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High End Luxury Cars

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  • Just curious if anyone thinks a dealer should negotiate a 2003 S500 w/sports package? Our local dealer gave us a real hard time (we were going to write a 88K check) so we walked out (when the GM leaned across the desk at my husband as if we were deaf shouting: "Where did you get THAT number from?". Were we that unreasonable (large MB dealership in Cary, NC)? Driving home and laughing a lot (I suppose if you wear jeans they think you are really dumb) we decided the car really wasn't worth the ~90+k (with taxes etc). Any thoughts? We're still looking to trade our 2001 750il or get something comparable to keep the miles lower on the BMW. Thanks!
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I have posted before, www.autonation.com. No, I don't work for them (or own their stock). I also have never shopped there, since I haven't bought a vehicle since early 2000. But they are the largest US autodealer, with a number of MB locations (from which you could truck in a car), and best of all their entire inventory is online, complete with VIN numbers...apparently you just email them about one of their cars and they email you back with a 'no haggle' price. Could be a useful bargaining tool even if you have no intention of trucking in a car from FL or wherever.
  • oac3oac3 Posts: 373
    I'd be glad to rid you of that pesky $88K check, lol ! :)

    Wow ! A dealer won't take your $88K check of REAL money !!! That is unbelievable to me, since only an infinitesimal few buyers ever write the full check of their car purchase. There has to be other Merc dealers who'd treat you better and make you feel like a king or queen with that amount of purchase. Shop around.
  • It is amazing some people stay in business.

    Just for fun you might try driving the Jag and LS 430 (Ultra) and the big Audi.
  • Lots of premium car buyers are check writer's. Furthermore, it's all cash to the dealer. They don't carry their own paper unless it's a buy here pay here lot. Not too many of those stock 88,000 dollar cars.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Floorplan on a 90K MB must eat up a lot of profit.
  • is correct. The bank is the one who is on the hook for the money if someone doesn't pay their monthly bill. The way they see it is if you don't buy that car for $90k, someone will. And because they are not bogged down by them. But why the Mercedes? Believe them or not, Consumer Reports just rated ALL Mercedes, Jaguar, and Audi below average in reliability. If you buy one of these, make sure you are comfortable driving whatever loaner car they provide you with because you'll be seeing alot of it. (Jaguar gives nissan altimas, hyundai sonatas, etc.)
  • oac3oac3 Posts: 373
    Luxury car buyers are an "infinitesimal" proportion of ALL car buyers.... MOST cars are financed or leased out of dealerships.

    My point is that it is far cleaner to write up a deal on CASH purchase than the long drwan out bank/dealer finance paperwork. Can't understand why a dealership would pass that up even if it means a few pennies of lost profit. Isn't the less paperwork appealing enough in losing a lousy penny of profit ? I guess not !
  • Not when interest rates are this low. You would have to be a fool to pass up the 3-5% rates when you can outperform that with poor investing skills...
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    What was the sticker price of the car? Given it was a 2003 I would think you would get a decent discount. In NJ there were plenty of 2004 S-500 sport models and S55's advertised in the Sunday NY Times - so any dealer should want to get rid of a 2003 at the drop of a hat. By the way - just my 2 cents - but $88k for that car at this point in time is a rip off. The dealer may have done you a big favor.

    For the board - I don't want to go back there but all those cars that our friend Boo20 said were impossible to get and required as much as a 6-18 month wait were on the list in multiples. But this time they had 2004 in front of them. Again - the list was a 10% representation of all cars available.
  • Thanks for all the responses. The sticker price was around 98k. It had the sports package, keyless go, etc but no phone. We would've paid an extra 2K for that. All in all we were so glad when the GM did his thing that they said 'no' because it seems like it would've been a waste of $$. They did call us back a total of 6 times to close the deal at our price but my husband said 'no.' I think we buy our cars so we simply don't carry depreciating debt although 4% money is a great rate and "poor" very-conservative investments should make 10-12%. My husband likes a good engine for around 100K in a new car and to him the 2001 is no longer new. I'm just curious why we had that reaction from the dealership. It reminded me of when (over 20yrs ago) I bought my first Honda and the salespeople did that thing with writing down a price on a piece of paper with that vertical line. Then the $$ man would walk over to close the deal. Haven't we progressed passed that? Well, we are in NC! It was fun actually - but a bit of a throwback to the 80's. I think we are back to those i-drive BMWs....I'm sure we'll see more of the loaner than the car! JA
  • When my wife and I went in to purchase a clk this last spring, we had a similar experience here in Charleston S.C. They wrote down the number, and we then wrote down our number. After several hours, I believe we got about a thousand off. It really was not worth the thousand dollars, but was worth getting the car at a discount. Amusingly when the closer came over, he used a small calculator and after putting several numbers in, wrote down what he thought was a correct offer.. After thinking about it far a few seconds and being close to exhaustion, I accepted, signed my name , he had already signed his, and then I mentally added the numbers up and there was a three hundred dollar error(to my favor) He then actually beggeg for me to split the difference with him, after we had already shook hands and everything.. I told him I woould let him out of the deal, but after I shook hands on something that was final with me. We left shortly after that with the new car, top down, and so far my wife has had no problems.. I might further add that our own` Merc` of Mercedes fame influnced me to at least keep Mercedes on the list. I find any dealings to be troubling with the dealership, as they , in the past, act as though they are doing you a favor to sell you a car.. Unfortunately Lexis is trying to copy them in they to are acting as though there is a scarcity of cars. I am going to fool both of them and let them know there is a scarcity of dollars. They`l just say they won`t build a car.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Sales trends - I agree completely. It's a up and down thing. If you look at it the S-Class should dive this year, with a new A8, Phaeton and XJ, plus the revised LS, and the still somewhat new 7-Series on hand. Mercedes' marketing maching is so well-oiled though and they gave the S a new trans and 4Matic to keep things fresh until that faithful day in 2005 when it all starts over again.

    I finally got to read that C&D comparo. The S430 they used must have had ABC also, another pricey, seldom-ordered S430 option. I say this because on the spec page they list all the others, except the 745i and S430 as having air springs. They list hydraulic springs for the S430, it must have been a ABC equipped car. No wonder the car cleaned up in the chassis deptartment, but had a eye-popping price. I still don't see how the Phaeton beat the S430 though with all the little niggles they complained about. A similarly priced S500 Sport I think would at least beat the Phaeton and A8. Reading this test underlines where the editors were in terms of preference this time around, ride comfort and features. The three of the four German cars that had athletic handling (S430,745i,A8) and provided more "fun" in their driving experience didn't dominate this time around. Interesting. There has never been a Jaguar XJ in any other place than last before now. What a triumph for Jaguar. Another note of interest, the complaints about the Phaeton and A8's body shake and quivering over bumps. VW has stated that Phaeton is easily the world's most solid and rigid car. I wonder what happened?

    M
  • I think a part of you want the Phaeton to succeed, but that part is wishful thought, imo. VW has nothing, and I mean nothing, to back up the Phaeton. Don't tell me they have the Touareg ! An SUV and a large sedan does not a luxury marque make, lol !! When Toyota came up with the Lexus brand in 1989, they at least had their rock solid reputation for quality and reliablity to back up their new launch. But what does VW have to back-up their luxury car branding ?? Nothing. That's why I suggested VW execs must be smokin' something. IMO, the VW Phaeton ain't going anywhere but the dust. No way Jose, as we say it here in California.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Mostly you're right. I would like to see the car be a hit, but the real problem isn't even VW's other products, its their dealers and from what I'm reading in the Phaeton topic, there isn't going to be much advertising for the car. Doesn't make any sense. Product wasn't Lexus' strong point either in 1990, the LS was their only true luxury car. The ES250 surely wasn't. The T-reg and the Phaeton doesn't make a luxury brand correct, but it does help people get over the shock a big bucks VW.

    M
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Let me guess. Baker MB, Land Rover, Infiniti, Porsche?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Mercedes alive and very well:

    http://www.germancarfans.com/news.cfm/newsid/2031104.003/mercedes- - -benz/1.html

    Of particular note: S-Class and SL-Class sales for Oct 03' vs Oct 02' are way up.

    BMW:

    http://www.germancarfans.com/news.cfm/newsid/2031104.004/bmw/1.ht- - ml

    Of particular note: Sales gains are built mainly on the 5-Series and Z4.

    No info on Lexus, Audi or Jaguar for Oct yet, or at least I couldn't find it.

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Lexus ain't doing too bad either: "The Lexus Division enjoyed best-ever October sales of 22,465, an increase of 40.1 percent. Lexus passenger car sales stood at 11,400, an increase of 10.0 percent." Lexus SUVs up 95% yty in Oct. http://pressroom.toyota.com/photo_library/display_release.html?id- =20031103d

    However, I don't think we should read too much into one month.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    You know my personal feelings on this stuff. I just drove the new A8L and I'd much prefer the S-class (even with 5 speed) over it though it would be an S500. I'd rate the LS first by a whisker over an S500 based on my preferences and I'm using my 5 speed experience on that scoring. But I do wish Mercedes would improve the interior along the lines of the A8. The Audi, the Jag and the Lexus have stunning interiors. I actually think the 7 has the worst interior. It's just to much of a business club. I haven't driven the Jag and I must say after reading the story I am curious to do so.

    I'm also at a loss as to how the S430 scored so low. To me the embodiment of the S-class is always the S500 so I also think they used the weong car. This is another reason why I don't put much reliance on the actual copmparisons. But the individual comments about the cars themselves are noteworthy.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    The Car & Driver article made me think about a similar comparison C&D did exactly 14 years ago in the December 1989 issue. I have a reprint of that article and thought you'd be interested to see the results.

    December 1989
    (Ranking, car, tested price, engine, hp, 0-60 time)
    1. Lexus LS 400, $42,650, V8, 250, 8.6
    2. Infiniti Q45, $38,350, V8, 278, 7.9
    3. Audi V8 Quattro, $49,435, V8, 240, 10.2
    4. BMW 735i, $55,140, I6, 208, 10.3
    5(T). Jaguar Sovereign, $43,500, I6, 220, 9.6
    5(T). Mercedes 420SEL, $62,600, V8, 201, 9.3
    6. Cadillac STS, $36,870, V8, 180, 9.2
  • Every website I visit, including Jaguar's own website and various leasing websites, uses a residual value of about 47% in lease calculations for the Jaguar XJR. These same sites have more realistic (and much higher) residuals for every other luxury automobile. Is Jaguar just trying to disincent people from leasing or is this vehicle really going to depreciate this quickly??!! I am looking at 36 month 12k miles per year lease. A good BMW or Mercedes should have a residual in the low 60% area.
  • has been this route and doesn't wanting to be eating thousands at the auction on lease returns. The 47% figure is probably too high.

    It's a testament to the real value of the car. Maybe this will inspire you to consider a different make.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I saw the new Jaguar commercial on TV last night and it made me think about Jaguar's marketing strategy. The commercial said "Aluminum makes it lighter, lighter makes it faster."

    Okay, I get it. But then how do Lexus and BMW build cars that are even faster without using expensive-to-repair aluminum (according to Car & Driver)? If Lexus and BMW can do it, why can't Jaguar? Why go through all the expense of using aluminum when cars can be designed just as fast, and faster, using traditional materials?

    I just don't get the advantages of using aluminum. Perhaps Jaguar should be touting advantages other than making the car faster.

    This is in no way anything negative toward the car, but more questioning the wisdom of the marketing strategy.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Front business page of today's NY Times had in depth story on Hybrid technology based on the Tokyo auto show. Toyota is way ahead of everyone on this. In fact they are pushing through so many patents that one financial expert quoted in the article said that everyone is going to have to go through Toyota in the future. Nissan already has cut a deal with them to utilize their technolgy.
  • GM is *fighting* Toyota on this fuel cell/gas-electric hybrid technology. GM believes it can produce a fuel-cell powered car by 2010, no one else believes this is remotely possible ! OTOH, Toyota already has a hybrid car by 2001. So here you have one company on a wishing campaign, and another actually delivering its promise. Hmmmmm.... If I were a betting guy, I'd put my money on Toyota cleaning up in this area. Meaning: Toyota will be the king of future technology in fueling our cars. Just imagine what that means to the automotive industry. It is a mind-boggling concept which many people have yet to comprehend the enormity of today.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I didn't get it either until syswei brought it up and I started paying attention. Maybe this, at least in part is why Toyota stock trades at so much higher a multiple than any other auto stock. Now it's already influencing my purchase decisions so that I can get at a hybrid car on the go round after this. It's amazing how little press this gets in the auto rags but in the business world this is similar to Microsoft re-stating the computer world in 1985. It is enormous and the higher gas prices go the bigger it gets.
  • Look at the cons to hybrids:

    1) Better gas mileage (could see 35mpg RX400H next year) The 2004 Prius is factory rated to 55mpg !

    2) Power boost, where a V6 feels and accelerates like a V8 !

    3) All of these with zero emmisions (PZEV)

    and

    4) Depending on which state you live in, you could get a tax credit or tax deduction (according to IRS) for owning one (see: fndlyfmrflyr "Toyota Prius 2004+" Oct 29, 2003 10:46pm

    More interesting read on the auto industry and hybrids is here:

    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/03_43/b3855072.htm
  • You are right on Tony
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Interesting. Chrysler seems hopelessly lost. Who on earth wants a noisy Diesel. No chance. I wonder where the Europeans are on this. Gas prices in europe are triple the US so like Japan they should have started sooner rather than later. But given the Chrysler comment it would seem that Mercedes is nowhere and they are always the leader.
  • If any vehicle can take a run at the sub 50% three year residual, it is the new 7 series. And my last three cars have been BMWs. It is painful to look at any other make, but they really haven't given my any choice. Save your biased advice for some other sucker. There is NO CHANCE the 3 year resid on the new XJR will be less than 47%, unless someone finds away to add an aftermarket iDrive to it...
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