The latest company to fall into the "let's use a famous revolutionary to promote our brand" trap? Mercedes Benz. The luxury car company is using the communist mass murderer Che Guevara as inspiration to launch the company into a "green" future to sell cars with fewer emissions.
"Some colleagues still think that car-sharing borders on communism," Mercedes-Benz Chairman of the Board of Management Dieter Zetsche said onstage at CES today, speaking about Mercedes' new CarTogether initiative. "But if that's the case, viva la revolucion!"
To be sure, a luxury-car maker like Mercedes is not actually promoting communism. But during his CES talk, Zetsche pushed hard on a vision that the company has for a greener future that allows drivers to reduce emissions by using connected and social technology to easily find compatible passengers to share rides with.
Still, it's odd--and no doubt intended to stir up conversation--to hear a company so inexorably tied to money and lavish lifestyles invoking philosophies like communism. Especially with a picture of Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara towering over Zetsche as he talked. Of course, Che's signature beret sported a Mercedes logo.
Either way, Mercedes' car-sharing technology is part of the company's larger vision for a smart-car future, one it's already implementing in its cars, and which it thinks can help drivers save money on fuel, and save the earth from excess emissions at the same time. As well, Mercedes wants to leverage the latest in telematics technology to give those who plunk down small fortunes on its vehicles the most up-to-date driving/technology experience.
"To be sure, a luxury-car maker like Mercedes is not actually promoting communism." Actually, the use of Che's face is the promotion of communism, a form of government that has left 100 million dead over the course of history. It is ironic Mercedes is using a communist figure head to launch their company into the future considering communism is such a backwards idea that doesn't allow for growth and prosperity. Mercedes executives should be ashamed of themselves for idolizing Che, the man responsible for the execution of thousands of Cuban political prisoners, the torture of men, women and children and the establishment of forced labor camps in Cuba. Not to mention Che was extremely racist and homophobic.
UPDATE: Move called stupid by the parent company of Mercedes.
Daimler AG, the German company that manufactures Mercedes-Benz luxury cars, called its promotional use of an image of Marxist revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara a “thoughtless” and “stupid” decision that was not intended to offend people.
The image appeared briefly Tuesday during a promotional presentation for Mercedes-Benz at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.