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Hi Everyone!

My name is Anna, I'm 22 and I'm currently doing my masters thesis on.....Mercedes I also drive a 1999 White Supercharged SLK which I love, (the only downside is my dad gets to drive it too when he wants as we went halves on the cost when we bought it a year and a half ago ):)

I've grown up with a masive interest in cars so for me choosing this research topic has made a 20,000 word paper really enjoyable:D

Really what I'm hoping by posting here is to get the insight from those who know the car, and know the brand the best! So I hope you don't see this as an annoyance?

As a business and marketing student I'm focusing on the areas such as:

The importance of brand heritage to Mercedes customers, so I'm kind of asking do buyers/ drivers/ fans of the car still view the history as important or do you think it's moved past that and what we have now is completely detached I suppose from what people drove back in the day?

The whole point of my research is as a car enthusiast is that I want to highlight how driving cars these days goes beyond the "image" that has been attached to them through marketing campaigns, and big advertising budgets!

Personally I feel that a number of drivers might buy top cars without knowing much beyond the badge!:confused:

But I put the question to ye, for you what does the Mercedes car symbolise?

To me the car itself is all about the power and the style of driving you can experience that not many cars can come close to! i mean why else pay big money for the car, for tax, for fuel and insurance if not to enjoy driving it

Anyway, as I've said above, I'm not posting to annoy anyone, If you feel you'd like to contribute to my project I'd greatly appreciate it,

I sort of feel if the members on such a forum have nothing to say I may close the book and look at choosing a boring area that's been done time and time again.... but hopefully that won't be the case

Thanks in advance:)

Anna
 

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Hi Anna!

Interesting post -- if this paper comes to life I would certainly like to read it :)

Here is my personal opinion on Benz:

I personally have a high opinion of Benz for a lot of historical reasons, stemming back to the fact that they were the first German auto manufacturer and the legacy that they have put forth. They have always been a symbol of class and German engineering in my mind.

The symbol and car is internationally recognized immediately and many of the cars are timeless. Most people who aren't that familiar with Benz have a reaction even when they see a modest car that is a few years old.

However, there is a marked difference in the way these cars are made today and the way they used to be made. Take for instance my two cars -- my 300SD is a Panzer. The thing is a tank that rides smooth as hell, total minimal mechanical problems, parts built tough as hell, 250,000 miles on it.

My CLK320 has nowhere near the sturdiness, part life on average is less, maintenence costly and frequent, lots to know -- if I didn't work on my car and didn't want to learn as much as I could about it, I would never own this car. It takes a lot of money to pay professionals who charge exhorbant rates for their services. Parts are expensive on their own even.

Still there is something to be said about the comfort of the car and the doors still feel the way a car door should feel - unlike an Infinity that feels plastic and barely 5 lbs.

In terms of performance, I think the cars are generally fast enough - which is what I consider necessary for a car. However, I ride motorcycles - this means that I do not experience what you call "fast" in a car. Any car. And I have had a lot of people try to impress me and test that. It is simply not fun for me to drive fast in a cage - if you spend enough time on a bike, you will feel the same.

All in all Benz is about style, and sex appeal. It is the only car I really find attractive. I am not a big auto enthusiast at all. I see a bike and I find it very sexy - a car is a nice comfortable portable stereo, but sexualism is a stretch. I am of course in the minority here.

I'll keep up with this thread, and maybe I can develop more of my nonsense :)
 

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you might want to do a search on U tube or something and take a look at all MB s TV commercials. It will give you a good idea what THEY are trying to sell. I got my MB as a car I don t even use every day. Kinda like a toy. I ve had many cars and a few Benz s. I like their engineering which gives you the MB feel when it s driven. Lots of luck on your project.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the responses !

I know exactly what you mean with the ad's and I really like the ones they have produced over the years! and i really like this one on Youtube, you should have a look 'Mercedes Benz commercial 2010 - Sorry' :thumbsup:

I've noticed a site called Gen- Benz where Mercedes are soley targeting generation y (consumers born late 1970's to mid 1990's) seemingly the site is totally geared up to engage with younger consumers and i guess get to know them better?

i do think that they have lost a lot of potential younger customers to other manufacturers over the years, do ye think it's all to do with the perception that maybe the likes of the mini etc are more a younger peoples car compared to a MB?

Also refering to the company as 'timeless' do you think the company do enough to reinforce its strong heritage!

I know when BMW took over the Mini it was controversial as classic mini owners saw it as buying and explioting a brands history just to make a profit, regardless BMW have made masive money from the car.
Mercedes never had to deal with such contreversy and i dont remember them really pushing heritage as a unique selling point? is it that 'new' is more important?
 

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Put bluntly:

"New" is more important to the consumer sheep, especially the youth. Class is on the decline. In fact, society, good taste, culture are all on the decline.

What Benz used to be is too good for today, and people don't have the eyes to see it. This is why new cars are looking absolutely garbage. The back of the E550 coupe looks like a Honda, I don't care what anyone says. The new BMW 5 series is the only thing I have seen that looks uglier.

I don't know what the hell is going on aesthetically - and I'm only 28 years old - but the direction that all cars are heading in is the same direction that society is heading in - one ugly multicultural pool where everything starts to look the same and revenue is the only thing that matters anymore.
 

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Youth may not be a big customer base because of the economy and cost of these cars, I dont know. Every time a new body comes out many people dont like them at first. I have seen this many many times and with different brands too. Then two years later everyone loves them. I mean come on, look at a 1978 or a 1988 MB (just for example) UGLY, compare that to a 2010. The technology in these new cars is amazing too. Most of the people on these sites are the 2-4% of the real car people who love their cars and appreciate a higher end product.
 

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Owned and driven Mercedes since 1982. I now have four cars, all Mercedes. Do my own work on them. Feel free to contact me if you want more input/insight.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks so much to everyone for putting forward your opinions!

I've created a really short survey if you don't mind filling it out? its onyl 10questions!

the link is: Mercedes Research Survey


One thing i just wanted to highlight was StigHelmer's point about consumer sheep!

Do you think a lot of yonger people only but these cars to satisfy an "image" they have of themselves?
 

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Youth may not be a big customer base because of the economy and cost of these cars, I dont know. Every time a new body comes out many people dont like them at first. I have seen this many many times and with different brands too. Then two years later everyone loves them. I mean come on, look at a 1978 or a 1988 MB (just for example) UGLY, compare that to a 2010. The technology in these new cars is amazing too. Most of the people on these sites are the 2-4% of the real car people who love their cars and appreciate a higher end product.

Please look at other cars - even other German cars in 1978 and 1988 and please tell me Benz looked ugly.

Many of them still look great until today
 

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I don't think young people are more attracted to Benz for image. It seems like they like BMW more honestly, partly because its more sporty and young. Benz is typically associated with grown-ups (although there are a lot of posts on this website by individuals under 20 that are completely invalidating and destroying that association!)

Here is an excerpt from my survey regarding the marketing since that's what your paper is on:

Benz is beyond marketing - that is another reason I love the car. It is just KNOWN as an standard of luxury and class.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I don't think young people are more attracted to Benz for image. It seems like they like BMW more honestly, partly because its more sporty and young.
Yeh I have to agree, it's probably why Mercedes lose out so much to the youth market!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
A & B Class redesign

Just wanted to see your thoughts on the redesign of the new MB A & B Classes,

Have you seen either yet?

I met with a member of the Mercedes team who told me they have carried out masive research into what these young consumers want and basically designed the car based on their feedback.

One thing was the the cars were too high off the ground for example so MB have tried to correct that,

What do you think of the companys approach?
 

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The company is betraying their reputation and lowering their class by attempting to appeal to the idiot youth of today.

Thx
 

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Somewhat different opinion, but the same in the end!

Hi Anna,
I am a little different than your normal Mercedes Benz owner. I hardly have the money to own these Luxury Vehicles! But most of my life I have always had 2 or 3 Porsches or Mercedes at the same time. How, with Mercedes, I guess I vulture off the affluent people who trade or sell their older cars. I do a lot of work on them myself. I have always liked German engineering, love it! The older VW bug, The 1965r till 1989 Porsche 911 series. And my favs now, the Mrecedes R129 Roadsters from 1990 to 2002 style wise. The earlier models to own. If a car mark so boldly does not change body styles in that many years, to me it's a classic. Why fix it,if it isn't broken? that to me shows true styling and engineering. American car companies always have to change their designs. They do it because they have too. They try to capture a new audience every year with something new and trendy. I can't say i like the status symbol of a car, i actually dislike it. But I love Great Engineering and timeless design. I am in no way a car expert, just a life time huge enthusiast who figured out how to obtain great cars!

Larry
1991 300SL
1986 190E 2.3 16v
 

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Larry deserves $100 for that post.
 

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One thing that you might like to consider is the market that MB is pitching into.

In the US, MB only sells its large-engined models and projects its cars as luxury vehicles. The smaller-engined versions of several ranges are not sold, as they are in Europe, Australia & the Far East. Unless things have changed recently, the entire A and B ranges were not to be found in the US.

In Europe you will frequently find that the taxi you hop into is a Mercedes, something that Americans often find surprising. But these are diesel-engined work horses, and are ideal for this purpose.

Good luck with your project!
 

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Hi Anna,
I am a little different than your normal Mercedes Benz owner. I hardly have the money to own these Luxury Vehicles! But most of my life I have always had 2 or 3 Porches or Mercedes at the same time. How, with Mercedes, I guess I vulture off the affluent people who trade or sell their older cars. I do a lot of work on them myself. I have always liked German engineering, love it! The older VW bug, The 1965r till 1989 Porsche 911 series. And my favs now, the Mrecedes R129 Roadsters from 1990 to 2002 style wise. The earlier models to own. If a car mark so boldly does not change body styles in that many years, to me it's a classic. Why fix it,if it isn't broken? that to me shows true styling and engineering. American car companies always have to change their designs. They do it because they have too. They try to capture a new audience every year with something new and trendy. I can't say i like the status symbol of a car, i actually dislike it. But I love Great Engineering and timeless design. I am in no way a car expert, just a life time huge enthusiast who figured out how to obtain great cars!

Larry
1991 300SL
1986 190E 2.3 16v
and this is why they do so much market research,,,, I do not like to see the same designs year after year. I like to see new and trendy ( and maybe improved too)... That s OK that we all are not the same or we would all be driving the same thing. PS I am 50 yrs old.
 

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Actually StigHelmer, to put it bluntly, your words deserve the $100! You said it very well.

Good luck Anna!
 
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