Category Archives: Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes to open driving school in U.S.

Mercedes-Benz has announced plans to open a new driving school in the U.S., citing high accident rates among teen drivers as its primary concern.

The automaker previously launched a driving education program for the U.K. in 2009, which was by all accounts successful. Mercedes claims that drivers enrolled in their school passed their driving test on the first try at nearly double the rate of those who did not.

Now, the company is looking to bring the program to the U.S., with the aim of decreasing the rate of teen accidents and thus increasing auto safety. The company believes 90 percent of accidents are due to human error, and points to studies that say teen drivers are four times as likely to die in an accident than adults.

"Despite the dramatic changes in vehicles, highways, and the driving environment over the past 60 years, driver education remains relatively unchanged in the U.S.," said Alexander Hobbach, Senior Manager, Daimler AG. "The skills required to simply get a license do not fully prepare young drivers to meet the demands of the road. Mercedes-Benz recognizes this issue and as a result is creating an educational program for the U.S. that is based on the best teaching methods and tools available."

Drivers interested in a Mercedes or any other vehicle may want to check out New Jersey State Auto Auction, which offers a variety of new and used cars for sale at affordable prices.

Mercedes shows off C-Class Coupe

Mercedes-Benz has pulled the lid off of its new C-Class Coupe, a model that is sure to go head-to-head with BMW's similar 3-Series offering.

The C-Class is somewhat of a replacement for the company's CLK Coupe, which was discontinued in 2009. However, the new version is both smaller and less expensive than the previous model. According to AutoBlog, the coupe shares many similarities with the C-Class Sedan, with the key difference being the shape and size – the roofline on the coupe is 1.5 inches lower than the sedan, giving it a noticeably sleeker and more aerodynamic look.

Drivers will have a choice between a 201-horsepower four-cylinder or 304-horsepower V6, the same two engines offered on the sedan version. Mercedes is claiming a zero-to-sixty time of less than six seconds for the V6 version of the coupe.

Those who want true power may want to hold out a bit, however, as the C63 AMG version of the coupe is expected to be unveiled later this year and provide a serious upgrade in performance.

Drivers interested in a Mercedes-Benz or any other vehicle may want to shop New Jersey State Auto Auction, which offers a wide range of new and used cars for sale at affordable prices.

Mercedes to take over U.S. Smart distribution

Mercedes-Benz has announced that it will take over sales duties for Smart cars in the U.S., after a tie up with Penske Automotive Group failed.

The small and distinctive Smart car is owned by Mercedes-Benz, but the group sold the U.S. distribution rights to Penske rather than market the car itself in the U.S. International Mercedes showrooms include the Smart brand.

Penske, which owns a string of new and used auto dealerships across the country, largely failed in its promotion of the vehicle. In 2010, when fuel efficiency and cost were top priorities for many Americans, the brand reportedly moved less than 6,000 units.

Now, Smart will find a new home in Mercedes showrooms. The move makes sense for the German luxury automaker, as the Smart Fortwo's 41 mpg fuel economy rating will help Mercedes achieve the U.S.-mandated average of 35 mpgs across all fleets by 2016.

A previous deal between Penske and Nissan to produce a larger version of the Fortwo has now been scrapped, Nissan said.

Smart cars may be difficult to find, but those interested in a fuel-efficient vehicle will have tons of options at New Jersey State Auto Auction, which boasts a wide range of new and used cars for sale

Mercedes to introduce front-wheel drive vehicles

Mercedes-Benz has announced plans to introduce a new lineup of front-wheel drive vehicles to the U.S., with plans for two and possibly even a third model over the next three years.

Automotive News reports that the automaker has concrete plans for at least two U.S. models sporting the new "Mercedes Front-wheel-drive Architecture" or MFA.

"We will introduce the next generation of our MFA family to the U.S.," Mercedes' global sales and marketing boss, Joachim Schmidt, told the news source.

A coupe and an SUV are already confirmed to be making an appearance stateside. The SUV is planned for 2014 and will go head-to-head with the similar BMW X1, reports the news source. Meanwhile, the coupe, dubbed the "baby CLS" by Mercedes insiders, will arrive in 2013.

In addition, Mercedes is currently deciding on whether or not a third vehicle will see production. If it does, it would likely be in the form of a convertible or a "shooting brake," a rare compact wagon design with a squared off back.

Europe will also get two new hatchbacks, with Mercedes leaving the door open for a possible U.S. debut if they prove popular enough.

Drivers considering the purchase of a used Mercedes or any other vehicle may want to head to New Jersey State Auto Auction, where they can find vehicles for well below their Kelley Blue Book value.

Automakers gearing up for the big game

Now that the world knows that the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers will be vying for the Super Bowl this year, the only thing left to determine is "who's running commercials?"

Year-in and year-out companies like Anheuseur-Busch, Coca-Cola and Disney are sure bets, but the industry that may get the most airtime this year is automotive, according to the New York Times. Reflecting the recent rise in sales, nine brands have reportedly bought airtime for the big game, up from just six in 2010. And that doesn't even count car-related companies like Bridgestone and CarMax.

Two of those brands are already making their presence felt. Mercedes-Benz is planning its first TV spot ever at the Super Bowl in celebration of the company's 125th anniversary. They're leading up to the big game by giving away cars via a social media contest designed to encourage people to watch their sixty-second spot in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, Hyundai's budget brand Kia is looking to capitalize off of last year's successful spot, which featured a crew full of stuffed animals taking the Kia Sorento for a joyride. Kia's VP of marketing, Michael Sprague, told the news source that the commercial helped the Sorento become the top-selling vehicle for every month in 2010.

Mercedes to introduce hybrid AMGs

In part as a response to tighter emission standards, Mercedes-Benz has announced that it will be offering hybrid versions of its high-performance AMG models in the near future.

Hybrids and high-performance typically don't go hand-in-hand, but the federal government's insistence on higher average mpg ratings for all brands means that automakers must be very careful with debuting any gas-guzzling sports cars, as the AMG models have been known to be. One way to combat that is by offering hybrid versions of the model, which Mercedes appears primed to do.

Mercedes' head of advanced engineering, Herbert Kohler, told Autocar: "In the future AMG will still offer high performance models but there will be hybrids there. AMG needs to reduce fuel consumption."

Hybrid technology can generally be used in two ways with regards to performance-oriented vehicles. Flywheels, ultracapacitors and high-powered batteries can actually serve to increase the available power that a car has, as Porsche will be doing on its upcoming performance hybrids. Or the automaker can incorporate stop-start technologies like regenerative braking that serve to reduce emissions and fuel consumption.

For now, Mercedes appears to be taking the second route, although the models won't be here for a few years. In the meantime, drivers interested in performance or hybrid vehicles may want to shop the used car market, as both of these vehicles typically carry high price tags.

Mercedes unveils CLS 63 AMG, announces partnership with Ducati

It was a big day for Mercedes-Benz as the German luxury automaker showed off the 2012 CLS 63 AMG while simultaneously announcing a partnership with Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati.

Described as a "four-door coupe," the CLS 63 AMG is Mercedes' entry in a growing market of four-door high-performance luxury vehicles that includes the Maserati Quattroporte, Aston Martin Rapide and Porsche Panamera. The new version of the vehicle produces 518 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque in the standard edition.

Mercedes is also touting an AMG-developed package that boosts the performance even further, using turbochargers to squeeze out 550 horsepower, 590 lb-ft or torque and a 0-60 time of 4.3 seconds.

The automaker also announced a new partnership with Ducati. The two companies will co-sponsor events and marketing campaigns that will take advantage of both brands' emphasis on speed and performance. Ducati was on hand at the event to reveal its new Diavel, a sport bike aimed at racing enthusiasts.

"Both companies share the same values: racing as the driving passion, and high performance plus exclusivity as the central brand messages of both AMG and Ducati," Mercedes CEO Ola Kallenius told USA Today.

Those interested in a luxury vehicle may want to shop for used Mercedes at their local dealer, as the models are typically expensive when bought ne

German luxury brands going after green market

The German luxury trio of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi are all locked in a close battle for the title of the world's most popular automaker. According to sales figures from the first half of 2010, BMW is currently in first place, although its lead over its two rivals is marginal. At under 2,000 vehicles, Mercedes' lead over third-place Audi is even slimmer, although that number may have grown in recent months thanks to strong sales for Mercedes in the U.S.

Regardless, all three German luxury brands are racing for the top spot. To accomplish this, they're going after smaller market segments. According to the Automotive News, the next segment that the brands are looking to cater to is the "green," or environmentally conscious, car owner.

Mercedes recently announced that it will debut a four-cylinder engine on its top-of-the-line S-Class model. The S250 CDI is expected to be available on several models in early 2011. Four-cylinders are uncommon options for luxury vehicles, with drivers typically wanting the performance of a six- or eight-cylinder. Yet Mercedes says that thanks to turbocharging technology, the engine delivers the torque of a six-cylinder with the low emissions and fuel consumption of smaller engines.

"Green luxury is feasible," said Verena Mueller, a Mercedes spokeswoman. "We expect to attract environmentally conscious customers who are seeking the lowest possible CO2 emissions. Besides private customers, that could of course also be fleet buyers."

The news source reports that Audi will counter with a new version of its A8 sedan that will likely see the automaker couple the four-cylinder with an electric motor for the A8 hybrid, which is expected in 2012.

BMW is also going the electric route, but is unlikely to make the move to a four-cylinder anytime soon. BMW is said to be developing a hybrid supercar based off of its Vision Efficient Dynamics concept.

"I like selling 7-series cars with six- and eight- cylinders," BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer told the news source at the Paris Motor Show. "What we need to offer with these cars in the future is electrification."

Smaller engines and electric vehicles might save drivers at the pump, but luxury cars outfitted with the latest in engine technology will likely be expensive for many buyers. Drivers interested in saving money on their vehicle purchase may want to shop for a used Mercedes, BMW or Audi. 

Mercedes-Benz: Avoiding stupidity

Mercedes-Benz has Lexus in its sights and is close to toppling the perennial leader in terms of yearly sales, but the German luxury brand says it won't be doing anything "stupid" solely to become the top-selling luxury nameplate.

In the yearly sales estimates, Mercedes is actually outselling Lexus by approximately 1,000 vehicles. Yet Lexus has come on strong in recent months and executives believe that the competition to be the top-selling brand will come down to the wire.

When automakers are engaged in close sales races, they typically introduce a number of incentives to drive sales. Bloomberg reports that while Mercedes will definitely use this tactic, they won't be losing money on vehicles simply to outpace Lexus.

"December is a big month," Dietmar Exler, vice president of Mercedes-Benz Financial USA, told Bloomberg. "There will be some programs, but there will be nothing stupid just to be No. 1."

Buyers may see some deals on luxury cars for sale in the coming months, but they are unlikely to drop the total price of a luxury model into an affordable range for the average shopper. Those who still want to end up in a high-end vehicle may want to search the used car market for a deal instead, as there are sure to be some year-end deals there as well. 

Mercedes details “Magic Sky” on next SLK

Mercedes-Benz has released a few early pictures of its upcoming 2012 SLK, but perhaps even more intriguing is a new feature that might change the way drivers think about convertibles.

The company released several new pictures of the car, although it was covered in a casing so that the public cannot yet see the final design. The company, did however, spill the beans on a new feature on the car that its dubbing "Magic Sky Control."

The new SLK will continue to use a retractable hardtop like previous iterations, but the new model will come with a glass pane option that will give the entire roof a see-through finish.

Many drivers might assume that this could lead to an extremely hot car on summer days. That's where "Magic Sky" comes in. The new glass pane consists of magnetic particles that are suspended in fluid. With sky control off, these particles filter out light, ensuring that the inside of the car remains cool – up to 50 degrees cooler, according to the company. But when the control is turned on, the particles shift, allowing light through and creating the illusion that the top is actually down.

Drivers looking for a luxury car may want to shop the pre-owned market, where a used Mercedes can be found for substantially less than its original sticker price.