New E-class and Mercedes-Benz UK

Bobby Dazzler

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Is anyone considering buying the latest E-class?

Look at the options you are offered by Mercedes-Benz UK. I am emphasizing Mercedes-Benz UK as this is our countries supplier of new vehicles. This is the organisation that takes away our freedom to choose what options we want fitted onto our new vehicle, what colours, interior or even engine

Stand by for a bit of a rant that will eventually highlight what I am talking about.

In early 2019 we decided to replace our much loved 2004 E-class estate, a vehicle fully loaded with all the toys and whistles Mercedes had to offer including that brilliant rear sliding floor. In the spring of 2019 we ordered a new E-class but were told no sliding floor and no interior mirror to open our garage door and turn on our exterior lights... No big deal but we would have liked these features and we would have liked a petrol hybrid, but no, Mercedes-Benz UK assured us that the petrol option is only available for the saloon. We have subsequently found this statement to be 100% wrong, they speak with forked tongue. The delivery of our new vehicle was expected late December, early January.

At the beginning of December, we put our registration number on retention and were getting all excited about taking delivery of our new vehicle. Ooops, cue the telephone. Our main dealer said our order had been cancelled because in December\January the E-class was having a face-lift and a number of the options we wanted were now no longer available. I will not bore folks with the complete list but the deal breaker was leather interior. We had stipulated a light grey leather interior just like our current E-class. Now, I could have the choice of a black plastic interior or black plastic interior!!! The sales-person I was talking to explained that Mercedes-Benz do not come with a 'plastic' interior, they do not come with a vinyl interior, instead, he corrected me, they come with black 'Artico' leather. Yup the choice was black or black and 'Artico' leather? This is advertised as'man made' leather or..... In my language, rubberised plastic, unless cows now have a man-made coat!

I wrote a very detailed letter to the managing director of the South-West Dealership and as a result, we had a very interesting 40 minute telephone call where he was extremely supportive. He had spoke with Mercedes-Benz UK and was 'fairly' confident that when Mercedes-Benz bought out the new E-class in late summer things would be rectified.

Cue the very lastest E-class
The black plastic on the AMG-Line had gone and had been replaced with black leather, or...... BLACK leather!!! Brilliant for those that like black leather interiors but not so clever for those that dislike that colour. All was not lost, Mercedes Benz UK has a cheaper option of the AMG-Line that does offer a limited number of coloured interior but..... Look at the extremely limited number of options that are offered. If we opt for a different coloured interior the selection of options is practically non-existant, If you want options, then Mercedes-Benz UK dictate that we have a black interior!!!!!!! In so many words I said shove it, but who am I punishing?.

I could buy a well-specced car from Southern Ireland, I could buy a well-specced car from Europe but Mercedes-Benz UK is the dictator that rules over what it thinks we like or dislike. We have no choice, we have no input. The easiest option was to tell Mercedes-Benz UK to poke their cars where the sub doesn't shine.

Nope, we have ordered an amazing vehicle from Belgium. Right-hand drive E-class petrol hybrid Executive, oh and yes, it does have that 'unavailable' interior mirror that opens our garage. How ironic that we as a nation pride ourselves over our freedoms, freedom of choice being a biggie, but Mercedes-Benz UK are acting as a dictator, telling us what we like, what we want and what we can have. They are happy for you to part with in excess of £50000 but they are not happy about you having the freedom of choice that Germany, France, Holland, Belgium etc all have.

Shame on Mercedes-Benz UK, shame on you for acting in the way you are doing, you should be looking after the British customer and offering the very best of what Mercedes-Benz has to offer instead of acting like a very strict parent telling its childrten how to behave.

Apologies for the rant but yes the E-clas hybrid estate is offered as a petrol powered vehicle and yes there are lots of options we can have on this beautiful vehicle that are not offered here in the UK.

We take delivery of our new car late January 2021

Regards
John
I just had a look at the configurator and was surprised to see Hazlenut and Macchiato interior colour options, both look lovely, and both provide an alternative to black for those wishing to be different or for a lighter colour. I hadn’t expect that based upon this thread,
 

Aletank

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Just been watching a couple of 2019/20 C-Class YouTube reviews and they had nice interiors, Tan leather on a AMG Line. Must be the same on the C-Class in other countrys, all just black over here !
 

markjay

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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

Historically, MB cars sold in the UK had 1y factory warranty plus 2y additional warranty, while imported cars only had the 1y factory warranty. This was also how they used to justify the higher price on the UK (alongside claiming that the basic trim levels having better spec than in Europe). So it seems that things have changed now.
 
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glojo

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Historically, MB cars sold in the UK had 1y factory warranty plus 2y additional warranty, while imported cars only had the 1y factory warranty. This was also how they used to justify the higher price on the UK (alongside claiming that the basic trim levels having better spec than in Europe). So it seems that things have changed now.
I think CrazyCow has made a very good point, the EU does only offes that two-year warranty but Belgium goes the extra year.

I have checked with our local service manager and he assured me there would not be a problem.. I am now asking myself will it be a problem? If I ask for that reassurance in writing then will I be shooting myself in the foot? I have know this manager for many a year and I am happy to let sleeping dogs lie. Mobilo covers a car anywhere in Europe and will pay hotel accomodation if needed, so........ If there were a problem after 2yrs but before the expiry of the third year then if anyone digs there heels in then I would dig mine in and say "Take it to Belgium" but obviously it would have to be a major issue :)

I am both comfortable and happy with the assurance I have received from my dealer :) BUT I appreciate all tyhe observations being made by folk that are offering some very constructive advice.
 

markjay

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I think CrazyCow has made a very good point, the EU does only offes that two-year warranty but Belgium goes the extra year.

I have checked with our local service manager and he assured me there would not be a problem.. I am now asking myself will it be a problem? If I ask for that reassurance in writing then will I be shooting myself in the foot? I have know this manager for many a year and I am happy to let sleeping dogs lie. Mobilo covers a car anywhere in Europe and will pay hotel accomodation if needed, so........ If there were a problem after 2yrs but before the expiry of the third year then if anyone digs there heels in then I would dig mine in and say "Take it to Belgium" but obviously it would have to be a major issue :)

I am both comfortable and happy with the assurance I have received from my dealer :) BUT I appreciate all tyhe observations being made by folk that are offering some very constructive advice.

I think you should simply ask the supplying dealer in Belgium to provide written confirmation that the car comes with 3y international warranty that can be claimed against at any MB dealership. If later there's an issue, you'll have a case against the supplying dealer (i.e. claim a refund from them against repairs). If the supplying dealer goes bust, you may also have a claim directly against MB, but that's a different story....
 

MrGreedy

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My working assumption/experience is that cars sales people will say, to varying degrees, whatever they need to say to sell a car, provided they don't have to put it in writing or think they are not being recorded. For this reason, I take comfort in trying to source second hand vehicles off long standing members of the type on this forum .
 
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glojo

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I think you should simply ask the supplying dealer in Belgium to provide written confirmation that the car comes with 3y international warranty that can be claimed against at any MB dealership. If later there's an issue, you'll have a case against the supplying dealer (i.e. claim a refund from them against repairs). If the supplying dealer goes bust, you may also have a claim directly against MB, but that's a different story....
Great idea and thank you for those wise words.

Mr Greedy
The salesperson in my particular case is simply working hard trying to match my requirements. Hopefully he is not just saying 'yes' to sell this car. Would I laugh if it turns up with the steering wheel on the incorrect side? :) :) It says option K for the right-hand-drive but is that the dealer reference? It is costing me1820 euros so hopefully the sales-person is not saying what I want to hear but by crikey, I take your point. Journalists, solar panel, double glazing and estate agents are all folk I am very cautious about. If they say it is dark outside, I will always pull back the curtains just to check.

Namely I guess:

1. RHD
2. Vehicle complies to UK regs regarding construction and use?
3. Electric plugs, leads etc are UK compliant
 

markjay

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Great idea and thank you for those wise words.

Mr Greedy
The salesperson in my particular case is simply working hard trying to match my requirements. Hopefully he is not just saying 'yes' to sell this car. Would I laugh if it turns up with the steering wheel on the incorrect side? :) :) It says option K for the right-hand-drive but is that the dealer reference? It is costing me1820 euros so hopefully the sales-person is not saying what I want to hear but by crikey, I take your point. Journalists, solar panel, double glazing and estate agents are all folk I am very cautious about. If they say it is dark outside, I will always pull back the curtains just to check.

Namely I guess:

1. RHD
2. Vehicle complies to UK regs regarding construction and use?
3. Electric plugs, leads etc are UK compliant
Re point no .2, given that it's a new vehicle, the supplying dealer should provide you with this document, applicable to the country of export (in this case UK):

 
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glojo

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Hi Bobby
I gave up on the AMG Line and went with the Executive version. I will not have the AMG Line steering wheel but I will have a far far greater range of options :)

As we all know, here in the UK we can have what I call the SE version with a different colour interior, but forget about ordering any type of decent option and before we all get into a tizz, the cheaper AMG Line which I have called the SE..... CANNOT have options that the more expensive AMG Line has. Mercedes UK has called one model the AMG Line and unless I am mistaken, the other is the AMG Line Edition, plus I think there is also the AMG Line Black??
 

Bobby Dazzler

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Hi Bobby
I gave up on the AMG Line and went with the Executive version. I will not have the AMG Line steering wheel but I will have a far far greater range of options :)

As we all know, here in the UK we can have what I call the SE version with a different colour interior, but forget about ordering any type of decent option and before we all get into a tizz, the cheaper AMG Line which I have called the SE..... CANNOT have options that the more expensive AMG Line has. Mercedes UK has called one model the AMG Line and unless I am mistaken, the other is the AMG Line Edition, plus I think there is also the AMG Line Black??
Yes there appears to be Sport, AMG Line, AMG Line Edition, AMG Line Black Edition, and AMG models. It seems almost every E-class is an AMG these days!

All but one have of those have the option of Hazelnut or Macchiato interiors, so Sport, AMG Line Edition, AMG Line Black Edition, and AMG models.

I was expecting it to be more restrictive based upon this thread. I suppose they could offer it on the AMG line too, but they offer it in two of the three AMG line models.

They could offer more colours but the number of people who would specify red, blue, or tan would be limited. Light grey would look fantastisch though.
 

greenmanslk

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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.

Aren’t those markets all LHD where there is greater volume to offer the costs?
 

markjay

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Aren’t those markets all LHD where there is greater volume to offer the costs?

I think the point here is that MB can't justify their odd market position in the UK (limited options, higher prices) simply by saying that this is because the cars sold here are RHD - the fact is that they sell RHD cars in many other countries (see list here: List of LHD and RHD countries), and presumably the options that MB offer in these countries aren't as limited as they are in the UK.

The most plausible explanation is that MB have simply been taking advantage of the EU Block Exemption legislation, that protects car manufacturer and prevents competition. In a nutshell, the legislation allowed car manufacturers to refuse selling new cars to anyone other than their own franchised dealers. So a consumer that wants to buy a new MB car in the UK, must buy it from one of the MB dealerships, and therefore will only be able to choose from the range that MB decides to sell in the UK.

The UK leaving the EU won't make any difference to this situation. The EU Block Exemption legislation was required because by default EU laws outlaw restriction of competition, so an exception has to be made to allow car manufacturers to prevent completion between dealers.

But, once the UK became an independent country, EU laws no longer apply here, and therefore no exemption is needed. I.e. if you open a non-franchised car dealership here in the UK, and you approach MB in Stuttgart to supply you with new cars, they can simply say 'Nein' and they will be breaking no law, because the UK is not part of the EU. If, however, you tried this before we left the EU, then MB would have to cite Block Exemption in order to be able to avoid supplying you with cars.
 

jimbg

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I just specified macchiato leather on the following mode, but maybe I’m doing it wrong though? 💁🏼‍♂️

E 300 de AMG Line Edition Estate​

I give up with Mercedes and their options!

I have previously had 3 new Range Rovers, but in the Summer decided to look for an estate car as the dog is getting elderly and cannot jump up into the boot any more.

We decided on a new face lift E Class estate just as the new brochure came online.
Also having had light interiors in the previous cars we were pleased to see that that the light interiors were available on ALL trim levels.

We placed an order with the local dealer in Exeter and we thought all was OK.

Four weeks later the dealer called to say that the order could proceed as MB UK had decided it had to black or black!

Looking online the brochure had changed and the light interior was only available on the SE.

We cancelled.
 

Bobby Dazzler

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I give up with Mercedes and their options!

I have previously had 3 new Range Rovers, but in the Summer decided to look for an estate car as the dog is getting elderly and cannot jump up into the boot any more.

We decided on a new face lift E Class estate just as the new brochure came online.
Also having had light interiors in the previous cars we were pleased to see that that the light interiors were available on ALL trim levels.

We placed an order with the local dealer in Exeter and we thought all was OK.

Four weeks later the dealer called to say that the order could proceed as MB UK had decided it had to black or black!

Looking online the brochure had changed and the light interior was only available on the SE.

We cancelled.
Perhaps yours was the straight AMG Line then. Ironically all of the other models - including the AMG Line Edition and AMG Line Black Edition - all offer other interior colours.
 

jimbg

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Perhaps yours was the straight AMG Line then. Ironically all of the other models - including the AMG Line Edition and AMG Line Black Edition - all offer other interior colours.
No at the time all AMG Line were black only, I was ordering a AMG Line Premium Plus Edition.

This happened at the end of Aug.






 

whitenemesis

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MB are a business and if they thought there was more money to be made from the UK in offering more options in the UK, I'm sure they would, no (business) reason not to?
Those RHD countries that get the wider range of options, where do they get their vehicles from? Germany or a more local manufacturing plant?
 
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glojo

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No at the time all AMG Line were black only, I was ordering a AMG Line Premium Plus Edition.

This happened at the end of Aug.






I can see what you are saying BUT.... Go to the Mercedes Benz configurator for the E-CLASS and there is only coloured interiors for the base AMG. I see they have done away with that awful brown colour. That's it as far as Mercedes-Benz UK are concerned. I can only speak about my experience. I have liaised with one of the Director's of Mercedes-Benz South-West and I have corresponded with Mercedes-Benz UK direct. I might try to find the relevant paragraphs stating how they have done market research and their customers are happy with the features they offer.

I cannot explain how you have those colours as optional extras but this is from the UK site as of today. Note how the 'Edition' is the only AMG Line that has different choices. From December 2019, you had the SE that had the colours you are showing but it had very limited extras and all the other AMG Line derivatives had black plastic. Now the new shape as far as Mercedes Benz UK have told me, they only offer black on all UK AMG Line derivatives and a limited choice of colours on the base AMG Line Edition.
 

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glojo

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MB are a business and if they thought there was more money to be made from the UK in offering more options in the UK, I'm sure they would, no (business) reason not to?
Those RHD countries that get the wider range of options, where do they get their vehicles from? Germany or a more local manufacturing plant?
Hi Whitenemesis
I have not checked but we used to be able to travel to the factory in Germany and collect our cars. I have no idea if this is still an option. So what I am saying is the E-class is built in the same factory. Fully loaded, fully specced RHD vehicles are churned out for Ireland and possibly UK vehicles might be built on the same day?? Question: Would it be easier for the shop floor to have days when only RHD vehicles are built? Definitely no local manufacturing plant.

Just checked JimB and the pictures you are showing are of a base AMG Line Edition... easy to tell the difference, look at that steering wheel... It is circular :) :) Okay, I can here folks laughing at me but the more expensaive AMG-Line vehicles have a chopped bottom :) and the steering wheel has four spokes. Am I an anarok or what. I stuill cannot explain the optional extra bit :)
 

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