I remember something about the K900 wont be made but I am going off on what is on KIA's webpage. But 190E fan, you seem to be under the impression that car companies like KIA and VW wont be in competition to car companies like Mercedes and BMW. Did you think this way 30 years ago when Toyota made a luxury version of their cars called Lexus? What about the Hyundai Equis or the Hyundai Genesis? What do you think of about the Genesis brand as its own? The G70 is in competition to the C-Class and are at a much lower price, the G80 is in competition to the E-Class and at a much lower price and the G90 is in competition to the S-Class and is at a much lower price. Or do you think they do not stand anywhere near Mercedes? If you are talking about price, performance and handling you maybe right, but I have always felt that is in the perception of the driver. But when it comes to tech as I keep saying like infotainment, HID headlights, parking sensors, ACC and blind spot monitoring they are in competition. You wold be right 11, 20 and 30+ years ago but around 2012/2013 this all changed. I do not know how many times i can say it to you till you understand.
Andrew, you don't seem to understand that KIA and VW are not luxury brands. The K900 and the Phaeton failed miserably because of it. Both companies tried to build a luxury car at a luxury price with the lower price brand names of KIA and VW plastered all over them and the marketplace would have none of it because again, KIA and VW aren't luxury brands because their cars aren't in the luxury price range. What Toyota, Nissan, Honda and now Hyundai have done is actually start totally separate luxury brands where the Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Hyundai names are no where to be found on their luxury cars. If you want to talk perception, here it is. Yes the Lexus, Infiniti, Acura and Genesis brands are lower priced than their German counterparts and because of it, both MB and BMW have shifted to using less expensive materials and less expensive manufacturing processes in an effort to compete with them and I think the legendary German build quality and durability has suffered for it. While things have begun to improve in the last few years, there were definitely some issues an d some low points in years now past. In addition, it's the accountants and marketing departments that now run MB and no longer the engineers and I also think that the more recent cars also reflect that new reality. I was also raised by an engineer with German ancestry so I view things very differently than you as I had a pretty good window on how the German engineering mind works and how and why things were done the way they were when the engineers ran MB and when compared to now.
In my posts above I spoke od a Kia K900. That was my error. The car I meant to refer to is the Kia Stinger.
No problem Dolebludger on the KIA Stinger. Actually, I've been reading that the KIA Stinger is also selling poorly and rumor has it may also be discontinued.
190E fan, Indeed, I never did drive a Stinger. I priced one the way I would want it and it was too close to a C 43 AMG to interest me. Especially when the car mags reported that it didn’t perform up to its specs, whereas the C 43 did and does. I remember when Kia was a punchline to a joke: “What do you buy when you want a new car but can’t afford one?” Answer: “Kia”. Now, Kia makes some good vehicles in their class now. Example: if you want a three row SUV, the Kia Telluride deserves your attention. But, I agree, if Kia wants to enter the sports or lux sedan marked against MB, it is out of its league.
I think that the marketplace is making it pretty clear that they're unwilling to pay luxury brand prices for mainstream brand vehicles.
This is admittedly a bit off topic, but KIA has been mentioned on this thread, and I test drove a KIA for the first time yesterday. It wasn’t a lux or sports car. It was a Sorento SUV. And, actually, for an SUV, I was highly impressed! Of course it wasn’t a high performance or luxury vehicle, but it was a very practice one for hauling people and things. Fit and finish looked good. Low road and wind noise, and good steering and brakes. It was a hybrid, but still had adequate power. It had captain’s chairs in the second row and had a third row that actually had decent leg room. MSRP was about $37K and included adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist, and a bunch of other features. So while MB has nothing to fear from Kia in the lux market, in the SUV market, perhaps it does.
Production has started. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pt7jr0GpuIg Going to the Mercedes factory is great to see. I would like to go to other car factories once we can.
190E fan, It no longer has to do with luxury vs. non luxury brands. It has to do with what is offered. As Jerromy Clarkson said on Top Gear when reviewing the S-Class (W221) around 2006 “If you want to see what will be on your car in the next 10 years, look at an S-Class) What did that car offer in 2006? An OnStar type system, advanced headlights, LED lighting, ventilated seats, in car navigation, satellite radio and I believe a rear-view camera and adaptive cruse control. Some of these features ended up trickling down to the rest of the Mercedes lineup over the years and then trickled down to other brands like KIA and VW 10 years later. At the time in 2006 VW and KIA did not offer these features or were offered on a limited production of cars like the Passat W8. So, yes in 2021 going back 7 or 8 years, Mercedes as found itself not only competing with BMW but are also competing with KIA and VW and other non-luxury brands. As to your question with Toyota and Nissan and Honda, the luxury market did not think much of the said brands making their own luxury brands and were proven wrong and had to think outside the box. Just under 30 years later they are in the same situation again. As for Hyundai the problem with them is that they made a model of car called Genesis and ended up making that as its own luxury brand. But again, and I will keep saying this again people who might be in the market for let’s say an A or GLA-Class might want to look at buying a KIA because both offer the same equipment. Are you an engineer? Does not matter if you are or not. The point I am making, and I have been making and that is lost is that the luxury market is competing with non-luxury brands because as I said before they offer the same tech as I mentioned before and companies like Mercedes are trying to find new ways to prevent people from going over to the other side. As I said in a post before this comes from a Mercedes executive I talked to. If you are talking about handling and performance, you may have a point. But look at the features that are offered on Mercedes 10-15 years ago and look at what is offered on a non-luxury car today. KIA just raised the price of the Stinger by 3 grand. I hardly see them on the road and I have been told they have a hard time moving them. Dolebludger, I mentioned KIA on here. The market is switching to SUVs so, maybe. But as I said before Mercedes does have something to fear for non-luxury brands. It doesn’t matter how we feel, it matters how the CEO’s feel.
Andrew, you missed my point completely. You need to check on the sales figures of the non luxury brand vehicles you claim MB is now in competition with. The sales of the non luxury brand vehicles are so poor that most of the vehicles you previously listed have either been discontinued or are about to be discontinued. The marketplace is clearly saying that it won't pay luxury brand prices for non luxury brand vehicles. For the record, I was raised by an engineer and I grew up around airplanes and cars so I've developed a good deal of knowledge about the automotive industry because of it. The sales of the original Hyundai Genesis cars where so poor because the marketplace made it clear that it would not pay luxury brand prices for a non luxury brand like Hyundai. Hyundai has now made Genesis it's own brand but the cars are still sold inside the same dealerships where the non luxury Hyundais are also sold and they're also serviced by same Hyundai service technicians. Hyundai dealerships are notorious for being terrible. In contrast, Toyota, Nissan and Honda have set up sepa rate dealerships and service departments for their luxury brands and you won't find the non luxury brand names any where on their luxury vehicles.
But you are not an engineer. By your logic me growing up around a lawyer and being around law would make an expert on legal matters. I used these cars as an example but let us look at a top selling car like the Toyota Camry and what it offers. Forget about price for the moment and look at what it offers that people want. The Toyota Camry has been Toyota’s top selling car or one of their top selling cars for over 30 years. If I look at what the car comes with as standard or as an option, I will find things that people will want like a Drivers Assistant Package or in car Navigation maybe Apple Car Play and or Android Auto. Look at the Hyundai Sonata and if I go to the specs on this car and go under safety, I will find features on it that just 10 years ago or so were mostly offered on luxury cars like Parking Assistance, Adaptive Cruse Control, Lane Keeping Assistance, an OnStar type system what Hyundai calls Blue Link that is similar to then what was called TeliAid, mbrace and now called MercedesMe. The same can be said with Nissan and with the Maxima model. Again, 10 ye ars ago or so that was mostly offered on Mercedes and now they are offered on every car in one form or another. How many non-luxury cars in 2006 were offered with navigation in the US? Yes, I am aware that the Genesis is sold at Hyundai dealers and that Hyundai should have done what Honda did with Acura did and have a different buying experience. Mercedes considered doing something similar with Chrysler back in the day from what I have heard. Also, in my view Hyundai should have called their luxury brand a different name other than Genesis. When I hear the name Genesis I think of Hyundai. I do not think of Honda when I see or hear the word “Acura.” But why don’t you think Mercedes and BMW are not competing with non-luxury brands?
I am not an automotive engineer — just a car freak. I don’t think MB has much to fear from lower level “premium” sedans, coupes and convertibles. They just don’t deliver. But in the area of SUVs, I feel thar MB has some strong (and perhaps superior) competition. From some non lux makers. The vehicles I am looking at now are SUVs, and I just don’t see MB competing with the Asian makes in this corner of the car market
Andrew, my engineer father taught me alot about cars and their engineering. Your insistence on comparing mainstream brand cars that don't have anywhere near the use of the quality of materials or the engineering prowess of the luxury car brands shows the weakness of your argument. I don't make such a comparison because I understand what goes into building a car and because of that, I know that the mainstream brands are not at the same level as the luxury brands. Don't forget that the technology you point out that is now on mainstream brand cars first started out with the luxury brands. The mainstream brands copied the luxury brands using less expensive materials and short cut engineering means to sell these features on their cars for a lower price. The old saying, "you get what you pay for" rings true here. You also don't seem to understand that Chrysler was a stand alone brand on its own that had it's own already existing dealership network and back in the day it was well known as a luxury brand and was highly regarded for its engineering prowess. Are you familiar wi th the HEMI engine? Originally it was the only one of the big 3 U.S. automakers to have a full time engineering department. Sadly, Chrysler lost it's way and is now a tiny shell of what it once was. If you want to pay luxury brand money for a mainstream brand, go right ahead. Actual sales of the mainstream brand cars selling for luxury brand prices aren't selling well.
Dolebludger, I agree with you on the cars but I have to disagree with you on the SUVs. I think Tiger Woods lower right leg would also disagree with your SUV view. Tiger's lower right leg has a very long road to recovery ahead. I would much rather be in a GLE for a crash like that than the Genesis.
As an engineer with experience working on 25 cars of various brands during a 70-year period, I agree with 190E fan on this issue, though syracusea makes some good points. M-B makes the best cars from a design and build-quality standpoint. Some brands come close to M-B, but no cigar. It may be true that the more modern M-B cars don’t stand out from the other brands as much as they used to, but they are still better. All one has to do is analyze the details – especially in out-of-the-way places. The expert mechanic I met recently, who fixes various cars which come to him to fix when others can’t has a separate computer with software for most popular models of all brands. I counted 75 tablet computers on his shelves. He says if he puts in software from different models or brands into the same computer, even if the computer has adequate memory, “they (the software) don’t play nice together.” He pays annual fees of thousands of dollars to each brand for permission to use their software. When a brand gives him a hard time he sues them to be able to get the software. So, I a sked him which brand makes the best cars. Without hesitation he said M-B. Here is someone who has been fixing all sorts of cars for over 40 years. He should know, and there is no motive for him to lie to a contractor doing work for him. When we spoke about quality he did not know of my interest in M-B’s. Every car brand has made fine models that stand out. But on balance M-B still makes the best cars.
Well said Alex. My engineer father who was a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers, had more than 40 years of engineering work experience and who always did all of the maintenance on our cars with me as his helper also understood that MB built the best cars and I was taught that accordingly from a very young age. My father always said that my W201 would turn on a dime and give you 9 cents change which was a reference to its superior engineering. Trying to say that mainstream brand cars are on par with luxury brand cars is a claim I would never make because I know they're not.
I too find them to be the best-built cars, even though I am not a tech or engineer. I base my opinion on my trips to my tech, and the infrequency of the need for them! And there is another important factor. Their appearance never goes “out of style” never looks obsolete, and always remains recognizable as a Mercedes.
Actually, I would never really consider any other make, unless it were for a “utility vehicle”. Such a a pickup or SUV. In that case, Mercedes does not sell pickups — at least not here in the US. And for me, an SUV is rather like a pickup, with inclosed hauling. And, for me, it seems that Mercedes really isn’t competing in the SUV market beyond making high roof and extended back versions if their excellent sedans. In short, they are too shy on hauling room and back seat room for the price. But this does not turn me against Mercedes at all for what it does best, and that is making and selling great sedans and roadsters.
190E fan, As I said this was from a Mercedes executive. So these are not my words they are his. Alex, I would agree. Particularly ownership experience. Bring the car into the dealer and you come out of a loaner car. This is true for cars that no longer have a warranty. Also, Mercedes will give you a loaner car (maybe not a Mercedes) if you are out of your coverage area. BMW and Audi I think only give you a loaner car only when the car is under warranty and other brands may depend on the dealer. But to my original point on the upcoming C-Class, I see KIA in it and like I said Mercedes has some competition from other makes that are not BMW and like I said this is from an executive. But as I pointed out some of the same technology that people do want (navigation, blind spot detection and the like) can be found on just about every car. Just the difference is Mercedes and BMW may do it better.
No offense Andrew but I find it hard to believe. All you have to do is look at the sales figures to see that the marketplace is refusing to pay luxury brand prices for mainstream brand cars. I don't know why you're unwilling to observe this. You can "see" all you want but your insistence on comparing luxury brand Mercedes to mainstream and more over more of lower priced economy brands is insulting. You don't have any understanding of the design and construction of cars and how the mainstream/economy brands you reference use inferior materials and cheap short cuts vs the luxury brands like Mercedes.