Tag: Mercedes-Benz

Amazon man orders 20,000 Mercedes vans

Thursday, 20 September, 2018

The EU’s top antitrust regulator, Margrethe Vestager, has launched an investigation into whether Amazon is unfairly monopolizing data to outsell its rivals. There’s a growing chorus of voices on both sides of the Atlantic now questioning whether the company’s ocean of data gives it an intrinsic advantage. The problem, of course, is that there’s data and data and it depends on what exactly the definition embraces. Amazon relies more and more on “behavioral data,” which reveals who precisely is interested in what product, and this is priceless information. Margrethe Vestager will have quite a job to pry that from the calculating hands of Jeff Bezos.

Meanwhile, the same Jeff Bezos has just has ordered 20,000 Mercedes Sprinter vans for Amazon’s US Delivery Service Partner program, which enables small businesses to lease
vans for deliveries through third-party fleet management companies. Amazon also offers them fuel, insurance, uniforms and access to its delivery technology. Fedex and UPS, which each have around 60,000 delivery vehicles, will be keeping a close eye on this one while hoping Margrethe Vestager can slow or stall Bezos’ hyperdrive.


Here today: Stuttgart

Saturday, 14 October, 2017 0 Comments

The name Stuttgart dates from a time when the site of what would become the city was a place for breeding cavalry horses (“stud yard”). Hence the equine logo of the city. And that same prancing horse graces the Porsche logo. That’s because Porsche’s headquarters are in Stuttgart, along with those of Mercedes Benz, Bosch and Mahle plus lots of other companies, large and small, that keep the “Motor City” humming.

“Stuttgart from Above” was created by videographer Mario Hegewald. The music is Neon Light by Thomas McNeice and Robin Thomson.


The Deutschmark and the Diesel

Thursday, 3 August, 2017 0 Comments

Until it was replaced by the euro in 2002, the D-Mark (Deutsche Mark) was one of the world’s most stable currencies. In its short but eventful 54-year history, it was the official currency of West Germany and later the unified Germany. And then it was gone.

Is this the destiny of diesel? German. Stable. Gone.

Deutsche Mark Sure, history will note that Rudolf Diesel’s invention had a longer run. He filed a patent for an “internal-combustion engine” in 1895 in the US but it’s a safe bet that it is headed for the same fate as the D-Mark. Going, going…

Along with diesel fumes, fear was in the air yesterday in Berlin when German car executives and political leaders met to rescue Rudolf Diesel’s legacy. Their over-hyped meeting — dramatically described as a “diesel summit” — resulted in a plan to update the software in five million cars to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides, the diesel by-product most harmful to human health. But it’s too little, too late. There’s a crisis of confidence in Germany’s most important industry. Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW are facing growing public anger at home and abroad for downplaying the health effects of diesel fumes and, in some cases, misleading customers about how much nitrogen oxides their cars produce.

The impact of all this on Germany cannot be overstated because vehicles are its single most important export product. They are also the most visible symbol of German engineering. Those arrays of BMWs, Mercedes-Benzes and Porsches are a source of national pride and (like the D-Mark once) a vital part of post-war German self-image. News that Volkswagen agreed to pay more than $22 billion in the United States in fines after admitting that it had programmed diesel cars to cheat on emissions tests rattled the country, and recent reports that Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler may have secretly agreed to cut corners on emissions hardware has created a feeling of betrayal.

France and Britain want to end the sale of diesel cars. Athens and Madrid are banning them entirely, but Germany is hanging on for dear life to its preferred fuel. It’s a risky strategy because hansom cab drivers didn’t see the automobile coming and the makers of the internal combustion engine might not hear the approaching electric car.

Tomorrow, here: Tesla moves up a gear.