Not that kind of merc. I'm talking about the cars. Have you ever wondered about all the beat up, vintage Mercedes crowding the streets of the Middle East? Growing up in North America, you never saw Mercs from the 50s, 60s or 70s. What's more, when you did see them, they were luxury cars, not dinged up taxi cabs. So what gives?
On a flight a while back, I sat next to an Austrian gentleman who explained it to me. After WW2, Germany was rebuilding its auto industry and Mercedes, like all major corporations, began looking abroad for export markets. North America was a non-starter due to residual bad blood from the war but there were no such obstacles in the Middle East. So, that's where they focused their efforts. Kind of obvious when you think about it.