Back in 1982 my 300SD cost $42,000cnd, a Cadillac sold for less than $20k. At the same time Detroit was learning how to make things cheaper and still have them operate. Mercedes was still fitting their cars together by hand and making every single item servicable. So, you could spend your money and drive it at least 2x if not more than your comparable American luxury car. Along come the '90's. Luzury is not limited to 2 or 3 makers anymore. Mercedes has no choice but to be competative. Would you spend 3 times more for a Benz now? Who can afford it. Of course MB has gotten cheaper. They are built by robots now like everything else, gone for electronic gadgetry and so on to the point where they are no better buy now than a new Caddy. I can fix just about anything on my 300SD. I can fix very little on my '97 Deville and I am sure a '03 is even more complicated. It is a sad statement for autos.