The New Mercedes

Can the once stodgy builder of big-ticket luxury cars trans form itself into a full-range auto maker? The risks are huge

As he roars down twisting Italian country roads in a sleek new roadster, Helmut Werner is having the time of his life. "I have the best job in the world," grins the trim and athletic 59-year-old, speeding past Tuscan vineyards in an open-top Mercedes SLK.

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