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High End Luxury Cars

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  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Lexus service is a rip imho, though I think that's true of any car company. My understanding is that, at least with Lexus, if you use JiffyLube or someone like that, it will not void your warranty as long as you have receipts that the work was done.
  • If Santa can be kind and let me win the Powerball Lottery ($76 million currently), I would buy these cars:
    1) Lamborghini Gallardo
    2) Aston Martin DB9
    3) Audi S4
    4) BMW M3
    5) Range Rover HSE
    6) Mercedes SL500
    7) Audi A8L (until the S8 comes out)
    Those are my lucky seven--a different car to drive everyday. What's yours?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "And I'm saying that the buying public, on balance, doesn't feel the high prices are worth it...which is why MB isn't number 1 in unit sales."

    And that is wrong because there is no way a car that starts pricewise in most cases where another car tops out, like in the case of the LS430 vs the S-Class, could you ever expect to outsell the cheaper one, at least by any significant margin. (Yet Mercedes does in some cases!) In order to make such a broad sweeping rationalzation that the market doesn't think Mercedes' are worth the extra $$, you'd have to know that each and every LS430, GS, SC etc buyer can afford the equivalent S, E or SL model, yet chose to buy the cheaper Lexus. You simply can't make such an assumption.

    If you can't see that Mercedes' sales are also limited by price then you're not dealing in the reality of the market. Do you expect Ferrari to sell as many cars as Porsche, they compete with each other also, but at different prices. If the Mercedes CL or SL were 30K cheaper do you think it would have an effect on sales? Of course it would, its common market sense.

    If you feel that the market doesn't think Mercedes' are worth the premium then I'd like to know your reasoning as to why the S-Class sells as good or better than the LS430, the E way better than the GS ever did, the SL at about the same rate as the SC, despite the huge price differences.

    It seems to me that the market does think *certain* Mercedes' are worth the premuim because despite thousands of $$$ more, as they buy these Mercedes models in the same or better numbers as the cheaper Lexuses. The reverse could be said here with these models, if these Lexus models are so good then why can't they outsell the competing, and more expensive Mercedes models. I would never say that because there are obviously other factors to consider, which you're ignoring when speaking favorably about Lexus.

    The only area where Lexus kills Mercedes sales/product wise is SUVs, of which there is no argument from me, but to make such a broad statement like you made above about all of Mercedes' cars is simply not based on the facts.

    The SL500 vs SC430 relationship isn't the same as the LS vs S relationship. The SC430 doesn't offer anywhere near the technology, styling, engineering or the sheer experience of the SL, to name a few things, without going into much detail. The LS430 is a whole lot more competitive with the S-Class than the SC is with the SL. The SC430 is a fine car for what it is, bascially a 2-door convertable LS430, but its no GT car.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Lucky Seven:

    Mercedes SL55 AMG
    Mercedes CL600 Sport
    Mercedes E55 AMG
    Audi RS6
    Ferrari 360 Modena
    Porsche Carrera GT
    BMW M3 Cabrio

    P.S. I need a "lucky 10" to get come close to listing all my favorite lottery cars.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "That's a pretty strong statement re MB. If they improve quality or lower their prices, they could well be number 1 someday."

    This was your reply as to why Mercedes' could sell more cars, clearly in this response you mention price as a hindrance to greater sales. Of course better reliablity surely wouldn't hurt either, but even a super reliable SL500 will still cost 90K.....in short it will still be out of financial reach for more people than the SC430 is. Ditto for the S500, CL or any other high-end Benz, how you can you ignore this price gap for sales purposes, but place so much emphasis on it when the cars are compared or cross shopped is astounding. Thats a clear and true double-standard.

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    MODEL DAYS ON LOT
    Toyota Prius 6
    Toyota Sienna 9
    Lexus ES 330 11
    Mini Cooper 11
    Honda Pilot 13
    Lexus RX 330 13
    Honda CR-V 13
    Lexus LS 430 13
    Mercedes-Benz SL-Class 13
    Lexus GX 470 14
    Scion Xb 14
    Acura TSX 14
    Acura MDX 14

    Source: Wall Street Journal and Power Information Network LLC, an affiliate of J.D. Power & Associates
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Since I'm shopping the GX and LS - I wish both of them were off that list. Best deal I can get on the GX is $2k off. Most of the time they are selling them at or near sticker around here and that weekend blizzard further increased demand. At my dealer the only ones available are the ones coming in during the next few weeks. I'll deal with the LS next month only because I want the sport suspension, otherwise I'd wait to March.

    By the way the big Infiniti SUV looks nice. But my wife finds the LX to be too big so that thing is out of the question.
  • Good reasoning...But wrong..Mercedes build a deserved reputation for quality and innovation it takes time for them to lose what took so long to build. But they are losing it.

    Bottom line: they still have reasonable unit sales, but those sales are slipping relative to their competition.
  • I read on the web that there is a car called the Toyota Century that is available in Japan only. It comes with a 5.0L V12 engine. Why aren't they selling a version of that car in North America under the Lexus nameplate. A V12 powered car would really enhance Lexus' status symbol.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    In 2001 Lexus nearly brought that V-12 to market in the LS but decided against it at the last minute. It's inevitable that you'll see a V-12 probably on the next LS design. There is also a V-10 sport car supposedly in the works.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Has anyone ever put Visualogic headrest monitors in their cars or suv's? I prefer the headrest monitors over the headliner ones mainly for rear view clearance. Visualogic sends you matching headrests (with 7" or 9" flush monitors imbedded) to the OEM ones and you simply take out the originals and put theirs in. They even have sun-visor monitors. I will likely put them in the GX470 and am wondering if anyone has prior experience. The cost for the complete system is only $200 more than Lexus' factory headliner option.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Honestly, I don't see how you can interpret my comments as suggesting that I "ignore this price gap for sales purposes". You even quoted me as saying that price does matter, and that MB would sell more if it lowered prices. I certainly do see high prices as a handicap hindering MB sales.

    But do you see that Lexus faces handicaps, relative to MB, in its own sales? To wit:

    - lack of prestige (compared to MB)
    - lack of heritage
    - lack of a 117-year history of innovation
    - lack of "halo" models (V12s and AMGs)
    - lack of product diversity (fewer engine options, fewer coupes, fewer convertibles, no wagons)
    - fewer dealerships

    So yes, MB has price as a handicap, but Lexus has a whole host of its own handicaps...and manages to outsell MB in units.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    While it is true that MB is usually priced higher than the equivalent Lexus model, if you look at the ENTIRE product line, MB actually starts LOWER in price...

    $26,020 C230 Kompressor Sport Coupe
    $28,370 C320 Kompressor Sport Coupe
    $29,210 C230 Kompressor Sport Sedan

    The very lowest priced Lexus is the $29,980 IS 5-speed manual. (The ES is up at $32,350).

    So MB has 3 variants that are priced lower than the very cheapest Lexus, yet looking at the sales numbers for the total lineup, still doesn't outsell Lexus.

    Interesting, indeed.
  • Footie, nice comment about branding, MB, and Rolex: "so-so timepeaces, great jewelry". The problem with Rolex and perhaps shortly with MB is that like Izod shirts of 40 years ago, the brand has been cheapened and the "wrong" people buy them for the "wrong" reasons. High end watches have moved on, Rolexes are gauche, and why buy one when every car salesman has a knock off Presidential? (There are even web sites that compare the movements in the knock offs and rank them!) In short, the high end watch market has moved on and Rolex is less and less an aspirational brand. If Rolex were a stock traded here in the US, you would want to sell it short. My comments about Rolex apply to MB. Sure they are moving some cars because as an earlier poster claimed "they scream success" but once the underlying story gets out the brand will lose its cache. Truly successful people won't want any part of it. When the wannabes move in, there goes the neighborhood. MB (D-C)stock probably should be shorted. I think that history is full of brands that never are able to come back once the tipping point is reached. (Caddy seems to be the contemporary exception.)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Wrong. I'd like for you to tell me exactly what Mercedes models sales are "slipping in sales compared to the competition". Please provide some numbers for this. It surely isn't the E vs the GS, S vs LS, SL vs SC, C vs IS. Yes the ES330 does outsells the C-Class and your statement applies (factually) about Mercedes in the SUV market. Other wise such a broad generalzation: "but those sales are slipping relative to their competition." simply isn't based on anything factual.

    Price not withstanding, Mercedes' cars sell very well, across the board, not just certain models like Lexus.

    syswei,

    " I certainly do see high prices as a handicap hindering MB sales."

    Finally, that was my point. Your implication earlier was that Mercedes didn't sell better simply because the market didn't think they were worth the extra $$$, while assuming that everyone buying a competiting Lexus could afford the competing Benz model, yet chose a Lexi.

    I never said Lexus wasn't without their own "handicaps". Then you still say that Lexus outsells Mercedes, again true, but long as you know why this is so. It isn't because of what you tried to imply earlier. Lexus' so called handicaps, arguably aren't anything compared to a brand like Mercedes taking the amount of bad press they've taken over the last few years. To put it in the best Lexus fashion, heritage and unaffordable AMG/V12 models don't mean much when the everyday C320 and S430s are unreliable.

    "So MB has 3 variants that are priced lower than the very cheapest Lexus, yet looking at the sales numbers for the total lineup, still doesn't outsell Lexus."

    Wrong. The C-Class outsells the IS300 by a huge margin. It isn't even close. Also, I'd like for you to checkout your local Benz dealers lot and tell me if you see any base cars sitting around at those prices you listed. You do realize that that "$29,999" stuff is one of the oldest get-you-in-the-showroom tricks around, Mercedes is just as guilty of using this as anybody else.

    M
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Could we broaden this conversation beyond the very tired Lexus vs. Mercedes arguments? Is it possible to talk about the attributes (and/or shortcomings) of either one without measuring them specifically against the other?
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Herb Chambers has 71 C-Class cars on his lot.

    Edmund's TMV for the Kompressor base unit is $24,767.

    23 are the little MB goofy coupes. None at $28K, but I think 10 $32 and under though.

    I think the problem with the C class is that its not much car for the money.

    The coupe is smaller than a Corolla, Hyundai Tiburon or Acura RSX, yet it weighs 300 lbs more than the heaviest of those at a not too sporty 3250 lbs. It has a whopping 9.9 cut foot trunk compared the RSX at 19.3

    This is what you get when you cut the butt off of a C Class sedan.

    Of course, one of the problems with the C-Class in general, is that the even the sedan is smaller than a Toyota Corolla and costs about twice as much. Duh?
  • Why do I believe that hidden behind that closed and locked garage door at your home is a beautiful ES 430? (Black on Black and you drive it only at night)

    Perhaps because "me thinks that you protest too much."

    If you take the time to drive an LS 430 someday, you will understand.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    1. You can call MB's poor reliability a "handicap" if you want. I call it a product deficiency. Lexus can't do much about the handicap we call lack of heritage (other than allow time, and lots of it, to pass)...whereas MB can and obviously should do something to fix its reliability issues.

    2. You wrote, "The C-Class outsells the IS300 by a huge margin."...and while that is factually true, it misses the point of my post 3682. The point is (as I tried to indicate with wording like "the ENTIRE product line" and "the total lineup") that the totality of MB's line (all cars, all SUVs) starts at a lower price point than Lexus. Yet MB total vehicle sales still trail Lexus'. Since the C starts 13% lower in price than the cheapest Lexus, it makes it harder for you to argue that MB trails Lexus in vehicle sales because of too-high pricing.

    BTW, even if you want to interpret my original post as pertaining only to the C, not MB’s entire line, for some reason you chose to compare sales of the entire C-Class to the IS alone, conveniently leaving out the ES. Now, the C ranges from $26,020 to $37,630 (not counting the C32 AMG or wagon) while the ES starts at $32,350. If the ES shouldn’t be added to the IS when comparing to C-Class sales, then what does the ES go up against? The $48,170 to $56,270 E-Class?

    3. Lastly, as far as your comment “checkout your local Benz dealers lot and tell me if you see any base cars sitting around at those prices you listed”…there are indeed cars around at those prices. The Autonation network has four C230K Sport Coupes IN STOCK within $1000 of the $26,020 price I posted, and in fact one unit at exactly that price. The same dealer network has exactly zero IS cars in stock within $1000 of the $29,980 price. The lowest-priced in stock IS is $31,629…so your implication that the MB and Lexus website prices don’t represent real-world availability actually seems to be more true of Lexus than MB. In fact in the real world maybe the cheapest MB isn’t 13% cheaper than the cheapest Lexus, it is 18% cheaper...yet Lexus still outsells MB (total product line).
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Real silly conversation when you think about it. With light truck and SUV sales continuing to grow (at the expense of car sales) and accounting for more than 50% of the market it is smart business to go with the flow.
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