January 12, 2012

Mercedes: Smart Cars. Stupid Executives.

The chairman doubled down with: "Some colleagues still think that car-sharing borders on communism," said Dieter Zetsche, chairman of Mercedes-Benz during his first keynote at CES in Las Vegas while discussing the company's CarTogether initiative in front of a giant image of Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevara. "But if that's the case, viva la revolucion!" -- Media - Variety

OOPS! There's just something so German about idolizing a mass murderer:

Mercedes apologizes for using Che Guevara image

Activists reacted with horror to the appropriation of Guevara, whom many political conservatives and Cuban-Americans consider a mass murderer who helped subjugate Cuba. "Mercedes-Benz Uses Communist Madman Che Guevara to Sell Luxury Cars," said the headline on a blog post from the Heritage Foundation, a prominent conservative political organization in Washington. "Che Guevara, not to put too fine a point on it, was a psychopath whose sadistic lust for blood was not easily quenched. He killed for pleasure," said the post, written by Heritage Vice President Mike Gonzalez.
Why they hae to be told this is probably because their American marketing/advertising arm/geeks have actually loved Che Guevara since they were in college. If they though about it at all they probably thought it was "edgy" and "transgressive." Nothing makes you dumber than a higher education in "the arts."

Posted by gerardvanderleun at January 12, 2012 5:52 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Good Lord. I thought it was bad when they used the Janis Joplin song back in 1995, but this takes tone-deafness to a new level.

Posted by: Mumblix Grumph at January 12, 2012 6:38 PM

Didn't the Bader-Mienhof gang used to assassinate German businessmen who drove Mercedes?

Posted by: Fat Man at January 12, 2012 8:04 PM

Mercedes has cachet but they now have the engineering qualities of an MGB.

Posted by: Peccable at January 13, 2012 3:00 AM

Again: when someone finally has the guts to make a poster of Che with the word "Asesino!" (Murderer!) at the bottom of it, some people will finally get it.


Somewhat related: I met a girl at a college course who was from an Orthodox Jewish family, and told us one day that many Jews would not buy any German products - ever. Not a Mercedes. Not a BMW. Not anything with the name Krups on it. If it has the words "Made in Germany" or has any hint of Germanic hands in it, they avoid it like the plague.

Maybe Cuban-Americans (and all lovers of Freedom) should take a hint from that and apply it to other things.

Posted by: newton at January 13, 2012 8:24 AM

Wow! Mercedes has managed to cheapen themselves and Che at the same time. Friggin' Geniuses.

Posted by: Mike Anderson at January 13, 2012 9:06 AM

I was friendly with the former manager for Simon & Garfunkle. Mort was a Jew. He drove an old Rolls and told me a joke that went something like this--

A Jewish man sees his friend driving up in a new Mercedes and says "What are you doing driving a German car?"

"Forget about all that, get in, we'll go for a drive."

The friend gets in.

The seat says "Oy, so heavy."

Posted by: Bonny Kate at January 13, 2012 10:09 AM

Yeah, whenever some German does or says something stupid -- which inevitably will happen on a regular basis, given that we are about 80 million -- it absolutely must me linked in one way or another, whether plausible or not, whether directly or indirectly, to the Nazi past. Positively unavoidable. No way around it.

Nothing has changed in the meantime. Nothing whatsoever. We are all little Hitlers here. That goes without saying.

German stupidities, however trivial, can't just be criticized, the criticism at all cost must frame the stupidity as related to Nazism. That truly serves to shed light on the matter; on any matter German. Of course. A truly enlightening approach.

Oh, and if Americans vote Obama out of office come November, that of course can't have any reason other than that they still and truly and irredeemably are racists, right?

Posted by: Michael at January 15, 2012 5:13 PM

My favorite line from the article: "whom many political conservatives and Cuban-Americans consider a mass murderer". That's a very subtle way of saying that "only these silly conservatives think he's a murderer". The record is clear about how many people he killed and how much he enjoyed killing. Read Che's own writings and it's crystal clear.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at January 16, 2012 4:48 AM

There are probably millions of people who see Che as a hero. Which is the real reason Mercedes used Che in the advertising campaign.

Posted by: davod at January 16, 2012 7:10 PM