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J

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Discussion Starter #1
I am thinking back to the 70's and 80's when Merc, BMW and later on Audi were considered to be prestige brands...

For me Prestige meant exclusivity as well as impeccable build quality, their price was such that they were out of the reach of average Joe, who on the whole were content with Austins, Fords, Datsuns and the likes....

Fast forward to the 20th century, Merc has appauling customer service and reliability issues, BMW brand is now about mass production and Audi is just another part of VW....and they all compete within the same market segments that Ford, Nissan and all the other mainstream makers sit within...

so what happened to prestige, did the mainstream up their game or did we the public start to accept less?
 

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People have been able to borrow large lumps of money to buy things
they never ever would have been able to afford. They can't afford them
now but credit makes them think they can :(

Are you sure the service was any better back then? I'm not. The Motor
Trade has always had a bad reputation. If anything it used to be
worse than it is now.

Also the standard of the bread & butter cars has improved no end. There
really isn't such a thing as a bad car anymore. Reliability is unrecogniseable
compared to 30 years ago.

And rose tinted spectacles are for long distance viewing. They don't work
so well close up ;) :lol:
 

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Maserati? They're out of most peoples price ranges and don't sell estates or diesels (at least I don't think they do). That's my idea of a prestige brand anyway.
 
K

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Discussion Starter #4
I know what you mean. For instance, what the hell are Jaguar doing flogging a Mondeo based 3-series Bee-Emm competitor? We now live in a world where the Mondeo is more exclusive than the 3-series. Has the world gone mad?
 

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Prestige is a double-edged sword; the brands people once aspired to, have become attainable thanks to easy credit and the premium brands' desire to offer 'entry level' cars to the masses (think A-class). With those brands comes baggage, and in some cases, a slightly oiky/spiff image. I guess you'd call these diluted brands; perceived as premium once, mainstream now.

The coolest brands are the least pretentious, yet often still carry the ghosts of old perceptions; Skoda is a great example, and so too is Volvo. In an era of phoney smoke and mirrors, their simple, upstanding integrity is quite refreshing, IMHO :)
 
S

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Discussion Starter #6
In the supermarket car park today, I saw a mark 1 E21 BMW 320. It still looked classy (praise indeed, as I am not a fan of 3 serieses). Today, I think BMWs are a bit, well, chavvy. Every wannabe gangster in my town has a 316i. Watch that "Road Wars" programme on Sky, they're always chasing drug dealers in BMWs.
There's nothing more irritating on the motorway than having the kidney grilles stuck to your back bumper, then it passes, and has been debadged for being pathetic.

Audis used to be cutting edge technology (Quattro, 100 C3) but the new A4s and TTs are very common with the pushy career types.

Mercs used to be built as tanks, the choice for presidents and despots to waft about in comfort. A friends dad had an old W123 and an old S class and they were brilliantly comfortable big buses. Now every middle class mother takes their offspring to school in an M class urban assault vehicle. Build quality suffered in the late 90s when the beancounters took over from the engineers.

VWs used to be basic honest transport (Beetle, mk1 Golf), but since the media convinced the general public that German == best, they are perceived as "prestige". But then the Bora seems to be another option for the wannabe gangsters. Especially with blacked out windows and pseudo-German plates.

Rover, in the early 90s, were on the verge of being prestige. The R8 200/400, 600 and 800 were fine looking cars at the time. But we all know how that ended.

Volvos and Saabs I reckon are still prestige. They're more exclusive than the German driving riff-raff. Stereotypically, the drivers tend to be professionals (doctors, dentists, architects). A 1998 Saab 95 still looks fairly new (mostly because GM hasn't really updated the car).

Lexus' (Lexii?) are possibly prestige, if we discount the Alan Partridge and "secret handshake" images. But then they're just big Toyotas.
 

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No neighbours I know have a late RR.:rolleyes: Most of the older shadows are way past it now, as later owners couldn't afford the upkeep. I'd have a new one.:):
 

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Prestige is a double-edged sword; the brands people once aspired to, have become attainable thanks to easy credit and the premium brands' desire to offer 'entry level' cars to the masses (think A-class). With those brands comes baggage, and in some cases, a slightly oiky/spiff image. I guess you'd call these diluted brands; perceived as premium once, mainstream now.

The coolest brands are the least pretentious, yet often still carry the ghosts of old perceptions; Skoda is a great example, and so too is Volvo. In an era of phoney smoke and mirrors, their simple, upstanding integrity is quite refreshing, IMHO :)
words of wisdom....too true....
 

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Something a little more luxurious? Rephrase that a bit. Hand assembled with the utmost attention to quality and detail. A Rolla' straight off the press will do nicely. Yes it would be a 'pressed' version, with the necessary aluminium panels.:):
 

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I used to pop along to R.F Fuggles, Bristol Agents, at Bushey Apline, when they sold Bristols. Saw a few in the Churchill NCP underground on a regular basis in years past.
 

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Hence my saying hand assembled. Superlative quality of construction on close inspection. Beautifully engineered and put together, as are brother Bentleys?:):
 
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