You get the impression that the last recession has been playing on the mind of Merc boss Dieter Zetsche.Back then one of his jobs was to head up the team responsible for the second generation 190: a car which was criticised for a reduction in the sort of quality we had all come to expect from Mercedes-Benz. The suspicion was that Benz bosses had saw the economy taking a dive and taken some cost out. Now though he's keen to put across the view that M-B won't be doing that again. 'We won't be eating our seat foam' 'We're not reinventing the wheel, just everything else' were two memorable bon mots from a confident Zetsche at the preview of the new E-class here in Detroit.Zetsche then made it pretty clear that the R and D budget was going to stay the same. A message that VW group boss Martin Winterkorn reiterated the next day. But the German companies aren't yet feeling the same financial pain as some of their rivals. Let's just hope that GM or Ford products being launched at Detroit 2013 aren't full of obvious cost-cutting measures from financial decisions being taken now.