Mercedes S-Klasse Premiere – Sturm und Drang!

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Mercedes-Benz premiered its all new S-Class sedan in Hamburg on May 15, 2013.  Held at the Airbus factory where final assembly of the Airbus A320 and A380 is occurring, Mercedes took advantage of an over-the-top venue for an over-the-top introduction to their new Flagship.  While an introduction like this should showcase the car (which it did), the showmanship used by Mercedes in this occasion was second to none.  A very official looking YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U94OftPwcAc) shows the event up to just before Deiter Zetsche announced Alicia Keys who was sitting in the back of the center stage S-Class.  They probably were prevented from showing her performance for contract reasons, but it was pretty darn good.  She even worked very well with the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra that was playing original compositions prior to her arrival.

Prior to the show was the typical hyperbole about how great the car is (While the A380 is the “Queen of the Sky”, the S-Class is the “Queen of the Road”), it was obvious the presenter was stalling.  The presentation was in German, but clearly something was going on.  Taking off the earphones provided for translations, you could hear the rain pounding on the roof and claps of nearby thunder.  According to people on the support team, they were working on alternative approaches to the presentation minute-by-minute.  In the final analysis, they chose the right approach.  Mercedes kept it as natural as they could.

Some things to look for in the Premiere… the curtain came up with an Airbus A380 in the background and a Mercedes SLS gullwing in the foreground.  It was pouring down rain and the thunder storm had just subsided a bit.  Standing next to the SLS was The Stig from BBC’s Top Gear.  The Stig stepped into the SLS with practiced flexibility, shut the gullwing door and spun a donut in the water.  He drove towards the A380 as the Mercedes lineup all in white lined up to provide a corridor for the new S-Class to approach the stage.  Still raining, two S-Class sedans parked on the stage dripping wet.  Hats off to Mercedes for not having the cars immediately wiped off as most car companies would have.  Very classy!

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