Is Mercedes Benz Desperate?

When luxury car makers like Mercedes Benz start offering 0% financing deals for 72 months on 2008 cars, you know that the auto industry in America is well and truly screwed.

Our local newspaper today has a Mercedes Benz advertisement for 0% financing for 72 months on the E-Class 2008 models. Yes, they are for new cars.

Mercedes Benz E-Class 350

Why are they offering 0% deals on Mercedes Benz cars? Simple answer – the cars are not selling. At least, not in enough numbers.

So the dealer and/or Daimler Benz has to add sweeteners to get customers to buy these high-priced, status symbol cars and get the cars off the dealer’s lot.

0% Deals on Used Mercedes Benz Cars Too

The same Mercedes Benz dealership also has a 0% financing ad for 36 months on the C-class pre-owned (as in second hand or used) Mercedes Benz cars.

Of course, Mercedes Benz cars no longer have the same cachet they once did. For its price, the workmanship of Mercedes Benz cars is shoddy and the service lacking.

For instance, in the recent J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Initial Quality StudySM (IQS), Mercedes Benz had 104 defects per 100 vehicles the same as Toyota and behind Porsche (87 defects), Infiniti (98 defects) and Lexus (99 defects).

The industry average was 118 defects per 100 vehicles.

Mercedes Benz is not the only car maker in the U.S. to offer 0% financing deals. You can get 0% financing deals on Honda, GM and Ford cars as well.

What do we think?

We feel a robust public transportation network is the answer to the high gas prices and the negative environmental impact of millions of cars belching harmful fumes into the atmosphere. But ours is a cry in the wilderness.

Except in some cities like New York and Chicago, public transportation in the U.S. is virtually non-existent.

Public transportation in India, however inadequate, is a gazillion times better.

3 Responses to "Is Mercedes Benz Desperate?"

  1. gandhiji   July 25, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    Although it is not related to the topic above, i thought this is a very useful topic the indians in the US.. because everyone wants to buy a nice car once he sees them.

    The desis are probably more diabolical than the car dealers.. but the new-comer desis could use some tips on how deal with the car dealers in the US.

    i have been shopping for a honday odyssey.. it has been relatively easy for me.. Go to, get quotes from 20 dealers from around the place and pit them against each other. But it won’t be that simple for used cars. When looking for used, I didn’t see any major difference between a 1 or 2 year old Honda.. but for Chrysler, the difference was massive.. so if we are planning to go the used route, it is better to go the Chrysler route, I think. On the other forums, there is a lot of nationalism involved.. but desis won’t be as biased when dealing with cars as opposed to dealing with the Rajini-Kamal or Amitabh-SRK debate..

    have been spending sleepless nights looking for a good deal.. spending more time on and than or boxofficemojo or cricinfo. i don’t have blog of my own, so i thought i will unload my thoughts here. (you don’t have to publish it) Responds:

    You write above: The desis are probably more diabolical than the car dealers.. but the new-comer desis could use some tips on how deal with the car dealers in the US.

    Our desis are more diabolical than even Satan.

    Speaking of cars & SUVs, we’ve been tempted by the Honda Pilot.

    Could you please elaborate on the Chrysler point you alluded to above?

  2. gandhiji   July 25, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    If you are asking why I think Used Chrysler is better than Used Honda..

    Chrysler Touring New: $29,570 $27,152 $27,527 (MSRP, Invoice, Average Selling Price)
    Chrysler Used (2006) Touring (Excellent Condition and 24000 miles): $13,819 $15,523 $16,853 (Trade-in, Private Party, Retail)

    Honda Ody Ex New: $29,630 $26,899 $25,456
    Honda Ody Ex Used (2006) (Excellent with 24000 miles): Total $19,634 $21,531 $23,028

    That’s a pretty nasty dive for Chrysler.. If you want a Ody, why don’t we just put in 2000$ extra and get a new one instead of old.

    If you are asking about the “nationalism” point.. there are some people claiming japanese cars are better and others claiming american cars are equally good and japanese cars are junk.. some others claiming their chrysler has been running for 150k miles without issues and websites declaring chrysler as an excellent minivan.. I am just blabbering (or “blithering” as you would fondly say).. I need to get a car soon to get out of this mess.

    regarding pilot, it has more chance of rolling over than an odyssey and also gives less mpg.. that’s all that matters to me 🙂 Responds:


    After driving about 200,000 miles and encountering all possible situations on the road, we’re not too keen on automobiles. But unlike Europe, public transportation in the U.S. is so hopeless that one really has no choice here.

    Sometimes, we think India has far better public transportation. If the U.S. had paid attention to public transportation, we wouldn’t have the present $4+ gas crisis.

  3. gandhiji   July 26, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    India’s situation has worsened because of the IT boom..

    Were you aware of this.. Responds:

    Public transportation is the only solution. But ours is a cry in the wilderness.

    After gorging on SUVs and other big vehicles (like pickups) for decades, the West is no position to tell other countries anything. So far, the cars we’ve used have been small vehicles although we’ve been tempted by different big vehicles at different times (Lincoln Navigator was once our dream vehicle, then it was the Nissan Pathmark and then Honda Pilot). But each time we’ve managed to resist temptation.

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