CNBC: Why BMW And Mercedes Made Cheap Cars That Failed

mmcartalk

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While some entry-level models from BMW and Mercedes could be described as "failing", it's hard to make that claim for the 3-series, which, for years (even decades) dominated the compact sport-sedan category and were on Car & Driver's 10 Best List. Other entry-level cars from premium automakers, like the Lexus IS and Infiniti G35, were successful because they concentrated on quality and reliability.
 
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While some entry-level models from BMW and Mercedes could be described as "failing", it's hard to make that claim for the 3-series, which, for years (even decades) dominated the compact sport-sedan category and were on Car & Driver's 10 Best List. Other entry-level cars from premium automakers, like the Lexus IS and Infiniti G35, were successful because they concentrated on quality and reliability.
What Mercedes and Audi did specifically was introduce the CLA and A3, which were bottomfeeder cars to their brand. The 3-Series is also heavily incentivized too but not so much now (we don't get the 1 Series sedan here). These $399 lease deals aimed directly at folks interested in the upper trim Camrys and Accords, which offered more value but obviously aren't "luxury". These buyers have probably moved to leasing GLEs, X1s and Q3s.

The sad thing is that the IS and now Q50 got way behind the German pack, which is all behind the Model 3 at the moment.
 

Ian Schmidt

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What Mercedes and Audi did specifically was introduce the CLA and A3, which were bottomfeeder cars to their brand. The 3-Series is also heavily incentivized too but not so much now (we don't get the 1 Series sedan here). These $399 lease deals aimed directly at folks interested in the upper trim Camrys and Accords, which offered more value but obviously aren't "luxury". These buyers have probably moved to leasing GLEs, X1s and Q3s.
Right. The sales pitch is literally "you can have this higher-clout brand for the price of a Camry/Accord", I've seen news stories flat-out stating that. They never mention that these bottomfeeder cars generally aren't built to the quality of the "true" MB/BMW/Audi vehicles, but people don't seem to care.
 

Carmaker1

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Wow CNBC is just on fire with these! If they just get their visual content, well aligned with their message it will be golden.

Sometimes they have a tendency of posting the wrong vehicles during segments. There editor needs to figure that one out.
 

Will1991

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Lexus also have current CT, which performance wasn't as expected but even today is a important model for Europe, bringing a lot of new costumers into a Lexus.

Would love to see a second generation, but this time based on the Corolla sedan.
 

Rydo

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All very well to bash the A-Class/CLA/GLA, 1-Series, A1, A3...but come to Europe and you will understand. These are not cars that failed. The world is not the USA.

You come to any supermarket car park here, and I would absolutely bet that 20-30% of the cars in it are those listed earlier in my post. The Lexus CT/NX and now UX are the only Lexuses you see here. Lexus are turning the gun on themselves once again with the dinosaur that is the CT. Will1991, the CT based on Corolla should be out NOW. The fact there hasn't even been hint to it shows that it's probably about 2-3 years away in Lexus-land. Criminal negligence!
 

CRSKTN

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Right. The sales pitch is literally "you can have this higher-clout brand for the price of a Camry/Accord", I've seen news stories flat-out stating that. They never mention that these bottomfeeder cars generally aren't built to the quality of the "true" MB/BMW/Audi vehicles, but people don't seem to care.
Well the target audience literally have no idea what they're missing, and people who buy those 'real' ones probably won't ever spend much time in the lower-end cars. That said, still cheapens the brand.
 

mikeavelli

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The author does say the cars did better overseas. I remember these cars well. They were not good looking, they did nothing exceptionally well (not even MPG) and were not cheap either. Also at the time I think people here did not want small luxury cars. That changed clearly as consumer tastes changed.

Also as these brands moved the previous entry level 3/C etc up, it allowed them today to build 1/A/ etc as their new entry level models which are much better done than the cars in the video.

As Rydo stated, in Europe, due to high vehicles taxes etc, they are popular.
 
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All very well to bash the A-Class/CLA/GLA, 1-Series, A1, A3...but come to Europe and you will understand. These are not cars that failed. The world is not the USA.

You come to any supermarket car park here, and I would absolutely bet that 20-30% of the cars in it are those listed earlier in my post. The Lexus CT/NX and now UX are the only Lexuses you see here. Lexus are turning the gun on themselves once again with the dinosaur that is the CT. Will1991, the CT based on Corolla should be out NOW. The fact there hasn't even been hint to it shows that it's probably about 2-3 years away in Lexus-land. Criminal negligence!
The CT definitely was a European focused vehicle to begin with (I remember the press launch was in Paris, wasn't it), definitely they need to bring something new to the market stat. Luxury buyers like new things more than not.
 

Rydo

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They were not good looking, they did nothing exceptionally well (not even MPG)
Outrageously subjective and actually pretty inaccurate, My girlfriend's 2014 A-Class gets 60MPG without even trying - it's not a hybrid (1.8 diesel).

Looks wise - it's always subjective, but to say they were not good looking...clearly an awful lot of people disagree.
 

Will1991

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@Rydo , just a small correction, it's a 1.5L diesel engine for A160 and A180 CDI. My fiancé has a 2015 A180 with the 7 speed gearbox and I too usually do well.
 
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