Luxury cars are increasingly irresistible for many Vietnamese, say industry players who report rising sales even as daily life becomes harder for the majority struggling to cope with one of the world’s highest rates of inflation.
Audi’s A6, launched at the Vietnam Auto Expo last month, costs almost $142,000 — which would take the average Vietnamese worker 182 years to earn.
Yet Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Audi and other high-end brands are increasingly common on the narrow streets of Hanoi, where they vie for space with the motorcycles which are standard transport for most people.
Luxury cars are in demand more than ever, according to statistics released this week by some of Germany’s top automakers.
Mercedes-Benz, one of the world’s best known luxury auto brands, has sold more vehicles around the world in the first half of 2011 than in any previous year, with 610,531 drivers splashing out on a car between January and June.
It says that by the end of this year, it has its sights on selling 1.3 million Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, setting an all-time sales record.
There was a time when a toddler dressed head-to-toe in designer labels would have raised eyebrows, but walk around the streets of Europe’s capitals nowadays and you’ll see it’s become almost de rigeur.
Perhaps then, as the popularity of dressing and feeding every member of the modern luxury-loving family in the same way grows, it’s no surprise that hotels are becoming ever more creative when it comes to conceiving classy new services which can keep both parents and their pint-sized progeny amused.
The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin was the first in the German capital to introduce a “Very Important Kids” program aimed at satisfying the needs of its younger clientele, and relaunched it earlier this year with an even wider selection of activities — and the promise that it’s the “ultimate luxury hotel experience for children.”
Mercedes-Benz has unveiled its latest SUV, the M-Class ML 350, a fuel-efficient model designed to help it overtake rival BMW.
The new Mercedes-Benz M-Class promises to cut fuel consumption by 25 percent compared to the previous model, and is described as a “quantum leap”.
It could enable Mercedes to gain a lead on BMW‘s rival, the X5 SUV, with analysts predicting that there could be a sales difference of as little as 1,000 by 2013.
We’ve seen Maserati, Audi, McLaren, Range Rover, Lexus, and even Shelby come out with their own bicycles in the past few months.
And now German automaker Mercedes is getting ready to jump on the bandwagon. In its Bike Selection 2011, Mercedes-Benz combines uniquely attractive and innovative frames with dedicated, up-to-date components.
For those racing on the road, Benz has a carbon fiber bike weighing 6.8 kgs. And for those doing terrain biking, Mercedes-Benz has a mountain bike that is powered with Fox Racing F32 RL suspension fork with a DT suspension strut on the rear.
Eurocopter’s EC145 Mercedes-Benz Style helicopter made its world debut at the 2011 European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva.
Conceived in a styling project led by the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio in Como, Italy, the interior of the EC145 Mercedes-Benz Style is inspired by the automaker’s range of high-end vehicles.
It features deluxe materials, elegant woods and ambient cabin lighting, along with multi-function boxes.
Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that it is to launch a roadster version of its SLS AMG performance car, releasing initial — disguised — images of the vehicle.
The SLS AMG Roadster, a non-identical twin of the ‘Gullwing’ SLS AMG Coupé which made its debut in late 2009, will be unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September, and testing is already underway ahead of the market launch.
Mercedes-Benz says that the new model was designed in parallel with the SLS AMG Coupé and therefore shares many of its features, including the performance engine.
Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a radical overhaul of its A-Class compact at Auto Shanghai. The German automaker said that the new Concept A-Class was “the first heartbeat of a new generation.”
It signals a major departure from the boxy outline of the current A-Class, popular in cities because of its small size, in favor of a long hood, low silhouette and more sporty appearance.
Mercedes-Benz design chief Gorden Wagener said that the new look was inspired by “the wind and waves, as well as aviation engineering, resulting in this ‘cool’ look.”
Mercedes-Benz looks set to go head-to-head with Audi in the young, urban market, revealing a dramatic redesign concept of its A-Class series.
The new Concept A-Class will go on display at the Shanghai and New York auto shows and is a significant departure from the current, rather boxy A-Class model.
Images released by the automakershow a far lower, swept design with pronounced nose which hints strongly that Mercedes is targeting the Audi A1, which has proved very popular since its launch last year, and the BMW 1 Series.
125 years of Mercedes-Benz heritage is celebrated as hundreds of vehicles come to life and make a pilgrimage to greet the new family members.
German carmaker Mercedes Benz reintroduced its hyper-luxury Maybach car in India on Tuesday, pitching it at the country’s growing number of super-rich.
The car, which can touch speeds of 275 kilometres (170 miles) an hour, will be priced at up to 51 million rupees ($1.1 million).
“There are customers out there who can afford the unparalleled luxury of this car,” said Mercedes Benz India chief executive Peter Honegg at the launch, saying the company was aiming its cars at those who can afford private jets.
Mercedes-Benz has finally unveiled its next-gen electric vehicle, the SLS AMG E-Cell, which is on display at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-CELL is part of Mercedes-AMG’s “AMG Performance 2015” strategy that aims to continually reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
Power for the E-Cell will be provided by four electric motors – all located at the rear of the vehicle – that are capable of revving to 12,000 rpm.
GWA Tuning has drafted a one-off prototype based on the Mercedes-Benz C111 called the Ciento Once.
The San Antonio, Texas-based tuner, owned by designer Arturo Alonso, decided to revive the 1970 C111 to create another gullwing Mercedes.
The C111 was an experimental vehicle by Mercedes-Benz that featured a four-rotor Wankel engine.
Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that its Concept Shooting Break, unveiled at the Auto China Show earlier this year, will go into production.
The luxury manufacturer said November 8 that the CLS Shooting Brake, a sporty four-door model with distinctive sloping tail, will be available in 2012.
It will be the latest in the CLS series, which is heralded by Mercedes-Benz as a pioneering model that preceded similar ideas from other manufacturers such as the Jaguar XJ and VW Passat CC.
For those who need more bling in their lives, Mercedes released these limited edition key fobs garnished with Swarovski crystals.
A limited edition of 800 of these luxurious keys will initially be offered to customers in Japan.
The idea for the Swarovski Mercedes keys came internally, amongst the employees of the companyâ€™s Business Innovation Community.
At the 2010 Australian International Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz is showcasing two unique AMG vehicles, a C 63 AMG called Concept 358 and a special-finish SLS AMG, built exclusively for the show.
The Concept 358 is the only C 63 AMG in the world to be painted in designo Pearl Orange paint from the AMG factory in Affalterbach, Germany.
The vehicle is fitted with the AMG Performance Package Plus , allowing the driver to play with a total of 487 hp.
The architecture studio A-cero is making projects beyond the traditional term of â€œhouseâ€ and has created a habitable and comfortable space inside a truck.
Designed for long term living, this luxury caravan comes complete with a garage to park your car.
The furniture is built from Corian: a light and hard material that supports the usual vibrations and movements of driving.
German automakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz have released details on the electric scooter concepts they plan to unveil at the Paris Motor Show next week.
The scooters, which will be presented by BMW and Mercedes-Benz under the MINI and Smart brands respectively, are hints at the direction both companies could take with electric mobility in the future.
MINI’s Scooter E effort is based on the current production MINI cars, with 11-inch wheels and a “powerful and robust appearance,” which, combined with the large, round front light and radiator grill, evokes the MINI four wheelers.
A Mercedes-Benz 600 that was purchased by Elvis Presley in 1970 will be auctioned on December 6 at Bonhams in Weybridge, England.
One of only a handful of cars that Presley registered in his name, the Mercedes-Benz has attracted a pre-sale estimate of Â£150,000 – 200,000.
Presley kept the car, which was one of two 600 Mercedes he owned, for two years before giving it to a friend, James Leroy Robertson.