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Discussion Starter #1
W126 brought up an interesting point in another thread about whether or not the W124 400E/E420 was assembled in Mexico. Honestly, this is the first I've heard of it :roll: But that doesn't mean much, lol 8O

I felt this topic warranted it's own thread.

Suginami also believes they were assembled there (99.9%) :wink:

Is there any information in the E-Class Owner's Bible about this? I'll also post a question about this on the MBCA forums and see what response is generated.
 

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I'll take a look in the Owner's Bible and post back. I'm almost positive they weren't. I think that MB has shipped CKD's to some third world countries with horrendous tariffs on imported cars, but I don't believe they've actually manufactured anywhere else (except maybe South Africa, and I think that was trucks - Juergen Schrempp ran that op. before screwing up the parent).

I know there were questions a while back at the 'shop about DB selling the tooling for the W124 to somebody in Korea, there was an assertion made that some Korean cars were almost identical. Again, given the company's (former) obsession with quality and defending the reputation, I'd be surprised if that was done.

Edit: The Owners' Bible only lists two alternatives in the VIN (for US cars) identifying production plants: the eleventh character is either A-E (Sindelfingen) or F-H (Bremen). The first character is only listed as W, for West Germany. No Mexican production, at least for the US - though it would be strange if they produced them in Germany for the US, and Mexico for other countries.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I looked, but couldn't find my copy of MB Production Models (Nitske) :cry:

I also went through the W124 Owner's Bible and could find no reference to the "Mexico" issue.

Keep digging 8)
 

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I found a place that says they decode vehicle VINs

http://www.autoinsurancetips.com/vin.htm

WDBED30D4MFxxxxx
X...................X

They say that the first letter denotes the country of origin. I have an upper case X under this, and the character is a W. Accordingly the W represents Germany. They say that the 11th character denotes the factory of production. I have another upper case X under this as well. I couldn’t find what the “F” represents. I've cut off the last few numbers off the VIN and denoted those with lower case xxxxx.

So if anyone knows what plant that MB uses which is denoted by the letter F we have an answer.
 

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A. Rosich posted this over on Mercedesshop.com:

The main reason Mercedes-Benz assembled the 400E in Mexico was that this model was created almost exclusively for the United States market. The plants in Germany were in full capacity and the retooling required to build an additional spin-off the W124 series with such a small output was out of the question.

Hence, as I understand (sourced from readings in some magazine articles, chats with M.B. mechanics and salespersons), complete unassembled car kits (body parts, engine, transmission, etc) were shipped to Mexico were they were put together and then shipped to the U.S. Local parts use was kept to a minimun.

Actually, I don't know if it would help you to do some research with the VIN number and MBUSA about this issue, since as stated before, MBUSA is not to keen to talk about it. The reason? Again, anyone's guess.

Local techs told me that they have found out the 400E tend to have more minor electrical gremlins that are usually present in the W124s. Also, some problems about door aligment, and general problems about interior fit and finish are usual complaints.

The 400E fullfils a very peculiar niche created by market needs (for example: the four-cylinder, 2.0 liter, 4-speed manual transmission, cloth seats, 2-door, C124 coupe that was made exclusively for the Italian market in the early years of the W124 line-up). A 400E kept the "V-8 appeal" for the american market, without the astronomical price of the Porsche-sourced 500E. Also, you must take into account that assembling the car in Mexico also helped to LOWER the cost of production.
 

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Good research. A. Rosich knows his stuff from what I recall. Plus I recall that he resides in South America.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm witholding judgment on the issue pending additional responses. While A. Rosich may very well be correct, I'm holding out for more than "(sourced from readings in some magazine articles, chats with M.B. mechanics and salespersons)".

I'm seeking feedback/info from MBCA gurus (and MB technical information wizards) for any additional details.

********

Personally, I don't have a W124 400E/E420 and have no vested interest in the outcome of this search. I suppose I'm just interested in confirming or "myth-busting" this allegation. Fun! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So far, my research is showing that this never happened. Still on the hunt though....
 

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el presidente said:
So far, my research is showing that this never happened. Still on the hunt though....
You are a man on a mission. Perhaps you have a 400E lurking somewherez? :p
 

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Discussion Starter #14
***UPDATE***

http://mbca.cartama.net/showthread.php?s=&postid=20072#post20072

Here's some additional information from MBCA members "in the know" about the 400Es that were assembled in Mexico. The news is that the cars assembled at the truck plant in Mexico were for the Mexican market, not the U.S. Market. According to these folks, the U.S. Market 400Es were all assembled in Germany.

Hope this helps :)
 

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That does help, thanks! Interesting info about the finbacks and 190SL being assembled from kits in Mexico. I wonder if there's any notation of that in the VIN?
 
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