I nearly spit out my morning Diet Coke (I need caffeine, but I don't drink coffee) while reading my daily dose of Blue Collar Mountain Biking today...
Don't you just love these auto manufacturers? Everything is proprietary. First, the radio, GPS system, DVD players...next, the roof racks...and now, even the bikes.
Ok, I understand the purported advantages of proprietary systems when they are integrated into the whole (like a radio), but, while the bike may be carried on the car it will hopefully be detached more than it will be integrated. So what is the advantage of having a proprietary bike to go along with the proprietary car?
My guess...it's really more about the showroom. Adding the "hip factor" to the presentation of the car. Over the last few years Mercedes has really gone the way of Cadillac in it's buyer demographic and in it's design (coincidence anyone?).
So to all of the auto manufacturing readers of this blog...here's a hint...leave the bikes up to the bike manufacturers. Partner instead! Volkswagen did this with Trek. Now I know, VW has had its struggles of late, but they were the hippest thing going when they started working with Trek in the late 90's. It seemed like every young-new economy-urban-sport-hipster drove a Jetta with a pair of Trek's on the roof tooling around town. (Did you ever notice how clean their bikes were?)
Now I don't begrudge the sale of a bike simultaneously with a car. In fact, I'd love to be able to roll the purchase of a new bike right into my car loan. This is a great way to lessen the perceived financial impact to the spouse. But, let me choose the bike. Or at least develop a limited edition of a major bike manufacturer's line.
Did you read the whole press release? My favorite line:
For those who don’t mind getting a little dirty, Mercedes Accessories offers the mountain bike.
Don't mind??? It's not that we don't mind getting dirty...we LOVE to get dirty! Come on now...at least talk to some cyclists before putting out this marketing drivel. Then again Mercedes knows its customer best. Right?