While hurtling past crumbling cliffs and feasting my eyes on the beauty of the Saint Lawrence River, I can’t help but find a certain irony in the situation: a Mercedes-Benz driving deep into the heart of Quebec.
The irony is that the Mercedes-Benz C 300 4MATIC coupes in our convoy were about to succeed where Karl Donitz had failed. Do you know what I’m getting at?
During WW2, a battle both near and far from our daily lives, the upper echelons of Nazi Germany ordered Karl Donitz, an admiral in the German Navy, to stop allied supplies from reaching Great Britain.
To accomplish this, the admiral deployed Germany’s impressive fleet of U-boats, the world’s most advanced vessels of their kind at the time, on a mission to sink hundreds of ships.
When this occurred, the Port of Montreal was one of the Allied Force’s busiest hubs—and the only way to access it was via the Saint Lawrence River.
Admiral Donitz launched a series of military expeditions against the allied ships in the Gulf of the Saint Lawrence in an attempt to prevent boats coming from Montreal’s port from passing.
Some submarines even entered the river, where they confronted Canadian and British naval forces.
In the end, the Allied Forces succeeded in protecting the ships and Hitler’s goal—cutting off Montreal from Europe—capsized.
Germany was unable to penetrate Quebec using force, thankfully!
However, the country has since succeeded, but on an economic level. And the little C 300 coupes were there to prove it.
How did luxury vehicles from Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi manage to gain the foothold they have today?
After driving the new C 300, the answer seemed pretty clear to me.
These brands were the first to develop luxury vehicles that combined comfort, refinement and precision, while our home-grown luxury brands fumbled with strategies that only appealed to a minute section of the population. Take Cadillac, for example.
The brand is making a comeback now, but you’ve got to admit that it’s already way behind. While Cadillac worked overtime to tear apart the BMW 3 Series and use their findings to create the ATS, BMW was working on a brand-new 3 Series. By the time the ATS was ready, BMW had a new, more modern car on offer.
Engineering trumps weapons, while innovation beats imitation.