The Mercedes brand and Daimler corporation celebrate "125! years of innovation". But I judge those 125 years as 125 years of more or less INCREMENTAL innovation.
Why? Think about the invention of the engine and car itself: a breakthrough. But after that? 125 years later we still sit behind a wheel, behind a polluting engine, above 4 wheels. All automobile companies just changed (not even optimized) each oh so small bit of the original car. Still running on fossile fuel, killing people, polluting the environment, causing jams.
Of course, there is no great resemblance between the mother of all cars and its latest newborn.
But is that an achievement to be truly proud of? After 125 years? Heated side windows? A rear-drive camera (because today's cars are too bulky to be handled without these implants)?
Of course: Everybody is building the best car they ever have. But: What else? A poorer car every year? Come on!
And now think about the Mercedes A-Class, B-, C-, E-, S-, SL, SLK, G-, M-Class and Smart: Seeing all these models and strategies I do see more than 1000 YEARS OF INCREMENTAL INNOVATION.
After all these models, strategies, and years we still haven't transcended the car into mobility.
"They all do not answer the coming challenges of climate change, air pollution, traffic congestion in the world's metropolises.
They all do not deliver satisfying answers to human's new individuality, independence, and impatience."
We still haven't transcended ownership.
We still haven't transcended wheels and streets.
Still haven't transcended the human-driver concept (not even for cargo transportation).
Still haven't transcended petrol.
After 1000 years of development at Daimler. Innovation?
99,9% pure distraction. Advertising. Gimmicks and gadgets. No breakthrough concepts in 125 years, just fashion, incrementals, self-referentiality.
And now: "Mercedes A-Class – The pulse of a new generation!". Seems to be the Generation Golf, or? Hm.
Mercedes, Daimler, come on, there must be more! All you ingenious engineers, you visionary managers, all you board millionaires. Where is your leadership leading us? A Golf with no windows but all wheels?
What will you offer us in another 125 years?
Even Car Sharing, cleverly visionized, will change the history of the automobile much more than the bulk of all that 125year-long trail of incremental innovations.
What's about more courage, more change, more creativity, more true breakthroughs, more inspiration, more leadership!
More disruption, more relevance! More value!
More to be truly proud of!