German taxi companies have begun shunning the ubiquitous beige E class Mercedes in favor of less expensive cars. Less than 62 percent of the cars bought in 2003 by newly-established firms -- around 8,000 in total -- have been the limousines from Stuttgart, Wirtschaftswoche magazine reported. Last year more than 70 percent were Mercedes. Taxi companies complain that the cars are too expensive to maintain. Mazda, Toyota, Nissan and above all Volkswagen, the second-most popular taxi provider, hope to profit where Mercedes looses ground.