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Entries in Mercedes-Benz (44)

Tuesday
Nov182014

The MerBimAu Advantage

In case you forgot: MerBimAu = Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi.

Ever wonder with all the contenders in the luxury segment, many having exceptional products. They remain contenders on the periphery of the segment, while MerBimAu continues to have the largest share.

A quick overview.

 

 

 

Monday
Nov032014

Luxury Tools

Lets get the month going by connecting a few dots.

A few days ago we were reading a perspective from Seth Godin, which immediately started connecting dots for us. 

"Hundreds of years ago, Hermes and Louis Vuitton started out as luxury makers of tools. If you needed a saddle or a suitcase, they offered an extraordinary option, both elite and useful.

Over time, they shifted gears, no longer competing on whether or not their luggage was the most useful, or their saddles the most efficient. They competed on luxury, which is a fundamentally different promise than the optimal design of a tool."

A few decades ago a Mercedes-Benz was a luxury tool in North America, a W116 (450SEL) was the supreme luxury tool (sedan) it did everything well, was the ideal compromise, and you could drive it flat out for hours.

It had shortcomings, but the overall package was superlative for its time compared to other offerings. Yes...it was expensive, it was exclusive, and it did its job very well. It was the ideal tool of the time, with compelling street presence. In addition to having a serious f...k you factor.

The W116 morphed into the W126 (560SEL) which was a refined tool compared to the W116, and the rest is history as they say. 

The other day coming up to the rear of a novel CUV, yes there are a ton of CUV's on the road. What is this "thing" as the GLA250 appears on the tailgate and the immediate thought of "It looks Japanese or Korean" then from the rear view mirror the grille seemed out of place. 

The luxury brand (being optimistic) might be there, but the luxury tool aspect is long gone.

Swiss watches are luxury tools, no one needs an expensive Swiss watch to tell the time, when a smart phone is more accurate. The maintenance on a luxury Swiss watch buys several watches. 

Fine writing instruments are luxury tools. This mechanical pencil does a better job than most mechanical pencils, and its reflected in the price.

Its fascinating to watch the automotive migration from luxury tool, to luxury, to premium economy.

 

 

Friday
Sep122014

Vroom Room

Good Morning!

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, the cappuccino and biscotti are served, join the conversation, leave a comment.

Its always been part of the Ferrari history that if they do well on the track, they do not so well in the showroom, and vice versa. Its interesting to see Luca de Montezemolo leave Ferrari after over 2 decades, and replaced by Sergio Marchionne. 

From our perspective de Montezemolo was part of the "old guard" under Gianni Agnelli, and Sergio is part of the "new guard" under John Elkann. Obvious the new guard is increasingly exerting its muscles and influence within the FCA empire.

Should we be worried about Luca de Montezemolo losing his job at Ferrari? What do you think?

Within the bowels of Daimler, AMG has become a jumping point for the career vector of individuals. A couple of days ago the AMG GT halo car was presented to the world. The car looks like it was done by someone on a career vector that lacks the passion, understanding, perspective of what they were trying to do. "Lets take the roof line and quarter window of a 300SL coupe, the back end of a 911, and graft it to the front of an SLS"...."As an encore we will come up with a black edition with a carbon fiber spoiler".

Fascinating to see Mercedes win on the track with a superb F1 power unit, while Ferrari philosophically never got their heads around the F1 power unit concept. 

If you are of the opinion that a Corvette Z06 is an abosolute steal for the level of performance, we agree with you.

A cool video on the new Jaguar XE...Click.

We call it the Pontiac Saga, the ongoing court case of GM Dealers vs GM that is developing in Toronto. Its always fascinating when folks start washing their laundry in public.

Tomorrow is the start of the Cobble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

Our usual old race cars from the US Vintage Grand Prix at Watkins Glenn.

 

 

 

Friday
Aug222014

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, come in enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation, leave a comment.

We are slowly catching up to a few items that were slightly behind, while being a little whimsical during this summer that is probably breaking records for miserable climatic conditions.

The pool with the chairs is whimsical.

Hopefully in the next few weeks we will be ahead of the 8 ball.

Simply scroll down to see our whims of this past week.

If you have not followed our Project 200K, we urge you to take a look. Why are we still tolerating this older 2003 E500 that is almost 12 years old now? As much as we can complain about the money we have spent/invested on this car (it would make monthly payments on a new vehicle). There is a patina, character, history about an older car that we find endearing, and is priceless.

Now that the Monterey events and Pebble Beach Concours are a done deal. Have you noticed that the price of some collectible cars are at "nose bleed" heights. Creating some memorable WoW moments. Lets give credit to the auction houses for their superb marketing efforts especially when it comes to establishing provenance and credibility for the various cars being sold.

The 375 MM Ferrari owned by Jon Shirley as best of show was totally cool.

Our habitual old race cars from the Rolex Monterey Reunion...enjoy!

 

 

Saturday
Jul262014

F-Type V6 S vs SLK55 AMG

Another episode of Head 2 Head...see who wins.