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Old 21st September 2009, 23:30   #1
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Default A Mercedes SUV. Does it not sound right?

Well known fact that Indians love the Mercedes brand. Probably the most recognized and respected luxury brand as far as the aam aadmi is concerned.

Its also well known that Indians love SUVs. Maybe because of our bad roads, maybe because it gives them a sense of superiority sitting up high,
from Landcruisers to Pajeros to Cayennes... celebs and business magnates love luxury SUV.

Why is it then the Mercedes makes an SUV, the excitement level and the acceptance for the product is zero to lukewarm at best.
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Old 21st September 2009, 23:40   #2
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Maybe because Merc has a luxury image and SUVs need a rugged image?
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Old 21st September 2009, 23:47   #3
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are you talking about the response in india? i think urban india now accepts that mercedes is not the only luxury brand. also for suvs, there are so many better options now that not many get the ml.
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Old 22nd September 2009, 00:00   #4
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It lacks the wow* effect. Take one look at the flamboyant q7 or the sporty x5 or cayenne and you'll know what I mean.

Frankly the ml is bland - like the xc90 and that's basically why they don't do too well.
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Old 22nd September 2009, 00:06   #5
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Surprisingly, I've been seeing a lot of ML's around. Not the silly old ones. But yeah, I think first the Cayenne and then the Q7 have dominated the luxury SUV segment, especially since most film personalities have gone and picked up either of those. The Rangie is too pricey IMO, when you can land a nicely loaded Q7 for about 70 (ain't that correct?)

I'd like to add though, the ones that are Merc loyalists will continue to buy nothing else. A client has been through two S-Classes, both problematic, and has still replaced them with a GL today.

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Old 22nd September 2009, 01:29   #6
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the problem with the ML is that it does everything well...but nothing outstandingly good[even in the looks department]. For the same money I would much rather buy a Range Rover or the LR3/4.
The ML just doesnt have the 'im king of the road" that the LRs or the Audi Qs have. IMO though, the cayenne is just plain UGLY, doesnt stop it from selling like hot cakes in dubai though!
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Old 22nd September 2009, 05:58   #7
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Umm a friend also quipps that maybe its because the G series (dont recall?) is (in his words) a car that looks like an SUV. Before junta jumps - that's a man whose put a landcruiser through its paces in africa none less, and that his dad had to return a newly bought Merc "SUV" within a week and <1000km. And we're talking back of beyonds like Mozambique, Zimbabwe and the like!
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Old 22nd September 2009, 06:26   #8
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The ML is not really an exciting car to drive.Nor that exciting to look at.At that level you have hoardes of suv's eying for your attention.Further in India, Mercedes is a more sedan dominant brand.When people talk of SUv's they know of pajeros/prados Now the q7 and the cayenne or for that matter the lancruiser and the rangie.So i guess mercedes should be happy with selling a alot of c/e/s class.Although i must add the G class wagon is a superb offroader from mercedes. Now comes with a brabus engine.
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Old 22nd September 2009, 09:58   #9
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1: Current M Class is the oldest design of the X5/ Q&

2: Mercedes got the pricing wrong - X7/Q7 undercut it in the VFM game. The Cayenne and the RR beat it for image

In terms of soft roader/ off roader ability it sits between the X5 and the RR.

It is a shame as it is a competent vehicle for India in terms of ride comfort, reasonable handling and fairly durable
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Old 22nd September 2009, 12:04   #10
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IMHO, the problem with the current ML is its history. The W163 that preceded the current W164 failed miserably to meet the expectations of those who bought it. Poor quality (for a Merc), poor refinement, all worked against it. It was neither good on road nor off it. The 270 Diesels were also real pain. Compared with the 100 series Land Cruisers available at similar prices, they were a poor choice, since back then, it was bought mostly by people who owned Mercedes vehicles, and the expectations were high. Would you believe it, I was told by a senior Merc sales guy some years back not to go for an ML- such a slip from a senior person in an organisation like Mercedes (dealer) talk volumes about how poor the product was.

Now people are scared about ML's, and the 65 Lac price-band now has many, many choices (Q7, X5, Cayenne, etc.). An ML320CDI is available at 65L ex- showroom, almost similar to a loaded X5 Highline, and the BMW has more bells and whistles, whereas a base X5 Diesel, comparably equipped to an ML, goes for 55L. But I hear the current W164's are quite competent vehicles in their own. It's just that competition has caught up.
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Old 22nd September 2009, 14:16   #11
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Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
Why is it then the Mercedes makes an SUV, the excitement level and the acceptance for the product is zero to lukewarm at best.
I think you need to visit Ludhiana then. You will see many of M-Class around.(Ludhiana has Max. no. of Mercs. than any other city and remember when they launched Facelifted M-Class, they did so in Ludhiana itself).
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Old 22nd September 2009, 16:06   #12
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what about the G wagon then?
i find it to be the one of the most macho SUV's around !
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Old 22nd September 2009, 17:26   #13
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For the simple reason that they are not appealing enough in comparison to BMW,Porsche,Audi SUVs.

Also, the journey for a premium car buyer in most cases begins with the accord goes to a mercedes C or E class and then over to SUV's or super premium sedan. Most Indians are clear that they want to join the premium german bangwagon with a Merc, thats the power of the 3 pointer star ! Once they are ready to replace it with a premium SUV they have opened their mind to other brands and would rather experiment with them. And with the reliability issues that mercs have faced most people are glad not to buy one again.
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Old 22nd September 2009, 17:45   #14
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Its all about what you look for in an SUV. Some look for Off-road capability, Some sportiness, and some want an easy drivable SUV.

I can guarantee you - 'It is the most comfortable & easy to drive luxury SUV around'. Ride comfort and safety too is top class.

Sure, there are sportier, meaner, more capable off-road SUVs but none bypass it in terms of ride and comfort.

The S-class influences and Drive by Wire 7-Speed Auto are all bonuses.
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Old 22nd September 2009, 20:02   #15
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Couple of reasons why the Mercs didn't make the cut in the SUV segment:

1. Poorly handled & marketed. Was treated just as another CBU import.

2. The Q7 (especially), Cayenne and X5 pack more appeal! Q7 had bollywood to make it famous, the Cayenne is...well...a Porsche and the X5 had BMW's aggressive marketing & positioning. There's a reason why the X5 / X3 sold 50 units in the last month compared to only single digits for the M Class.

3. The M Class is a li'l too staid & dull. Also, the market is probably aware of the lousy first gen M Class?
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