• Germany's news in English
 
Benedict gets revamped Mercedes 'Popemobile'
Photo: DPA

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.
Today's headlines
'We have to take care of Isis victims': minister
A Yazidi woman at a Hannover demonstration against Isis in August.

'We have to take care of Isis victims': minister

The government plans to set up a trauma centre for victims of a mass rape campaign by the Islamic State (Isis) militant group, Overseas Development minister Gerd Müller said on Monday. READ  

Adidas sells three million World Cup shirts
World Cup-winning manager Joachim Löw accepts the award at a gala in Baden Baden on Sunday Photo. DPA

Adidas sells three million World Cup shirts

Football fans have snapped up a total of more than three million replica kits of their world-cup winning heroes, Adidas announced, with much of that boost coming in the run-up to Christmas. The team were also honoured as Germany's "Sportsmen of the Year" on Sunday. READ  

Good news for your Christmas overdraft
Photo: DPA

Good news for your Christmas overdraft

Shoppers who go into the red on their bank account over the Yuletide period have received some early festive good news, with a plan to clarify Germany's complex rules on overdrafts. READ  

Amazon pledge: Xmas pressies will arrive
Striking Amazon workers outside a distribution centre in Leipzig on December 8th. Photo: DPA

Amazon pledge: Xmas pressies will arrive

Online retailer Amazon said on Monday that walkouts at distribution centres across the country wouldn't affect Christmas orders as the strike spread across Europe. READ  

Armed heist at Berlin's top department store
The aftermath of the raid at Berlin's luxury department store Photo: DPA

Armed heist at Berlin's top department store

Stunned shoppers looked on in horror as masked robbers made a daylight raid at Germany's most exclusive department store on the busiest shopping day before Christmas. READ  

Security tests find holes at Frankfurt airport
Security checks at Frankfurt airport in July 2014. Photo: DPA

Security tests find holes at Frankfurt airport

Weapons and dangerous objects were successfully smuggled through security checks 50 percent of the time at Frankfurt airport, in a probe by European Commission inspectors, it emerged on Sunday. READ  

Breakfast stumble costs Berlin giraffe her life
Kibaya before her fatal fall Photo: DPA

Breakfast stumble costs Berlin giraffe her life

One of Berlin Zoo’s most popular attractions has had to be put down, after tearing a muscle in her leg. READ  

Xenophobia thrives in shadow of Berlin towers
A demo in Marzahn-Hellersdorf. File photo: DPA

Xenophobia thrives in shadow of Berlin towers

There's little to break the monotony of communist-era apartment blocks stretching across Marzahn-Hellersdorf, an east Berlin satellite district that has gained national notoriety for a spate of anti-foreigner protests. READ  

Ecuador returns German money in oil valley spat
Photo: DPA

Ecuador returns German money in oil valley spat

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa said Saturday that Quito would be giving back about $8.5 million donated by Germany last year, in an environmental row. READ  

German bank sues Ecclestone for €345mn
Photo: DPA

German bank sues Ecclestone for €345mn

German bank BayernLB is seeking €345 million ($423 million) in a lawsuit against Formula One magnate Bernie Ecclestone over the 2006 sale of the sport's rights, according to a report. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Willy Brandt at his inauguration in 1972. Photo: DPA
National
Willy Brandt: the man, the chancellor... the airport?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Sponsored Article
Why are these International Baccalaureate students cheering?
Germany's national football team lifts the World Cup trophy
Gallery
Germany's most-Googled words of 2014
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Sponsored Article
Top ten gifts for an expat Christmas
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Stuff your face with these festive German cookies
Photo: DPA
Culture
What do beer, breakfast cereal and dildos have in common?
Culture
The Local's guide to German Christmas markets
Sponsored Article
Top five quirky Christmas jumpers
Photo: DPA
Culture
Get ready for Christmas like a German. We tell you how.
Photo: DPA
Munich
She did what with her dead mother?
Photo: DPA
National
Germany still paying for crisis fall out
Photo: DPA
Culture
Saxon wurst is the worst, Christmas market declares.
Photo: DPA
Politics
Can 'sorry' ever be enough for the Linke?
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles through December 19th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,128
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd