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Old 09-11-2003, 01:46 AM
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haasman haasman is offline
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Article: Mercedes Aiming To Regain Quality Lead

Mercedes Aiming To Regain Quality Lead

Speaking of Mercedes quality, its U.S. and German workers haven’t done as good a job as expected lately – at least not according to recent studies by J.D. Power and Associates.

No other brand saw such a sharp rise in problems after three years of service, revealed the latest Vehicle Dependability Study, putting Mercedes behind a number of less expensive brands.

Fixing that is the company’s “top priority and we are working like hell to fix it,” declared passenger car chief Juergen Hubbert. He insisted the Power studies have overplayed some of the problems, since many complaints touched on such things as the size of Mercedes’ cupholders. But Hubbert also acknowledged that “seven out of ten of my problems” are related to electronic systems, such as systems controls, infotainment and communications devices.

The automaker has even approached Microsoft searching for answers, and is rolling out various solutions, including software upgrades that can prevent unexpected – and often hard to diagnose – problems.

Meanwhile, Mercedes will “have to make some changes in our portfolio to reflect regional preferences,” said Hubbert. That would be a significant shift away from its one-size-fits-all-markets strategy. So in the future, American buyers might find it possible to comfortably stow their two-liter Big Gulps while driving.

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