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Old 08-24-2009, 10:20 AM
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Lightbulb Great Rivalries: Mercedes Benz vs BMW

Great Rivalries: Mercedes Benz vs BMW

The rivalry between BMW and Mercedes-Benz dates back to 1959.The rivalry between BMW and Mercedes-Benz dates back to 1959. On December 9, Daimler-Benz tried, via the Deutsche Bank, to take over BMW, which was on the brink of bankruptcy. But the minor shareholders, the dealers, and the unionized workforce prevented the takeover at the eleventh hour. Over the next few years, the Quandt family bought a majority stake in BMW, but even with fresh cash, it took the company until the early 1970s to establish a truly competitive model range. From that point to the present day, Mercedes-Benz and BMW have been fighting each other in the marketplace. Instead of aiming at gaps in the enemy's product portfolio, each would invariably challenge the other head-on. The current lineup still reflects this eternal duel: 1-series vs. A/B-class, 3-series vs. C-class, 5-series vs. E-class, 6-series vs. SL, 7-series vs. S-class, X3 vs. GLK, X5 vs. ML, Z4 vs. SLK, Mini vs. Smart, M division vs. AMG, Rolls-Royce vs. Maybach, BMW Sauber vs. McLaren-Mercedes. Both makes ventured downmarket by teaming up with a volume brand, and both failed: while the Bavarians almost went under together with Rover, the Swabians can still feel the aftermath of the Chrysler debacle. BMW hasn't followed its rival into trucks and buses, and Mercedes has steered clear of motorcycles.

Photo Gallery: Mercedes Benz vs BMW - Great Rivalries - Automobile Magazine

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Automobile Magazine
08-24-2009 12:08 PM
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