By Matthew Keegan
German cars have long been recognized as some of the best engineered and most luxurious cars in the world. Two manufacturers, BMW and Mercedes, rule the roost with offerings from Audi, Porsche, and even Volkswagen getting some attention. Let’s take a look at some current offerings from these Bavarian giants and see how they are impacting the auto industry.
BMW – Give BMW credit for moving outside of the box by building a plant in South Carolina. Opened in 1994, the Spartanburg, SC plant has produced the Z3 – now Z4 – roadster as well as the X5 SAV. Seeking to become more of a world player, BMW has also purchased controlling interest in other automakers including Rolls-Royce and Rover during the 1990s. Later, BMW sold off the Rover and MG portions of Rover, but has kept the Mini brand.
BMW vehicles are well represented in the US. Coupes, sedans, convertibles, roadsters, and SUVs make up the American fleet with new cars at various stages of development being prepared for release.
Mercedes Benz – As part of the Daimler Chrysler fold, Mercedes Benz has been producing high quality automobiles for over a century. In 1998, seeking to expand its reach, Daimler Chrysler [DCX] bought out the Chrysler Corporation. Names such as Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth, Jeep, and Mopar became part of the DCX fold, although Plymouth was discontinued a few years later.
The Mercedes Benz name is synonymous with luxury vehicles and in the US the company is well represented by a host of sedans, coupes, convertibles, tall wagons, SUVs, roadsters, and other fine vehicles.
Owners of BMWs and Mercedes Benz do have some things in common: vehicle maintenance. As high end vehicles, the automakers are noted for equipping their cars with only the finest OEM parts. Well represented manufacturers used by both companies include: Bosch, Hella, Mahle, Textar, Brembo, Bilstein, Febi, SKF, and others. Most are German born and bred and are recognized the world over for producing the highest quality parts for auto manufacturers.
Replacement auto parts purchased through dealer parts departments are priced at a premium. When you take into consideration any tariffs, import fees, and third party mark ups, consumers can expect to pay a mint for each part. The growing internet wholesale market has been changing the paradigm lately as companies such as Car Parts Stuff are selling direct to consumers. The better online wholesalers have lowered costs significantly as overhead is low and they buy direct from leading manufacturers. This translates into real savings for you, the consumer.
When purchasing any parts for your luxury car, always determine that the parts you order meet or exceed OEM specifications. There are a lot of counterfeit parts on the market; shop wisely and you will get premium parts at low prices.
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