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  #1  
Old 03-14-2008, 12:25 PM
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Where did the engineering go?

I was at the MB dealer the other day and looking at the new C and E class cars. I felt so sad sitting in them and looking at the details of the car. Where did all the design forthought go? Its not like it would have taken in extra cost to keep features instead of take them away...

Window controls moved to the driver door instead of the center console, which hand is free when you are driving? Your right hand, its what you shift with, its what you control the radio with, it what you control the Heat/AC with... why put all those controls in the center, and move the mirrors and window controls to the door. <--stupid

The button that you can pull out and turn off the trunk light if the trunk will be open awhile and there is no need for the light. Its gone...nice feature..gone.

The e-class trunk now has numatic shocks to slow its open rate. I bet those shocks will fail much earlier then the springs on my E, C and CLK. If I want to change how fast it opens...change the hole the spring is in.

The paint looks thin and when looking close it looks like it has tiny bumps, the paint on my cars look thick and smooth.

Headlights, all plastic. Why? Glass wont discolor, pit and fog up. The glass headlights on my 1996 with 208K miles look as clear as they did new. I bet in less then 100K those plastic lights will look yellow and foggy.

After looking a the new C and E class cars, I must say I felt as if it were really just like any other car available today...it just had a star.

I loved Mercedes because they were engineered, not just built. Today they seem as they are just building them and relying on the fact that Mercedes USED TO mean quality.

Sad, very sad.

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  #2  
Old 03-14-2008, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin814 View Post
I loved Mercedes because they were engineered, not just built. Today they seem as they are just building them and relying on the fact that Mercedes USED TO mean quality.

Sad, very sad.
I agree. When I was a kid I used to drag my father down to the local Mercedes showroom every now and then just to look at them. We used to be in awe of the uniqueness and quality of them. That was confirmed and enhanced by the odd occasion that we got to ride in the few examples that the more fortunate members of our family had bought. We never had that kind of money.

When I had my 240D recently I spent quit a bit of time in the dealers parts department. I'd often walk thru the showroom and take a look at the new cars on the floor. Sad but true that there was not a single one of them that made me feel the way I used to back in the day. It will take them years to regain what they have lost. If ever.

- Peter.
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  #3  
Old 03-14-2008, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pj67coll View Post
I agree. When I was a kid I used to drag my father down to the local Mercedes showroom every now and then just to look at them. We used to be in awe of the uniqueness and quality of them. That was confirmed and enhanced by the odd occasion that we got to ride in the few examples that the more fortunate members of our family had bought. We never had that kind of money.

When I had my 240D recently I spent quit a bit of time in the dealers parts department. I'd often walk thru the showroom and take a look at the new cars on the floor. Sad but true that there was not a single one of them that made me feel the way I used to back in the day. It will take them years to regain what they have lost. If ever.

- Peter.
X2... I get sad walking through both the MB and BMW dealers for that very reason. They look, feel, and smell like Hondas...
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Old 03-14-2008, 12:55 PM
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All so true,,,, you'll get my 124's off me when you pry my cold dead hands from the steering wheel.
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Old 03-14-2008, 12:58 PM
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It pisses me off that on the new C they put the seat controls on the seat!? WTF its a MERCEDES they belong on the door.

They get away with this crap because 99% of the public doesn't know the difference. Everyone else puts the controls on the seat so MB can get away with it. These days its all about what they can get away with.
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  #6  
Old 03-14-2008, 12:59 PM
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Our 124s, priced as they were when new, would sell for the equivalent of $70K in today's dollars!

Mercedes would sell very few E350s at $75K per. In fact they would probably sell zero as they would not sell enough to remain in business.
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Old 03-14-2008, 01:03 PM
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Thank you Lexus and Acura.
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  #8  
Old 03-14-2008, 01:31 PM
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Sadly, like all bean counter/shareholder driven companies, the engineering has gone towards engineered obscolescence. Mercedes, like the majority of other makes, need their cars to make it through their initial lease/average ownership period (2-4 years) plus an additional year or two so that they can be Starmarked/Certified/Pe-loved. There's no incentive other than pride to make cars last forever any more. Unless a used car is sold off their lot they don't make any money off anyone after the first buyer so why put the additional expense into it.

If the average owner kept their cars for, say, 10 years you'd see a lot more quality and engineering put into them. Up through the mid-80's that was probably closer to the norm (probably 5-7 years) and the engineering and thought for placement showed.
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Old 03-14-2008, 02:05 PM
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One of the guys I met at a GTG of Ford diesel truck owners had just started to work for the division of GM that built the ABS.
After his oreintation tour, his guide asked if he had any questions. he replied, " Who is the dumb SOB that designed that noisy ABS?"
His guide hung his head, and said, "Uh, that would be me...", "But", he went on, " The system you see is not the system I designed. The accountants kept asking me to reduce the cost, reduce the cost. What you have is a result of all that cost cutting"

Not to bash GM, but its the same story all over, everyone is looking to reduce cost to reach a price point that the marketing types say they have to reach.

How do the Koreans manage to get so much content into their cars at the ridiculously low prices they charge? Not saying that a Hyundai is a Mercedes; Hyundai lacks what an automotice enthusiast wants in a car,--that indefineable "feel"---, but if you think of a car as an appliance--they do a pretty good job.
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Old 03-14-2008, 02:14 PM
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Its not just with cars, its with boats as well. The new Bertrams are a shadow of there former glory, no better than a Silverten, or Bayliner.

Thats why I like the older stuff, I want a product built when accountents kept the books and other than that STFU.






I guess thats why a real Rolls Royce still costs $400k.
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  #11  
Old 03-14-2008, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrhills0146 View Post
Our 124s, priced as they were when new, would sell for the equivalent of $70K in today's dollars!

Mercedes would sell very few E350s at $75K per. In fact they would probably sell zero as they would not sell enough to remain in business.

Exactamundo!!

A W124C in '88 had an MSRP of approx. $52,500..about 6 or seven grand more than the sedan. Assuming 2% inflation/price increase, 2008 value would be 78,000. At 3%, it almost 95 grand.
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  #12  
Old 03-14-2008, 07:39 PM
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I think it's especiallly true with the paint. My old beast still shines nice for a 23 year old car. Maybe environmental laws had something to do with the kinds of paints and solvents they can use at the factory.
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:51 PM
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It must be. All the new cars I've seen have pretty bad orange peel. Especially noticeable on black/red/blue/ etc all the dark colors.

Or maybe they just paint them faster.
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  #14  
Old 03-14-2008, 09:29 PM
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What car manufacturer in business today has the engineering & build quality of the W123?

Ans: Toyota.

It isn't the Toyota mechanicals, IMO, it's their electronics. Toyota can draw on the best electrical engineers on the planet. Europeans and Americans draw on a less proven cohort -- I doubt I need to list the examples. In my lifetime I have seen people change from a hearty laugh at the silly Japanese "transistor" radios to, in less than a decade, the Japanese owned the electronics market (aside from a few extremely high-end non-Japanese mfrs). For the following 30 years the Japanese have led the innovation (if not the invention) of electronics.

We consumers demand items in our cars that are electronic-dependent or more easily solvable with electronics. The Japanese are working to their strength and kicking everybody's ass doing it. Good for them and good for consumers. Too damned bad for western automotive mfrs.

B
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  #15  
Old 03-14-2008, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Ara T. View Post
It must be. All the new cars I've seen have pretty bad orange peel. Especially noticeable on black/red/blue/ etc all the dark colors.

Or maybe they just paint them faster.
Contrast that with the glass like finish on my Burgundy 71 108 280S.

- Peter.

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81 240D stick. 316000 miles at purchase. 342000 now
2000 GMC Sonoma
Formerly...
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