A.K.A. Kayak Independent Delivery System = KIDS (?)
This topic is following a thread from:
I believe Mercedes has gone the same way as most other 4x4 producers; they've sucumbed to the luxury lease market. My personal observation of Mercedes is that their market demographic has changed significantly from the era from which the Mercedes that was cited and awarded "World's Most Durable Car". This was awarded to a 1956 coup w/ over 1 million miles on it's clock in the late '80's.[url=http://foldingkayaks.org/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=366&start=15]Quatro vs. Classic Klepper or Long Haul[/url]:chrstjrn wrote:Humvees: I should clarify-- in situations where their width (or weight) didn't work against them, they were great (I've never ridden in one, so I'm just going on hearsay). In a forest, or a narrow canyon, or a number of other situations, give me that Land Rover or Land Cruiser any day.
I have always been curious about Mercedes G-wagons, although their use is very limited (mostly only acquired because they are easily- and well-armored, I think (and if you have a spare quarter million lying around for that-- otherwise you armor your Land Rover/Cruiser)). When I asked an SF guy, I was told the Gs come to pieces.
This is my understanding:
After the war, the average German was interested in an everyman's car that was in reach price wise and would last from 10 to 20 years. Mercedes was still producing new cars, redesigned on pre war chassis well into the 50's; they had lost their market nitch momentum. They came back onto the world scene in 1954 w/ the 300 SL (or Gullwing) after a win at Monte Carlo and later a legendary win of epic proportions at the Panamerican in Mexico.
To punctuate how desperate German auto makers were, Porsche was producing a farming tractor during this time (0-6 m.p.h. in 30 seconds )
A seemingly small thing also pushed the Germans ahead on the world scene: Technical Representation. German firms were so determined to recapture a market share, that they made sure that their tech support was second to none, world wide. This was so successful, that by 1970, as both British and US firms may have been resting on their laurels so to speak, that German quality came to centre stage. Even as recently as 10 years ago, if one wished to do an overland tour of South America, books such as South America by Road advised using a VW micro van or a Mercedes as the service and parts were second to none.
What seems to have happened lately is that Mercedes' demographic has changed. Buyers no longer buy a Benz w/ the notion that they need to have 10 to 20 years of dependable use. I've known people to trade in their lease cars simply because they couldn't be bothered to have new tyres mounted! It no longer matters to produce "bullet proof" cars if first owners/leasees don't plan to have the car for more than 4 years. Just my thought.
When they were both teens, my father and his sister road rallied in Chile and Argentina. My aunt's car of choice was a Volvo, but she now drives a 20 year old Mercedes. My Dad's choice was Mercedes or VW, and later SAAB (depending on conditions). I don't think either of them would choose a modern Mercedes for rallying, it just doesn't have "The Right Stuff".