Mercedes S class Sedans and Marketing
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    NJ, USA

    Mercedes S class Sedans and Marketing

    I see that in Australia the S350, S430, S500, S55 and S600L are available. In other countries a different line up of S class sedans is available. For example, in the USA the S320/350s aren't available, in other countries the S350 is available but then one skips the S430 and moves right up to the S500.

    Do you think Mercedes decides which model S class sedans to put on the market in a certain country based on the driving profile of the average guy who's going to be driving such cars? Or do you think Mercedes makes its decision on how people tend to spend their money? I find it hard to think its a mix since the decisions seem so deliberate.

    I guess what I'm asking is, does Mercedes say to themselves that Australian guys have a wide variety of driving styles therefore they'll make the whole lineup available there. Do they then say that XYZ country's drivers are mainly either slow or aggressive and then decide to make only the S350 and S500/600s available?

    By the way if you guys were offered your choice of an S350, S430 or S500 to drive free of charge for six months(your only expense being fuel), which would you choose and why? Has anyone here ever actually driven an S class?


    I'm just curious, I'm far too young to even consider such a nice car

  2. #2
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Burpengary and Murrumburrah, Qld and NSW
    It used to be that the American market scored the bigger engines. But now I would say that the differing pollution requirements around the world are more of a consideration.

    Another point is the place the car might fill in that marketplace. Here the generally available luxury models are few, so maybe M-B are capitalising on that. It might also be that the strength of their German opposition, Audi and BMW, in different market sectors influences them.

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! billtran's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Sydney, NSW, Australia
    I could only guess the low cost of petrol, the relatively low taxes on cars and the love of big engines negates the need for the S320 in the US.

    Cars such as the S320 and S280 (yes, such a car does exist eek! ) make sense in Europe where there are extremely high costs for petrol and taxes on everything from engine capacity to CO2 emissions.

    Australia usually gets the full range of MBs simply because it is such a good market -especially in the higher end models. As a percentage of the population, Australia has the highest ownership of AMG and S-Class models in the world. So as a reward, MB Australia has a 'favoured' status with head office in Stuttgart and is free to pick and choose which models come to Australia.

    It also makes sense to have the full range in Australia because there is such a HUGE price variation between the S320 which retails for around $170K and the S600 which is close to $400K fully optioned. In a cynical sense, Aussies who buy the S320 are the posseurs who can't quite afford a 'real' S-Class. The real plutocrats drive S500s and above.

    I would love to have a V12 S600 to drive around for six months. But to own? Not a chance - too big, complex and I'd rather have an E55.
    You're not paranoid if everyone hates you.

  4. #4
    Sense Pug307's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    I've heard homologation costs in the USA are quite significant.

    The opposite of NZ

    Peugeot 307 XS 1.6
    Aussiefrogged in MEL, PER, SYD, BNE & ADL.
    Rendezvous Adelaide 2005

  5. #5
    sjl is offline
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    I'd take the S600. IMO, when dealing with Merc, bigger = better.

    May not be the case from a practical point of view, but who can argue with you when you step out of a merc which has the number 6 followed by two zeros on the tailgate? Huh? whip
    "How do you like them apples?"
    306 Gti6

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