Wednesday December 7th, 2011 08:00 German Car Manufacturers – In a League of Their Own

There are a number of countries that have a prominent motor manufacturer market but few are able to compete with Germany. The cars that Germany produces are second to none, and they compete fiercely with each other for very similar markets. They don’t just compete in Germany either, as they have thriving demand throughout the rest of mainland Europe, the UK and the US too.

As the economies of India and China also develop there is an increase in demand for luxury cars where the Germans are also sitting comfortably at number one. The Americans have tried their hands at luxury cars such as Cadillac, but they have never hit the mark of quality and driving experience on the same level as their German counterparts.

The French have got a strong market share in the more affordable car sector with brands such as Peugeot, Renault and Citroen competing for affordable small, mid-sized and family cars across Europe. Citroen leasing offers remain some of the most popular in the industry. The Japanese market is also strong with brands like Toyota, Honda, Mazda and Nissan all holding their own, targeting the Asian markets and mid-priced industries with their well-built and reliable cars. When it comes to luxury and premium marques however, it always falls back to Germany. They have 5 major brands that compete in similar markets and make some of the most desirable cars on sale today. Here they are:

BMW– One of the most recognised car manufacturers in the world. BMW make a range of premium executive saloons, 4x4s, and sports cars with great avail. They brand their cars as the ultimate driving machine as they only allow the power to be delivered through the rear wheels. The balance of their vehicles is always spot on, and they have a huge following all around the world.

Audi – Audi make a number of cars in the same category as BMW and although have a smaller market share, they are constantly growing. With the success of their Quattro rally car, they have built a reputation for attractive and well-handing models that have been inspired by this heritage. The R8 supercar has further increased their profile.

Mercedes-Benz – One of the world’s most powerful and recognised brands. There is a huge range of Mercedes models on the market, and they range from small, to executive and luxurious. They also produce a number of fast and powerful cars with their AMG tuning division and McLaren partnership. The recent retro-modern adaptation of the classic SLS has reminded us what Mercedes are capable of.

Volkswagen – VW are slightly more affordable than BMW, Mercedes and Audi, but are parallel in terms of respect and quality. The ‘car for the people’ brand image has created some highly desirable family cars and their success with the Golf GTi throughout the years has brought them much acclaim.

Porsche – The legendary cars created by Porsche have gone down as some of the greatest sports cars in history. Although not as big as their German brothers, the desirability of their models and strength of their brand has led them to become one of the most profitable car manufacturers in the world. Their racing heritage has even inspired ranges of clothes, luxury watches and baggage.

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Thursday October 20th, 2011 21:55 Mercedes to Release A-Class Cabriolet Convertible

 

It has been announced that Mercedes will be releasing a convertible version of the A-Class. Although there is no date set for the release of the car, it will follow on from the release of both the three and five-door variants of the A-Class. With that in mind, expect to see the A-Class at some time next year.

It is hoped that the release of the A-Class convertible will enable Mercedes to beat off competition from its rivals to claim the number one spot in terms of sales for premium car manufacturers.

Mercedes CEO Dr Dieter Zetsche, speaking at the launch of the B-Class, announced that there would be five new compact cars in production in the near future. Joining the A-Class Cabriolet will be the B-Class, the A-Class hatchback, an SUV and a four-door coupe.

It is far too early for any performance statistics regarding the new A-Class convertible, but we do know that it will use a front-wheel-drive platform that improves handling and smoothness of drive with a multi-link rear suspension. The suspicion at the moment is that the convertible will be fitted with a lighter and more cost-effective fabric roof. In terms of look, it is expected to take inspiration from the Mercedes-Benz Concept A-Class as pictured above.

Mercedes fans should also be enthused by the news that there will also be a four-wheel-drive AMG in the A-Class range. Expected to be released in 2014, the AMG version will be equipped with a 2.0-litre twin-turbo engine capable of producing in the region of 350bhp. With the release of these cars in the next few years, it is sure to be an exciting time for Mercedes enthusiasts everywhere.

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Friday August 26th, 2011 12:12 Why Buy a Used Mercedes?

Think of luxury in the world of vehicles, and the name that immediately springs to mind is Mercedes. Since they produced their first vehicle in 1901, Mercedes have prided themselves on creating high quality, luxurious cars that will last a lifetime. All of Mercedes’ cars are equipped with a rigorously tested engine, a custom steering system and unparalleled build quality. Each of these combine to make the Mercedes driving experience smooth, safe and silent, even at high speeds.

Because Mercedes vehicles offer the ultimate in quality, buying a new one can be hugely expensive. But, because of their high construction quality, a Mercedes is a car the can last a lifetime. This makes used Mercedes a great investment. You can experience the same smooth, pleasurable drive as you can in a new Mercedes, but at a fraction of the cost.

The majority of new cars have a tendency to devalue as soon as you drive them off the showroom forecourt. Because of their classic comfort, reliable drive and timeless style, Mercedes vehicles retain their value much better than other brands of vehicles. Generally, they devalue for a few years after their production, then levels off. This means that, if you buy a Mercedes that is a few years old, you will make a considerable saving on the cost of a new vehicle, yet its value should remain the same for many years.

Many new vehicles, even those as reliable as Mercedes, can have problems. Certain factory defects can result in entire ranges having to be recalled. When you buy a used Mercedes, you will be able to see the full service history of the vehicle, allowing you to be informed about any problems or repairs the vehicle may have had, and prepare yourself for any maintenance they may need to be performed. You can also talk to the dealer or previous owner about the reliability and running costs of the vehicle.

The current Mercedes range consists of 15 different passenger vehicles. However, throughout their history, Mercedes have produced dozens of different models. When you opt for a used Mercedes, you’ll have the choice of every model they have ever produced. Whether you would prefer a car with classic styling, or a model that is no longer in production, a used Mercedes dealer will be able to find it for you.

Whether you want your car to be a luxury status symbol or a comfortable family run-around, a Mercedes is an excellent choice. By opting to buy a used Mercedes, you can get the car of your dreams at a bargain price.

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Saturday June 11th, 2011 00:23 Mercedes Unveils New M-Class SUV

 

Yesterday, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the new M-Class SUV. Stylistically reminiscent of Mercedes’ saloon line-up, the new luxury 4X4 looks all set to provide a strong challenge to Range Rover in the SUV market. Featuring permanent all-wheel drive, as well as innovative driving dynamics systems and new chassis developments, the M-Class is expected to go on sale in April 2012.

Speaking at the unveiling of the new off-roader, Dr Thomas Weber, a member of Mercedes’ management board, said: “The M-Class embodies all the automotive experience that we have accumulated over 125 years and thus represents – in short – a quantum leap in terms of efficiency, safety, agility and design!”

With fuel consumption reduced by an impressive 25% from its predecessor, the M-Class is set to be the German carmaker’s most efficient off-roader yet. Mercedes will produce gas and diesel versions of the M-Class, these being the ML350 4Matic and the more environmentally friendly ML350 BlueTec. The BlueTec features a reworked 240-horsepower, 3.0-litre V6 engine, and comfortably meets EU6 emissions standards. With increased power and torque, the M-Class will comfortably be able to go from 0-62mph in under 10 seconds.

By making the new M-Class longer, wider and lower than its predecessor, Mercedes have ensured that the interior of the five-seater cabin is also roomier than previous models. The range of wood and leather finishes on offer should help to further enhance the feeling of luxury in the car’s interior.

Drivers looking to take the SUV off-road should be pleased by the fact that the M-Class features a comprehensive off-road programme as part of its standard equipment. This programme includes an off-road button that activates a special off-road transmission mode. A new ‘active curve system’ will also help to ensure that the body of the M-Class remains under tight control when it is cornering.

Although Mercedes has not yet confirmed prices for the M-Class, expect the luxury off-roader to be a popular choice for 4X4 enthusiasts upon its release in April 2012.

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Friday June 3rd, 2011 14:51 Mercedes Unveils Soft-top SLS AMG Roadster

 

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled its new SLS AMG Roadster – the soft-top version of the SLS AMG supercar. To compensate for the introduction of the soft-top roof, Mercedes has given the Roadster conventionally hinged doors instead of the upward-opening gullwing doors of the supercar.

Removing the roof meant that Mercedes engineers had to stiffen the aluminium chassis and body, and they did this by fitting extra bracing on the sills and a-pillars, as well as behind the dashboard and seats. Despite all this reinforcement, the SLS AMG Roadster weighs only 40 more kilos than the coupé.

You may think that this additional weight would have an adverse effect on the performance of the SLS, but this does not appear to be the case. Powered by the same 6.2-litre V8 engine as the coupé, the Roadster winds out 563bhp at 6800rpm, and is capable of going from 0-62mph in just 3.8 seconds and reaching a top speed of 197mph. Both these statistics match those of the coupé.

The new three-layered fabric roof is made of aluminium, lightweight magnesium and steel, and has a flush-mounted glass rear window. It can be operated at speeds of up to 30mph and takes 11 seconds to either open or close. Impressively, the roof only takes up 3 litre’s of the 176-litre boot space.

The interior of the new SLS has been given an Espresso Brown finish, while buyers will have the option of Mercedes’ Airscarf system. This system blows hot air on to the necks of occupants.

Although there is no official UK price tag for the SLS AMG Roadster as of yet, it is expected to cost buyers in the region of £170,000 when it goes on sale here in November. Those looking for a closer look at the new Mercedes soft-top will need to wait until the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, where the Roadster will make its official debut.

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