The A-class ’baby’ Benz that failed the Swedish moose test gave
British motoring writers something to get their teeth into last
Covered in 17 articles in national dailies, with supplementary coverage
in seven Sunday newspapers, the story showed how a ’wait and see’ policy
can turn into often expensive damage limitation.
In Mercedes’ case it was a somewhat obscure Swedish automotive journal
Teknikens Varld, whose journalist Robert Collin was present at a
motoring writers conference called by Mercedes Benz to counter claims of
instability in its ground-breaking and award-winning small car. With
dramatic TV footage of a damaged car (and injured passengers) Mr Collin
Later coverage about a Trabant which passed the same test did further
damage not only to Mercedes, but the German car industry in general.
Although generally acknowledged as an ’extreme’ test, the episode was
adjudged a PR disaster which Mercedes had failed to spot in the oncoming
Evaluation and analysis by CARMA International. Cuttings supplied by The
Broadcast Monitoring Company. ’What The Papers Say’ can be found at: