Cheap price tag worth the inevitable high maintenance costs? - Mercedes CLA Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 06-03-2013, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Cheap price tag worth the inevitable high maintenance costs?

I've been excited about the CLA since hearing about it with its cheap price tag. But now I'm starting to think that I would save a lot more money if I just bought an Acura. German automakers are known to have expensive maintenance fees and if your car is having problems or needs fixing, it will hurt the bank hard. What do you guys think the maintenance and fixes will cost? Is it worth it in the long run when the cars needs to be sent to the mechanic more often?
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post #2 of 27 Old 06-03-2013, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by 4Matic View Post
I've been excited about the CLA since hearing about it with its cheap price tag. But now I'm starting to think that I would save a lot more money if I just bought an Acura. German automakers are known to have expensive maintenance fees and if your car is having problems or needs fixing, it will hurt the bank hard. What do you guys think the maintenance and fixes will cost? Is it worth it in the long run when the cars needs to be sent to the mechanic more often?
If cost of car ownership is a main concern, especially if you plan to keep the car for more than 5 year, then a German car is not what you want. But there are other many intangibles that make people buy what they buy. For most it is the tangible (measurable) reasons like total cost of ownership (price of the vehicle, maintenance and repair cost, fuel economy, insurance, etc.). For others it's the intangibles like prestige, bragging rights, personal preference, and other reasons that really can't be measured. I equate it to the printer industry. They make nothing on the printers themselves but they get you on the ink. Same with video games where they make no money on the consoles but charge you a bunch on the games. Maybe MB is not making any money on the car but expects to cash in on maintenance and repairs. Who knows. We'll see in a few years I guess.
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post #3 of 27 Old 06-04-2013, 10:14 AM
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lease it. All problems covered by warranty. maintenance will be a bit higher but it's not a deal breaker.

Yes the oil and filter cost more.
Yes the brakes are more expensive.

What else?
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post #4 of 27 Old 06-05-2013, 09:58 AM
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I'm planning to lease. Mercedes are a pain in the ass in costs when the miles rack up. I'm going to trade it in before it gets to that point.
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post #5 of 27 Old 06-06-2013, 01:26 PM
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If cost of car ownership is a main concern, especially if you plan to keep the car for more than 5 year, then a German car is not what you want. But there are other many intangibles that make people buy what they buy. For most it is the tangible (measurable) reasons like total cost of ownership (price of the vehicle, maintenance and repair cost, fuel economy, insurance, etc.). For others it's the intangibles like prestige, bragging rights, personal preference, and other reasons that really can't be measured. I equate it to the printer industry. They make nothing on the printers themselves but they get you on the ink. Same with video games where they make no money on the consoles but charge you a bunch on the games. Maybe MB is not making any money on the car but expects to cash in on maintenance and repairs. Who knows. We'll see in a few years I guess.
If Mercedes profits came from maintenance and repair fixes that would be a bad business plan. The most definitely profit from cost-profit margin on the sale of every car.
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post #6 of 27 Old 06-06-2013, 03:00 PM
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If Mercedes profits came from maintenance and repair fixes that would be a bad business plan. The most definitely profit from cost-profit margin on the sale of every car.
I know someone who's a MB mechanic at a local MB dealer and he said (I've also heard from othe credible sources) that they make more money from service and repair than from the sales of the vehicles themselves. That's true with other industries as well.
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post #7 of 27 Old 06-06-2013, 03:42 PM
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Of course. Dealerships do not make that much from sales. They make more from labor.

Mercedes corp themselves makes money on the cars and parts sold.
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post #8 of 27 Old 06-07-2013, 06:54 AM Thread Starter
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Of course. Dealerships do not make that much from sales. They make more from labor.

Mercedes corp themselves makes money on the cars and parts sold.
In this day and age, why can't we just order straight from automakers headquarters? Just go online, pick the engine type, trim, accessories and features you want. That way we don't have to deal with shady dealerships and their markups.
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post #9 of 27 Old 06-07-2013, 07:48 AM
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In this day and age, why can't we just order straight from automakers headquarters? Just go online, pick the engine type, trim, accessories and features you want. That way we don't have to deal with shady dealerships and their markups.
If you've been following the battle that Tesla is fighting with North Carolina and some other states you'll know why. The bottom line is many decades ago the automotive dealer lobbyists went to Washington and convinced congress to make it illegal for automotive manufacturers to sell directly to consumers. Their claim is in order to protect the consumers you need a network of dealerships to prepare, assist in the education and sale, and maintenance of the vehicles.

Tesla has a “store” in a mall near me where you can just walk in, talk to a representative, and order a car. They have 3 models in the store I went to where you can check out the vehicles and the custom order your car. It is a pretty impressive operation and has a totally different feel than a dealership. It was more like walking into an Apple store than a showroom. No high pressure and nosey salesmen, no sleezy “managers”, etc. It is an awesome experience compared to the traditional way of buying a car which is exactly why the car dealership lawyers want to stop it.

Last edited by Tonyride; 06-07-2013 at 07:50 AM.
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post #10 of 27 Old 06-07-2013, 09:28 AM
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It's not a bad idea to be able to order directly but you still need to go and see and test drive the car in person.

Plus some buyers aren't as informed and need the salespersons to fill them on on packages and features.

But if I had an option to buy online knowing I'm not getting a deal anyways I wouldn't mind.

Online configurators should actually be built into dealerships when you buy a car.

I've found some salespersons do not fully go over the packages and options with buyers because they do not want to waste time and overcomplicate things.

I usually build my car on the online configurator first so I know what I want before heading to a dealer. Not everyone knows how to do this though.

I have a Tesla store near me too. They have the configurators built into iPads that are mounted on pedestals so you can build your Tesla and see what it looks like. There are also interactive demos to show off features and packages.

Very cool.
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