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Entries in Mercedes-Benz (55)

Friday
Aug072015

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, make yourself comfortable enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti. Join the conversation.

Its the Pebble Beach week end.

We hope that you are taking advantage of the Dog Days of Summer by being outdoors more often, and partaking in activities that require warm weather. Yes...mowing the lawn is such an activity as an example.

Or taking a hose and bucket to wash your car or cars...Zen of Washing.

Back in the early days of social media the thought vector was to move iron, influence folks by using social media as an additional lever in the marketing arsenal. Today its more likely that social media is used as an ego booster for the participants, lets boost the ego first, then lets see if some iron will move in one fashion or another.

You have to wonder........

Besides seeing stuff that is truly "head scratching"...you wonder again.

You know our thoughts on Premium Economy, if you ever wondered the thought process behind it...

We take into consideration what the investment is that we have to make, what's our gross sales potential, what's the net sales potential after cannibalization effects and what's the margin we make on the car," explained Ola Kaellenius, Mercedes board member for sales and marketing. "Then we run that through the machine, and if we get a net present value that meets our targets, we go for it."

"The trick is to use globally networked production plants employing standardized equipment and machines that build cars off scalable modular architectures," said Markus Schaefer, Mercedes production and supply chain head.

July Canadian Sales

A modest increase from the previous year, but still an increase continuing a hot streak so far this year. Will it continue to the end of the year? What do you think? Our thoughts...the second half of this year will present increasing challenges for several manufacturers.

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday
Jun202015

Form and Function

Experience a 280SL...

 

Friday
Jun192015

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Corvette C7R Winning at LeMans Click on image to enlargeIts Friday, its the Vroom Room, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation.

Le Mans

Porsche on its first try after countless years gets the overall win which had become an Audi stronghold for the past several years. As you know Porsche and Audi are part of the same Teutonic conglomerate. You have to wonder how much "sharing" there was/is between Porsche and Audi to achieve racing cost savings.

Yes...we are Corvette fans and they won the GTE Pro class...a huge accomplishment considering they raced only 1 car the pressure must have been monumental.

Mercedes-Benz Dealers

Have you noticed the propensity of white Sprinter vans in front of their showrooms some with monthly payments plastered on the sides. If a prospect needs a work van the fact that a Sprinter is displayed in front of a Benz dealer will it improve the decision process? What do you think? Perhaps they are considering Freightliner medium duty trucks in the near future.

Road Trip

We had an opportunity to go on a road trip to Montreal with a 2015 Chevrolet Suburban LTZ, which is a supreme higway cruiser. As well as discovering interesting historical churches, and experiencing first hand covering appreciable kilometers with the adaptive cruise control.

Our habitual old race cars from the Indy Brickyard Invitational 2015

 

 

Friday
Jun052015

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its a new month, its Friday, its the Vroom Room, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation.

Does climate change mean that we alternate from air conditioning, to heat, on a regular basis in the house? What do you think?

In case you missed it, we have done some vehicle reviews take a look...here. Really...how could you miss it.

You know that we don't follow, we lead, and we are not in the eyeball business either. Late last year we shared our thoughts on Premium Economy which was a continuation of The Merbimau Advantage. As you start hearing increased comments from a variety of individuals remember that you heard it here first.

In the world of business there is an ongoing constant, the population of Assholes does not diminish (perhaps its increasing). At times you have to wonder if the population would diminish, would we be in a better world. Agreed...its optimistic to say the least.

Canadian Sales for May:

Last year May was a record month, imagine trying to beat May 2014 this year. Its a done deal May 2015 is 1% ahead of 2014. As you can imagine with an increase of only 1% the month was a game of push and shove. With manufacturer bonuses based on sales objectives (usually surpassing them). There is a rumour that some manufacturers were calling dealers on an hourly basis on the last day.

Is there the possibility that some vehicles were called sold, and are still waiting for an owner? What do you think?

Still a huge accomplishment for the month...yes those guys again MerbimAu were way ahead of the game last month...

You will increasingly start reading and hearing about infotainment overload in vehicles. Where some or a lot of the technology in the centre of the dash (yes the screen) is not being used by customers. Do we still need a CD player in vehicles? Do we need voice recognition? Do we need a myriad of touch functionalities on the screen? What do you think?

Our usual old race cars impressive and extensive photo gallery of the Spa Classic 2015.

 

 

Saturday
May162015

Mille Miglia - Stirling Moss

Remarkable video of Stirling Moss recounting his win from 60 years ago...enjoy.

 

 

Thursday
Apr092015

The Benniss

What is a "Benniss" its the Mercedes-Benz / Nissan pick up.

When you reflect on the possibility of this pick up being sold in North America it will make a ton of sense.

Think of this M-B is relocating its head office to Atlanta, and Nissan is in Franklin, TN both locations are auspicious to pick ups. 

Nissan has the Titan and has been an outlier in the pick up business for some time now.

Now think of the Mercedes-Benz senior executive commuting from Buckhead to head office in the "L350 Benniss"  it needs an L as a model designator....L=Lastwagen=truck in German.

For cost saving purposes it will be built on a modified Sprinter platform...not really. Perhaps a modified Nissan Titan platform with distinctive Mercedes styling cues.

To compete with the Ford Ecoboost it will have a twin turbo V6 from AMG specifically engineered for truck duty to generate massive torque from the get go. The transmission will not be double clutch, paddle shift, but a good ole torque converter, and a valve body tuned by AMG for optimum shifts.

The transfer case will be from Unimog with a simple F (forward) and R (reverse) to faciliate snow plowing applications. For the Benniss the transfer case will have an overdrive, direct, and low range an industry first to offer OD gears, as well as accommodating 2 PTO openings.

The brakes are from Brembo with ceramic discs and 2 yellow calipers per wheel on the front, to provide awesome braking power.

The trailer towing version will have a light duty Mercedes diesel engine sourced from Freightliner, coupled to an Allison automatic, a 10,000 lbs rear axle with dual rear wheels (a duelie). Ideal to move the polo ponies in a fifth wheel trailer from one field to another.

Needless to mention...the full AMG version is just around the corner.

 

 

 

Saturday
Mar212015

Macan Turbo vs GLA45 AMG

Saturday entertainement...see who wins.

 

 

Monday
Mar022015

Marketing The Mercedes Way

Informative interview from McKinsey that provides insight and perspective on how Mercedes-Benz is directing their customer interface.

Being in the people business remains the constant.

 


 

 

Monday
Feb022015

Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3

What do we, more specifically The Colonel remember of the 6.3?

Back in the day a 300SEL was the top of the line version of the S Class, while the numerals on the right hand side of the trunk added increased cachet.

The 6.3 was the equivalent of an S65...today. It was a serious hot rod from Stuttgart.

Those were the days when Mercedes-Benz was emerging from the vestiges of WWII, the plant in Sindelfingen was a previous airplane production facility. Especially in North America M-B needed a more forceful identity than simply diesel and 6 cylinder cars.

In typical M-B fashion the car was over engineered, with rudimentary convenience features, stiff Teutonic leather, the 4.5 V8 had morphed into the 6.3 from of the 600. With the 6.3 it was fashionable to remove the 6.3 from the trunk.

To uphold the Teutonic tradition of the day, which implied that if it was an expensive car it should cruise effortlessly at ridiculously high speeds on the autobahn. This was accomplished with a low numerical rear axle ratio, and usually a second gear start from the transmission.

Until you stopped, literally shifted the transmission to 1st gear, and throttle up it was not obvious how fast this car could accelerate. The transmission would bang through the shifts like an old school Hydra Matic in a truck.

Back in the day corrosion protection was rudimentary, and in Canada by the time these cars were 10 years old, there were serious corrosion issues, the air suspension was delicate, and the 6.3 consumed prodigious amounts of gasoline.

It was a landmark, benchmark car with superlative performance, while corroding and requiring expensive maintenance.

Here is Jay Leno driving and sharing his memories of the 6.3...

 

 

 

 

Wednesday
Jan142015

Luxury Cars Are They Better?

The other day we were reading an article stipulating that luxury cars are in many cases worse, than mid market cars, especially in reliability.

As you probably know The Colonel has been involved and dricing what is known as luxury cars for a few decades, lets see what he has to say this morning.

Q: Colonel how did luxury cars, especially the German versions evolve through the decades.

A: Guys good morning, you are looking dapper this morning. By the early 70's North American luxury cars were known as land barges, similar to pick ups today. With a ton of conveneince features, and a ton of driving shortcomings.

Q: What got the ball rolling.

A: Car and Driver, David E. Davis, Mercedes-Benz 450SEL (W116) at the time.

Q: What was special about that car.

A: It was the opposite of the land barges, limited conveneince features, at best acceptable air conditioning, no power seats, extremely slow power windows. It had a V8, good power, incredible suspension compared to the land barges, solid body, robust brakes. Extremely poor fuel economy.

Q: You could drive it all day long at elevated speeds.

A: Precisely...they were engineered to perform on the autobahn.

Q: How about maintenance.

A: German car...what do you think...they required ongoing maintenance on a regular basis. Today it would be considered obscene.

Q: The better part was how they drove and performed as a car, and how they held together.

A: Exactly, the convenience features were archaic compared to the land barges, the automatic transmissions were fragile, differential were diminuitive. The radios were archaic, but the clunk of the doors, the interiors were solid, and the way they drove.

Q: We heard that back in the day 6.9 were incredible cars, and nobody wanted them as a used car.

A: Interesting that you mention 6.9, incredible car, and in many ways similar to today's cars that are full of technology. They require attention, when new everyone raves about them, when they are used you need obscenely deep pockets to keep them running. Some things never change.

Q: Today everyone raves about an S65 Coupe, which is similar to a 6.9 from a few decades back.

A: imagine for a moment an individual that pulls into an M-B dealer with an older S65 Coupe out of warranty with a few lights blinking in the dash, and requiring a brake job with worn out ceramic discs. Similar to a 6.9 from back in the day...some things never change.

Q: The repair invoice for the S65 would be obscene.

A: You can buy a new something else with the amount on the repair order. Again its does not change. In 2015 no one is inerested in those experience. The reason for extended warranties, CPO, and so on the provide peace of mind.

Q: A CTS today drives very well.

A: Absolutely, the feel and drive of a CTS is impressive and world class. We were all impressed by the V Sport a few months ago.

Q: That car had a V6 with twin turbos, magnetic ride suspension, Brembo brakes, and so on.

A: There you go...its in the 6.9, S65 territory when it comes to maintenance and repairs. Does it ever drive nice...

Q: Most folks today lease, and pay more attention to the brand, than the reliability, maintenence costs of the cars.

A: Absolutely...