Mercedes Loses Stars: Meltdown After NCAP-Disaster
Badge engineering: Kangoo, Dokker, Citan
Condition red at Daimler: Germany’s influential auto club ADAC gave the Mercedes Citan only three out of five stars in the Euro-NCAP-Crashtest. The loss of stars means “a meltdown” for the starred brand, says Automobilwoche [sub], “after all, the vehicle is supposed to excel with supreme safety.”
The Mercedes Citan is based on the Renault Kangoo, and is the product of an alliance between Daimler and Renault. Daimler should have known better, says the ADAC: “The weak result is surprising due to the fact that the Renault Kangoo did not show convincing results during the crash test back in 2008.” The ADAC expected Mercedes to do better, after all, the Citan had been launched with a campaign that focused on safety and quality, Automobilwoche says.
The Citan, launched by Mercedes in late 2012, was its re-entry into the small city van segment, which Mercedes had not serviced for seven years. Before the devastating test, the Renault-made Citan turned Daimler into a target for derision. The Citan is not just a rebadged Kangoo, the same van is also available as the Dokker of Renault’s discount-brand Dacia. In the business, the rumor goes that the Citan actually improved the sales of the Kangoo and the Dokker. Smart shoppers take the cheaper brands, and enjoy the feeling that they drive a Mercedes without ;paying for it.
Citan actually improved the sales of the Kangoo and the Dokker. Smart shoppers take the cheaper brands, and enjoy the feeling that they drive a Mercedes without ;paying for it. Thats an interesting way to get played out.
I guess that lack of safety from having no airbags might have something to do with the Nano not selling.
Mercedes of all makers should know better than dilute their brand with un-German engineering. I bet this was something bean counters came up with, spotting a "hole" in the product lineup. That kind of car is too pedestrian for Mercedes' image anyway, are they trying to be Volkswagen just as Volkswagen is trying to be Mercedes?
It's a kneejerk reaction from the C-suite that never works. VW did the same thing here with the Routan. It's brand suicide. And the surprising part is in both times it's not like there was an overwhelming speed issue or something. They could have easily put out a design on a current platform but just chose not to. Penny wise and very pound foolish.