As Mercedes-Benz USA seeks to rename a street for itself in its new hometown of Sandy Springs, its old hometown in New Jersey is planning to strip the brand from its own “Mercedes Drive.”

MBUSA goes before the Sandy Springs City Council tonight, March 7, for the controversial renaming of part of Barfield Road, which is opposed by a neighboring Mormon temple and Barfield family members. MBUSA says that naming streets for itself is a company “tradition” going back 40 years.

The website of the borough of Montvale, N.J., shows its address of 12 Mercedes Drive.

That tradition began in 1972 in Montvale, N.J., where the German carmaker’s North American headquarters was established. Montvale was not happy to lose MBUSA to Georgia in 2015 in a tax-incentive-laden deal. The serious impacts were loss of jobs and community donations, but a visible sore spot was the carmaker’s brand name remaining on a city street.

Among the buildings on that street is Montvale’s own city hall complex, which still gets mail as 12 Mercedes Drive. Well, at least for now.

“We have not renamed it yet, but we will in due time,” Montvale Mayor Mike Ghassali said in an email when asked about his town’s Mercedes Drive.

Ghassali said there is not yet an official list of alternative names. Former Mayor Roger Fyfe last year said that some suggestions included “Wegmans Way” for a new supermarket, and, in a reverse of the Sandy Springs situation, “DePiero Road,” in honor of a family that sold its century-old farm to MBUSA for its headquarters 40 years ago. Barfield Road is also named for an old farming family.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.

4 replies on “MBUSA’s former hometown will rename its ‘Mercedes Drive’”

  1. MB will be in Sandy Springs for 10 or so years, until the massive tax credits run out then they will move to the next place with a short sited city council and giant tax breaks. We will be stuck with an empty building and a stupid street name. We lost Glenridge Hall for this mess, let’s at least keep our historic street names!

    1. This analysis is likely extremely spot on. We will be left with a building that was built right up against Abernathy without set backs that the entire city required in the past. We allowed ourselves to go gaga over ruining the entire area over this and then to go double gaga by approving the massive destruction across the street for homes, apts ow whatever is being built. The Mercedes sight seems wedged in without setbacks and serenity that the other nearby office buildings have.

  2. As a long retired employee of MBUSA of Montvale fame or now of infamy, I can only say to those poor souls in Atlanta, when you make a deal with the devil by selling out your soul, you only reap what you sow and you will be paying for it for a very long time. Mercedes Benz will move trolling again with the promise of jobs, seeking yet another sucker.
    To the good folks in Montvale, embrace Wegmans…

  3. Not quite fair. MBUSA not only paid taxes and made donations for decades to the city of Montvale. They also hosted an army of guests from all over the world — granted, mostly from Germany — who left tons of money in hotels and other businesses of Montvale. As a small gratitude for that, just leave the “Mercedes Drive” alone.

    I retired from MBUSA in 1998.

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