Kate Upton was hoped to be Michigan’s hottest export, but she sold her big-breasted soul to Mercedes. Turns out, she doesn’t like cars. She prefers a horse. (Read More…)
For 14 years I have owned a 1998 Ford Windstar Northwoods Edition with the indomitable 3.8 Liter engine. I love this van! It’s been so reliable. $38,000 and 4 transmissions later, and old rusty is still trucking. Only had to do 4 head gaskets. (Read More…)
There are rumors ricocheting around Beijing about a possible big tie-up between China’s BAIC and Daimler. BAIC is Daimler’s joint venture partner in China, where the joint venture handles Chinese production of the long version of the E-Class, the C-Class and the GLK. (Read More…)
It’s time to make a confession to the good folks at TTAC.
The mileage game is rigged.
How so? Well, approximately two-thirds of the vehicles that reach the 300k+ mark at an auction I attend will usually belong in one of four categories.
The S-Class Mercedes has been the default choice for the global taste-and-wealth set for a very long time, probably since the demise of the Elwood Engel Continental. The 7-Series BMW, by contrast, has always been a slightly embarrassing purchase, the choice of the man cut out from the classy club by birth, ignorance, or a slightly unseemly insistence on driving dynamics. BMW is the striver’s brand, launched into the spotlight by a man who was sort of the Nadia Comaneci of sweaty social climbing. Mercedes is the real thing. Hasn’t it ever been thus?
German investors, on the other hand, seem to like the Roundel.
The late Gore Vidal was fond of saying, “Gratitude can be a complicated thing.”
He was right. Whether you are a hater, or simply a chronic critic, the act of complimenting those who follow the beat of a different drummer is usually not within the tip of the human tongue.
We want things our way… and sometimes we’re just plain wrong.
Mention China to Daimler managers, and with a pained look, they will quickly change the subject. China is the superpower when it comes to conspicuous consumption, and even more conspicuous choices of cars, and horrors, Mercedes is lagging far behind Audi and BMW, brands that previously had been looked upon with disdain by Daimler managers. Daimler won’t take it anymore, and wants to put a board member in charge of its lagging China business, says Der Spiegel. It will be a demanding job. (Read More…)
What percentage of new cars sold this year in the United States have European badges?
Let’s be clear about one thing: racism sucks. Be it the recent, tragic temple shooting or some BS you experienced when doing/not doing what your culture demands, this is a fact of life. That said, geo-cultural influences are everywhere, including the car design biz. Take my time at CCS: one of my classmates was a South Korean lawyer who wanted to style cars for Hyundai. His work was unique amongst all studio creations, reflecting a culture that’s borderline impossible to understand by the uninitiated. Which is damn near every college kid.
This person’s work reminded me how culture influences design, and how people can negatively react to it. Which leads us to a flagship Mercedes heavily(?) influenced by a Mercedes design studio in Japan. Yes, Japan. So let’s get to it. (Read More…)
Dutch classic car collector Frans van Haren paid $3.8 million for a 77 year old Mercedes 500K Spezial Roadster. The regrets came when he tried to sell the rare car of which only 58 were built. When the car was offered for sale at last year’s Techno Classica car show in Essen, Germany, the car was impounded. Van Haren can kiss the car good-bye. A German court ruled that the car goes back to the estate of its erstwhile German owner. (Read More…)
Confused in South Bend writes:
I am the owner of 2003 M-B C240 base, with the Bi-Xenon headlights. Recently, one of the headlights has developed an issue….in cold weather, it does not work.
Went to my German car specialist, who wasn’t so special on this issue. No problem, he said, replace the bulb. $160 later, still had the problem. OK, negotiated for him to give me a credit on the next fix.
Researched on the web, purchased a used Ballast. Mr. German car specialist looked at the part, scratched his head and said, “I don’t know what this part is.” Mercedes dealer says, spend about $900 for an entirely new headlight assembly.
I know that Mercedes engineers think money grows on trees….but $900 to fix a balky headlight? Come on… (Read More…)
In the market for an upscale Mercedes? Are you a reader of USA Today? In that case, stop talking to your travel agent. If you have already booked a ticket to Beijing, cancel it. USA Today fooled you. Most likely without malice. USA Today doesn’t know better.
Today, USA Today writes: (Read More…)