Luxury car makers BMW and Mercedes-Benz seem to be having a bit of a marketing squabble as of late, with nasty quotes being tossed back and forth like punches…soft, luxurious punches.
Yes, the race for the coveted top slot in the Indian luxury car niche seems to be rough, and is getting dirtier as both luxury companies spray a bit of mud from under their pricey tires. Arch rivals and world-renowned luxury car companies BMW and Mercedes-Benz do not seem to be seeing eye to eye, but rather, seething eye to eye, via the press.
Mercedes-Benz has been pointing an accusing finger at BMW, saying they feel that BMW is offering lavish discounts and de-contenting its exotic cars, in particular the 3-Series sedan in efforts to rise to the top. BMW has countered this accusation by saying that Mercedes-Benz is feeling the pressure of competition and therefore losing composure. Ouch! It seems to me that BMW is the ‘Frazier’ of this battle, with a witty and sophisticated approach to engagement.
According to BMW president Andreas Schaaf,
“There is not one single initiative where our rival is ahead of us. Be it such business activities like pre-owned cars, financial services or corporate editions or marketing endeavors like organizing lifestyle events, we have led and they have followed us.”
So where is all of this bitterness and combat stemming from? That is simple. Despite over a decade of time spent in India, Mercedes-Benz is losing its number one position to BMW, who entered that market in 2007. Now it has come down to aggressive product launches, and apparently aggressive behavior. According to Wilfried Aulbur, MD and CEO of Mercedes-Benz India,
“We do not believe in discounts or de-contenting like some of our competitors. We make aspirational products and every customer has some minimum expectations from a Merc. De-contenting will be a shame.”
BMW countered with the following,
“Our brand remains as aspirational as ever but we are only making it accessible to a lot more people. Whatever the competitor may say, we have done in all Asian markets with remarkable results. That is not to say they have not done something similar with their C class.”
Well, in my opinion Mercedes is sounding a bit like a petulant and pouty child, while BMW is sticking to facts and refraining from responding with blatant opinion slips. Way to take a verbal bitch-slap, BMW! I think we can solve this the old-fashioned way, with boxing gloves and beautiful women! It should be interesting to see how far this will go!
Post by Imagine Lifestyles Luxury Rentals