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Benedict gets revamped Mercedes 'Popemobile'

Published: 08 Dec 2012 12:26 GMT+01:00

The 85-year-old head of the Roman Catholic Church was given two models of the new white Class M car - which has bullet-proof windows and runs on unleaded petrol - at a ceremony in the Vatican gardens.

Benedict was expected to take one of them for a spin for the first time on Saturday, when he visits the square at the Spanish Steps in central Rome for an annual ceremony celebrating the Immaculate Conception.

"It's a joy to be able to accompany Benedict XVI on his journeys. It's an important commitment which we carry out with passion," said Dieter Zetsche, chairman of Daimler, the German company that owns the luxury Mercedes-Benz brand.

Popes have been using Mercedes cars for over 80 years, he said.

The new model has been lowered by a few centimetres to make it easier to transport by plane when Benedict travels abroad. The air-conditioning and lighting have also been improved in a bid to help the head of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics relax during long trips.

Mercedes has provided the special cars to successive popes since the 1980s, the high-sized, reinforced glass design allowing for maximum viewing with high levels of security.

Bullet-proof windows were added after Turkish assassin Mehmet Ali Agca shot and wounded pope Jean Paul II in 1981.

AFP/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

13:13 December 8, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
And here comes the pope with a new lucrative sponsorship deal with Mercedes. Nike and Addidas are said to be competing for the right to display their logo on his frock and pope cap.
21:44 December 8, 2012 by joysonabraham
When did Pope John Paul II become Jean Paul II
23:01 December 8, 2012 by www.emungus.net
DAIMLER: WINNING THE HOLY FATHER¦#39;S HEART IS WINNING THE UNIVERSE -YET MISSION NOT ACCOMPLISHED …

Pope Benedict XVI should feel more holy and much more safer in his new Mercedes-Benz, a '' present'' from Daimler. This company has once again raised the bar high on this gift which likely hides behind a great deal. Daimler grants no free-of-charge gifts -- because no one does... Nothing is free either, especially in the world of business.

The Pope weights heavy. According to the Pontifical Yearbook (2011), this person is the head of more than 1.190 billion faithful Catholics and Christians around the globe (this figure included the man behind these lines). The Holy Father is both a model and an influential icon in the world, his impact on a million people is undeniable. Above all, Benedict XVI he is an unconditioned- Mercedes-admirer.

Here we land ! Having won the heart of The Holy Father equivalent to saying that Daimler indirectly also won the heart of million potential buyers / customers and owners of Mercedes-Benz brand. However , how many of us can afford a Mercedes? Not many… As a result, Daimler should lower the price of its expensive car. This is a sacrifice to accomplish in order to fully win the heart of millions customers in the universe.

/ Robert
08:50 December 9, 2012 by Zubair Khan
www.emungus.net

" As a result, Daimler should lower the price of its expensive car. This is a sacrifice to accomplish in order to fully win the heart of millions customers in the universe."

What a wishful thinking you have or one can say waht an innocent wish! Do not worry will never be fulfilled.
10:13 December 9, 2012 by twisted
Why is it that those who can afford expensive cars seems to get so much for free while the working man has to pay for those cars in inflated prices. Terribly unChristian to me.
12:53 December 9, 2012 by www.emungus.net
@ Zubair Khna

¦#39;¦#39; innocent ¦#39;¦#39; wish ... Dear, are you willing to rephrase your post ?… Do you meant ¦#39;¦#39; bold ¦#39;¦#39; ?
13:13 December 9, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
@Zubair.

The catholic church could also reduce the church tax and take on sponsorship money instead. Similar to how football teams can keep ticket prices down whilst paying the players huge wages by using sponsorship money.
13:36 December 9, 2012 by www.emungus.net
@ twisted

You get the point. Relevant quest indeed
16:17 December 9, 2012 by blackboot11
"Popes have been using Mercedes cars for over 80 years, he said."

Lets do the math here: it is now 2012, minus 80 years would bring us back to 1932. This is the year that Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers' Party with 230 seats for the first time became the largest party in the German parliament.

Hmmm... This is some tradition indeed and somehow this correlation does not surprise me AT ALL !
23:08 December 9, 2012 by lordkorner
I wonder if Benny has Janis Joplin blaring out as he's driven around.
10:56 December 10, 2012 by green idea factory
Remember, Mercedes herself was a Sephardic Jew.
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