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How come a Mercedes is so cheap?

By Dian Vujovich

Used to be, owning a Mercedes-Benz was something people aspired to drive one day. It was the car for the elite. For those who had arrived. For people who liked that combination of luxury with safety and, of course, status. It wasn’t a ride for everybody. But hey, that was yesterday and times have changed.

If you’re a fan of the brand and in the market for a new vehicle, it has been hard to miss the full- and half-page ads for the 2010 Mercedes C-Class. Lease prices on those babies right now look closer to those of yesteryear’s Honda Accord’s than any Mercedes’.

From Delray to North Palm Beach, Mercedes dealers have advertised monthly lease payments of $309 a month, plus tax. All anyone who is looking for a chance to step up need do to qualify for the deal is have great credit and cough up about $3500 in cash.

Credit not-so-hot and depending upon how not hot it is, a lease still may be possible but it will cost you.

Given that I can’t ever remember seeing a lease payment that low on a Mercedes, I decided to call a couple of dealers in the area and ask what the deal is all about. The general manager at Mercedes-Benz on Palm Beach on Okeechobee didn’t return my call. But Tim Asay, general manager at Mercedes-Benz of North Palm Beach, did.

Asay says the reason for the attractive offering is basically three-fold: The new 2011 models are arriving and Mercedes is being very aggressive and opening up their brand.

“We tell people, and they tend not to believe us, that sometimes things sound too good to be true— but that this one is real, ” says Asay who is new to the area and been g.m. at Mercedes-Benz North Palm Beach for the past six months.

Want to drive a C300 and who knows how long they’ll be available. Of course that sounds like a car salesperson’s line but apparently the North Palm MB dealer had 40 C300’s the first of this month and were down to 14 today (Friday). So sounds like they’re flying off the lot.

If you decide to go for it and drive up to see Tim, tell him I sent you.

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