To Larry B:
When the German marks go from 2.00 per dollar to 2.20 per dollar, the money Mercedes gets for the car is less not more.
I'll explain. If marks are 2 per dollar, Mercedes would get 15,000 marks for your $30,000 when the conversion is made. When the mark is 2.2 per dollar Mercedes would get only 13,636 marks for your $30,000 when the conversion is made.
I'll bet that you won't complain about paying less. If Mercedes went by the higher value of the mark, they would have to raise the price not lower it to break even.
I will agree with you that a manual transmission should be available. But its probably not Mercedes' fault but our wonderful big brother government watching over us.
P E H