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High End Luxury Cars

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  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I have read that Toyota has licensed hybrid technology to both Nissan and Ford, which seems an indication of how far ahead they are in this area.

    As far as MB, I ran across this: "Toyota Motor Corp. and Daimler-Benz AG of Germany have agreed to open negotiations on a wide-ranging environmental technical cooperation" here (see second story):
    http://www.evworld.com/archives/newsarchives/shoptalk042.html
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Check out the link below. It shows concepts of the first two Lexus models for Japan - both will be at the Lexus display at this month's Tokyo Motor Show. One is the HPX we've already seen, called the LF-X here. The other car, the LF-S, I would think is a disguised next-gen GS simply because the GS will be the first Lexus to have the new styling theme and the link below talks mostly about the styling theme.

    http://www.toyota.co.jp/en/event/auto_shows/lexus/index.html
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Great find! Thanks. The LF-S looks a little radical, I'm not sure I like the prominence of the upper hood, but maybe I'll like it better in person.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Now that I've clicked on the arrow for the rear view, I can't say I care for the rear of the LF-S either.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,

    I think the branding issue is just part of the maturation process of Lexus. They were smart enough to realize that no one was going to shell out $50K+ in the US for a Toyota. We all can look at VW's Phaeton as an example of what not to do. (Incidentially I hear this car sells well in Europe)

    Of course, when you pay that much $$$ for a car, there is a certain snob factor to it all. I'm surprised it took Toyota this long to give Lexus their own brand identity in Japan. It doesn't help the prestige argument when MB fans point to the fact that the LS is sold as the Toyota Celsior in Japan. As I've discussed in my last point, it's just part of the growing process.

    Tasillo,
    The MB crowd knocks Lexus for copying styling cues from MB models and stealing certain options. I'm assuming they want Lexus to have their own identity rather than borrow from others..I've always felt the first LS was the best..The next models got blander and blander. When I look at my LS430, I do see a strong resemblance to the old S class.

    It's annoying. Lexus has shown us that they can build unique looking cars with the RX, old SC, and GS. However, the future of Lexus looks good with the HPX. That's once nice looking car..

    As for stealing options from MB, it's just smart business. (Although bad for prestige discussions like this) The Japanese are known for mimicing others. They take apart someone else's invention and simply make it better. Sony did this with TV's and chased the American companies out of business.

    To me, it really doesn't matter who invented it, but who makes the best product. But I suppose when the discussion involves high priced luxury cars, things aren't so clear cut.

    SV
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    "To me, it really doesn't matter who invented it, but who makes the best product." I agree with your sentiments, and lets keep in mind that what's best for one person isn't necessarily best for the next guy.
  • tasillotasillo Posts: 51
    The interesting thing about Lexus styling is that the only vehicles that receive criticisim are their two flagships, the LX470 and the LS430. Both of these vehicles play to a pretty conservative audience and have been well received despite their bland appearance. The ES, RX, GS and certainly SC lines all have unique styling, regardless of whether you think they are pretty or not. I find the LX470 most disappointing in that there's no attempt to differentiate it from the Toyota Land Cruiser, an exceptional (and expensive) vehicle in it's own right. I agree, Lexus needs to be a little more adventursome with their styling, but avant garde hasn't exactly worked well for Infiniti with it's flagship, Q45.

    Different strokes for different folks...
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    "We all can look at VW's Phaeton as an example of what not to do. (Incidentially I hear this car sells well in Europe)"

    Actually, the Phaeton is not doing well in Europe. I believe it is only selling around 1/3 of what they thought it would.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    "If there is no need for an upper-class nameplate in Japan because of the culture, then why would the go through the trouble of introducing "Lexus" in Japan."

    With Lexus having succeeded in North America they are turning their attention to the global marketplace. In order to be a global brand it's best to have your products branded the same everywhere.

    "The Maybach started out as purpose built car for seperate nameplate, it wasn't an existing Mercedes rebadged for the purpose of selling it somewhere else."

    Nearly all Lexus models have also been purposely built under the Lexus nameplate. The Celsior (LS), Aristo (GS), Windom (ES), Harrier (RX), etc. did not exist prior to the start of Lexus. They were not existing cars rebadged. Since the Lexus name was not used in Japan these cars were sold under a new premium channel, which also did not previously exist.

    "Nor was Maybach thought up at a board meeting, it's a legendary nameplate in it's own right."

    What's wrong with creating a new brand? That's excellent marketing. In fact, the creation of Lexus was so successful that a Harvard Business Review case study was written about it. The best marketers in the world develop new brands all the time. Mercedes hasn't been around forever; at some point it had to be a new brand also.
  • oac3oac3 Posts: 373
    Lenscap stated:

    "Nearly all Lexus models have also been purposely built under the Lexus nameplate. The Celsior (LS), Aristo (GS), Windom (ES), Harrier (RX), etc. did not exist prior to the start of Lexus. They were not existing cars rebadged. Since the Lexus name was not used in Japan these cars were sold under a new premium channel, which also did not previously exist."

    Thanks lenscap for pointing out the obvious that Merc1 and the Lexus bashers fail to understand or even know. So, what's next to bash besides styling ? Which btw, is too subjective to make it a worthwhile discussion topic.

    I own an LS and love it. Not a single problem since day 1 of purchase. I am looking to buy an LX470 anytime from now. Just looking for the right color and price point. I put my money where my mouth is ! Like DonnFen, I have more respect for owners than from wannabe's, who only hypothesize from the few times they have access to their nephew's, niece, or friend's Mercedes car. Add in a good writing skill and voila, you are a Mercedes officianado and auto enthusiast extraordinaire !

    Guess many 50-ish business people driving their S-class Mercs around are buying it for the *performance* or for the *marque* name brand. Jury says: name appeal and snob appeal of the 100+ yr-old Mercedes BRAND. Performance cars are left to the Porsches and Lambo, and Ferraris, AMG's and M.
  • digital_bdigital_b Posts: 126
    the original lexus es was based on the camry and actually the lowest end es250 WAS a camry. the old boxy version before they created the early 90s sensational camry. even after that the es 300 was just a camry with a different nose and in fact one of the car mags which I cant remember the name of did a comparison between a loaded camry and an es 300 and asked the question was the es worth the extra 5000 dollars over the camry.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    The VW Phaeton is outselling the 7 series and selling head-to-head with the S class since its launch in Germany. I posted a link to the article in AutoBild on that a while ago. How it's doing in other EU countries I don't know. But it is doing well, and VW from the beginnign expected to lose money on it. It's part of a brand-building strategy.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    ...would seem to prove the point Lexus copies other brands. It is an Infiniti FX with a removed pair of doors. And Infiniti iteself had "borrowed" design elements from that Saab study that GM in their wisdom pulled the plug on...
  • oac3oac3 Posts: 373
    We've had this discussion in the past about the HPX versus the FX. I personally don't like the FX design cos it looks bloated, with its oversized 20" wheels. But it has been a success, so others must have a better appreciation of design than myself (see why I drive an LS ?). But, the HPX is a much sleeker looking concept, imo, than the FX is. Remember, it is a concept car, and the final release may have little to no resemblance to the concept. I guess we shall see by Summer 2005 what Lexus does with its new releases purported to be based on these new concepts.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    1. "the original lexus es was based on the camry and actually the lowest end es250 WAS a camry."

    The original ES 250 was based on the Camry, yes. But there was no "low-end" ES 250, and they were not the same car. The similarities, though, didn't matter because the ES 250 was only meant to be around two years until the ES 300 arrived.

    2. "even after that the es 300 was just a camry with a different nose"

    Not true. The cars had far more differences. As an example the ES 300 from 1992-2001 had a unique pillarless hardtop structure which the Camry did not. Further, the only part shared by the two cars that a person could see, inside or out, was the windshield.
      
    The Windom (ES 300) and Camry in Japan have always been different cars selling through different sales channels. And, the Windom did not exist prior to Lexus coming - again, it was not an existing car rebadged. You are confusing platform-sharing with being the same car - which the Camry and Windom/ES 300 are not. No different than other platform-sharing cars such as the Jaguar X-Type/Ford Mondeo, Cadillac STS/Olds Aurora, etc.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    What in the world is wrong with platform sharing? I fail to see why this is such a sin for a car company to do? It makes sense, it's economically feasible, and if you didn't read about it, you'd never know! It's all about how the car performs and satisfies the owner/driver, not about which platform it's built on, or how old it may be. Just how I feel......
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    This topic seems to be limited to posts about Lexus, BMW and Mercedes.

    There is a lot of interesting high end iron out there, or debuting soon.

    Bentley, beautiful new coupe
    Rolls, interesting styling to say the least.
    Audi, new A8
    Maserati, probably the most exciting full size luxury car to come out since the 60's.
    Volkswagon, Phaeton?
    Ferrari?
    Porsche?

    Out of all those the Maserati is the most interesting.
    A truly beatiful piece by pininfarina.
    I hope that they can get any electrical and mechanical gremlins worked out before it debuts in the US.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Go here for reviews and other info on the 2003 Maserati Coupe and the Spyder.

    Also here: Bentley, Phantom, 2004 A8, Phaeton, Ferrari and Porsche.

    :-)
  • i_drivei_drive Posts: 35
    i just drove home today, and while on the freeway, a shiny new 2003 silver Q45. i couldn't help but realize the resemblence between the Q and the Audi A4 (ONLY the rear tailights). they have a similar shape and color.

    there is also seriously wrong with my S430. after getting into the garage in the morning to go to work, i find my COMMAND Nav-Tek CD out of the CD-slot! I don't know why. When I pull the car in the day before in the afternoon, it is still in, and no one goes into the car. but the next day, it is ejected, and most of the CD is sticking out. Also, the COMMAND switches into German, and if i leave the CD out, it says ACHTUNG! and other German words i don't understand (i studied German a long long time ago). i have to then manually switch the language back into ENglish and have to pop the CD into COMMAND. i am sending in my car to the dealership soon. has this happened to any of you?????

    i know this has compeltely nothing to do with cars whatsoever, but do any of you Mac-fans (i'm not really one) know if a Powerbook G5 is comming out? I was going to buy a 17" widescreen Powerbook for my son's birthday, but it only has a G4 processor, and wanted to wait for a G5. the guys at the applestore deny that there will be one comming out. could any of you help me???? i only have less than a week to decide...
    thanks!
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    i_drive, you might try researching cnet.com, zdnet.com and other similar sites for the Powerbook question, but maybe someone here has a thought for you.
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