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Its not pretty, he knows the game and sees where its heading...

forgettable exercise in rote sausage making that will leave the senses cold and dark, to be more specific. Walking, I mean stumbling, through the displays at BMW and Mercedes-Benz was a frightening trip through a minefield of niche marketing that has gone so far off course that I don’t even know where to begin. These two car companies are parsing niche upon niche with the absolute conviction that it will somehow lead them to The Promised Land of Automotive Divinity, when in reality it will lead them both down the primrose path to image annihilation. As I mentioned early on, the Mercedes imperative to become a youthful brand has become excruciatingly embarrassing, having taken on all the gravitas of yet another Justin Bieber-acting-like-an-idiot story. And what about the Big Plan to have the CLA set the table for the new C-Class? How’s that working out? Especially when the two of them together were so resolutely uninspiring that it was simply shocking. And the new C-Class? It’s as dull as it gets.
maybe he just hasn't driven one yet.. ;)

read the rest A kaleidoscope of the pretty good, the really bad and the just plain ugly. Plus a special Bunny Rabbit Express to Nowhere thrown in for good measure. Welcome to The Land of Overpromise and Underdeliver, otherwise known as the 2014 Detroit AutoÂ*Show.
 

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That’s just one man’s opinion driven by his desperate attempt to be controversial and witty by using corny topical analogies and trying to make his website relevant. In his perfect world MB and BMW shouldn’t cater to the masses by selling as many cars as they can. I mean what do they think they are, a for profit business enterprise with stock holders to answer to? Opinions are just that, opinions. Not fact.
 
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That’s just one man’s opinion driven by his desperate attempt to be controversial and witty by using corny topical analogies and trying to make his website relevant. In his perfect world MB and BMW shouldn’t cater to the masses by selling as many cars as they can. I mean what do they think they are, a for profit business enterprise with stock holders to answer to? Opinions are just that, opinions. Not fact.


Well said Tony.
 

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As a pro writer myself, it's clear what this guy's schtick is: crap on everything from his pristine 10,000 foot view of The Way Things Should Be According To Me. But snark is not a rare commodity on the Internet, especially not in one-guy blogs that need controversy to sell.

He may indeed believe that "…the Mercedes imperative to become a youthful brand has become excruciatingly embarrassing," but it appears to be an imperative that is working for MB (hey buddy, did you notice those fall sales figures where MB pulled ahead of BMW in the luxury market, with US year-over-year sales increases of 14%? Yeah, sounds like a crushing defeat for MB to me. I feel for those poor embarrassed German bastards, forced to sit on their piles of money and sob). And those strong sales figures were driven by a hugely successful launch of the CLA and a buttload of sales of the bread-and-butter C-class.

Just from reading his one blog post on the Detroit show, I can safely conclude that he's not worth reading again. He craps on just about everything, including all of the Korean car makers, who have made incredible strides in the US market in the past few years, strides this guy has apparently managed to entirely ignore. Instead, he whines about the grille on the 2015 Genesis sedan, entirely missing the fact that it's going to sell like crazy to people who would really like to buy a C-class, but don't have the bucks or the willingness to spend the extra $10 to $15K MB will charge to equip the C up to the same level the Genesis will come with as standard equipment. Sure, it's a Hyundai and not a Benz, but Hyundai is doing a smart thing by nameplating it as a Genesis, not as a Hyundai. Value oriented buyers will snap these suckers up, in my opinion.
 

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do you guys know anything about Peter De Lorenzo? Hes laid down decades in automotive advertising, he does know a thing or two about branding, but i guess if hes not parroting the prepubescent jalopnik or the venerable autoblog he must be a fool...

@tnegrino notice how he didn't say a thing about sales numbers, he said IMAGE. Also don't you forget that although MB sales may be up some 14% their margins per sale have shrunk to 7.3% while BMW runs ~12% and Audidoes ~13%. Plus outside of the US Mercedes does not sell as many cars as the other two.

So less cars, less margin..

Yea sounds like a beautiful business model to me ;)

and you know the more low cost cars that come online from MB (GLA) are only going to push the operating margin lower.
 

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I've read a number of articles from this guy on Auto Extremist and it's all the same crap, seems like he has this sort of opinion on everything. Im sure he's doing it to get people fired up and talking about what he says.
 

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do you guys know anything about Peter De Lorenzo? Hes laid down decades in automotive advertising, he does know a thing or two about branding, but i guess if hes not parroting the prepubescent jalopnik or the venerable autoblog he must be a fool...

@tnegrino notice how he didn't say a thing about sales numbers, he said IMAGE. Also don't you forget that although MB sales may be up some 14% their margins per sale have shrunk to 7.3% while BMW runs ~12% and Audidoes ~13%. Plus outside of the US Mercedes does not sell as many cars as the other two.

So less cars, less margin..

Yea sounds like a beautiful business model to me ;)
If all we want to talk about is image, with the CLA (and soon with the GLA), MB is clearly choosing to change their traditional "A Mercedes-Benz is the luxury car for (mostly) old rich people" image to "A Mercedes-Benz is the luxury car for anyone who has arrived." An intentional image change like that is based on the idea that they want to move out of their niche status to grab more overall market share. Much of the US press has been aghast at these cheaper Mercedes, using the false reasoning that "cheaper" must mean "worse." Yet here we are on the CLA Forum, obviously convinced that reasoning is indeed false. I don't have my car yet, but I'm not buying it thinking "Gee, this CLA is a crappy Benz but I'll spend that kind of cash on it anyway for no good reason but the badge."

As to the operating margin, MB is clearly in a production expansion phase, which always drives down margins in the short term, while the investment in new plants is taking place (expansion of the Hungary, China, and Alabama plants). Also related to margin is expansion to emerging markets, especially China (note the expanded back seat room in the 2015 C-class, a feature attributed widely as a nod to the Chinese market). MB clearly thinks of the US as an emerging market for the CLA and GLA. Whether they destroy their image in the process, only time will tell. But De Lorenzo sees that as already a fait accompli, which as those lawyers say, "asserts facts not in evidence."
 
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