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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-10-2005, 06:26 AM
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RE: WSJ: Mercedes Expects Tougher Year ...

You missed the point completely.
The comparison was not between the nature and level of automotive technology today as opposed to yesteryear. The issue here was quality and reliability. I personally have no use for a high-tech, exotic gadget that doesn't work or gets broken after brief use. Equally, I do not care for a car - any car - that would possibly leave me stranded in the middle of nowhere on a rainy night, not matter how cheap it is.
You negated yourself completely when you said you drove two "technology-less" Lincolns for 150k+ miles each with no problems whatsoever, and that with you being negligent on maintenance. Now I dare you to try that with a 2005 car!

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-10-2005, 10:16 AM
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RE: WSJ: Mercedes Expects Tougher Year ...

[8D]
As others posting in this thread have said, the auto industry has changed so much in the past 25 years that comparing cars from one era to the next is problematic. Of course, market demands have changed as well. Expectations of quality for high-end products is one thing that has not changed.

What has not been mentioned in this thread is the widening of the high-end market. M-B has actually moved more models into the "affordable" range over the past 25 years. Producing a bullet-proof car from a quality point of view at a price point of $40K is something the Japanese figured out long ago. M-B is still working on it.

At the real high-end, over $100K, M-B is probably still producing impeccable product. I don't have specific data to back that up. But how many people are in the market for cars that cost over $100K? My guess is, not many.

The 300CE CV I'm driving listed at $77K in 1993. That is $102K in 2005 dollars. It weighs over 4,000 pounds. Would anybody buy that today? A few people, maybe. On the other hand, today's CLK 320 CV does sell well at roughly half the price. The challenge is building top quality at a lower price point and lighter weight. That is not easy.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-13-2005, 02:05 PM
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RE: WSJ: Mercedes Expects Tougher Year ...

The idea of reliability has not changed substantially in the last 20 years, I do not think. We knew what realiability was then, and we know what it is now. A revealing fact is the Consumer Reports rating of reliability. Since this is based on OWNER's feedback on objective issues of realiability, and since CR has been doing the same for many years, the question of comparison should be a given. MB has tumbled in this rating.

The MB star is a symbol of quality based in the illustrative history of the company. If you do something better than anyone else in the world, we want that. If you don't, you can't fool us for too long.
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