Last post on May 11, 2010 at 11:16 AM
You are in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class
What is this discussion about?
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Sedan
#4464 of 6720 Mercedes / BMW pricing
Dec 09, 2002 (5:20 am)
A few points:
Historically, the E has targeted a different buyer than the 5-series. Although the lines have blurred a bit, the E still remains a bigger car, and IMO, targets more of the luxury buyer, recent engineering advances notwithstanding. The 5-series is a smaller car and IMO targets more of an enthusiast driver, recent luxury additions and advances notwithstanding.
On pricing, not only are the BMW MSRP's lower, but for the non "M" models, substantial European Delivery discounts are available. Mercedes pretty much dropped ED discounts as a viable way to save a few thousand dollars back in 2000. That makes the disparity of comparing Mercedes MSRP to what you can actually buy a BMW for even more significant. I bought a new 2000 540i 6-speed in late 1999 through ED for roughly $2k under US invoice and $7k under US MSRP ($51k). No comparable "deals" are readily available on any popular Mercedes models.
As for the possible price difference between an M5 (which I now own) and an E55, there is another explanation. The M5 is a logical extension to what many see as the 540i 6-speed. The AMG E55 tries to take Mercedes into a different direction than most E-class buyers are looking. I have a neighbor with an E55 who is looking to sell it and was given a laughable offer by his Mercedes dealership on a trade for a new E500. They acknowledge that it is a specialty car with a very limited market as a used car, since it's not what the vast majority of E-class buyers are looking for. On the other hand, I am constantly asked by my BMW (and nearby Porsche) dealer as to whether I want to trade or sell my M5. It represents a more logical extension of what many BMW 5-series buyers would aspire to and has a much broader appeal within those loyalists. As a former owner of a 300 SEL 6.3, I have great respect for AMG cars, but know they have very limited market appeal.
It is true that the price of a new E-class looks like a bargain compared to their relative prices 8-10 years ago. And if you are looking at the E320 4-matic Wagon, there is no better choice by anybody, IMO.
#4465 of 6720 E Class Price = Shop where's there's supply
Dec 09, 2002 (5:37 am)
I still think that MB's great sales in October and November are what they stuffed onto dealer lots and not what got sold and registered.
Herb Chambers' on-the-lot inventory in Boston of E Class cars is up to 70 vehicles from 54 in mid-September. They are about 60% 320's and 40% 500's last time I looked. Foreign Motors West in Natick is hidden but a peek through the bushes this weekend indicated to me that there's PLENTY there too.
With 3.3K in dealer margin on the base 320 plus 3% holdback and 4K plus 3% on a base 500, these folks have LOTS of room to come down. Plus options are very high and full of margin too.
When these vehicles sit on the lots, they are stuck.
Do something bold. Go make an offer.
Figure out approximately what option and colors you would be happy with. Price them out, write out the invoice pricing for the different options. Figure out your 'out the door price' at invoice + taxes + title fees.
Call the local dealerships to tell what you are them you are looking for Exxx, color xxx or yyy and with the 1 and 2 package, but nothing else. You are flexible on interior color but not exterior. What do you have?
Go visit if they are close.
When you get to the dealership, avoid any discussion of trade or lease or cash. Act like it doesn't matter to you, you want to do whatever makes sense and that you usually check with your financial advisor at Private Bank Company name before you finalize a contract.
Go look at and drive both an E320 and E500 off the lot. If they only let you drive a demo, fine.
Ask if they have whatever model and options from your list in your colors. If so go look at it. Ask for a drive in that one if it is different enough in terms of wheels, tires, suspension.
If they hesitate tell them you know from your MB friends that wheels, tires and suspension make a big difference and insist. After all you are going to 1) give them a big pile of money 2) likely drive this thing for some time.
If you get a ride fine. If not go home.
Try to get the drive alone. When you get back tell the sales person, you were lucky but tracked down the finance advisor. He says you can do the deal cash with some stocks that are a bit underwater but will help taxes.
Tell him you've figured invoice to be about xx,xxx, plus $500 for him and taxes of y,yyy and $150 to do the title. You offer zz,zzz as an out-the-door-price. Yes or no?
Sales guys have a handful of ways to handle this: chuckle, go see the boss, 'negotiate'. Who knows what you will get.
If the answer isn't yes at that price in 5 minutes then leave. Mercedes will be making E's tomorrow and the dealership will have them in plenty of quantity.
So, when he says no, stand up, thank him and leave your cell phone number.
Tell him you are going to the Lexus and BMW store next and maybe to Infiniti.
Tell him him he can call you with a yes, but not with a counter offer. Don't call to see how I am doing, call if you can say yes.
Go shopping at BMW, Lexus and Infiniti while you wait.
As MB's quality is now only 'average' overall for the E, you hvae to 'WANT' an E bad to face up to the statistics of the trips back to the dealership you are likely to have to deal with anyway.
When he calls back you might be in another car you like that actually was designed to be defect free and hold up for a long time.
Dec 09, 2002 (9:42 am)
Stopping by a Mercedes dealer recently, I noticed a brochure for a window coating called V-Kool. It supposedly blocks mainly non-visible light that otherwise builds up heat in the passenger compartment. Here in Atlanta, I need all the help I can get keeping my E320's interior cool in the summer. Has anyone had experience with this product?
#4467 of 6720 lease on e320
Dec 09, 2002 (7:57 pm)
anyone offer help regarding 39 month , 12k yr,zero cap cost lease? got price of 538 with putting 6,000.00 as multiple security deposit which i get back at end of lease. sound good or maybe any better outh there?
#4468 of 6720 lease on e320
Dec 09, 2002 (10:11 pm)
$538 for 39 months, 0 cap cost sounds like a steal. You're paying about $21K for a depreciation of a little over 3 years. In fact I think that's what C-class drivers are paying for their C-classes. The $6000 deposit sounds funny though - I've never heard of anyone paying a $6K deposit.
According to your post in the 5-series forum, your deal for the BMW525 is $547/month same terms and the E320 is a much more expensive car than the 525.
#4469 of 6720 E320 pricing
Dec 09, 2002 (10:26 pm)
The 2003 E320s have a lower base price than the 2002 E320s and is more car for less money - so you can say that prices have actually gone down. Same thing when the S-class changed to the new (current) model - new lower price for a better car.
Regarding footie's comments it is true that you can get a deal with the MB dealer. Just walk in with the attitude that you don't have to buy the car that day. I was in on a friend's purchase last week and the saleswoman was literally tugging on his coatsleeve to prevent him from leaving.
It also depends on a large part where you live. If you live in LA or the east coast where there are dealers galore they are much more willing to deal. And when the deal is down to a few hundred $ on a $50K+ car I also wonder on the benefits of trading the salesman's goodwill for the few hundred $.
#4470 of 6720 ctic - what's value of salesman's goodwill?
Dec 10, 2002 (11:32 am)
I generally agree w/ your post but question the value of salesman's goodwill. Once you buy the car you deal w/ the service dept. separate from the sales. Also, there's a high turnover in the sales dept. so you may never see your salesman.
Dec 10, 2002 (3:41 pm)
Let's go over to the salesmen forum and ask
#4472 of 6720 lease price
Dec 10, 2002 (4:15 pm)
ctic, thanks for info. the deal i posted on the bmw was actually 447 not 547 per month. the 6,000.00 up front is a multiple security deposit which i get back at the end of the lease.bmw lets you put up 5,000.00 or actually 10 security deposits. this is common with bmw, mercedes and lexus (not allowed in ny, i'm in nj). it saves you roughly 50.00/mo in your monthly payment which is actually around 2,000 over the life of the loan. these days you can't make 2,000 on a 5,000 investment in 3 yrs. highly recommended if you have the cash.
#4473 of 6720 Some salesmen are worth
Dec 10, 2002 (4:17 pm)
staying on the good side of...
When I walked away from buying my Starmarked E because it had a couple of options I had no use for, the salesman called me the next day and offered to remove the options and drop the price 2K. That sealed the deal with no further negotiations. Six months later I decided I wanted to add a CD changer and talked to my salesman. First he pulled a used one out of the service area and looked it up to see if it would work on my 96. Nope, it was a fiber optic bus; the 96 & 97 still have the copper wire bus. So he gave me the phone number of the audio shop that does their $800 installations. The audio shop did it directly with me for $300. So my salesman saved me hundreds of dollars. He didn't have to do it, but he appreciated the fact that I didn't try to wring the last nickel out of him and it's a classy dealership where they cultivate repeat business.
And he has been there for over 5 years and I'm willing to bet he'll be there for the next 5-10 years. As is the salesman at the Buick dealership where we bought the LeSabre we traded on the MB. (Great salesman, horrible product.. At least the MB guy has a great product to sell.!)