Date registered: Oct 2003
Vehicle: CL500, E430, SLK, Subaru...
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RE: Ratings on Mercedes Benz
The truth in the UK, at least, is that when MB merged witch Chrysler, we got Chrysler quality with MB prices. They fired all their dealers and "invited them to reapply", with criteria that ensured all the skilled mechanics left: Service departments are now run as profit centres, with monthly "sales" targets just like the new-car sales teams (I have stood in a dealership to get some parts and heard the parts & sales managers discussing their revenue for the month: I won't be taking any car back into a dealership after hearing that!).
Nobody could ever deny that MB has had a dreadful quality dip over the last half-decade. Not just below their preceding standard, but below the rest of the industry as it is now, and even below what Chrysler were able to do in the mid-90's. I hired a 300M several times in that period and was seriously impressed; Ditto a Stratus. More recent kit, like the PT Cruiser, has failed to impress me the same way.
As has been said about Audi, every so often car makers go through a bad patch, and the truth is, MB is only just coming out of one now. Certianly based on the way MB UK's MD handled my direct complaint, I will be focussing my interest on independent specialist mechanics who know what customer service actually means.
London, right in the middle
03 CL500 (Black/Grey, 48k, Comand, 7GTronic, Keyless Go) 302 Bhp
01 E430 (Silver/Black, 112k, Comand, Lingua, 7 seats, tow...) 275 Bhp
97 SLK (40k, Yellowstone, partner's car!) 200 Bhp
03 A210 AMG (Black/Black, 63k, project rescue car) 140 Bhp
...I make that 917 Bhp...!