February 16, 2006

On The Bright Side, At Least He Didn't Call It A Minivan

DT reader Mark [aka Island Dad, and, it should be noted, a BMW driver] gleefully points to a report about dismal Mercedes R-Class sales from the always-opinionated, never-shy industry veteran Peter DeLorenzo's site, AutoExtremist.com. According to AE, the country club-ready whips are selling at about 60% of projected levels, and Mercedes is rolling out deeply incentivized leases to get the luxurious land yachts moving.

As if that weren't enough bad news, DeLorenzo sees [and I can't say I really agree, but hey] the R-class mis-step as yet another sign of Mercedes' arrogant decline. Oh, and besides that, the things are "overblown, overwrought, overweight crossovers." Hey, did you hear that? They're crossovers!

On The Table #334, Feb 15, 2006
[autoextremist.com, scroll down down down]

Previous R-Class antics on DT [warning: Mick Jagger alert]


Im gleeful only* because I might be able to afford one now. After reading the article, I immediately went to build your own at mbusa.com only to discover that heavily incentivized isnt incentivized enough for my wallet. Whats more than heavily? Extremely? Radically? FYI, MB is offering $5k and low interest loans in addition to the lease (at least they are in the Seattle market).

*This excludes from consideration any glee related to my belief that BMW is better in every way an opinion unfettered by any MB ownership experience.

This car is a joke. Mercedes is becoming a joke. I miss the Mercedes I grew up with--built like a tank. Manual locks/windows and vinyl seats. Nothing broke. Mercedes has become a tech company run by finance guys vs an engineering company run by engineers.

It walks like a minivan and quacks like a minivan. A $50,000 minivan. Fifty thousand dollars!

Not that there's anything wrong with a minivan. You've procreated. The single guys driving G35 Coupes don't even know whether their sperm works or not.

And you have to laugh at the people running to the SUV for testosterone points. The Suburban is at least as much of a mommymobile around here as an Odyssey.

But so many women DO want testosterone points. They have a lot of money, and despite the fact that noone's really fooled, they won't be seen in a minivan.

If you're being honest with yourself and want a people-carrier you're just going to buy a Sienna or Odyssey or Grand Caravan and keep the $20,000 extra it would take to get the Mercedes.

At more than 30 grand the Suburban is the competition for the R-class and, unfortunately for Mercedes, a fat, dolled-up minivan can't compete when a rich mom's manhood is at stake.

[dude, try $80,000. That was the sticker on the R500 I tested. -ed.]

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