Help from E-Class owners!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by nlau1, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. nlau1

    nlau1 New Member

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    Hello everybody,

    My name is Niki Lau and I'm a 4th year Transportation Design student from Northumbria University in Newcastle.

    I am currently carrying out research for my final major project in which I need the views and opinions of Mercedes E-Class owners. My project is to design a new Lancia flagship to compete with the likes of the Mercedes E-Class.

    This will initially involve questionnaires and just general questions about you and your car. This information will be collated to create a Mercedes Benz E-Class owner profile. Then, later on in my project, it would be great if I could set up focus groups for my design proposals where you would be invited to the university to give your opinions on my design proposals. I understand this would narrow down the participants to people living around the Newcastle area! But if there aren't enough E-Class owners living around the area then I'd be willing to do everything through email or phone calls etc.

    Anyway, I hope to hear from you guys soon and thank you for your time. Feel free to email me at niki3gg@hotmail.com or niki.lau@northumbria.ac.uk. You can also call me on 07515 392326.

    I understand that some may be wary about giving information to a first time poster but I can guarantee that I am genuine and before any information is exchanged there will be a disclaimer you can sign to say that I will not mis-use any information you provide.

    Again, thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.


    Regards

    Niki Lau
     
  2. Diesel Benz

    Diesel Benz Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I'd suggest abandoning this project and starting a new one if you want to graduate any time soon. If you decided to continue, I wish you luck and hope your professor accepts "in theory this could be possible".
     
  3. lynall

    lynall Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    That was cruel i am sure Lancia can make a sexy car just wont be reliable though:D .



    Lynall
     
  4. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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    If you consider that the market sector occupied by the current E class is looking pretty rocky at the moment that's no mean task! You might find it useful to study how Toyota and Honda did it in the USA with their LEXUS and ACURA brands. Several things occur- they changed the name completely to distance themselves from the mass produced parent companies- they established a completely new dealer network- they concentrated on customer satisfaction- their cars were probably engineered to a similar standard as Mercedes BUT when they went wrong they had an efficient post sales system ( i.e. they invested considerable money and effort in it) to keep their customers happy.
    Its probably worth keeping the Lancia name altho its racing.rallying pedigree is pretty much a distant memory. However you have to distance it from Fiat and somehow get back that coachbuilt feel of the post war Lancias before they were taken over by Fiat. Italian cars get a reputation as unreliable, I not sure if that's true? What is true is when they go wrong the dealer network seem particularly inept at sorting them.
    You notice I havn't spoken about the engineering/design of any new Lancia model at all but a related series of factors that exert a great deal of influence on the ownership experience of a marque.
    Audi's experience with Lamborghini might be worth study also.
     
  5. kth286

    kth286 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    nlau1

    the purchase of a Mercedes is not about buying a car - it is about buying into the brand.

    The Mercedes brand has many years of history and has developed to where it is today because of many factors :

    examples:

    * well designed

    * good engineeering

    * good safety from extensive research

    * excellent worldwide infrastructure for aftersales service and parts, therefore a reliable buying proposition from a consumer's point of view.

    * prestige of ownership

    * a company with unmatched heritage

    * etc etc

    So, a Mercedes is not just a car, it is a brand.

    You may go and build the best car in the world, but if it does not have the complete package in terms of service and parts backup etc etc as above, it will take many years to achieve anything near the Mercedes brand.
     
  6. Robbie T

    Robbie T Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Mmmmmmm, Lancia ...


    [​IMG]

    ;)
     
  7. RoseTattoo

    RoseTattoo Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Lancia do not have such a bad reputation in the rest of Europe and, as one of the classic car makers, a great pedigree.
    They went through their Fiat rust period and now seem to have come out of it in good form, although the current market will give them a pasting. I like the Thesis model which could look nice as an estate.
    They would be positioned nicely as a quality manufacturer but as someone else said, they need to distance themsleves from their owners.
    http://www.lancia.com/cgi-bin/lanci...BV_EngineID=cccdadeflgjdmifcefecejgdfkhdfjl.0
     
  8. johnsco

    johnsco Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Hi Niki Lau
    In some ways, I admire your optimism in the project.
    The experience of friends of mine (over a number of years) who have been seduced by the sexiness of Lancia, has been:
    Impressive cars (when running OK)
    Worse than average rust problems.
    Unreliability.
    Phenomenally-expensive repair bills when things have gone wrong.
    I will take a lot of persuading to abandon Mercedes for Lancia.
    Good Luck.
     
  9. maddog

    maddog Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    My Mercedes is very much like the Lancias of the mid 1970's ......well its rusted like them :)
     
  10. rf065

    rf065 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Last edited: Dec 6, 2008
  11. andy_k

    andy_k MB Club Veteran

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    mmmmmmmmmmmm
    lancias
    .

    I always wanted a Beta spider but by the time I got around to affording one they'd all turned to dust
     
  12. Fady

    Fady Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Ease up guys.

    It's only an undergraduate's project - he's not actually going to knock a car up!
     
  13. Sp!ke

    Sp!ke Administrator Staff Member

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    But Lancia don't make rhd cars anymore.

    They have also only ever made sports cars that have had anything going for them. Their attempts at the luxury car market have always failed dismally.

    I know its only a project but really you should consider a proposal that wasn't doomed form the outset and had some legs.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2008
  14. MikeL

    MikeL Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Well Lancia will be back in the UK next year.

    Also, what is the point of a project that is easy or obvious - I suppose you could do the same research for Audi / BMW / Mercedes but that would be more pointless.

    Mike
     
  15. andy_cyp

    andy_cyp Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    A lancia to compete with the MB E class ???? Not trying to be funny or sarcy but you must be 'avin a laaarf.
     
  16. rf065

    rf065 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I've had four warranty claims on my CLK so far ( booked in for its 5th claim next week), not exactly what I expected buying a Mercedes. Most of the advice on this forum says they are built better after 2003/2004, well mine is Dec 2005, so don't believe a word of it.

    In the 1970's Lancia bought cheap steel from Rumania and we all know how that ruined their reputation, whats Mercedes excuse? How many MB's have rust? How good would a Lancia have to be to match it?

    Russ
     
  17. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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    Don't know if nlau1 has been frightened off by all these adverse comments or not but hopefully he won't take it personally. Be nice to hear his reaction at some point especially if he has had feed back from other forums?
     
  18. andy_k

    andy_k MB Club Veteran

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    Why are you so convinced that Lancia (or any other car manufacturer) can't build a car to beat/compete with the E Class if they really set to the task.

    Lancia have a pretty good pedigree of rallying and racing so they could appeal to the "old school". Modern styling would appeal to a younger generation and if they got enough fleet managers on side they could soon re-establish themselves as a name
     
  19. prprandall51

    prprandall51 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Reading this thread, you would think that it is beyond the wit of Fiat group to make a car to match a Mercedes E Class. But Mercedes has no monpoly on build quality - in fact, it's quite amusing to see so many threads in other sections of this forum slagging MB off for their unreliable electronics, failing radiators, limited life suspension joints and springs, etc. and then read this thread, which implies that MBs are hand cut from solid unobtainium.

    Fiat could easily build a car to match the quality of an E Class (after all, they can knock out an F1 car that thrashes all-comers most years, and - before anyone acuses me of misty-eyed affection to Ferrari - I hate the brand and its F1 team), but its a question of money. How much do you want to spend building a car and how much could you sell it for in the showroom?

    Lancia - like MB and every other vehicle manufactuer - looks at cost and revenue and balances them against each other when designing a new car. Revenues are affected by pertinent issues such as brand value, market postioning and demographics and other buzz-word issues and that is what makes this exercise so interesting.

    Could Lancia build a car that would get us out of our MBs? Maybe, or maybe not. But if they can't it won't be because they couldn't engineer a better car per se, it will because it is uneconomic for them to do so.
     
  20. Satch

    Satch Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Well that is one problem resolved!

    "Lancia's return to the UK has been postponed indefinitely.

    The company was due to put its Delta on sale here next year, marking the first time that a Lancia would have been sold in the UK since 1994.

    However, a statement said: 'Given the current global economic crisis, Fiat Auto has taken the decision to delay the reintroduction of the Lancia brand in right-hand-drive markets beyond 2009.'



    http://www.whatcar.com/news-article.aspx?NA=236386
     
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