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  #1  
Old 12-17-2000, 11:02 PM
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On a recent post I read (the thresad about what Caddi man said) that the Caddies will be competing closely with mercedes for quality, and performance etc. I am worried becasue Lexus is producing some fine cars, Caddie is, and Benz seems to be decreasing their quality, standards, and technology more and more. I am really worried, that M-B might not be the best soon. I love MB and never want anything than MB. Tell me should I be worried?

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  #2  
Old 12-18-2000, 07:57 AM
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I don't think that MB is decreasing their quality at all. The new S500 was still named the best car in the world by most respected auto media. What MB is doing in expanding their line to include more accessible (cost wise) models to broaden the consumer base. Even though the new C-Class is relatively cheap, from what I hear it is still a great car (just ask Larry B.). I don't think you should worry about MB losing its prestige to other makes. Cadillac, Lexus, etc all use MB as a guideline of where they have to be. They all know that MB is the company they have to compete with. Anyways, just because another car is as fast as a Mercedes does not mean it is better. If you think about it how many cars other than a Mercedes would you honestly consider buying if they were 15 years old with 200,000 miles? Not many, unless you could get them for $500. Mercedes is still the leader in techological development and application. Hell, my 420SEL has an airbag and ABS (which is still optional on most cars you buy today). IF you want speed, buy a Honda Civic and tune it up like those guys on speed vision to do the 1/4 mile in 12 seconds. I don't think MB has a car that will do the quarter that fast, even the CLK55. Would you want to own one? I wouldn't. I can understand your concern, but I still think that Mercedes will be the leader in quality and innovation in the autoworld for a long time to come. Just remember these other guys are number two and have been for decades, so they have to shoot their mouths off for attention. I suggest putting the new Caddy Evoc up against the Vision SLR. Then we'll see who is who.

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  #3  
Old 12-18-2000, 10:29 AM
LarryBible
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Quality is a difficult word to define. It is a word that is measured with different parameters by different people.

There are some things about the new MB's that are different. It irritates me every time I shut my door and don't hear the same clunk that I've heard from every other Benz I've ever owned.

I have said this before. Until just a few years ago I thought that everyones parameter for determining what makes a good car was reliability and longevity. I obviously was very naive. Most people measure a car by it's looks, it's performance or it's image. It just never occurred to me that everyone didn't want reliability and longevity.

There are many cars that look better than a Benz, drive better than a Benz, but generally speaking you are hard pressed to find a car that will last longer than a Benz. I really believe that this still holds true today. Sure there are certain acchilles heels associated with particular car or engine models from Benz. But all cars have certain weaknesses, but overall you have a better statistical chance of achieving high mileage with a Benz than any other car in the world.

One reason for this is that if an engine wears out, typically the rest of the car is worth rebuilding or replacing the engine.

My $0.02,
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  #4  
Old 12-18-2000, 11:57 AM
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CaptAlex:
Although the financial picture for auto makers is not pretty for next year, I wouldn't worry about MB. True, MB is loosing money relative to last year, especially through their new Chrysler division. But Japan is having economic stagnation problems, and a slowing US economy and weakening dollar won't exactly help their car manufacturers. And American manufacturers are not immune: GM is loosing cash advantage, and planning on "disappearing" the Oldsmobile division over the next several years, while Chrysler has lost money for the last 2 quarters! Hence all the interest by car manufacturers in mergers, world markets, and outsourcing parts providers to South America and Indonesia.

However, MB produced the first practical automobile, and I wouldn't worry about their long term future. The population in Europe and the US is aging, and comfortable prestigious cars are likely to survive. Cadillac may plan on regaining their former glory of the 20s and 30s, but MB just has to worry about KEEPING their present glory. I would argue that the former is a more difficult task. Cadillac will have to stop sharing parts between divisions and develop a better reputation for quality and durability.

Lexus has the reputation for quality, but the Japanese cars, including Lexus, are very expensive to service and keep after 80-100,000 miles, and are loosing some of their reputation for durability, even when religiously serviced. (Toyota recently "de-contented" several models as cost savings measures, for example).

In a world of finite resources and growing population, either price for goods goes up, or quality goes down, or both occur. The company that balances the best stays on their feet the longest.

Regards,

[Edited by JCE on 12-18-2000 at 11:00 AM]
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  #5  
Old 12-18-2000, 10:01 PM
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Larry Bible you said "There are many cars that look better than a Benz, drive better than a Benz". Well for looks just look at the S500, or CL500, 2 of the most beautiful cars ever made, and for other cars driving better than benzes, we have more AMG cars and the SLR for the future.
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  #6  
Old 12-18-2000, 10:41 PM
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It is interesting to note the extremes that DaimlerChrysler is going through to keep the Mercedes brand positioned at the top of the food chain.

For example...
When Ford bought Jaguar, one of the first things they did was to replace several components in the XJ with Ford parts. They also completely designed the new S-Type on a Ford platform.
These changes accomplished 2 things:
1) They improved Jaguar's horrid reliability
2) They reduced the overall cost of Jaguars AND Fords by sharing common components.

Wall Street really wants DaimlerChrysler to share parts between Mercedes and Chryslers. Investors believe this is how 2 companies merge and reduce costs.

So far Mercedes has flat refused to put Chrysler parts in Mercedes cars because they feel that it would reduce quality or at the very least give the impression of reduced quality.
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  #7  
Old 12-19-2000, 12:23 AM
280c
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Chrysler is Turfing, not MB

It makes no sense to buy a MB from an economic standpoint. Not a new one anyway. They are too expensive, plain and simple. MB will stay around forever because they are an elitist brand and there will always be people who come into big money, and will by MB for the status alone. There are only so many things you can do to a car, and every car company out there knows every trick. There are no more engineering secrets, and Mercedes' exclusive features, such manual-auto trans, and the other electronic features are being had by all. When MB had DOHC V-8's and 12's and nobody else did, they were all alone in the luxury world. Now, MB's only appeal to me (for new cars) is the way that they look and perform, the price is a showstopper for most. The workmanship is no better than Cadillac, Lincoln, Jaguar, BMW, Lexus, Infiniti, or a few others. MB has not slipped, the others have caught up, and with computer controlled CNC mills, research is no longer a super-expensive stage of development. Gone are clay and wooden models, the notion of no time to start over, and styling and features that were built around these production hurdles. Chrysler made some big changes in the 90's, so did GM and Ford with implementation of modular systems and cars that can run 250,000 or so without smoking like a freight train. I was cery close to buying my wife an SLK when my stock option money came in. I am glad that we paid off our old cars and now have money to rebuild a neat old mercedes. I've never missed the $1000 payment, or the sky high insurance.
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  #8  
Old 12-19-2000, 10:22 AM
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280c,

I'm afraid you are only looking at feature lists. You have to go much deeper into a new MB to understand what they are about. The technology is more than the electronics that go into the cars, although the electronics in the Benz are beyond others. Are there any other new cars with fiberoptics instead of heavy copper signal wire running everywhere?

Engines. I have examined the innards of the new MB V6/V8 engines; crossbolted mains, and other strength features that would have been only Formula One stuff not too long ago. This engine family has been out long enough to see that it is definitely a long term engine.

I certainly understand your desire not to carry car payments, but don't let that fool you into thinking that a new MB is just another new car.

And God help us when they start using Chrysler components in a true MB.

Merry Christmas,
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  #9  
Old 12-19-2000, 12:22 PM
roas
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Re: Chrysler is Turfing, not MB

Quote:
Originally posted by 280c
There are only so many things you can do to a car, and every car company out there knows every trick. There are no more engineering secrets, and Mercedes' exclusive features, such manual-auto trans, and the other electronic features are being had by all.
I disagree. If the motor companies believed that they would never pump 100's of millions of dollars into racing, i.e. Formula One to name just one. Advertising can't be the main reason because only one in 20 Americans even know what Formula One is (I'm guessing on the figure of course), and fewer still will watch it!

There is always innovation around the next bend, V10's and V12's may start to become common for the mid priced buyer. Ceramic brakes, electric motors which pound for pound produce much more power than a reciprocating engine (the only problem is from where to draw the energy to power it?). Can you imagine a 1000 hp engine in your car, how about 2000 hp, it would weigh 700 lbs but who cares? You have the Variable compression engine from Saab.

You may laugh, but we will probably see in our lifetime a complete revolution in transportation, Zero-Point energy being incorporated into the car and airplane! The ability for a device to output more energy than is required to keep it running. A car without gas or fuel, simply drawing energy from the atmosphere.

We live in a virtual sea of energy which can be tapped ever second of the day, we in our arrogance have simply failed to realize how to tap it or extract it in a non violent way, no a thermo-nuclear device is not the answer . BTW, doing so would virtually wipe out the Energy Industry Worldwide as a Whole over night, and we can't have that now can we? All those stockholders and Employee's might get a little hot under the collar. After all, we are talking about trillions of $$ now, impacting the whole planet.

Quote:
Originally posted by 280c
MB has not slipped, the others have caught up, and with computer controlled CNC mills, research is no longer a super-expensive stage of development. Gone are clay and wooden models, the notion of no time to start over, and styling and features that were built around these production hurdles.
I will agree that now that information is "free" on the web and internet, and available to all who know where to find it and what to do with it, that products are going to start sharing the features that Customers want. Copying becomes much easier. We can not turn back even if we tried, the Genie is already out of the bottle! I also agree that the artistic process has some what been amputated out of the development stage because a lack of "hands on" that we are used to. After all, all the information that is needed to make the Whole Mercedes Lineup could probably fit on a couple of hard disk drives costing a couple 100 bucks?

What's my point to all this rambling? That things change, and (thank God) always will. Lets just hope for the better.

Have and Nice day and Merry Christmas!
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  #10  
Old 12-19-2000, 09:56 PM
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MB will never use Chrysler parts in any of their cars. And about new technology don't forget about the direct injection engines coming up in the next couple of years.
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  #11  
Old 12-21-2000, 01:58 AM
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DEATH TO BEAN COUNTERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'M SICK AND TIRED OF PENCIL NECKED COMPUTER GEEKS GETTING HIRED FOR UPPER MANAGEMENT POSITIONS AT CAR COMPANIES!!!!!
ENTHUSIASTS BELONG THERE!!!!!!!!!!!
INTERNET IN CARS? GET THE F@*K OUT OF HERE!!!!!!!
THESE *******S WHO WANT TO CONNECT THE COMPUTER TO EVERYTHING MUST BE STOPPED!!!!! IF I HAVE ONE HELPING ME TAKE A DUMP IN 20 YEARS I WILL KILL MYSELF!!!!!!!

I'VE HEARD THE UPCOMING '03 E WILL HAVE 15-20% FEWER PARTS, MUCH SIMPLER DESIGN IN TERMS OF BUTTONS AND GIZMO'S AND THE QUINTESSENTIAL VAULT DOOR CLOSE ABSENT CURRENTLY IN THE NEW MODELS!!!!!!!!

I PRAY TO GOD WE TRUE CAR ENTHUSIASTS DO NOT GET FORGOTTEN!

WHEN WILL THESE COMPUTER *******S REALIZE ALL THIS NEW TECHNOLOGY THAT IS SUPPOSED TO IMPROVE LIVING IS JUST MAKING EVERYDAY LIVE UNNECESSARILY COMPLICATED AND STRESSFUL!!!!!!
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!
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  #12  
Old 12-21-2000, 02:07 AM
280c
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I am glad Zoloft is available for CAPS LOCKERS

Computer Technology allows electronic ignition, fuel injection, and heated seats. These are not too complicated to be great. Can you image non-computer controlled fuel injection? boy, that worked well huh?
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  #13  
Old 12-21-2000, 02:26 AM
280c
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My Friend's Corvette

My Friend at work bought a corvette with his stock option money. He had about $5000 worth of work done to the intake/heads/headers/exhaust/and a chip. The exhaust has to be Y piped with a catalytic converter, so this is no normal hot rod job, he took me for a ride in it,and it is the fastest street legal thing I can imagine. With 3.88 rear end and a 6 speed manual, he has 0-60 times of 4.0 seconds with me on the stopwatch. I was so surprised the first time I did it I hit the watch before we got to 60, I was slung back in the seat very abruptly. If my 280c could ever do that I would be in heaven.

general motors is not THAT out of it.
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  #14  
Old 12-21-2000, 04:02 AM
280c
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Just more in the line, not less

The entry level Mercedes, including the SLK, is not all that special. For the SLK, the competition in the form of BMW, Toyota, or Porsche, or Audi. The expensive cars are special. When I bought my first new car, in 1980, I paid $7107 for a Ford F-100 truck with a V-8. I remember a few mercedes' being in the 50k range. I thought that was craziness. Of course I wish I had a 1980 Mercedes 600 in new condition for $50,000, I would sell my house to get the money. The Cars that are on the "Serious" side of the mercedes showroom are the envy of many. The cars on the side where I can be taken seriously are not all that special. When I walk to the other side, they know I am browsing. That is the difference in the new and old mercedes, they used to only have the browsing side.
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  #15  
Old 12-21-2000, 08:07 AM
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SHYNE,

I hope you will keep in mind that it's the computer technology that has been moving everything forward for the last fifteen years. It's now the overinvesting bean counter fools that are killing it with their speculation in non profit .com companies. Bean counters and computer geeks are two different breeds.

280C,

The SLK is indeed a cheaper built car than most anything else at your US MB dealer. However, the C and E share much of the technology which is in the S. The C for instance is much more than just an expensive Jetta.

Merry Christmas,

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