Originally Posted by Year's_End
The American market is the only place where people have misguided concepts of brand prestige and dilution. MB, BMW and Audi all sell 'economic' models everywhere else in the world because they don't have to worry about this strange maintenance of brand cache by selling affordable vehicles.
I'm not sure why you call it "misguided concepts of brand prestige". It is not like Mercedes and BMW sold their economic models in the US from the get go. Mercedes never did; BMW you could say the high-end luxury part caught up with the high prices somewhere in the mid 1980's. It's what is expected of the two brands in the US. The economic models, the BMW 318ti comes to mind, never sold well here. Mercedes and BMW made their respective beds (selling high-margin, high-end sedans), which they now must lie in, in my opinion.
Despite the badges; a low-price (relatively) well-built FWD sedan are offered by almost every manufacturer who sells cars in the US. I’d by numerous other models at $10K less than the CLS and have just as nice a car to drive.