By Jimmy Jones, Contributor, US Daily Review.
The truth is in the brand
Let’s travel back in time twenty years. A time when Mercedes Benz was the name you associated with high-end luxury and well made vehicles. It was a time when you knew that this car would be passed down to your kid for their first vehicle without a question of miles on the odometer. If you really have a hard time imagining this, watch this fun video (10 minutes). I’ll set it up for you. This is a British television show called Fifth Gear specializing in car reviews. Vickie, one of the presenters of the show, puts an old Mercedes through a battery of tests to prove its quality. A warning: if you hate seeing perfect cars destroyed, skip this video. However I promise it is well worth your time.
Unfortunately, we know today’s cars are certainly not made like they used to be. And yet we still prefer truth in our vehicles. This would explain the reason Hyundai and Kia are surging in the car market, and the high end brands that we bought for longevity sake twenty years ago, are falling very far behind. The lux brands are selling their product on the reputation they had twenty years ago! We buy them because of a memory, contrary to the Consumer Reports facts or the local car dealer stats. These cars are expensive and require very meticulous maintenance to keep going, while the Fords, Chevrolets and Hyundais of the world keep on plugging away.
Another reason consumers are going for the lesser brands today? Warranty. Hyundai knows that its car is not a Mercedes. Hyundai knows people are aware of this about its product. But what they have done is given us an incentive, for free, that not many car companies will do: A 100,000 mile warranty. Think about that. You know that car isn’t the nicest car on the road. But you’ll buy it because the truth is in the warranty. Hyundai is saying, we aren’t them, but we can beat them.
To give Mercedes and the like a break they are, as a company, desperately trying to regain their market share. I applaud them for that, and yes I would still buy a Mercedes because I am a fan of its product. Oddly to me — and many others — the upkeep of a Mercedes is worth the reward in engineering that the Korean companies have yet to capture. It is hard to describe the snick, snick of the gear leaver or the thump the door makes or the weight of the steering that a good Mercedes makes.
So maybe the truth is despite all of the truth, it is still the consumer that shells out the money and gets — as the old adage goes — exactly what he pays for.
I just want my Mercedes to be more like a Hyundai that’s all.