Last post on Sep 15, 2007 at 9:01 PM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class, Mercedes-Benz R-Class
#1 of 441 New Mercedes Models: Why?
Mar 21, 2004 (9:54 am)
Personally, I don't get what Mercedes is trying to do with the new CLS!! First of all, it looks ugly, sort of an ugly knockoff of the future Lexus GS models. Second of all, Mercedes has the C, E, and S Class vehicles, each filling their appropriate market segment. It doesn't explain why they're putting the CLS out there. If people want a cheaper S Class, buy an E Class!! The whole "coupe yet sedan" look is just plain weird. Time will only tell if they will sell. Mercedes is going in the wrong direction with this vehicle. I think the new Grand Sports Tourer/R Class type thing will be a bigger hit and all that Mercedes needs for now.
#2 of 441 Mercedes...
Mar 24, 2004 (9:02 am)
I too am not quite sure what Mercedes is doing. My girlfriend has an old 190E, and I love it. It's clear and focused. Vault like structure, solid handling, stately appearance, smart engineering.
By contrast, I'm not quite sure what Mercedes is now, especially having seen them at a recent autoshow. Their styling seems to be going towards neuvo-avant garde, with some almost cartoonish like details. The interiors are just festooned with buttons, drowning out obvious "smart engineering." The new SLK interior, while stylish, looks like Mazda or Alfa could have drawn it. The CLS and upcoming Pacifica-like vehicle (sorry, the name escapes me right now) don't make much sense to me. Slam BMW's recent design moves as one may, by contrast, they still have a BMW-ness performance focus about them.
I get the sense that Mercedes is trying to be like Lexus - something for everyone. That every vehicle can be smooth, sporty, silky, firm, understated, flamboyant, etc. all on the same car. I miss the focus of the Mercedes of old, and I'm far from old myself! If I had the money to buy one, I'd rather have a decent condition vintage Mercedes than a new one!
Mar 28, 2004 (8:32 pm)
Mercedes C E S
BMW 3 5 7
Audi A4 A6 A8
Infiniti G M Q
Lexus Es Gs Ls
If you compare these brands in this chart, you can see that mercedes fills every category nicely with everyone else. The C is not superior to many of these, but it is competing. Everyone wants an E or S class. But where/why would you throw in a new model and detract from other models sales? Who would buy an wagon in between the c and e classes instead of another brand? wouldn't they also look at the c and e?
What MB does need is a full-size SUV that falls into the price range of a Navigator, maybe a little less than an LX470 or Range Rover.
Mar 28, 2004 (9:39 pm)
I can see where you all would think that Mercedes is doing too much here and I agree - somewhat.
I don't think they had any other niche to go for so they are trying to create one themselves. They already have more Coupes and Convertibles than any other luxury makers, so they decided to do something different. I'm not totally sold on the styling of the CLS, but it shouldnt' take away from the S or E Classes sales due to the CLS having a very impractical backseat arrangement and the price will be right in between the E and S. The CLS will also be a big profit maker, which Mercedes needs right now. The car didn't cost much to develop because it uses so much off-the-shelf E-Class hardware. On the body and some interior pieces are new. The new direct injection V6 will be used in every, and I mean every Mercedes model over the next 2 model years.
Now the GST (supposed to be R-Class) will be a runaway hit I'm betting. Crossovers are hot and Mercedes is currently completly absent in this segment. I agree with the earlier post, Mercedes needs a RR/LX470 competititor. Maybe the next G-Class? Not sure.
Mercedes basically had no choice but to expand. The old 1990's business model (from everything I've read and been told by the business-minded people here) just wouldn't have worked anymore. The Japanese forced the issue so Mercedes has to compete wherever they can and spread the costs out over more cars. Just think about it 10 years ago there was only a C, E, S and SL.
Its about survival now, even Porsche had to do a "different" kind of product to ensure their survival.
Three things Mercedes needs to do: improve reliability, stop with the under 30K model plans and never make and ugly car or veer off in a strange styling direction like BMW.
Apr 03, 2004 (7:29 pm)
Well, count me amongst the confused. It started back when AMG started going crazy, and you couldn't figure out whether the supercharged V8 model of the normally aspirated V12 model was the flagship. Then they started twin-turboing some models too. Now you really have no idea. Hmm. Do I want a CL500, a CL55, a CL600, a CL65, ...? It's like the Eminem song. "Will the real Mercedes Benz please stand up?"
Having no choice is bad. Having some choice is good. Having too much choice becomes bad again. Mercedes is starting to act more and more American with each passing year. Too many choices, overlapping and confusing, and precious development and assembly resources being sucked away to accommodate a breadth of lower quality products when it probably should be spent focusing on a smaller but higher quality portfolio. And all this for the sake of maintaining or increasing market share, at all costs. This is silly, because the CLS isn't going to do what MB is looking for it to do, whereas Smart...
Apr 04, 2004 (10:09 pm)
What exactly do you think they're looking for the CLS to do for them?
#7 of 441 response to merc1
Apr 05, 2004 (4:16 pm)
"Three things Mercedes needs to do: improve reliability, stop with the under 30K model plans and never make and ugly car or veer off in a strange styling direction like BMW."
Wouldn't it be great if all of these luxury companies could improve their reliability? Unfortunately, only Lexus and Infiniti can say they have above-average reliability, and Lexus's arent "cool" enough for some and nobody buys the upper-end Infinitis. In my opinion, that's why people would by an MDX over a VW Touareg
Also, why not have a below- 30,000 dollar car? Many people buy the C-Class, even though its a terrible car. Fix it up, and have it compete with the 330's of the world.
Speaking of 330's, why not style like BMW? They are the best compact luxury car, ahead of the TL and G35. Plus, The average person would readily buy a 330-like car under the MB nameplate and not know it was a poorer version of a BMW if the price was right. Keep in mind, most buyers DON'T use Edmunds.com or Consumer Reports to purchase, so by targeting the clueless drivers they'd be selling to the majority.
The new wagon should have a partner sedan to go with it, to replace the poor C-class, and the new G-class, as merc1 suggested, should be styled more efficiently and should have an under 70K price tag.
#8 of 441 but of course
Apr 05, 2004 (4:18 pm)
Mercedes would never think that logically...they'd just come out with another convertible model.
Apr 05, 2004 (9:31 pm)
"What exactly do you think they're looking for the CLS to do for them?"
I think they're looking for it to maintain or increase market share for the overall brand. I don't think it'll do so, it'll merely present yet another option to those who already are sold on the brand, and in the process add yet more complexity (read: cost) to the design and manufacturing processes to support the product lineup.
#10 of 441 Main question not being adressed
Apr 06, 2004 (6:11 pm)
The main question or concern is, however:
Will this model bring in new customers, or customers who would not have bought a MB in the first place? Or will it take away from C, E, and even M class buyers? Inevitably it will lower not boost sales.
Can someone tell me what MB does not have that would sell very well and that they should have, seeing how the other luxury models have it? (Hint: Full-size, practical luxury SUV. I understand BMW has one in the makes, joining RR, LX470 and QX56)