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Mercedes-Benz: Future Models

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Comments

  • benzman1benzman1 Posts: 1
    I currently own a '02 S430, and I look forward to the new CLS500. This adds excitement to the line up without spending $95M for an SL.
  • steven2steven2 Posts: 37
    But these new mercedes models are more wagonish, and BMW and Audi are pushing the X7 (probably) and A7 (done deal). Other than to redesign the M, Mercedes hasn't addresed their SUV lineup

    Look at it this way. Think how many Navigator and Tahoe buyers the GX and LX have taken away. G Class buyers aren't really in that price range. Wouldn't Mercedes sell more luxury, 7 pass. SUV for 60-70K than a wagon model when they would new wagons, when there's already the E and C classes to choose from?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You have a point, no argument from me there. There are different ways to look at it though.

    They'll have a mainstream SUV...the ML, then a crossover the R-Class and then an upper SUV the G-Class. I just don't see Mercedes, BMW or any other German company building a Tahoe/LX470 sized vehicle.

    M
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    Good stuff.

    The DC merger really got off on the wrong foot, but after checking out some of Chrysler's new products, I am REALLY impressed.

    I think MB, in addition to broadening its product line, has to figure out how to coordinate its product (platforms, engines and trannies) with Dodge and Chrysler.

    Otherwise, they'll end up like GM, which has some good looking cars with great engines, some good looking cars with old dunger engines, some low quality cars with great engines, and too many low quality cars with low quality engines.

    I agree with you 100% that MB should dump below $30k cars. That's what Chrysler and Dodge are for.

    I also agree with you that MB should expand into any luxury niches its weak on, but I think they need to coordinate this effort with Chrysler and Dodge.

    Here's how I'd organize the product line.

    Dodge would get a few RWD performance cars, but the main lineup would be economy FWD cars, FWD minivans and small to midsize FWD SUVs. Dodge would also get a few large RWD SUVs. Also trucks.

    Chrysler would get cheaper versions of MB's RWD cars and upscale versions of Dodge SUVs. Less luxurious, different design. Engines would be same as MB engines (to save costs), except the v8 would be Hemis instead of expensive DOHC v8s. The MB v6s in Chrysler's would be the same as MB's, except that even though MB's v6s would be high compression, they would be detuned to run on regular gas only in order to cheaply differentiate them from the premium MB v6s.

    MB would get the premium engines (DOHC v8s instead of the Hemi, or hell, maybe even a bigger and badder Hemi) and go with upscale, luxurious cars all the way. MB would get the funky hi-tech transmissions that MB is famous for also, whereas Chrysler and Dodge get standard, cheaper (but maybe more reliable) low tech transmissions.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Interesting post. Instead of me just saying whether or not I agree or disagree I'll give you visuals...lol.

    "I think MB, in addition to broadening its product line, has to figure out how to coordinate its product (platforms, engines and trannies) with Dodge and Chrysler."

    Picture me standing on my desk here at work jumping up and down in protest. NO! This would destroy Mercedes-Benz.

    "I also agree with you that MB should expand into any luxury niches its weak on, but I think they need to coordinate this effort with Chrysler and Dodge."

    I'm not sure what niche they could enter with help from those two brands.

    "MB would get the premium engines (DOHC v8s instead of the Hemi, or hell, maybe even a bigger and badder Hemi) and go with upscale, luxurious cars all the way. MB would get the funky hi-tech transmissions that MB is famous for also, whereas Chrysler and Dodge get standard, cheaper (but maybe more reliable) low tech transmissions."

    Well every transmission should be reliable.

    Overall I guess I still get nauseous when I think about a Chrysler and Mercedes sharing a jointly developed platform. So far this hasn't happened. Yes the Crossfire is a rebodied SLK, but the SLK will be all new in 2 months. The 300/Magnums have Mercedes inspired suspension design and some previous E-Class parts (seats, steering columns etc.), but not the entire platform.

    I think they should share parts where it doesn't affect the character of the respective brands. People aren't going to buy a 80K S-Class if they know there is a Chrysler equivalent running around. They can't ever share platforms in the way Ford/Jaguar does say with their S-Type/Linc LS. They can share alternators, seat tracks, and various nuts and bolts, but the stuff that makes a Mercedes a Mercedes can't be jointly developed on a platform intended for use in a new Chrysler and Mercedes at the same time. It won't work.

    So far I think they've done the right things and the Chrysler side of the house is starting to show signs of a turnaround, but it is way too early to say anything about it yet.

    I think for this union to work both Mercedes and Chrysler has to be left to do what they do best and work together in areas that will save them both money and R&D time without messing up the character of each brand. In short only get what they need from each other and nothing more. The boys in Germany should just give the boys in Detroit technical, purchasing and R&D support, not tell them what kind of cars to build and certainly vice versa (like that would ever happen anyway).

    M
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    Picture me standing on my desk here at work jumping up and down in protest. NO! This would destroy Mercedes-Benz.

    LOL

    Overall I guess I still get nauseous when I think about a Chrysler and Mercedes sharing a jointly developed platform. So far this hasn't happened. Yes the Crossfire is a rebodied SLK, but the SLK will be all new in 2 months. The 300/Magnums have Mercedes inspired suspension design and some previous E-Class parts (seats, steering columns etc.), but not the entire platform.

    Well, I know how you feel about MB, but honestly, part and platform sharing are going to happen with increasing frequency, whether you like it or not. And it's not like MB is really lowering itself. There are stripper MB taxis all over Germany after all.

    I like the idea of using old Benz platforms and parts for Chrysler and possibly Dodge as well. That's a good way to increase ROI on old plant and equipment, and it won't devalue MB b/c MB will get the latest and greatest.

    I think platform sharing can work under the following circumstances:

    1. different interior and exterior parts so that the cars look different, with the better stuff going in the upscale model.

    2. better, more powerful engine in the upscale model.

    If it's just badge engineering (which it unfortunatley too frequently is) then it'll devalue MB.

    I think for this union to work both Mercedes and Chrysler has to be left to do what they do best and work together in areas that will save them both money and R&D time without messing up the character of each brand. In short only get what they need from each other and nothing more.

    I hear where you're coming from. Esthetically I agree with you, but dollarswise, I don't think it's going to happen the way you want it to.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Easy saugatak, can't you see that artery throbbing in merc's neck? }-]

    I don't think we'll see much reverse osmosis from Chrysler to Benz (much to the everlasting relief of our friend here) anytime real soon. Personally I think Merc has a valid point in that there's not much to gain yet.

    Yet.

    OTOH, there is a measure of adapability inherent in the culture in Auburn Hills that I don't think really exists in the Benz boardroom, and there are learnings there that would be helpful to a mfr looking for a true global presence and a shot a dominance.

    You guys go harp on the under 30 product all you want; I, for one, would very much be interested in a B hatch with some amenities and a smokin' plant. Cars in this size range interest me greatly, and as I like my cockpit trimmed in leather with some comfy features and as little NVH as possible, having an alternative to the typical econobox applications is right up my alley and down my freeway! That's how I ended up in what I drive now, and that's why things like an A3 Sportback (or an S4 Avant) look good for my future. Don't need bigger and roomier. If I wanted to go that way, I'd have seized on the '03 540iT and the outrageous lease I was offered like a Pit Bull on a lamb shank (prettiest wagon I ever done seen and a pip to drive)!

    C'mon, bring a B and make it hot!
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    Ah Merc can handle it :)

    I don't think we'll see much reverse osmosis from Chrysler to Benz (much to the everlasting relief of our friend here) anytime real soon. Personally I think Merc has a valid point in that there's not much to gain yet.

    I'm wondering if MB will put the upcoming 6.1L Hemi in any of their model lines.

    I, for one, would very much be interested in a B hatch with some amenities and a smokin' plant.

    Dodge Magnum with a Hemi? It might not have the amenities you want but it's a smokin' wagon.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You guys are being downright mean, especially you James...lol!

    You know Mercedes will never put a Hemi in one of their cars.

    M
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    Come on Merc, if the Hemi is not put into an MB, then the following classic commercial will never be made:

    Scene

    Snobby looking European in Armani suit driving MB SLK AMG pulls up to a ratty burger joint. Sweaty, beefy, greasy teenager leans out of drive-thru window.

    European: "Excuse me sahr, but do you have some Grey Poupon?"

    Teenager: "That thang got a Hemi?"
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I'm officially on the floor now......someone please call 911....lol!!!!!!

    M
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    The Hemi is probably the best thing to happen to Chrysler in a good long while, but it is near-antediluvian (cylinder shut-down not withstanding), and the cars it powers are simply too big for my tastes. It is nice to see something at the Chrysler/Dodge shops lining tem up at the door again. Let's hope they don't screw the pooch with a laissez-faire 'tude this time!

    That B-class hatch with the 3.2L or so? Geddouttahere!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The 2005 lineup (so far):

    C230
    C240
    C320
    C55 AMG
    (several bodystyles for most engine/trim choices and 4Matic versions)

    E320
    E320 CDI
    E500
    E55 AMG
    (Again, several bodystyle for most engine choices and 4Matic versions)

    S430
    S500
    S600
    S55 AMG

    CL500
    CL55 AMG
    CL600
    CL65 AMG

    SL500
    SL55 AMG
    SL600
    SL65 AMG

    CLK320
    CLK500
    CLK55 AMG (Coupe and converitble bodystyles for each engine choice)

    SLK350 (brand new models)
    SLK55 AMG

    ML350
    ML500

    G500
    G55 AMG (new 469hp supercharged engine from the E/CL/S/SL "55" models)

    SLR McLaren

    For the 2006 model year:

    CLS500 (Feb-March 2005 with a next generation V8)

    R-Class (known as the GST right now, giant crossover vehicle)

    M-Class (all new model, May 2005 as a 2006 model)

    Is this too many models?

    M
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    IMO, way too many models, way too confusing. Giving so many options must also make the possibilities for error greater, which is not going to help MB's reliability.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    That is the current thinking, but they only have a few more than BMW does, and Audi is coming with more models also. In Mercedes' case though some of those don't sell more than 1K units a year, some even less.

    What models do you think they should eliminate?

    M
  • myslk350myslk350 Posts: 3
    I am #4 on the SLK 350 wait list here in BR, LA. I am very apprehensive about the sticker prices I've heard. MERC1, hope you are correct that the SLK 350 will top out at around 52K with a base sticker of approx 46-48K. Like yourself, I can't imagine that Mercedes would taint the release of this roadster with such an outrageous base MSRP; otherwise, I should just buy the Boxster S if the SLK ends up in the upper 50's.
  • I was informed of the MSRP from my local dealership, where I am waiting to place my order for the new SLK 350. The base price will be $45,900, with manual 7-speed transmission. Available options include automatic transmission, high-end Harmon Kardon stereo w/changer, and a complete upgrade package for $5,000, which includes all of the above options and more.
  • It was just announced that Mercedes will not bring the A class to the USA. I think this is a smart decision. I am in favor of having lots of new model choices, but I think the A would have flopped big-time. For any car that size to sell well here, it would need top-notch driving dynamics (like a Mini Cooper or BMW 1 series). I think BMW could do well in the USA with the 1 series if they use the 2.5 inline six. But I fear the A class would not handle as well or be as fun to drive. Nobody wants an average handling, small, and relatively expensive (I assume it would easily have cost over 20K) car in the USA.
  • I am interested in the CLS500. I have a 2000 E320 and am looking for a new car. Considering Jaguar XJ and Corvette (nixed by wife). She is concerned about price, but for some reason likes the CLS because she likes the idea that if I do spend a lot of money, stick with Mercedes (go figure). Don't want an E because it's too similar to what I've had for 4.5 year.

     

    I've seen pictures on the Internet and have read a little, but am looking for more information, such as specs and when exactly is will be available (I've heard January). Any information would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • Also, is there a discussion dedicated to or at least including more CLS talk?
This discussion has been closed.