If you’ve ever watched a Superbowl, or the NBA All Star Weekend Dunk Contest, then you know that the automobile industry is no stranger to marketing and branding tactics. This recent rash of bicycles being branded with car makers’ names is not a new phenomenon, and I’m sure some of our readers will remember the Mercedes-Benz rigs made by AMP Reasearch, the Volkswagen Trek Jetta and various others (a BMW Proflex comes to mind, but I can’t find anything beyond their co-sponsorship of the team…)

Mercedes-Benz is jumping back into the brand game, this time via a partnership with German bicycle manufacturer Rotwild. They’ll be offering a “full” line of bikes; kids, fitness, commuter, full suspension mountain and race-ready road. No prices or release dates have been announced, although I’d guess that if you want one of these you’ll just call the place you bought your G Wagon from… Check out the rest of the photos after the jump.

Sources: Automobile Magazine, Wired

9 COMMENTS

  1. What about all of those crappy GMC mountain bikes littering the streets in all of their 40lb glory? A BUNCH of those were sold….

  2. That reminds me of when Volkswagen partnered with Trek to make the “Jetta Bikes” – and I believe Porsche had a line of mountain bikes for a while. But Mercedes-Benz, that’s a big whoa! Rotwild… I like the red kid’s bike. I wonder if they’ll build their road version with Shimano or Campy or SRAM… We’ll be fun to see them when they hit the market.

  3. I really don’t think those bikes could be taken for anything else than overbuilt design exercises, with exception of the road model. I still remember the BMW tank made in the early years of this century… They tried to place in a bicycle all the technologies they had in their motorcycles at the moment… And the results were not only unpractical, but also hideous!

    I’m still wondering why the major car brands think their industrial designers, so specifically devoted to the automobile world, could desing an efficient and beautiful bike. It’s like they don’t understand how far something considered beautiful in a car is from something we like in the bike world… They seem to think there’s no “gap”, like every desing line can be transparently exported from a car to a bike…

    The only excercise of such kind I can think of as being succesful are the [url=http://www.bikerumor.com/2010/10/14/interbike-2010-beautiful-f-1-tribute-bikes-from-intense/]Intense F1 models[/url]. And they have one key idea in their desings: they don’t ditch ANY major bike feature in favor of some bad taste car reminiscenses…

  4. Well, unless Rotwild and/or Mercedes wants to pay Specialized for the use of their swingarm design, don’t expect it to hit the US.

  5. Many European car companies were making bicycles before they moved into manufacturing motorcars. It seems logical that with congestion in many towns and cities that someone might want to park out of town and continue his journey into town riding his Mercedes bike.

What do you think?