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High End Luxury Cars



  • oac3oac3 Posts: 373
    You stated: "This sheer depth of models means there is always something new to try, so a many a MB buyer (not all) will stay with MB until they sort out their issues. This has been witnessed right here on this very board. A LS430 or SC430 buyer doesn't have any other choice after that but to get another LS or SC,..."

    Great point. Your whole post makes a lotta sense to me now. Indeed, I think I agree with you 100% in everything you said. Wow !!! That is a first, hopefully of many more to come, lol !

    Lexus truly needs to liven things up. Hope someone up there at Torrance, California, is listening.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,665
    I also agree. But remember that Lexus has said, quite often, they don't intend to be all things to all people. MB tries very hard to do that, thus you have cars as low as $26k starting points these days and an A-class model which will be lower still. Part of the reason for that is clearly due to the way the European market evolved over time as merc1 stated. Secondly merc1 is talking from the enthusiasts standpoint and he's 100% right from that view. But last week Toyota announced record profits of $5bln in a six month period during a period where the Yen strengthened. An exceptionally strong performance to say the least given the currency rates worked against them. So they obviously have done things very well. They will spice things up but it will be a mild flavor. Right now its obvious from the Tokyo show their next big startegy is hybrids, sportier designs and AWD on most models. They'll play to the hard core enthusiasts a bit but they are clearly looking to blow the cover off the ball with their hybrid technology.
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    MB falling behind BMW, Lexus & Acura in residual race, with Infiniti closing in fast. Caddy is improving, but still way behind the pack! Article doesn't say, but probably Audi doesn't do too well either. Full article - _code=carnews&loc_code=index&content_code=01697582

    MB purportedly is unconcerned, saying many of its products are nearing end of cycle. Funny, they never needed that excuse in the past, when they were always the top guy! It's time for them to make real adjustments, not excuses!
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,665
    There is no question that reliability experiences of buyers and media articles about it are hurting MB. But the new E should have helped offset a lot of the product aging they discuss in the article since its MB's biggest seller. I know at least 10 MB buyers, some who wouldn't have looked at another car in the past, who have moved to BMW and Lexus. They won't go back until MB addresses and fixes the reliability issues it has. It's inevitable that perception will catch up to reality at some point and it is probably starting to happen.

    By the way I respect and greatly admire the incredible depth of MB vehicles available. Having so many variants of cars is no easy task and is the mark of a great company. It is also a reason why MB prices are higher than everyone else as the less syndicated products you have the higher your unit cost overall is to manufacture. So that cost gets averaged in to all cars produced and the person shopping your basic MB pays more for both the product diversity and the brand image. But when the residuals start to fall from historical levels those higher new prices will not be supportable long-term.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Continuing what mariner7 posted above, Automotive Lease Guide (ALG) honored 2004 vehicles predicted to retain the highest percentage of their original price. The luxury brands ranked as follows:

    1. BMW
    2. Lexus
    3. Acura
    4. Mercedes
    5. Audi
    6. Infiniti
    7. Volvo

    Not listed, because they finished below average, are Cadillac, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln and Saab.

    Segment awards were as follows:
    Compact car - MINI Cooper
    Midsize car - Honda Accord
    Sports car - Nissan 350Z
    Near luxury car - Lexus ES 330
    Luxury car - Mercedes CLK
    Minivan - Honda Odyssey
    CUV - Honda Pilot
    Compact SUV - Honda CR-V
    Midsize SUV - Toyota 4Runner
    Fullsize SUV - Toyota Sequoia
    Compact truck - Toyota Tacoma
    Fullsize truck - Toyota Tundra
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    It is amazing how many there are out there.
    There is currently a '91 with 36,000 miles on ebay.
    Bidding ended on '96 in white diamond with just 35,000 miles Sunday. The car was stunning. Elderly owned and garaged. Winning bid was $19,100.
    I bought a '95 LS 400 on Sunday that had 127K miles for $9700. jade green and tan interior.
    Doctor owned and well maintained.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,577
    Regarding your post above about "the incredible depth of MB vehicles available", do not forget that all the Mercedes 4dr.sedan models available look alike.....may be not as incredible when you think about that aspect.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Others have alluded to this already, but there are different ways of looking at what Lexus "should" do as far as offering more models and variants.

    From a CORPORATE standpoint, since, as ljflx pointed out, they (Toyota) are the most profitable company, it appears that the current strategy works just fine, and that maybe MB should be emulating Toyota/Lexus rather than the other way around.

    From a pure PRESTIGE standpoint, Lexus should offer more models and variants, of course; but imho it is not clear from the evidence that this would benefit corporate profitability even in the very long term.

    From a PERSONAL standpoint, it just depends on what one wants. Personally, I don't see myself in a SL65-equivalent, but would consider a Lexus wagon, if such existed, to potentially replace the LX my wife drives.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,665
    They need to do a few things:

    1. AWD availability on most or all models. But don't force it the way Audi did - that was a big mistake in my opinion.
    2. build the HPX ASAP
    3. Allow for tuned versions of the LS,GS,SC and IS. Get the new GS out soon as the old model is far too dated. They need a volume seller between the ES and LS.
    4. bring out the Hybrids with the added power and improved mileage
    5. allow a better mixing of option components. Currently the packages are too syndicated.
    6. Put a greater distance between Lexus and Toyota and clean-up the duality of the LX and TLC
    7. I also like what MB does in offering a slew of additional colors at an extra $1k but I'm getting petty now.

    The most important thing they need to do though is maintain the great build quality and reliability of the cars they have today. The quality of the Lexus name is so high. I had a guy trying to sell me a high-end and very costly copier last year and he swore the machine would run like a Lexus. So after telling him I had 3 Lexus vehicles I then explained to him my expectations.

    PS - I bought the machine for the office. It's very good but it's no Lexus.
  • It is hard to argue that a company this successful, this profitable, and this rich needs help charting a new future. I have to agree that Lexus does need more variants, BUT not in the tradition of Mercedes.

    Lexus already is charting a new course starting 2005. The LF-S and LF-X concept vehicles are winners, imo. The new GS cannot come any sooner, and it better be good. I hope the rumor that it diverges from the LF-S isn't true. AWD is certainly needed on the GS and LS as options (we west-coasters don't have that much need for AWD).

    For 2005 GS, I'd like to see a REAL BMW killer: 6-speed tranny, 18" wheels, L-tuned suspension (Euro or whatever Lexus chooses to call it), V8 hybrid engine delivering 350+bhp, ML, 4th-gen Nav, bluetooth, XM, and some of the stuff on the '04 LS430. Improved handling and performance, 0-60 in the low 5s, AWD, solid build quality, new design ---> translates to a winner !

    I have faith that the *new* freer Lexus will deliver on its goal. Mercedes and BMW certainly ain't standing pat tho'. It's gonna get more interesting, and we the consumers are going to be the REAL winners in a couple of years from now.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You/us/we agreeing....I'm speechless! ljflx, your post # 3491 is especially interesting, I didn't know you had it in I've written Mercedes about that 1K special order charge, I think it needs to be done away with. I'm willing to bet that Lexus will build the HPX. It's the perfect compliment to the RX300 and a exact competitor to the upcoming Mercedes R-Class (GST). A new large lux-crossover segment is emerging I think.


    You're right Lexus shouldn't try to do the model layout like the Germans do, but at the very least they need one tuner product based on the next GS. AWD would definitely be a welcome addition to the GS and LS lines, as would another engine option for the LS and SC models. That would go a long way towards acceptance in the higher-end segments.


    One thing...the next GS is going to need far more than 350hp if it wants to be a BMW killer, that is if you're talking about going after the next M5 (500hp). Now if you're talking about a 545i Sport competitor then such a GS would be just the right car.

  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    For the Lexus GS to be a competitor it has to offer a Limited slip differential.
    This open differential stuff is for the birds.
    And traction control does not give equal performance.
    It should be LSD and have traction control.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Toyota Prius 5
    Toyota Sienna 7
    Mini Cooper 10
    Honda CR-V 11
    Honda Pilot 11
    Lexus ES 330 11
    Lexus RX 330 11
    Mercedes-Benz SL-Class 11
    Lexus SC Coupe 13
    Scion xB 13

    source: Wall Street Journal and Power Information Network LLC, an affiliate of J.D. Power & Associates

    ...augurs well for the RX400H next year.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    That information is very interesting. Is there a way to access it on the web?
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    If you are a Wall Street Journal customer, search using the word 'hot' or 'prius'. Otherwise, you could try the JDP site but I don't know if it is available for free.
  • oac3oac3 Posts: 373
    It takes less than 2 weeks to retail off 3 Toyota's and 3 Lexuses. That is incredible ! And the SC430 makes it, to boot. That is unbelievable. What does this mean in terms of market acceptance and strength. Even the lowly Scions, which IMO, are just plain UGLY both the xA and xB (marginally better). Guess why Toyota/Lexus profit is soaring if they cannot even keep these cars on dealer lots.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,665
    Was you mouth wide open and your eyeballs popping out or something like that.

    Hey it's time for them to move to level 2. I liked the MB extra choice colors - some were very interesting. But I agree it's not really a needed thing. But look at the LX470 - 6 color options is ridiculous for something that pricey. So in that case I'd be willing to pay the extra for a color choice that is not standard.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Even a $20k Prius has more color choices and more option package choices (9) than many Lexus models. I don't understand why corporate limits choice so much on the Lexus side.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Interesting fact...Land Cruiser has 8 color choices, LX 6.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,665
    I haven't checked so I'm saying this blindly. But I'll bet one of the TLC colors is riverrock green which is the color I would love to get the LX470 in.

    Merc1 - I agree with you on a new Crossover segment emerging. Call it the minivan/suv as opposed to the RX's car/suv. The reason the HPX never looked like the Infiniti to me is because, in person it is more like an elevated minivan. Yet it is clearly not a minivan. I think in retrospect Infiniti's FX and Chrysler's Pacifica just missed hitting it. Though the Chrysler is real close in vehicle genre it also is different than the HPX. Lexus and MB will nail it - imo.
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