Blog: Mercedes-Benz and quality
Dave Leggett | 8 December 2003
I took a taxi ride recently. The taxi was a previous generation Mercedes-Benz E-class saloon and the taxi driver was a talkative chap. Once we'd mulled the great issues of the day (including, for some reason, the British Royal Family and whether we really need them) the conversation turned to matters automotive. I'm always impressed by how little cars like the E-class fetch in the British used car trade after just a few years and he told me how much he was selling his high mileage four-year-old model for (about eight grand, sterling, I think it was). A lot of car for a little money.
But while the minicab business loves the E-class - and he waxed lyrical about the diesel engines that go on forever - he also took me through a littany of the car's problems. It was mainly little(ish) things - like electrical problems and leaky seals - but it sounded like a pain and I was a little surprised at how much had gone wrong. He'd given up getting the niggles fixed. He was still a Mercedes-Benz supporter and was changing his car for a new E-class, but if what is being said about Mercedes-Benz's deteriorating quality is true, how long will it be before the brand image - and sales - suffers?
I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....
Given the startling complexity of obtaining a journalist visa for China - the code 'J2' is now indelibly stamped on my mind - it was with some surprise how swiftly I managed to sail through airport im...