i can tell u that.

for one thing (and the most apparently one), MBs made in china do not follow european standards and use RoHS materials, hence chinese made C/E/GLK have very bad interior smell. this difference is huge and very noticeable because at the dealers anyone even with a flu nose can notice.

i got my imported E in 2010. chinese version stretched E came out in 2011.

not to say american workers are not great. but i remember when they first started building X5 in alabama, quality was very bad. then again, time is a changing.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:43 AM
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X5 is built in South Carolina.
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by xxGenericSNxx View Post
X5 is built in South Carolina.
Per post #11.
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by GregW / Oregon View Post
Per post #11.
Yep Just correcting the other guy.
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Old 12-01-2012, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by leapingpoint View Post
MBs made in china do not follow european standards and use RoHS materials, hence chinese made C/E/GLK have very bad interior smell. this difference is huge and very noticeable because at the dealers anyone even with a flu nose can notice.
Are you located in China? Where did you smell this?
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by iankayem View Post
Are you located in China? Where did you smell this?

Yeah I'm located in china.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by xxGenericSNxx View Post
X5 is built in South Carolina.

Yeah okay.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:56 PM
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Interesting then. I heard rumour that as production for ML's at Vance is flat out, they may start building them in China or Thailand. And these would supply the Asian and probably Australian market.

From what you say, I think I am glad I have my US built already!
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:42 AM
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:28 AM
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German content 73%. Same as our 2012 GLK 350. Where did the other 27% come from? which is more inclined to break? The 73% or the 27%? Huh?
As I said earlier, very very very few products are made with 100% local content.

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Old 12-11-2012, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by lstoronto View Post
if MB not realize the issues of their cars sold to customers with subpar quality and reliability, it will soon be in line with Saab or be priced at Kia and Hyundai.
Why would anyone buy a problematic and burn money just for the name of the brand? There are abundant excellent cars on the market, BMW, Audi, Porche etc.
MB please listen up and improve if you want a come back customers. Word of mouth is worth a lot than the cars themselves.
Please stop filling each thread with your rants.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by hutch300 View Post
Please stop filling each thread with your rants.
Yeah, I totally agree. Is this person for real? Let him/her go buy a Kia, Hyundai or Saab and then see what they've got to say about 'quality'. But, what has happened to said posts/rants from this member? Has the member themself, or a MBWorld admin person, removed/deleted them all as it apprears they're now gone! ... hmm, very interesting.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by AussieBenzLover View Post
Yeah, I totally agree. Is this person for real? Let him/her go buy a Kia, Hyundai or Saab and then see what they've got to say about 'quality'. But, what has happened to said posts/rants from this member? Has the member themself, or a MBWorld admin person, removed/deleted them all as it apprears they're now gone! ... hmm, very interesting.
He was banned after a few rants and his nutty posts/threads were deleted. Then he came back with a new account... his new thread is still alive. I'm sure you can guess which one is his.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by 27trout View Post
He was banned after a few rants and his nutty posts/threads were deleted. Then he came back with a new account... his new thread is still alive. I'm sure you can guess which one is his.
Yes, I've just seen all of that under the new account. But my question is why? He/she wasn't rude or nasty or anything, just expressing their disappointment with their vehicle, which to me is quite ok, but perhaps they were a little over the top. Still, what's happened to free speech etc? Isn't that the whole purpose of this website/forum? So we can all talk freely, express our opinions and share information about our cars? Unless the person was using bad language or specifically attacking another member I don't see why that member should be banned & his/her posts should be deleted. Perhaps I missed something here. Anyway, have a good day folks!
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