Industrial Trash Talk Between BMW and Mercedes

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
industrial trash talk between bmw and mercedes

Cooperation between automakers is a good way to cope with rising costs but, if we’re being honest, it’s much more exciting when they don’t get along. Think about some of your favorite automobiles. Odds are good that they have a counterpart from another manufacturer they’re supposed to be warring with — Mustang vs Camaro, WRX STI vs Lancer Evolution, Camry vs Accord, Gremlin vs Pinto.

The best rivalries are between manufacturers, as those provide ample opportunity for snide marketing. If we had our druthers, automakers would be forced to compete in biannual gladiator-style competitions that open with scored trash talk. But dreams rarely come true; automotive bloodsports probably require a few years of heavy planning, too.

Luckily, industrial-grade insults aren’t something we have to wait for. To our delight, Daimler AG and BMW Group were going at it on Halloween.

It started when BMW tagged Mercedes-Benz in a Twitter post that showed one of its sedans disguised as a Bimmer for the American holiday. “Now every car can dress up as its favorite superhero,” the Bavarian automaker teased.

Daimler fired back within minutes: “Nice one, @BMWUSA. That’s a really scary costume! Especially that radiator grille…”

With the two companies now partnered on a range of mobility projects, we imagine some punches had to be pulled. And yet this is the kind of marketing we’ve repeatedly said everyone wants — and the response to the putdowns support the claim. BMW’s initial insult garnered more attention (comments, retweets, likes) than anything the company has pushed to its Twitter page in months.

Granted, the exchange was little more than a clever way of saying “your brand stinks,” garnering the obligatory response of “no, your brand stinks.” But isn’t this the preamble to every professional wrestling match or governmental election? Besides, it’s fun, easy, and doesn’t require much in the way of critical thinking. You just side with whomever you already like, or had the best putdown, and move on with your day.

Now every car can dress up as its favorite superhero. @MercedesBenzUSA from

— BMW USA (@BMWUSA) October 31, 2019

[Image: BMW]

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2 of 5 comments
  • Garrett Garrett on Nov 01, 2019

    ...and then the Alfa Romeo Giulia said, “Do you want to see something really scary?” (hopefully not too obscure)

  • Sikiskengmailcom Sikiskengmailcom on Nov 20, 2019

    In terms of aesthetics the Mercedes design language looks garish and crude. Like a golden toilet seat. Incorrect use of negative space, lack of breathing room for focal elements, garish accents. BMW designs look organic, thought out and feature congruence. BMW (athlete in suit) design language is objectively more correct in terms of aesthetics. Merc simply says money can’t buy class.

  • JMII I know people behind me get POed when I refuse to turn (right or left) depending on traffic. Even my wife will scream "just go already" but I tend err on the side of waiting for a gap that gives me some cushion. It's the better safe then sorry approach which can be annoying for those behind. Oh well.
  • Bobbysirhan Next thing you know, EV drivers will be missing the freedom to travel on their own schedules instead of their cars'.
  • Cprescott I'm not surprised by this behavior - it is consistent with how owners of Honduhs, Toyoduhs, or Mazduhs drive. Without fail, these are the consistently obtuse drivers on the road.
  • MaintenanceCosts Timely question as this happened to me just this morning. The answer was "my kids were engaged in a stupid fight in the back seat." I was trying to drive and keep them from killing each other at once, and I cut off a pedestrian in a crosswalk while making a left turn. Thankfully I wasn't close enough to create serious danger, but it was a jerk driving move.
  • Dave M. "81 million supposedly". Landslide according to some statisticians.