AUTOS: Mercedes' Buy-Back

Mercedes after Mercedes after Mercedes. One might expect to see them at the Beverly Hills Hotel, or perhaps a drive-in movie in Kuwait—but at a factory's employee parking lot? Ah, but the factory belongs to the German automaker Daimler-Benz, whose employees may buy the company's prestigious product at a 21.5% discount. Last year Daimler-Benz's 129,000 workers snapped up 40,000 Mercedes, or 11.4% of total output. After one year, employees are free to resell their cars on the open market. These days they often get 10% more than they paid—and then turn around and buy another. Workers with ten years'...

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