This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
According to an electrek.co journalist who got it from the German magazine Spiegel, Mercedes-Benz is being odd again. It’s no trade secret that manufacturers regularly steal each other’s trade secrets. So, why didn’t Mercedes, who wanted to study Tesla’s Model X, the only purely electric SUV on the market, not just, you know, buy a Model X? It’s not like anyone would judge them. We all know they want to check out their competitor considering their own electric SUV, the Mercedes EQC, hits the market soon. Why not buy their own X, or at least pay an employee a comfortable little stipend to do it for them?
Why Did They Instead Rent a Model X from Sixt?
The story goes like this:
Some nice (and we assume ridiculously wealthy) German couple decide to go on vacation. Pretty innocuous. They decide, magnanimously, to loan their Tesla Model X to the rental company Sixt, who rented it to Daimler, the parent/guardian of Mercedes-Benz.
Engineers at Mercedes then proceeded to run the couple’s car through roads tests, dismantle it smash-a-lego-model style, and rebuild it in time for the owner’s return from whatever beach they went to. (Ok, ok… the lego and beach comments represent creative speculation.) But the truth is, Sixt did NOT give Daimler permission to run the tests it did, which included heat and vibration tests, nor did it know Daimler intended the comfy little cruise down to Bar-th-elona (if you pronounce it in the true Spanish style) and back.
Come to think of it, maybe Sixt wouldn’t have asked any questions if it hadn’t been for the damage inflicted on the car in the process. From what I’m reading, it looks like Sixt (not Daimler?) compensated the owners for the damage, which was substantial (thousands, not hundreds). Needless to say, Sixt says Daimler should be held fiscally responsible. We have no idea what the owners of the car say, but we assume it’s in German and that it’s not anything nice about Mercedes-Benz… even if the company does have German roots.
The moral of the story? We’re not sure… but perhaps it’s something like, “When you go on vacation, think carefully about to whom you loan your kazillion dollar car.”