Ex-Employee Trashes Vehicles at Mercedes-Benz Factory in Spain

By: Lauren | Published: Dec 16, 2023

Most people are disappointed when a job doesn’t work out, but not everyone returns to their employers and destroys millions of dollars worth of inventory. 

But that’s exactly what one man did who worked at the Mercedes-Benz factory in Vitoria, Spain; he broke into the plant and completely annihilated more than 50 of the company’s vehicles with a front loader. 

The Vitoria Factory

The scene of the crime was at the company’s plant in Vitoria, located in the Basque region of Spain. 

Mercedes-Benz factory in Vitoria, Spain

Source: Mercedes-Benz

The plant specializes in manufacturing Mercedes-Benz vans, including the popular V-Class models, and is actually the second-largest van factory on the planet.

Quite the Operation

The Vitoria facility is certainly quite a large operation. It was founded in 1954, produces 170,000 cars every year, and currently employs more than 5,000 people. 

Information about the Mercedes-Benz Vitoria plant in gray, black, and white

Source: Mercedes-Benz

One of those people was an unnamed 38-year-old man; though it wasn’t publicly announced what his job was at the plant or why he was let go, the rest of his story made headlines as it was so shocking. 

Breaking Down the Gate

In order to get into the Vitoria plant, the ex-employee first needed to break down the locked metal gate. 

Metal gate at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vitoria broken on the ground after a break-in

Source: @DaniAlvarezEiTB

Which he easily did with a front loader or bulldozer that he apparently stole beforehand.

Making His Way Through the Inventory

Although the man hasn’t been interviewed, it is quite clear that he had a plan in place when he arrived.

Bulldozer at the Mercedes-Benz Vitoria factory

Source: @DaniAlvarezEiTB

The unnamed assailant apparently drove the bulldozer deeper into the factory and began making his way toward the hundreds of vans they had on site. 

The Bulldozer Certainly Made a Mess

By driving the bulldozer around the factory, the disgruntled employee was able to easily and quickly destroy more than 50 of the plant’s newly made vans.

Van at the Mercedes-Benz factory in Spain after being smashed by a bulldozer

Source: @DaniAlvarezEiTB

There are only a few photographs of the catastrophe, but they show just what kind of wrecking the machine was able to do. 


The Gouging, Flipping, and Smashing Happened in Minutes

The ex-employee ran directly into several vans, smashing them to pieces. He also ripped several vehicles apart and even flipped a few over.

Two destroyed Mercedes-Benz vans at the factory in Vitoria, Spain

Source: @DaniAlvarezEiTB

In fact, in one photo it’s clear that the employee was able to pick up one of the vans and flip it onto another van, clearly destroying both of them.


It Appears the Criminal Didn’t Ruin Any of the Expensive Machinery

The factory reported that while more than 50 vehicles were wrecked beyond repair, it seemed that the ex-employee didn’t make the time to attack the expensive machinery they use to make the vans.

Machinery at the Mercedes-Benz factory in Vitoria, Spain

Source: Mercedes-Benz

Which, of course, is quite the silver lining as it meant that the factory could continue functioning at full capacity the very next day. 


Many Mercedes-Benz Aficionados Are Grateful There Weren’t Any Specialty Vehicles Ruined

Mercedes-Benz has designed and manufactured some incredible cars over the years, and many automobile aficionados collect their fantastic vehicles. 

Mercedes-Benz van being manufactured in a factory

Source: Mercedes-Benz

And when they heard of the immense destruction, many noted that they were grateful that there were only new vans at the plant. 


The 50 Destroyed Vans Were Worth Thousands of Dollars Each

Although they weren’t necessarily Mercedes-Benz’s most expensive or exotic cars, the 50 vans destroyed were still worth quite a lot of money.

Mercedes-Benz V-Class van in silver

Source: Mercedes-Benz

In fact, each of the vans was worth several hundred thousand dollars, so the total destruction added up to several million dollars.


Daimler Spokesperson Reported the Attack Could Have Been Worse

Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, spoke out after the incident and explained that they believe the situation could have been much worse. 

Mercedes-Benz car in a showroom with the Daimler logo

Source: Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images

As more than 5,000 people work at the factory, Daimler is simply glad that no one was there at the time, and therefore, no one was hurt.


Mercedes-Benz Is Doing Just Fine

Luckily, even though millions of dollars of vehicles were destroyed by their ex-employee, Mercedes-Benz is such a big company that it didn’t really affect its annual profits. 

Mercedes-Benz logo, three silver points, on the hood of a car

Source: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

And because none of the machinery was ruined in the chaos, the 5,000 people who work at the Vitoria factory were able to get straight back to work the next day.