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Mercedes-Benz: Future Models

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Comments

  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    The Wall St Journal reports today that Mercedes lost $1.23 billion in the first quarter.

    In my opinion you understand what Mercedes stands for and what its cars should be. Current Daimler management seems to be adrift in this regard.

    My favorite German and American car marques (Mercedes and GM) have lost over $2 billion between them in the last quarter - hard to believe.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Thanks!!!

    Well I've done my part. I've written letters and even talked with Maybach and Mercedes reps at various autoshows (mainly Detroit where I really did have an important ear for a few minutes), but its up to them now.

    They seem to at the very least know that they have a problem. I've read the statement about earnings and 1 Billion (gulp!) of that was for Smart, which I say they should dump, but they aren't. So that mean Mercedes lost a mere 200 Million! Right. At the prices they charge they should make more money than just about anyone else, at least in the luxury car business.

    The demons have come back to haunt them and they've got to spend big time for at least all of 2005 and the first half of 2006 to get things under control. I think as new model roll out they'll make a profit this year, but it will be a small one thats for sure. They're spending millions and millions to make cars already on the road "right" as Cordes said, an admirable, but costly thing to do.

    Look for 2006 to be a much better year, but forget about 2005 because I don't think you've heard the worse yet.

    Now GM, imo is much worse shape because they have a lot of new models and they simply aren't selling up to expectations. Unlike Mercedes, GM has a design problem. From engines to styling they seem to be behind the curve and just plain lacking even on their brand new models. I personally think GM is just too big to properly fund all of their divisions with the quality of cars each one needs.

    M
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    I think you are right about the new introductions boosting sales. There are some very promising products in the very near future. One negative - Smart is a dead weight now.

    I think huge losses will get the attention of Mercedes manangement in a way customer complaints never did. It is human nature to be complacent until crunch time.

    As to GM - GM has a structural cost disadvantage of $2,500-3,000 per vehicle that won't go away until union contracts are reopened. Eventually management will have to face this unwelcome truth and be tough.

    Oh well - one can't be a fan without some losing seasons. Right now 2 of my 3 teams are down.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Oh well - one can't be a fan without some losing seasons. Right now 2 of my 3 teams are down.

    What is the third team?

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    What is the deal with the E55 Wagon?

    I'd read that it will be available for special order staring this Spring. True?

    M
  • ikramericaikramerica Posts: 95
    why not just ask a dealer? it is spring already...
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well I was just curious, or in other words not a buyer for such a car so I didn't want to tie up a dealer's time.

    M
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    I've been away for 2 days so just catching up.

    My third team is Rolls/Bentley. I know they are split up but I still think of them together in a similar sphere. I love the way they have been true to tradition while keeping up with technology.

    If I remember right, you were smitten as I was by the new Phantom convertible coming out late this year. There are pictures of the Phantom convertible at:

    http://car.kak.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=1574
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    I'm just now due to get only my 2ND E55 in the 211chasis, so I doubt we will EVER see one of those in our parts. What a dream machine that would be though...talk about a sleeper. I'm sure to ask my reps tomorow, so I'll let you know -
    -BTW, I'm really suprised that luxo wagons don't sell better on this side of the pond. You're not really compromising any of the driving dynamics of a sedan, and you're getting most of the utility of a midsize SUV, with good mpg to boot. I don't understand what's not to love, but whenever we get one in our inventory, it just sits around until we have to whore it out.
  • ikramericaikramerica Posts: 95
    I just think it depends on where you live. What area of the country is your dealership?

    As for the AMG models, living in SoCal, all the dealers seem to have lots of them, since people out here can afford them (or believe they can).

    The dealership where I am ordering my C280, for example, had an E55, C55, SL65, CLS55, and S55 sitting in the showroom, as well as a few more AMGs outside. They also had a Maybach 57 inside and plenty of new MLs, including an ML500 inside. This dealer is only one of many, many in my area. About 10 in a 30 mile radius of my house, with more not much farther off.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I have to say that I like Bentley more than Rolls, but neither of them are high on my list right now for various reasons.

    Bentley is growing by leaps and bounds, but the only "true" Bentley to me is the Arnage and the upcoming convertible version. The Continental GT and Flying Spur have way too much VW in their DNA to be true, of course imo.

    Rolls-Royce on the other hand is much more true to tradition. The Phantom is a new from the ground up Roll-Royce, with German engineering. While impressive, I'm not crazy about the look. It does however command a presence on the road like nothing else I've ever seen. You're correct about the convertible version, splendid machine imo. Looks much better than the sedan because they've tilted the RR grille back and reduced its size.

    Now that both brands have the advantage of German owners they are for the first time in modern history "up" on technology. Before they were antiques.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well its the whole "station wagon" stigma I guess. I actually like the current E-Class wagon. The previous E wagon was pretty unnattractive.

    None of them approach the simple elegance of the W124 wagon however. Now that was real status symbol back in its day, before the SUV craze.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The dealership where I am ordering my C280, for example, had an E55, C55, SL65, CLS55, and S55 sitting in the showroom, as well as a few more AMGs outside.

    The dealers around here seem to have a lot of AMG models too. I guess AMG made some type of huge shipment recently or something? I've never seen so many AMG models in a dealer's lot before until now. I mean even all three "65" models. The only one I haven't seen yet is the SLK55, either on the lot or on the road.

    What do you think of the Maybach?

    M
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    It appears Mercedes is moving AMG away from its former 'specialized niche' status. It is being repositioned as a standard model range and production is being ramped up.

    Keeping exclusivity exclusive is a challenge! Once a product becomes popular the trendsetters move on to the next unique/hot thing.
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    Maybach is an outstanding car: a truly super S-Class+. I wonder if it can accomplish what DC has in mind for it against Rolls-Royce.

    I read recently about an auto journalist who drove a Phantom across the country. The writer was used to arriving in Ferraris, SLs, Lamborghinis and the like but his experience with the Rolls-Royce was unique.

    He said that wherever he went (restaurants, hotels, casinos - even gas stops) he received a level of service and a deference that he had never experienced before simply because he was driving the Rolls.

    Maybach may be objectively a better vehicle but it doesn't have the presence of a Rolls-Royce.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    I agree that a wagon is more regional than most other cars in popularity. I'm in the southeast, where trucks and truck based SUVs are almost obligatory. Perhaps it's the mild snob in me that would say it, but I think luxury wagons appeal to a more refined taste. I don't have anything against the south or southern culture, per se, but the average person in this neck of the woods has a more base set of tastes' and wants than other areas of the country. That may explain some of it.

    I do hope they don't start soaking the market with too much of the AMG product, tho. It needs to remain a rare commodity.

    Your C280 is probably going to be a pretty cool rig. I'm looking forward to selling them.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Maybach may be objectively a better vehicle but it doesn't have the presence of a Rolls-Royce."

    I agree, and the Rolls just looks and feels more "special" and custom made. The Maybach really is as you said, a super Mercedes. I personally would have just called it the "Maybach by Mercedes-Benz", which was the original plan until VW and BMW got their hands on the two most valued brands in the ultra-luxury car business.

    M
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    When Mr. Ferrari was the boss the 'Ferrari' designation was off limits for V-8 or V-6 models. "A Ferrari has 12 cylinders!" was his dictum.

    In business sales are the trump card, especially during a slump. I'm sure this is why the AMG option is so widely available at Benz lately.

    I sincerely believe the Mercedes sales/quality slump can be turned around within 24 months. Management should accomplish the task with hard work and dedication, not brand dilution.
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    The Mercedes brand name is more pretigious than Maybach, IMO.

    Mercedes could move into the ultra-luxury range again. They were there for many years with the 600 series in the 1960s/1970s.

    Create a separate Mercedes model line (Maybach would be a great model designation) and use the tristar emblem. If you want the series name on the car put small 'Maybach' emblems/crests on the fenders, decklid or wheel covers.
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