New E-class and Mercedes-Benz UK

Dippo

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3. Criminals Down Under
Fancy not thinking about going to Australia to buy a car!! :) but if you did, then do NOT go to Australia to buy an E-class estate. It is not available in that country, they only offer the smaller C-class. Clearly, Mercedes Australia is making a mandatory decision about what models and what features their customers will buy. When we look at their online brochure :) are they looking at the E-class as a luxury vehicle and as such are offering options they feel will suit prospective customers.
Mercedes Australia sold 1,228 E Class in the whole of 2019. Obviously with volumes that low they have to make what you call 'mandatory decisions' about which models they import. They will have to be tested and homologated to meet legislative requirements in Australia, all of which costs money. If you look at the costs involved, and the relatively low sales volumes, I would call their decision to only offer a limited line up a sound commercial decision.
 
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glojo

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Mercedes Australia sold 1,228 E Class in the whole of 2019. Obviously with volumes that low they have to make what you call 'mandatory decisions' about which models they import. They will have to be tested and homologated to meet legislative requirements in Australia, all of which costs money. If you look at the costs involved, and the relatively low sales volumes, I would call their decision to only offer a limited line up a sound commercial decision.
I think once we start playing with statistics we can sway a debate in any way we wish. I take onboard what you are saying but now let us look at the most popular selling Mercedes in the USA... The GLC!!

That model sold 12500 vehicles last year, yup significantly more than Australia BUT.... the popualtion of Australia is miniscule when compared to the USA25 mil to 331mil so I guess selling 'just' 1288 E-class vehicles is an excellent figure and don't forget, Australia has to import ALL of its motor vehicles. :)
 

knighterrant

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I think once we start playing with statistics we can sway a debate in any way we wish. I take onboard what you are saying but now let us look at the most popular selling Mercedes in the USA... The GLC!!

That model sold 12500 vehicles last year, yup significantly more than Australia BUT.... the popualtion of Australia is miniscule when compared to the USA25 mil to 331mil so I guess selling 'just' 1288 E-class vehicles is an excellent figure and don't forget, Australia has to import ALL of its motor vehicles. :)
I’d forgotten that Holden stopped manufacturing cars in Australia in 2017.
 

Happytalk73

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MBUK is owned by MB Germany. MBUK is chasing volume and margins and restricting options clearly works for them. The few odd sales they lose are probably immaterial to the bottom line, and worth sacrificing for increased volume and margins.
But you know that the minions always know better? Just like the geezer down the pub watching the match on the big screen saying he could pick a much better England squad. 🙄
 

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I'm with the OP on this. MB UK's restrictions on model spec. and option availability is irritating. In recent years there has been a move towards 'we know best', IMHO, and I have no doubt it's been driven by the drive to gain volume sales, primarily on pcps; simply a numbers game. As I spend a fair amount of time in France, Germany etc. it's been quite obvious to me for a number of years that specifications available there simply aren't available in the UK.

It is interesting how some dealers, my local one included, sometimes make a point of highlighting a car with light coloured trim if they are selling it as a used vehicle, and invariably expect the buyer to pay a premium.

I'm never sure whether some sales staff really don't know much about Artico or whether they are being less-than-honest in describing a car as having 'leather'. During my most recent discussion/purchase earlier this year the salesman used the term 'leather' and when I corrected him and said that what he was referring to was 'plastic', he denied that it was plastic and simply then referred to it as 'Artico leather'. I wanted 'genuine' leather, which is what I have. We can debate whether vinyl is plastic, and chemically I think that pvc is a form of plastic, but the reality is that, in my opinion, MB could be verging on misdescription by continually referring to 'Artico leather', although in their defence they do state 'man-made leather' when written. However, my experience is that unless specifically asked, sales reps often only refer to Artico leather and unless a customer is reasonably well-informed they could easily expect 'leather'. Artico is nowhere near as thick as the old MB-Tex (for those that remember it)and, IMHO, is nowhere near as hard wearing. I don't recall that being called MB-tex leather, simply MB-Tex, but I'm happy to be corrected.

MB are regularly advertising an TV now, primarily A-classes, and I suspect that they have one or two in stock across the UK at the moment. Years ago, very few cars were 'in stock' and you had to order your desired spec.. Presumably, however, their new business model works for them, if not some of their potential customers.
 

Dippo

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I think once we start playing with statistics we can sway a debate in any way we wish. I take onboard what you are saying but now let us look at the most popular selling Mercedes in the USA... The GLC!!

That model sold 12500 vehicles last year, yup significantly more than Australia BUT.... the popualtion of Australia is miniscule when compared to the USA25 mil to 331mil so I guess selling 'just' 1288 E-class vehicles is an excellent figure and don't forget, Australia has to import ALL of its motor vehicles. :)
Fine. I don't see the relevance of GLC sales in the USA to E Class sales in Australia, but if you want to relate them . . . .

Australia sells just over 100 E Class per month. They could offer every single body style - saloon, estate, coupe, convertible, all drive trains - RWD and FWD, all engine types - diesel, petrol, hybrid, and all the different engine sizes in those categories, then all the specification variants of SE, AMG, Premium, Premium Plus etc.

Would it make commercial sense? I think not. That's probably why they don't offer an E Class estate.
 

knighterrant

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MB are regularly advertising an TV now, primarily A-classes, and I suspect that they have one or two in stock across the UK at the moment. Years ago, very few cars were 'in stock' and you had to order your desired spec.. Presumably, however, their new business model works for them, if not some of their potential customers.
The galling part is that most of their advertisements in the UK show cars with colour combinations that aren’t available here. If a light interior “isn’t popular”, then why market the car with a light interior?
 

knighterrant

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Fine. I don't see the relevance of GLC sales in the USA to E Class sales in Australia, but if you want to relate them . . . .

Australia sells just over 100 E Class per month. They could offer every single body style - saloon, estate, coupe, convertible, all drive trains - RWD and FWD, all engine types - diesel, petrol, hybrid, and all the different engine sizes in those categories, then all the specification variants of SE, AMG, Premium, Premium Plus etc.

Would it make commercial sense? I think not. That's probably why they don't offer an E Class estate.
Why isn’t it commercial sense? They’re not preordering all the variants to keep in stock, so there’s no cost penalty.
 
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glojo

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Why isn’t it commercial sense? They’re not preordering all the variants to keep in stock, so there’s no cost penalty.
Hi Knight
Totally agree

We ALL accept the dealer should know the market they are catering for, they will take that gamble and possibly order a number of E-class vehicles that they believe should sell quite quickly.

Will they sell quicker than the fully loaded E-class that Victor Meldrew might order? This chap pays the deposit, as soon as the car has that PDI, he goes into the showroom pays for the car and out the door it goes. No wheel kickers wanting test drives. The fully loaded, pre-ordered car is in through one door and out of the other.

Regarding your point about a light interior, yup, they were advertising this for a number of months

Mght not be everyone's cup of tea. I certainly do not think the trim goes with the Nappa Leather but there are oodles of different interiors to chose from
 

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Dippo

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Why isn’t it commercial sense? They’re not preordering all the variants to keep in stock, so there’s no cost penalty.
The cost penalty for the importer is in having to get each model through the legislative approval processes, in having to produce sales and promotional literature, in training technicians, in having to carry a stock of model specific parts, and in having to have vehicles available for demonstration. There is also a cost penalty for Germany in having to create Australian specification variants of all these models in their systems.
 

knighterrant

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The cost penalty for the importer is in having to get each model through the legislative approval processes, in having to produce sales and promotional literature, in training technicians, in having to carry a stock of model specific parts, and in having to have vehicles available for demonstration. There is also a cost penalty for Germany in having to create Australian specification variants of all these models in their systems.
Ah yes, it must cost a fortune to train technicians how to sit on beige leather instead of black! As for the legislative approval variations between those two choices, I dread to think of the reams of paperwork necessary. But adding 3 sq cm of beige to the 50 page brochure would definitely be the killer.
 

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Ah yes, it must cost a fortune to train technicians how to sit on beige leather instead of black! As for the legislative approval variations between those two choices, I dread to think of the reams of paperwork necessary. But adding 3 sq cm of beige to the 50 page brochure would definitely be the killer.
Very good. The only problem is, I was writing about the problem of importing every single model variant to Australia, not the availability of different trims in the UK.
 

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As a matter of interest, and I have no idea here, but is it worth looking at Japan? Their cars are normally right hand drive, have no idea of costs to import them back to the uk or whether MB Japan(?) could get one dropped off here on the way through 😂 😂
 

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In 1991 I collected a brand W201 from Sindelfingen (bought by the father of a friend) and got a zoll nummer ('customs number') which is an oblong while plate used for cars that are being collected from the factory and exported. The plate was registered for me by MB at the local vehicle registration noffice, before collecting the car. That meant that no tax was paid on the car in Germany but it had to leave the country within an x number of days.
 
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glojo

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The cost penalty for the importer is in having to get each model through the legislative approval processes, in having to produce sales and promotional literature, in training technicians, in having to carry a stock of model specific parts, and in having to have vehicles available for demonstration. There is also a cost penalty for Germany in having to create Australian specification variants of all these models in their systems.
Dippo
NONE of what you say makes any sense.

Before getting cross with me might I just tactfully say that every option that is available in Europe for the E-class is also available in the land down under, PLUS... They also have soft door closing, an option I might have missed.

I tend to check what I say before putting digit to keyboard :)

I have posted one interior that is available in Ozz, but I stated how I did not like the interior combination so here is yet another Ozz available leather interior but with a trim I prefer
 

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knighterrant

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Dippo
NONE of what you say makes any sense.

Before getting cross with me might I just tactfully say that every option that is available in Europe for the E-class is also available in the land down under, PLUS... They also have soft door closing, an option I might have missed.

I tend to check what I say before putting digit to keyboard :)

I have posted one interior that is available in Ozz, but I stated how I did not like the interior combination so here is yet another Ozz available leather interior but with a trim I prefer
That I do like
 

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Let's have a go at answering these questions :)

Crazycow
I have checked out the warranty and I can confirm that I get the full three year cover and yes I have also contacted my local dealer to make sure they would honour this warranty even though the car will be imported from the EU... My thoughts. This car is going to be a right-hand drive vehicle exactly the same as the other right-hand drive vehicles made by Mercedes-Benz but instead of being shipped from Germany to the UK, our car is having a very brief stopo-over (or sleep-over) in Belgium before finally coming to rest in our green and pleasant land..

It would be interesting to know who would pay for any potential issues (hopefully you won't have any) to be fixed in the 3rd year. Mercedes-Benz AG as a manufacturer provides only 2 year warranty in Europe.

Quite a few importers in the UK extend the factory warranty further, but they have to pay for it. This is certainly the case with BMW which comes with 2 year warranty from BMW AG but BMW UK pay for the 3rd. I guess MB UK is no different.

If MB Belgium have the same approach, most likely you will need to pay for the repairs (after 2 years) and then claim it back from them.
 

Dippo

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Dippo
NONE of what you say makes any sense.

Before getting cross with me might I just tactfully say that every option that is available in Europe for the E-class is also available in the land down under, PLUS... They also have soft door closing, an option I might have missed.

I tend to check what I say before putting digit to keyboard :)

I have posted one interior that is available in Ozz, but I stated how I did not like the interior combination so here is yet another Ozz available leather interior but with a trim I prefer
I'm not going to get cross with anyone. Personally I think my answers do make sense - but I'm replying to the statement you originally made about MB Australia's "mandatory decision" not to offer the E Class Estate in Australia, and not to subsequent issues you may raise such as trim colours and soft closing doors.

Anyway, I'm not responsible for Mercedes policy, so I'll give up trying to offer a possible explanation for it. My problem is, I used to work for a manufacturer, and had responsibilities for volume planning, vehicle ordering, and various sales-related functions, so I felt obliged to offer a little insight gained from my experience.
 
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glojo

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It would be interesting to know who would pay for any potential issues (hopefully you won't have any) to be fixed in the 3rd year. Mercedes-Benz AG as a manufacturer provides only 2 year warranty in Europe.

Quite a few importers in the UK extend the factory warranty further, but they have to pay for it. This is certainly the case with BMW which comes with 2 year warranty from BMW AG but BMW UK pay for the 3rd. I guess MB UK is no different.

If MB Belgium have the same approach, most likely you will need to pay for the repairs (after 2 years) and then claim it back from them.
Hi Crazy
I am sure I answered this question on a previous post but yes, our vehicle will have the Mercedes-Benz 3 year warranty. I contacted the service manager at our local dealership before reaching into my wallet and this person assured me there would not be a problem. Likewise with Mobilio or whatever it is now called. As long as the vehicle is serviced by the main dealer, it will have that cover.

For piece of mind it looks like Belgium might have a better warranty than the UK??? I am saying this because they guarantee the tyres for 2yrs against ANY issue. In the picture they show a large chunk of metal the car is about to drive over

Here is the nitty gritty and it confirms what you are saying but....... Regarding a Belgium warranty and this is a quote from the Mercedes web site

In addition to the two-year factory guarantee, all new mercedes-benz passenger cars (incl. V-Class and X-Class) ordered from an approved concessionaire in Belgium an additional year similar guarantee, limited to 200,000 km.

Oh and yes our hybrid battery will have that 6 year warranty
 

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