Last post on Jan 28, 2013 at 5:55 PM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Jaguar XJ-Series, Lexus LS 460, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Volkswagen Phaeton, Maserati Quattroporte, Mercedes-Benz CL-Class, Sedan
Let's try to define this forum as being limited to luxury performance vehicles where the mainstream version in a typical configuration has an MSRP of at least $60k.
A luxury vehicle with a base price of $59k qualifies because it would typically be bought with some additional equipment, bringing the MSRP over $60k.
Vehicles like the E, 5, A6, M, or GS, even if available in certain versions over $60k, don't qualify because they are cars from companies that have higher end cars in their lineups.
#8758 of 24726 re:footie [stroudman]
Mar 30, 2005 (2:51 pm)
Mercedes is as good about hyping other folks innovations as any company I know, and some sites like carfans and wolfgangs just perpetuate the baloney. So here's an update:
crumple zones, yep MB. It's true!
airbags(patent), Invented by American Allen Breed, first installed in production vehicles by GM, sold to the US Government in 1973.
You might want to take a look at Fred Bauer the entrepreneur behind Gentex Corp at:
In 1982, his Company introduced the world's first electromechanical (motorized) auto-dimming mirror. It was quickly adopted by Ford and General Motors, who in just three short years were purchasing over 200,000 units annually.
But Fred wasn't satisfied. He teamed up with research chemists and electrical engineers to achieve what many in the scientific community thought was impossible. In 1987, they brought a 50-year-old scientific phenomena out of the laboratory and into the automobile with the introduction of the world's first electrochromic mirror. An entire industry was born.
Today, Fred and Gentex's world-class R&D team continue to advance electro-optics and the science of electrochromics.
Can't find anything to substantiate a MB claim. TRW had the first one's here in the U.S. in 1997, Valeo in Europe is major supplier to everyone over there.
TRW introduced the first OEM Keyless remote in 1988.
safety-cells, ??? I couldn't figure this out. Is this a rehash of crush zones?
speed-adjusted volume, ??? Only citation I could find was how bad it was in an Audi SR4. Nothing like having the stereo and tire noise competing for max decibels.
Robert Bosch got first patent, not MB as best I can tell. First U.S. vehicles was an early 1970's Chrysler Imperial with 4 wheel electronic ABS. 1st MB was 1978.
FYI - Antilock brakes in general were developed for the laying of the transAtlantic telegraph cable in 1837 to keep the cable from snapping. The one's autos use were copied from airplane designs.
I think Ford and Keyless invented the original version of this about 25 years ago. MB added a dash start button.
traction control systems, no info yet, could be MB, though I remember that Continental Teves claims to have done this too...
Definitely invented by TRW not MB
head curtains, watershed management design, ???
Nope. 1910 by some guy in Iowa. I think Fiat invented common rail injection now popular for diesels.
were invented by Rudolph Diesel.
Mar 30, 2005 (3:13 pm)
Nice job. There's an old germancarfan saying: "Don't let the facts get in the way of our unshakable belief that Germans invented everything."
#8760 of 24726 re: syswei, maxhonda
Mar 30, 2005 (3:39 pm)
The M-class first appeared much earlier in concept form, as well as in a "jurasic park" sequel to a huge audience, so if the public was already getting glimpses of it one to two years before it actually hit the market, other car companies were surely keen to it as well, and sooner still. Of the vehicles in question, it hit the market first, by months or years isn't relevant to me.
-Whether or not it was wise or efficient, Mercedes used a ladder body because they thought that was what the American market wanted. They were wrong. Yes the interior was chinsy. The lower body wasn't "forgotten to be painted," it was the same as the sedans they used to paint bumpers and lower body with, and after two years they stopped. They truly believed these vehicles would be taken off-road regularly. They were wrong.
For every person who says they love the MDX, or any other of these vehicles, there's one that doesn't. The looks of these cars is very subjective, and there aren't enough hours in the day to settle that.
If the Germans were really aware of the things the American market cared most about, they would have come with cup holders(good ones), in-dash cd players and dvd entertainment for the kids a long time ago. They have always built their car for their market(except for the M) and driving style, and some folks here in the states like them, and some don't. It's always been that way. I'm a lifelong "self-styled" enthusiast, whatever that means, as soon as I could drive, I parked cars as a valet, and Mercedes suited my my idea of the ideal. You guys can knock yourselves out with the Japanese stuff, but you won't sell it to me.
-platform sharing, and using shared platforms to expedite the launch of a vehicle as quickly and cheaply as possible, aren't the same thing.
-If all the flaws, be they ergonomics, aesthetics, quality, that the 1st gen M-class had are now getting corrected in the 2nd car, they've done nothing more than take a big step in the right direction.
I don't have to be right. Mercedes-benz has made many mistakes as of late, but DESPITE those things, overall they still get it right for what I look for in a car.
If Mercedes now copies something to get it right in the U.S. market, good for them. In the past they haven't copied much, and that was their undoing here in the U.S.
Mar 30, 2005 (3:44 pm)
There's no need to be so defensive guys. Stroudman's not threatening you personally. He said MB brought many of these things to the public. That doesn't mean that they invented all of them, just provided them to consumers.
For example, everyone knows rudoplh diesel invented "the diesel." It's also true that mercedes produced the first diesel motorcar.
And here's some "milestones"
Now, not all of these are "firsts" or "inventions" and i imagine some of them are debatable.
Mar 30, 2005 (3:48 pm)
Thank you, that's really all I am trying to say. Thanks for the info, though. I don't know everything there is to know, I'm just here to learn as well as discuss.
#8763 of 24726 re: syswei, maxhonda [stroudman]
Mar 30, 2005 (4:09 pm)
"If Mercedes now copies something to get it right in the U.S. market, good for them. In the past they haven't copied much, and that was their undoing here in the U.S."
Interesting - that's as close to a falling down admission as I've ever seen on this board.
#8764 of 24726 Re: Things to come [designman]
Mar 30, 2005 (4:17 pm)
That's more Porsche than the Cayenne by a real wide margin - that's for sure. I can't imagine the Porsche faithful getting upset with this car if it looks anything like this - though you never know with those people.
#8765 of 24726 Re: garyh1 is correct about QC [ron36330]
Mar 30, 2005 (4:32 pm)
How right you are... excessive warranty costs are crippling the German firms. The idea behind the Japanese lean strategies is "zero defects". Get it right before it's on the boat/trailer to the retailer.
Japan, Inc. has figured out how to achieve operational equilibrium that leads to record profits and more capital used for innovation and product development.
Imagine coupling German engineering with TPS! Heck, imagine American engineering AND innovation with TPS! No reason that we can't develop the complete product package at any price point to match the best in the world. Someone with guts and vision is needed to do this... we're starting to see some of this with the 300C, Corvette, Ford GT, (maybe) the STS and, of course, our trucks.
#8766 of 24726 a history question, off topic
Mar 30, 2005 (4:56 pm)
Does anyone know if the following story is true:
I heard years ago that some genius at GM calculated that cost to the company would be lower if they skimped on QC and let the customer discover any problems and then bring the car in for customer service. Very stupid short-term thinking, if true, rather penny-wise and pound-foolish.
#8767 of 24726 Re: a history question, off topic [syswei]
Mar 30, 2005 (5:08 pm)
Sounds like a water cooler or coffee machine story. Too much legal risk is involved - I can't imagine a corporate mgr thinking like that.