Originally posted by DR.DIESEL
let's try to remember what older MB's cost too. In 1992, a well
equipped 4cyl 190E could cost upwards of $45K and a SL500
would run you over $100k.
Uhhh... according to my NADA Older Car Price Guide the MSRP of a base 1992 190E 2.3 was $29,850, and even if you added every available option it would probably not exceed $35K. It's also noteworthy that '91 marked the reintroduction of a four-cylinder 190 after a two year hiatus in order of advertise a new Mercedes for "under thirty thousand dollars" - competitive pressure at work!
You're close on the '92 SL500. It's base MSRP was $97.5K.
MBs were overpriced prior to the advent of the Japanese luxury car competitors and MB price increases have lagged behind inflation in the last ten years due to competitive pressure. Back in the eighties MB owned the market and charged what the market would bear. They made so much money in North America that they bought most of the German aerospace industry, then saw the value of those holdings fall down with the Berlin wall.