Mercedes-Benz 190
Vehicle Make/Model Specifications:
Make: Mercedes-Benz
Model: 190
Mercedes-Benz 190

Mercedes-Benz has for a long time been involved in a number of firsts. Not many automakers would admit this, but by Mercedes-Benz's own admission, the 190 was 'massively over-engineered'. In November 1982, the Mercedes-Benz W201 was introduced as the Mercedes-Benz 190. A load of money was spent researching and developing this car because Mercedes-Benz was acutely aware that a failure of this model could easily bring down the rest of their model line. They also feared that it could ultimately bring down the entire company's reputation. Which in reality is a very realistic fear. They were not looking to be competing for one or two customers to switch from Ford or Rover, but for hundreds, even thousands, of customers to make the switch to Benz. They anticipated that suddenly these customers would find a new side to Mercedes-Benz with a new image of compact executive cars. The UK market was kept on the edge for up to 12 months longer than the rest of Europe to get the 190s into the showrooms. Of course, this heightened demand allowed that as soon as the vehicles arrived in showrooms, they were sold. What was seemingly a disaster in production, turned out to be a salesman's dream come true. Local bureaucratic red tape in Bremen prevented Benz from building the 190 there, as they had wanted. Thus, production was started in Sindelfingen at a maximum capacity of just 140,000 units per year. This was clearly not enough and eventually after just the first year, Bremen was cleared for production of the 190. But things were not all-good news, as the 190 suffered upon the release of the sportier and more powerful, Saab 900, the Audi 80 and the BMW 3 series in 1987-1991. Nevertheless, when it was on top, it was truly on top.

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