Ex-Mercedes-Benz Employee Raises Hell With Caterpillar Loader and Causes $6m in Damage

Since Johnny Paycheck released “Take This Job and Shove It” and put a song to many workers’ feelings in 1977, the soundtrack for fighting back against “boss man” has been set in stone. Factory jobs are the focus of the narrator’s discontent, and what is more “factory job” than an automotive factory. Well, one former Mercedes-Benz employee took a page from Johnny Paycheck’s book and acted a fool on his old job.

A disgruntled Mercedes employee made his discontentment very known

According to The Drive, a former employee of a Mercedes-Benz plant in Victoria, Spain, stole a Caterpillar front loader from a construction site and drove it 13 miles to the plant. After crashing through the front gate, he demolished approximately 69 cars. The onsite security guard fired a warning shot across the bow before apprehending the driver. 

One-man destruction derby wrecks over 50 Mercedes-Benz V-Class vans

A local news source, Periodismo Del Motor, suspects that the 38-year-old ex-employee may have “over celebrated” the New Year on Thursday evening, leading to his single-driver destruction derby. 

Newly launched V-class cars seen during the launch | Getty
Newly launched V-class cars seen during the launch | Azhar Khan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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The plant mostly produces the Mercedes-Benz V-class vans. Allegedly he planned to break into the actual production line, where he could cause far more damage to not only more vans but to the pricy production equipment. As it stands, the estimated damage sits somewhere around $6 million. 

Apparently, the Mercedes-Benz plant was the only damage he inflicted; the police say that he raised further hell along the way from the construction site where he got the Caterpillar to his old workplace. When the local authorities arrived on the scene, they found the man behind the wheel of the Caterpillar smashing into multiple parked Mercedes-Benz vans. He is now held under suspicion of criminal destruction. 

The Mercedes-Benz V-Class ain’t cheap, much less 50 of them

We don’t have the V-class vans over on this side of the pond, so we don’t have a great frame of reference for what got destroyed. Granted, we don’t really need to know much to know destroying 50-some-odd Mercedes-Benz anythings is an expensive event, but to put a face to the name, as it were, here’s what his van-killing spree looks like. 

The V-Class vans are fancy minivans. Although, much like our “minivans” here, these aren’t very mini. They are specifically designed to haul a soccer team’s worth of kiddos to grandma and grandpa’s house for Christmas. The V-Class got a recent overhaul that resulted in new looks. Top Gear even calls it,  “A handsome, plush and executive new look.” 

Car bodies of the new S-Class Mercedes-Benz passenger car queue at the new "Factory 56" assembly line at the Mercedes-Benz manufacturing plant | Lennart Preiss/Getty Images
Car bodies of the new S-Class Mercedes-Benz passenger car queue at the new “Factory 56” assembly line at the Mercedes-Benz manufacturing plant | Lennart Preiss/Getty Images

The V-Class comes in a few trim options. Starting with the $63,822 base model Sport to the top-dog AMG (yes, the minivan comes in AMG) starting at $71,999. That is not a cheap van. The reports don’t yet tell which types of vans were destroyed in the Caterpillar attack, but no matter which versions were present, destroying 50 of them is quite the loss. To make the potential loss even greater, the AMG Extra Long is set to the tune of $78,822. 

The thought of any AMG getting destroyed makes my car-nerd heart sad, but an AMG minivan is doubly sad.