For most Americans just after World
War II, Mercedes-Benz was associated with the enemy
Germany. For those who had fought in the war
and lived through those years, the sight of anything
German was an affront, and was uniformly frowned upon.
However, a couple of dealers in the USA began importing
the 300S model, and car magazines began touting the
engineering and quality. Although it should have been
the engineering that impressed Americans, it was the
quality and durability that got their attention. Rich
youth imitated Elvis and bought flashy Cadillacs. But
Cadillac, Lincoln and Chrysler suddenly had a competitor
a very expensive competitor, and clearly a cut
above. The wealthy old upper class now took to driving
Studebaker-Packard entered into a distributor agreement
with Mercedes-Benz in 1958 and going to the Studebaker-Packard
dealership became a lot more interesting. Brochures
were now much easier to obtain, even if most of them
were double-sided sheets.
Paradoxically, the oil embargo and high inflation of
the 1970s actually enhanced sales for Mercedes-Benz
sales in USA. American automakers at the time had no
option but to produce cheaper cars to stay in the market.
Quality was compromised to cut costs. This was not acceptable
to the discerning (and well-to-do) customer, and a shift
in loyalty became a matter of natural progression...
Rich American customers moved over to Mercedes-Benz,
and the quality and reliability it stood for.
Quality products usually indicate collectibility and
Mercedes-Benz has a proven record of quality and collectibility.
It is a car many collectors love along with the literature.