w108 - 2/17/2005 1:14 AM
Compare a 2005 S430 with your 1988 420SEL.
That's why there's no good news articles. It's not a luck game - it's about how they make the product right now.
Just compare the two. The 2005 S430 is far superior!
Usually I ignore these threads but some comments are just out in left field.
People have blinders on and never see the full picture. Letâ€™s use an example. Say in 1988 you make $50,000 a year income (in 2005 dollars), your brother made $45,000 and each of your neighbors made $20,000. Today you make $70,000, your brother makes $80,000, and your neighbors make $72,000. Have you lost money? You went from making the most money to making the least, yet you still make more money today.
That is similar to MB and quality. Most everyone made cars with quality problem in the 1980â€™s. MB was an exception. Today most everyone in this market makes a quality product so it is possible to make a better product and have your quality rating drop.
Another point, in 1988 MB had the whole S-class market to themselves with no real competitor. All of the others were pall in comparision. Today the Lexus L430, Jaguar XJ, Audi A8, and to a lesser extent, the BMW 745i all compete for that market. Yet to most people the Lexus which is the best seller is just a MB S-class whanabee. The S-class is still the gold standard.
Briefly, letâ€™s talk about the WJ article. It is about â€œMercedes Expects Tougher Year From Price Pressure, High Costs.â€? Nothing is said about a weak product line! The dollar is very weak. The luxury market is tight. Even Cadillac is discounting their new STS and Chevy is having a harder that usual year for their new Corvette. Look at the E-bay auctions for new Corvettes and Mustang GT. None of them are going much above list like the junk Thunderbirds dit in 2002 (MSRP + $10,000). The times are a changing.
There have been some articles about quality issues and that is true about the M-Class and some of the new LOWER priced sport coupes/converts. However, the whole line still stands tall. Journalist like to sell papers so when a company has a bad profit year the doomsayers get the attention. It is like the stock market in 2002. Some analyst said it was dead for a decade. It didnâ€™t happen.
When a company has a successful market launch (the Chrysler 300) a new day is at hand with much riches. However, if a company has a weak year (MB) the sky is falling. Journalist love to write hype to sell papers. Usually the truth is in the middle.
My final point is to W108, you have never owned any of these cars that you condemn so how can you judge?