Mercedes-Benz Quality Rising!!!! - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-04-2004, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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Mercedes-Benz Quality Rising!!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2004

Mercedes' gains in quality must be followed by reliability push

By Christine Tierney / The Detroit News


Amid the upheaval rocking Mercedes-Benz’s senior ranks, good news has emerged that is more relevant for DaimlerChrysler AG’s luxury brand than any personnel drama: the quality of its cars is on the mend.

According to J.D. Power and Associates’ initial quality survey issued last week, Mercedes-Benz registered a 20 percent improvement in the quality of its new cars — stemming a decline that had tarnished its image as the world’s oldest and most popular luxury car brand.

With 106 problems per 100 vehicles, the Stuttgart, Germany-based carmaker now draws fewer complaints from new customers than rival brands BMW, Audi and Porsche.

For years, Mercedes officials bristled at suggestions that its quality was deteriorating. But panic set in last year, after Mercedes-Benz trailed not only its German luxury rivals in the J.D. Power survey, but also middle-market brands such as Chevrolet and Chrysler.

“Mercedes finally accepted that there was a problem, and they’re clearly on their way to fixing it,� says Philipp Rosengarten, an auto analyst at consulting firm Global Insight.

J.D. Power’s findings are reinforced by a sharp improvement in the perception of Mercedes quality among German customers. Last month, members of the ADAC auto club rated Mercedes’ E-Class sedan, its biggest seller, ahead of BMW’s new 5 Series sedan. Its A-Class compact was ranked higher than Toyota Motor Co.p.’s Avensis.

The promising results vindicate the view held by many Mercedes veterans — particularly those who opposed Wolfgang Bernhard — that the automaker is not a basket case requiring radical changes, as he was proposing.

Bernhard, Chrysler’s former chief operating officer, did not assume the top post at Mercedes-Benz on Saturday, as scheduled, after being toppled in a boardroom coup.

Mercedes’ staffers and worker reps resisted the young executive’s indelicate approach, shaped by his experience as a McKinsey consultant and his turnaround experience at the Chrysler Group. For the time being, longtime Mercedes-Benz chief Juergen Hubbert stays on.

The dispute that indirectly led to Bernhard’s abrupt demotion centered on how DaimlerChrysler should spend its resources: invest billions to bail out its Japanese affiliate Mitsubishi Motors Corp. or hold on to the money for its core businesses, led by its most profitable division, Mercedes-Benz? It has been drained by DaimlerChrysler’s expansion plans.

Despite an improvement in recent surveys, Mercedes-Benz still faces enormous challenges as it expands its lineup to beat back ever-more aggressive rivals. Unless Mercedes can guarantee customers that they are getting the best car for the money, it will eventually lose the power to command premium prices.

Mercedes still has to prove that it also has tackled reliability issues dogging its cars. Rated No. 1 in reliability in 1990, Mercedes plunged to 26th place last July, according to J.D. Power.

Automakers with strong dependability ratings tend to have high initial quality ratings, but the reverse is not always true, says Joe Ivers, executive director of quality and customer satisfaction at J.D. Power.

Hubbert has already urged his staff to cut out the chit-chat at the watercooler after a tumultuous week.

There’s still a lot of work to do.

You can reach Christine Tierney at (313) 222-1463 or ctierney@detnews.com.

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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-04-2004, 10:05 AM
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RE: Mercedes-Benz Quality Rising!!!!

IT'S ABOUT TIME....!!!! M-B OCCUPIED NO.1 SLOT IN QUALITY AND RELIABILITY BACK IN 1990. SO, MORE EFFORTS MUST BE MADE TO REGAIN THAT PRIDE WHICH IS NOW OCCUPIED BY LEXUS.......
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-04-2004, 12:02 PM
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RE: Mercedes-Benz Quality Rising!!!!

Quote:
ymt - 5/4/2004 12:05 PM

IT'S ABOUT TIME....!!!! M-B OCCUPIED NO.1 SLOT IN QUALITY AND RELIABILITY BACK IN 1990. SO, MORE EFFORTS MUST BE MADE TO REGAIN THAT PRIDE WHICH IS NOW OCCUPIED BY LEXUS.......
Especially when Lexus does not deserve it.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-04-2004, 01:52 PM
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RE: Mercedes-Benz Quality Rising!!!!

Quote:
ymt - 5/4/2004 12:05 PM

IT'S ABOUT TIME....!!!! M-B OCCUPIED NO.1 SLOT IN QUALITY AND RELIABILITY BACK IN 1990. SO, MORE EFFORTS MUST BE MADE TO REGAIN THAT PRIDE WHICH IS NOW OCCUPIED BY LEXUS.......
HELL YEAH lets go Merce back to NO. 1 [8D]!!

VH
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-04-2004, 03:33 PM
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RE: Mercedes-Benz Quality Rising!!!!

Show me 15 years of faultless dependability, and I'll show you a true Benz.

Screw initial quality. I am not going to buy a brand new Benz. How will everything hold up against the clock?

Example, the W140 had oodles of MB quality. But we all know how much of a PITA the W140 can be to work on/with.

Lets still pray for the renaissance of a legend.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-04-2004, 05:38 PM
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RE: Mercedes-Benz Quality Rising!!!!

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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-04-2004, 05:48 PM
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RE: Mercedes-Benz Quality Rising!!!!

About time...but what is MB going to do about the piece of crap they sold me?

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-04-2004, 07:33 PM
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RE: Mercedes-Benz Quality Rising!!!!

Gosh, they are now so good that Mercedes will ship kits to China and have them assembled in Beijing. Oh yeah, that's a real confidence booster.


FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- Automaker DaimlerChrysler said Monday it has received an important approval from the Chinese government for plans to build Mercedes C- and E-class cars at a new factory in Beijing with Chinese partner BAIC Ltd.

The green light for the project from the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission is a ``fundamental step'' in the approvals process for the Beijing plant, the company said in a statement.

The decision was announced as Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao visited Berlin on Monday and met with DaimlerChrysler CEO Schrempp, who visited China last week to discuss the project.

``Establishing a manufacturing presence for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars in China is a key part of our Asian strategy, and further complements our activities in the Chinese market,'' Schrempp said in the statement.

``In the future, our intensified involvement in China will help ensure that we take even better advantage of the many business opportunities in the world's fastest-growing auto market,'' he said.

DaimlerChrysler faces a shake-up of its Asian strategy after it distanced itself from Japanese partner Mitsubishi Motors last month by refusing to inject new capital into the debt-laden company.

Its other major Asian partner, Hyundai, has said it is seeking a narrower relationship with DaimlerChrysler in ongoing talks. DaimlerChrysler's plans with BAIC have helped sour relations with Hyundai, which says that the alliance violates its own exclusive deal with BAIC.

The Beijing plant would have an initial production capacity of 25,000 vehicles, which would be built from kits shipped by Mercedes-Benz, the company said.

The plant is part of a 1 billion euro ($1.2 billion) framework cooperation agreement signed last fall with BAIC, which also includes the relocation of the company's Beijing Jeep plant and expanding joint truck production for the Chinese market.

DaimlerChrysler spokesman Trevor Creed said the company would work out details with BAIC before signing a final joint venture agreement. ``The joint venture agreement is the next step, which we expect by the end of the year,'' Creed said.

The statement didn't say when production would begin but said Monday's signing meant the start of production was ``now within reach.''

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-04-2004, 07:55 PM
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RE: Mercedes-Benz Quality Rising!!!!

…don’t break out the champagne just yet – there’s still the Chrysler problem and the attraction to go cheap accordingly – MBs built in China, and I thought Alabama was bad…[:(]
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-04-2004, 08:52 PM
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RE: Mercedes-Benz Quality Rising!!!!

Well, the new V6 at least has 4 valves, thats an improvement that was much needed. I guess they should drop Mitsu and go back to building Benzes. Hey, in 10 years you can still buy an R171... as a Crossfire.
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