Just when you think that German premium brands have called a truce to focus on warding off the threat from Silicon Valley, Mercedes-Benz has issued a spoiler for the 100th birthday celebrations of its arch-rival BMW.
Between March 8 and March 13 when BMW begins celebrations to mark the centenary of its foundation, Mercedes has cheekily offered all BMW employees free admission to the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. After presenting their employee ID card, the BMW visitors can educate themselves on the early beginnings of the modern-day car from the company that invented it -- thirty years before BMW even existed.
"We warmly congratulate the globally renowned company BMW on its anniversary and invite all employees of BMW AG to discover the complete history of the automobile," Ralf Glaser, marketing chief at Mercedes-Benz Classic, said in a statement.
As a special incentive that will mark BMW visitors from the rest of the museum's attendees, people driving up in a BMW will be allowed to park in a prominent position directly outside the entrance free of charge. It's likely that the Mercedes staff will be secretly watching them and having a good laugh.
In case this not-so-veiled provocation wasn't obvious enough, the museum's restaurant plans to serve up a local Swabian specialty in the shape of BMW's signature double-kidney grille to the first 50 BMW employees who tour the museum.
Now this could be just harmless ribbing, but it's starting to sound more like a college fraternity prank – as if Mercedes had replaced the ground-up meat in the region's much-loved Maultaschen (filled pasta squares) with something other than beef or pork.
And when the look of realization at what they have just bitten into slowly spreads across their faces, want to bet that Glaser has installed a hidden camera to capture that prized moment, which will then be framed and sent to BMW boss Harald Krueger?
"Dear Harald! Happy anniversary from all of your pals at Mercedes :D"