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Old 11th August 2004, 12:47   #1
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Is Mercedes-Benz not confident of its own products?

If Mercedes-Benz does not have confidence in its own products, why should the end buyer?

Consider this. Everyone from Maruti to Mahindra, Ford to Honda, Tata to Hyundai - offer extended warranties on their products for a fraction of the purchase price. Standard warranties nowadays extend to 2 years, and the buyer has an option to further renew it for another one or two year duration. Honda offers a 4 year unlimited mileage bumper-to-bumper warranty on its Accord for Rs.9000 and some change. I myself have purchased a 2 year unlimited mileage warranty extension on my Vtec for Rs.89xx.

But Mercedes does not offer any extended warranties. Why is that? A Warranty indirectly shows the confidence that a car manufacturer has in its own products. Warranty repairs and free replacement of defective parts can be very expensive for a car company if the product does not match up to modern standards of reliability. Chevrolet had recently offered a 4 year unlimited mileage warranty on its Optra, and it would certainly not do so if it did not believe in the trouble free nature of its own product.

Quite simply, Mercedes does not offer extended warranties coz it knows that the current breed of cars will break its bank. Consider this - Just the warranty repairs conducted on my car would total about 1.75 lacs in bills had they happened outside coverage period. If Merc's were really built with the supreme quality which is so extensively communicated through its ads, Daimler Chrysler would probably offer a 4 year warranty at no additional cost...or even charge for it as is the industry norm. But with its quality rating at rank. 25 - way beyond even VW, Hyundai etc. - the company knows that it cant afford to. The cars will lead the company to bankruptcy.

Second, even a Maruti 800 will give you 3 free services. Why doesnt Mercedes-Benz offer ONE SINGLE free service in its cars which cost upwards of 25 lacs? Its very simple actually - BIG $$$. A routine first service which costs Rs.12000? Second service bill totaling at Rs.38000?

Outrageous...

GTO
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Old 11th August 2004, 13:37   #2
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You and me are sailing in the same sinking boat (the boat in context is our c-class) Wait till your car gets a bit older ,the problems start flowing in by the minute and when you think that there is a stupid small problem and u take it to the showroom...boy r u in for a suprise coz what u think is small is BIG for them.Bills flying through your roof top. I just cant wait to get rid of my C-class,just a few more days and the Jinxed-class will be out of my garage hopefully! Just hope i have a better experience with the E270 Cdi. Though i belive the E gives much lesser problems unlike the C,havent heard too many complaints when it comes to the E.
Oh btw one of my friends uncle in delhi who owns a fleet of cars, including the E,S and C has sued MBIL for giving him a defected C-class.Lets hope something comes out of this for all of us an mercedes india get on their feet from now on.
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Old 11th August 2004, 13:38   #3
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GTO, I suggest you edit this note and tag it with your note to DCIL.



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Old 11th August 2004, 14:01   #4
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Yes, the Indian Mercs do have a problem. A few months ago, i was reading about a long term C class reviewed by Overdrive, where they've mentioned "with photographs" that the front section of the inner side of the wheel arch got worn out over a period of time.

What seems to have happened is that every time the brakes were applied, the wheels would move ahead and scrub the inner front surface of the wheel arch, which lead to a big hole in both the front wheel arches. Amazing stuff.......

Regards...
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Old 11th August 2004, 14:11   #5
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Hey GTO,dont the MBIL give atleast one free service?.,
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Old 11th August 2004, 15:05   #6
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Lets begin this way so most people here who dont have much of a knowledge about owning a *mercedes get things clear. Mercedes-Benz currently does have a few problems which are mainly due to *Defective electronics, A problem they acknowledged recently. Details of that are below this post of mine.

Getting to the topic now, let me take this one by one :

1. Is Mercedes-Benz not confident of its own products?
Ans. They are as confident the defination of 'Confidence' is.

2. Why should the end buyer?
Ans. Because the buyer knows he is in the best hands possible.

3. Maruti, Mahindra etc. May give warranties and extended warranties but because they compete in a market where everything is Highly price sensitive and a lot of buyers compare cars in the deepest ways to save costs. But lets get one thing here, Mercedes-Benz claims 2 years warranty since 2002, but even if 6 years down the line you have some problem they WILL take care of it without a penny! The 2 years warranty claim of their's is only on paper but the kind of support you get from them even after 2 years is something no one else matches. Lets give you one example, I had a 210 E240 which was bought in March 2000, It's air conditioning system malfunctioned due to some error with the compressor in November 02' while the warranty had expired in March 01'. But still without any hesitation it was all replaced under something they call, "Goodwill warranty". *So even if they claim 2 years there is nothing to worry about in a Mercedes-Benz. And while we are at this point one should also remember the competetion in India is doing the same thing. BMW / Ferrari / Bentley / Porsche are all under 2 years warranty.

4. Services not being free, Well something again that others do not offer either. And they tell the buyers from the start that we have no free services so infact it's the other way round, buyers have so much confidence in Mercedes-Benz that even though they know they get only 2 years warranty and no free services they still gladly go and buy one. Not just an entry level C ..but E..S...SL...and even MAYBACH!

Buy a BMW and try living somewhere else outside Bombay and look at the service bills you will get, That will also include their transport charges etc. And if your car breaks down pay for the trailor charges till Bombay too.

Point is Mercedes-Benz is Confident and Committed to India in a level much higher then even probably Hyundai or Honda is. And *those who run small or large business houses etc. would know that at times everyone does go wrong and re-structructuring takes some time and Mercedes-Benz too has gone through a few problems but look at every new release from now starting from the new SLK / A / CLS / M / R / G / S(221) / CL .... and you will like mercedes and it's quality a little more then pre 98 too. Esp. Begenning from S (W221).

And here is the official article dated 3rd,August04' from Autoweek :

NEW YORK -- Longtime Mercedes-Benz chief Juergen Hubbert has launched an all-out quality drive as he prepares to hand over the keys to the company to Eckhard Cordes.

Mercedes quality has come under heavy criticism as the model range has proliferated. Hubbert, who presided over the explosion of offerings, aims to fix the problems before he bows out.

He says Mercedes will accept lower profits in exchange for better quality.

Cordes, 53, has spent the last four years fixing DaimlerChrysler's heavy-truck business. He will take over from Hubbert on Oct. 1. Hubbert, 65, will become chairman of DaimlerChrysler's Executive Automotive Committee before retiring in April.

But as a last hurrah, Hubbert is changing processes, auditing suppliers and even delaying new vehicles to iron out even small problems - especially in the United States.

"We have organized the company in a new way to make quality the top priority," says Hubbert.

He says Mercedes wants to be tops in the J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study by 2006. In the 2004 survey, Mercedes improved its ranking but still placed behind nine other brands, including Buick, Mercury and Hyundai.

Hubbert says DaimlerChrysler's management board has agreed to sacrifice some profitability to improve quality. "We have decided on technical changes, especially for the U.S.," Hubbert says. "The board has agreed to go that route."

He says Mercedes has increased the size of its test fleets and dispatched quality engineers to suppliers "from Tier 1 to Tier X to monitor and make sure we get better quality from our colleagues."

He says such moves put an "additional burden on the results."

Hubbert says the introduction of the face-lifted C class this year was delayed by four weeks. The new A-class small car due this fall in Europe has been delayed four weeks to make sure that "what goes into the customers' hands has top quality."

About 500 A-class units are being road tested, says Mercedes spokesman Johannes Reifenrath.

"We will do the same for the next vehicle launch, the CLS (four-door coupe)," he says.

Close attention is being paid to issues raised on the J.D. Power studies in the United States, Hubbert says.

For example, he says Mercedes will get more serious about poorly designed cupholders, problems with the trip computer and windshield wipers, and even brake dust.

"We will try to solve them by changing materials and components with a clear target to come back to No. 1 in the short term," he says. "I am absolutely sure they (buyers) will appreciate what we do."

Mercedes also is applying lessons it learned fixing various electronics glitches on the E class last year. Hubbert says Mercedes is working with electronics companies on solutions. A new electronics architecture has been developed for the new S class due next year that "will divide parts and not put it all together into a few computers."

According to a report by analyst Gary Lapidus of Goldman Sachs, "Mercedes management is now clearly focused on quality improvement, but it is unclear how long this process will take."

He says, "Our fear is that this program involves more postproduction inspection and rectification as well as process improvement throughout the system. This could prove to be a burden on results for a number of years as these improvements will only come via new-vehicle programs."

Insiders say DaimlerChrysler is counting on Cordes to cut costs at Mercedes-Benz. The commercial vehicles division eliminated 16,000 jobs and pressured the units to share more components.

Cordes has been a close ally of DaimlerChrysler Chairman Juergen Schrempp. He was a key negotiator for the acquisition of Chrysler Corp. and DaimlerChrysler's stake in Mitsubishi Motors Corp.

Andreas Renschler, 46, head of the Smart small-car division in Europe, will succeed Cordes at the Mercedes truck unit. Ulrich Walker, 52, former executive board member of Mitsubishi Motors Corp., will succeed Renschler at Smart.

As expected, former Chrysler group COO Wolfgang Bernhard left the company. Bernhard was ousted from the top Mercedes-Benz job days before he was due to replace Hubbert in May



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Old 11th August 2004, 15:05   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (Shan2nu @ Aug. 11 2004,12:31)]What seems to have happened is that every time the brakes were applied, the wheels would move ahead and scrub the inner front surface of the wheel arch, which lead to a big hole in both the front wheel arches. Amazing stuff....... *
Hey Shan2,

Im a bit confused
How could it be possible that the wheels move forward during braking!....if anything they would move back in relation to the wheel well.....
Or are you talking about the inner UPPER front part of the wheel well? which would come in contact with the tires if the car pitched a lot during braking....?

This is quite a strange problem..! is it common on C-classes? its the first ive heard of it.... do shed some more light on the specifics.

cya
R
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Old 11th August 2004, 15:25   #8
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well well well...if anything can bring back S350 to the forum, its gotto be a post on MB products!!!

Well, what he says is true, cars in the premium sector do not have to resort to selling tactics as they cater to a niche market where these are not really USP's. You don't see a Ferrari advertising its warranty do you? Simply because when someone does buy a product like this, he doesn't really think (much) about things like the warranty etc.

And, if what S350 says is true (about the good will) then MB buyers are luckier than the rest of us.

Now what pisses me off is a C+ seller like Skoda offering only a 1 year warranty and NO free services! Now that really sucks IMO.

Rt
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Old 11th August 2004, 15:46   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (rtech @ Aug. 11 2004,13:55)]well well well...if anything can bring back S350 to the forum, its gotto be a post on MB products!!!
Sooo the return of three pointed star trek!!
Nicely written stuff S350 *
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Old 11th August 2004, 16:16   #10
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welllcome back s350!!! welcome back!
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Old 11th August 2004, 18:40   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]Lets begin this way so most people here who dont have much of a knowledge about owning a *mercedes get things clear.
E-X-A-C-T-L-Y!! Thats what this topic intends to do i.e. let others know of the true ownership behind a Mercedes. I probably would not have gone in for the C Class and picked up the much better built and far simpler W124 E Class...If only someone had told me about the unreliability and 38 grand services of a New Mercedes. When I pay top dollar for a product, I expect top dollar performance, up-time and ownership experience.
Premium or not, 12000 for a first service is highway robbery. Autocarindia reported that their C 200 CDI cost almost 18000 to service the first time. And 38000 for the next service? Are you kidding me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]Maruti, Mahindra etc. May give warranties and extended warranties but because they compete in a market where everything is Highly price sensitive and a lot

of buyers compare cars in the deepest ways to save costs.
Let me remind you that its not only the 800 and Alto that we are talking about, but even the Rs. 18 lac Accord. And yes, they give you extended warranties too. Honda offers 4 years of unlimited mileage coverage on its accord!! Saving costs is not a priority only with low cost goods. "Running costs" are calculated whether a small office buys one printer, or Hewlett Packard is installing a multi-million dollar new facility to manufacture printers.

The bottomline is how sensible your investment is...however small or large it may be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ] But lets get one thing here, Mercedes-Benz claims 2 years warranty since 2002, but even if 6 years down the line you have some problem they WILL take care of it without a penny! The 2 years warranty claim of their's is only on paper but the kind of support you get from them even after 2 years is something no one else matches. Lets give you one example, I had a 210 E240 which was bought in March 2000, It's air conditioning system malfunctioned due to some error with the compressor in November 02' while the warranty had expired in March 01'. But still without any hesitation it was all replaced under something they call, "Goodwill warranty".
What you are talking about is known as "goodwill" warranty, and let me tell you that it has NO LEGAL WORTH! Bottomline, these warranty jobs are carried out at Mercedes' discretion and not every Mercedes out of warranty is repaired free of cost. If you have a doubt just go to a high volume service outlet and ask the manager. You are totally at their decision, and if they do not repair your car free of cost after the warranty expired...too bad. There is nothing you can do.

However, with an extended warranty, the manufacturer HAS to repair its product free of cost. It is legally liable for the quality of the product it has sold you. And Mercedes is scared of this very commitment

Goodwill warranties are also not restricted to Mercedes, but also each and every other car. I have had work done on my Esteem through Vitesse long after the warranty expired, and so have my friends on Santros, Balenos and Lancers. This is nothing restricted to mercedes. Heck, Hyundai even offered free facelifts to initial Elantra customers out of goodwill.

Competition is good, and the only reason that Mercedes does not offer free services is that they had no competition in their segment of the market. Try looking at markets where Mercedes does have competition in its segment and you will see that not only are free services offered, but also free total maintenance packages.

Why on earth does Mercedes offer the same in other countries? Isnt that a case of hypocrisy?

Its useless comparing Mercedes policies with BMW, Ferrari, Porsche and Bentley since they ARE NOT MANUFACTURERS in India. neither have the facilities out here nor are their volumes (proposed included) even close to that of Mercedes.Simply put, they are as yet importers whereas Mercedes is an established player in India.

Mercedes quality levels are languishing...and its not just the C Class. Even the M Class' were known disasters on wheels! The bosses in Germany know that there is something seriously wrong in the entire manufacturing process and one press release aint going to solve it.

According to your article, where were they in the 2004 JD? Behind Hyundai? and Mercury? These arent even Japanese brands but Korean and traditionally unreliable American brands. Also JD Quality places most emphasis on actual owners and their experiences, so it isnt some stupid statistical data churning these numbers out but actual owners who are not happy with their Mercedes'!!

Another very important factor is that, according to these surveys Mercedes is not reliable in the Initial Quality Study. Translated in the first three months of ownership. Can you imagine what the car will be like once it is 3 - 4 years old? Its going to be an absolute disaster. Take my own C Class...It has had almost 2 lacs worth of repairs in the first 18 months of ownership!! 2 lacs!! I think that even Sahil has had considerable work in his C Class, including some software glitches and an air-con job. If new Mercedes-Benz's need so many repairs in the first 18 months of ownership, what is to be expected after 3 years of ownership? For all you know...they will be falling apart. Literally!

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]Juergen Hubbert has launched an all-out quality drive as he prepares to hand over the keys to the company to Eckhard Cordes.

He says Mercedes will accept lower profits in exchange for better quality.

"We have organized the company in a new way to make quality the top priority," says Hubbert.
Just count the number of times the word "quality" appears in this article. What does that communicate? Just the fact that a top Mercedes Executive should come out and talk so openly about getting back Mercedes quality levels means that it is in absolute DOLDRUMS right now. And let me make one more thing clear...Quality is not something that can be injected into so many manufacturing processes and facilities overnight. Its takes years of hardwork and commitment, tons of planning and implementation, upgrading processes and equipment, training staff...an entirely new corporate culture.

Hubbert says that he will bring Mercedes to the top of JD Quality by 2006? I am going to be here, Team-BHP is going to be here and so are all of you in 2006. There is NO WAY that Mercedes is going to top the JD Quality by 2006. Mark my words.

GTO
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Old 11th August 2004, 19:01   #12
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Two comments

My honda services costs are a mere 20% more thanmy wife's 800 (no brake pad replacements so far!)
In the UK, BMW offer 3 years free servicing for 500 quid extra foxed cost (cost of a C class service in India)
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Old 11th August 2004, 22:39   #13
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I think Mercedes Benz is very lucky to have just 9 brands ahead of it in the US J. D. Power study. In the UK they're placed below the industry average. I got this CSI result from one of our earlier topics. Check it out.



Merc didn't do well in the 2003 Top Gear Survey either.
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Old 11th August 2004, 23:52   #14
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I dont know about how many of you have faced problems with the mercs, ofcourse they have been having problems, but they have been on a never ending increase in model lineup which is pulling them down in quality. I personally think they should concentrate on quality rather than increasing model lineup, but I have to say that I really havent had that much problem with the mercs, both the E and the S have been in excellent condition without any major expenses.

I will tell you one thing, it all depends on the drivers and how they maintain their cars, mercedes buyers are either too careless or too old to baby their cars even in the uS, and hence the root cause of the problems, I have 5 driver at home and my dad only trusts one to drive his S, why because he knows this guy will drive the car with utmost care and the others are careless. It has been proven many times, when my dad buys a new car generally his driver drives it for a long time before the others get to even sit in it, let alone drive it, once he has driven it for a while and hands over the keys to the other driver, within few months you start seeing problems...wich just shows that taking care of such cars helps in automatic quality control. These cars are high end luxury they are meant to be taken care off, not driven rough like *alot of drivers atleast in india do...

Anyhow..treat your car right and it will treat you right, but ofcourse exceptions are always there, may be the C is one..

Cheers



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Old 12th August 2004, 00:02   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]Im a bit confused
How could it be possible that the wheels move forward during braking!....if anything they would move back in relation to the wheel well.....
Or are you talking about the inner UPPER front part of the wheel well? which would come in contact with the tires if the car pitched a lot during braking....?
i know it sounds strange. tell you what, i'll see if i can find that article again and will give you all the details, with the year, month and page number.

Regards...
Shan2nu
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