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High End Luxury Cars

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  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yikes you'd consider a "Mercedes-Benz"..oh my. Didn't think that would be possible, I'm shocked.

    ljflx,

    Yeah I know that is true about initial quality, but those MY 2000 S-Class cars were troublesome from the start and Mercedes did address those issues (Airmatic and Comand mainly) so I really expect the 2003+ models to do pretty well in the 3 year dependability studies, but we'll see. Of course by 2006-2007 they'll be a new S-Class...ugh. I disagree with the perception theory. If a car is having problems in the first 90 days then it isn't living up to the perception and people that spend that kind of money would report it don't you think??

    "Personally I don't know anyone who's had a flawless Benz right now and I don't know
    anyone who hasn't had a flawless Lexus. "


    I'm not saying that isn't true in your case, but I've always thought you glossed over things like that a little too much for me. When people are happy overall with a car they're a lot less likely to harp about a minor problem that may or may not have happened. Your circle loves their Lexi so I'm not surprised. However Lexus' do have problems, the IS300 and GX470 have proven that right here on these boards, and yes I know they are far less frequent than Mercedes-Benz's.

    You're starting to see the light about (what should be) Mercedes' purpose in life! That makes two very shocking revelations on this board in one day. Wow. Seriously though they might be doing just that. For one the quality of materials and build have gone up (reportedly) significantly with the new SLK and the CLS. This is per the British press, which is much rougher on MB's mistakes than the U.S press is. They've decided to get rid of the 4-cylinder SLK over here. Thank god, because that engine wasn't fit for the SLK and it sounded like an old Freeze King unit. The CLS is coming in V8 guise only, the CLS500. No multi models to have to concentrate on. There will probably be an AMG version for 2007 though. Premium cars only should be the thinking Stuttgart, at list as far as the U.S market is concerned. We'll see what happens.

    M
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    merc1,

    The IS300 has reliability/quality issues?

    I haven't seen any sign of those.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    imho this is with a mountain of salt since it comes from autospies (who had predicted the 2004 LS would be a "complete redesign")...

    http://www.autospies.com/article/index.asp?articleId=2884&cat- egoryId=1
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I'm just waiting for the day when you say you'll consider a Lexus.
  • You said the following....

    "When people are happy overall with a car they're a lot less likely to harp about a minor problem that may or may not have happened."

    I agree, which brings the question that we should be talking about....WHY are people so unhappy with their benz that they harp about every minor problem?....ALSO what is it about Lexus that makes people who own them so happy?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    We are not going there again - this is NOT a Lexus vs. MB discussion, no matter how hard some of you try to make it be so.

    Also, the sarcasm that shows up here from time to time is out of place. We are supposed to be discussing - and enjoying - the upper-end vehicles, not poking needles in each other's eyes.

    Sheesh. Am I a broken record, or what?

    :)
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    You need to recruit more fans of other marques to this board.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    So does everyone else. :)

    Has anyone heard from arcoates lately? He's been MIA for some time now.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I posted the other day that I'm sure there is some infighting in Toyota about moving to sport from the highly successful conservative theme. Likewise I'm sure theres is similar "I told you so's" in MB about the move to volume and healthy discussions about retracting from that move. It looks like the CFO made the bold move on Mitsubishi. That's what CFO's are supposed to do - protect the business and its assets.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    It was during the introduction of the car, long cleared up by now. Nothing major.

    syswei,

    If I had millions and millions of dollars and had every European car I could ever want I'd at least consider a SC430. I still find it to be the most "interesting" Lexus. I was a fan of the previous SC400/300 believe it or not. It was a very good design for a Japanese car.

    michael_mattox,

    Easy, because of the money paid for and rep of MBenz. A lot of people expect perfection and if the car doesn't deliver that it gets blasted. Plus unlike Lexus, Mercedes has this 118 year reputation to live up too and when they don't...look out! A dual-edged sword. My point on here is that there seems to be too much exaggeration in these areas.

    ljflx,

    Man you don't know the half of it. There are some MB fans on other boards here and at germancars fans that totally disagree with me about MB moving back towards their old way of producing fewer, but higher quality cars. I usually find these folks to be lacking in understanding of what Mercedes-Benz truly is. The old-school MB owners/fans etc. are right with me on most things. I don't see why some would want more volume and cheaper MBs that is what they bought Chrysler for, I keep telling them.

    Also, I wouldn't look for Lexus to become BMW-like past the next IS series. They would never make a 5-Series beater in the handling department, it would give up too much of the Lexus ride. This goes double for the LS430 vs the 745i. They'll never compromise this for a few enthusiasts that probably wouldn't buy a Lexus anyway. They'll come close with the new GS (in handling) I predict, but I doubt it will outright outhandle a BMW at a track.

    I've had "conversation" upon conversation about the E-Class and the 5-Series. The BMW guys say the 5-Series sets the benchmark, and I say it is when it comes to handling. Other areas such as space, ride comfort etc the E is easily better and outsells the 5-Series in just about every country around the world. Now you can arguable add ease of use and practicality too, plus styling, but that is subjective. I ask them why would Mercedes mess with this to chase BMW's 5 in handling when they already have the bigger piece of the market? They've had since the previous 5's introduction in 1996 to build the 2003 E-Class to match that car's handling and they still didn't do it. They aren't trying to obviously. Sure there is AirmaticDC and great adjustability, but chasing BMW in the mid to upper segments when it comes to handling isn't Mercedes' mission and it probably won't be Lexus' either when it comes to the next LS.

    Now lexus does want the GS to be seen in the same light as the 5-Series but so far the previous 2 generations have failed at this. Tough spot for them with the GS because the 5 and E are so dominant and they do so on different strengths.

    There is a similar dilemma with Honda/Acura not producing a V8 RL. Hot topic on the News and Views side of the house.

    Nobody can do it all, all luxury car makers have to make compromises somewhere.

    M
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Anybody a subscriber to Automotive News website?

    There is a story on the website about Toyota saying a $100K Lexus is coming. Wanted to get more details if anyone has it from the story.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    There are probably more than one coming - a sports car and a Super LS (which may be at or just under $100k) and who knows - maybe a super SC coupe type of car as well.

    merc1 - I meant sportier external styling for Lexus when I posted. I also don't think they will try to rival BMW beyond the IS and GS cars. But the tuning arm will be a different story.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I have the article here. It is an interview with the CEO of Toyota Motor Sales USA, Yuki Funo. Nearly all of the questions deal with Toyota.

    However, one of the questions asked is "Should Lexus sell a $100,000 car?"

    Funo's answer is that for the Lexus brand such a car is important. He adds that at this stage it is undertermined what kind of car it will be and what engine it will have. Funo mentions a two-seat coupe and four-seat sedan as possibilities, along with engines like a "V-10, a V-12, or whatever."

    He then says from a marketing and sales perspective there needs to be a strong car regarded as the flagship/ultimate Lexus. A car like Maybach is said to be too much, but they are working around the $100,000 range.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    From the quotes it sounds like such a car isn't exactly around the corner, timewise. Thanks for the summary, lenscap.
  • manybmwsmanybmws Posts: 347
    net pricing on recent 545 deal for $55k with nav/prem/auto/winter.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Well I guess they sold at least one car in the USA...I saw one today, parked. Imho the exterior styling is kind of bland, but the interior looked nice and offered incredible rear legroom.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    about local Cadillac dealers.

    All car dealerships in the US are independently owned businesses. It is not legal for manfacturers to own dealerships.

    It is up to the dealers, not GM, to decide how they want their show rooms to look.
  • Look, this car is awsome... but when you look at the horrible new A6, you realize they got 1 thing right... the speedometer, look at the STS speedo, even the lower rung CTS is cooler than this:

    image

    It just looks boring IMO, thats all. Its really the only part of the car that looks... dull.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    Just what we all need, plenty of rear legroom..That and a hundred thousand dollar (US)price tag on a lexus...Maybe some people need to think of the next generation, and how hard it will be to purchase a home and pay for education..Don`t get me wrong, it would be nice to have a really nice car, but the numbers just don`t add up for what any of them offer for the extra dollars...All of the above is just my opinion, and Lexus better keep the LS price around where it is, or else Tony (to be continued)
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    You'd be surprised at the increasing wealth in the US today. Unfortunately, it comes at the expense of the greater majority. So, YES, I do agree with you that a peek into the future portends a lot of trouble for our children. As a father of two, I am concerned. In San Diego county where I live, the greatest concern is that our children will never be able to afford to live in the same city they were born and raised. The future looks tough indeed for the gen-Xers out there.

    Will Lexus sell a $100K+ car ? Of course they will, and their will be a waiting list too. A hybrid v8, churning out 600bhp+, and 50mpg, with gizmos out of the wahzoo... on a stretched wheelbase, representing the ultimate in luxury and refinement. Yes, I bet they will indeed. See what difference a simple facelift of the '04 LS has on Lexus fortunes this year so far? By a ratio of 2:1, people are buying an almost $70K Lexus over an MB S or BMW 7-. Within 3 years, a $100K Lexus will not seem that much of a stretch either, IMHO.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I'm also a father of two and share your exact concern.

    That $100K LS will likely have a long waiting list. It simply is such a major fundamental change for the market and will be produced by the most reliable car maker. Where I come from that is labelled as a "sureshot" or if one wants to use negative words a "can't miss".

    Tony - I'm afraid prices will rise because demand will be high. But I still think you'll get an LS hybrid in the $72-76k range topping out at $80k or so. If they keep a gas engine LS around its probably in the $65k range - not all that different than today. Add $5k to each for the stretched versions and its easy to see how the super car gets into the $100k-105k+ range. But all of those prices are still cheaper than the MB plates they are designed to conquer.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Lexus will probably make two flagship cars near the six figure range.

    1) A V8 hybrid LS or V12 LS with the works
    2) A halo sports car to against the likes of the NSX and the upcoming Infiniti GTR

    There is no way that Lexus would sit around while both its "lesser" Japanese rivals have high-performance, image-building, prestige-enhancing sports cars.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I don't see a V12 anymore. They've had the ability to use the Japanese V12 for awhile now and passed on it. V12's don't have a long lifespan with hybrids around the corner.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Chances are they'll go with the hybrid V8, but who knows?

    The Germans will continue to produce V12 cars for the forseeable future. If Toyota really wanted to one-up them, they could produce a hybrid V12. Now, this will be a ridiculous car with crazy amounts of power and refinement, but $100,000 cars are supposed to be ridiculous.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,076
    Many of us actually like the new A6 interior -- and, in point of fact, I, for one, also like the new STS interior.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    That's game, set, match. If a V8 Hybrid can get you 600HP what does a V12 Hybrid get you. Certainly a lot more excess and unneeded power. Certainly it gets the buyer a lot of bragging rights as well.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,585
    "... horrible new A6". I agree with Mark, I like both the above and the A6. Whether YOU, in particular, like the new A6's interior or not, in general the industry feels that nobody does interiors better than Audi and Lexus, (short of ultra lux Maybach, Bentley, Aston Martin, etc.).

    Cadillacs dashes, as above need more complete gauge clusters. Aesthetically, they would be improved with more rounded contours, less reminiscent of Allante's, IMHO. I have found their interiors ergonomically quite good, however.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,076
    . . .to underscore the point are generally "the reference" interiors when interiors are discussed by the various Car Journals (e.g., C&D, R&T, Automobile).

    Cadillac interiors have been, not that they are NOW and not that I agree with this, characterized as "too plasticy."

    The new STS looks like a big improvement.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    oac--I have already gone through the problem of the children being able to afford to live where we all have been brought up. In my case Charleston S.C. Prices are horendous.. That`s why I made the above post
     I have stuck with Lexus since their start, and think imo they offer a good value for the dollar. They have pretty well kept the price within reason, particularly for what you get...I think the hybred will be a great advance, and expect them to keep the price in line. My last Lexus has all the amenities (lux) and I find I don`t use most of them. The radio is the best, and the cruise control is useful, but you have to pay atttention or you will find yourself going way to slow and not even know it. The suspension adjustment meaningless..After driving a couple of hundred miles today, there is no doubt in my mind that dependability and safety is the most important thing..If I were driven around then the back seat would be more important. The only time I spend back there is when we go on a marathon drive and my wife takes over after nine hours or so. They redesigned the seat so it is flat and I can go take a snooze..At the end of the drive of that magnitude, I never want to see a car again, but I soon forget Tony
  • We've had a lot of thoughtful posts recently on business models and the "space" where MB now finds itself. I don't have much to add other than the observation that IMHO a significant percent of MB sales are to status conscious buyers. These buyers are transients and would leave in a minute for the next best thing. The market place is full of companies that had the No. 1 position in a market and lost it, never to get it back (Izod shirts in the early '60s were huge, then they outsourced the shirts, quality fell, and they never came back to where they were). One of the big marketing mistakes is line extension (e.g., Classic Coke). Does an S Class owner really want to share status space with a $395 per month lease deal customer?

    With their poor quality control and line extension coupled with the rise of Lexus as a prestige product, I think MB is at risk of losing the status buyer. Once he goes away, there goes the volume which supports the heavy marketing costs, warranty expenses, etc. Take a look at any one of books by Al Ries and Jack Trout (e.g., Positioning; Marketing Warfare; The 22 Immutable Laws of Martketing, etc.).
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