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High End Luxury Cars

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  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I think the Lexus should be worried with Mercedes stating to improve quality. BMW should make as bold a statement as that. The only thing the Japanese have over the Germans is reliability, but my experience with Japanese cars is they are similiar to German in build quality and reliability but don't have that drivers feel.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    For some reason, BMW 5 series and 7 series sales really slumped in July.

    - 5 series -
    July 2003: 5313
    July 2004: 2668

    - 7 series -
    July 2003: 1595
    July 2004: 876

    Those are pretty steep losses. Especially for the 5 series, a 50% drop in July sales is pretty significant. All the more considering that the 5 is a NEW model. And the new M, GS, RL, A6, and STS haven't even come out yet!

    Maybe it's a one time blip, I don't know. Hopefully it'll force BMW to reconsider its pricing strategy.
  • I wish Mercedes would get it's act together, and produce cars with at least equal quality of the Japanese. Autoweek has an article about a new quality offensive Jurgen Hubbert has set up. Here is the link if you want to read it.

    http://www.autoweek.com/cat_content.mv?port_code=autoweek&cat- _code=carnews&loc_code=index&content_code=05810537

    I admire Toyota for taking a huge chance on Lexus and succeeding thouroughly. Lexus totally changed the Luxury car market.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Racked up $2.6bln net profit in the first quarter - up 29% from a year ago - even in the face of a currency rate going against them. Vehicle sales up in every world market and skyrocketing in Asia. Those ugly cars have one heck of a market. Sometimes people on this board remind me of movie critics that deadpan movies that make $500mln. but love the ones that make $25mln. Who's really got it right.

    Kdshapiro - saying you are going to improve quality and accomplishing it are two different things. The way they said it had a bit too much of a marketing ring to me. They also said they were going to do something about quality a year ago (someone lower in the command chain said it) and quality worsened. Common sense tells me that with Toyota projecting to rack up $13bln (probably conservative) in profits this fiscal year, with Lexus widening its US sales lead while raising prices, with rapid Asian gains and with new hybrid engines around the corner that will revolutionalize the lux segment - MB and the Germans are probably a lot more worried about Lexus than vice-versa. I would be if I were them as would any responsible business person. Toyota is a juggernaut right now - rolling over everything in front of it.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Wish Toyota would buy Microsoft… then we would have ugly computers that work seamlessly.

    I don't watch sitcoms. They all seem the same to me… templated formula for comedy. Also, I can't stomach the canned laughter with its repetitious predictable rhythm. Honeymooners were recorded in front of live audiences and were frequently ad libbed… like when Ralph went to the masquerade party as the Man From Space and his "denaturizer " button fell off that hilariously cobbled costume. I guess sitcom creators use the Comedy Wizard in the MS Office suite ;-)

    kd... we have Bud Light etc. and are now entering the era of Bangle Light.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Of course Mercedes will get it's act together. They have to. Their recent quality and reliability slips are showing in their sales and subsequently advertising.

    Notice how all of a sudden Mercedes is showing advertisments touting how many cars this person has had and that person has had and how many miles people have.

    They still make some excellent cars, but them improving quality would only make the market that much more competitive which is good for everyone.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Huh...you do realize Dell, HP, make computers not Microsoft.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    I noticed the BMW numbers also for the 5-series especially. I wonder what's up with that. They were down drastically for the month, might just be some production issues due to end of model year.
  • topspin628topspin628 Posts: 373
    Just picked up my new LS430 with Mod Lux and smart key. I had been leaning toward S430 4Matic as I prefer its looks and am actually a bit bias toward German type ride but in the end could not justify 350-400 per month difference on lease. MB was giving great factory incentive of 6K back and the dealers are selling at invoice but the lease is not as attractive and the car still sells for about 10K more in the market place.

    I think I got a good deal at end of month on LS (about 6500 off).

    I am Very happy with my choice. I really wanted Blue Tooth, and the ML system and those 2 items alone make the Lexus the clear winner for me.

    I was able to down load my phone book from my Sony Ericsson phone in about 3 minutes once we figured it out (call customer care from Sony if you need help). I bit the bullet and went for the factory installed Sat. Radio which is too expensive but my 20 year old son said it best, "This is awesome!"

    The ride is sublime and the acceleration is terrific.

    The dealer was not what a luxury experience should be about, however. The negotiations were "old school" meaning full of voodoo numbers and old tricks ("we made a mistake on the calculation, you must take delivery by tomorrow"), high pressure tactics, double teaming etc. Very disappointing I almost walked but it was the car I wanted, so I bit the bullet. Next time I will not even enter a dealership to purchase a Lexus but do all via phone and fax. BMW and MB were much nicer experiences.

      Same with delivery experience. Sat radio was not activated by dealer and when I called to do so was told that dealer needs to do it so that I can save on activation fee and free first month. No luxury aspect in picking up car. Just sat in lot with salesperson and he went over car with me. They were delivering many cars that day and it was a bit stressfull as they were running way behind schedule and I had to wait a bit. We did not finish and I had to go back the next day.

    But love the car so far.

    One thing I don't understand is the shift options.
    If you put the button in power mode does that hold the gears longer for a sporty type of drive?
    By putting lever to left I know you can "manually shift" but I don't really get how the ranges (1-6) work or why and when you'd use).
    With gear shift lever to right (normal position) will the car use gears 1-6?

      Maybe someone can explain better than the manual.

    Thanks for everyone's help and input in the past which was useful information in making my decision to "join the club".
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Oh jeez, sue me on a trivial debatable point. Yes, I could have phrased it another way. I think you know what I mean though. Actually, I would never argue with my editors on that one. Good point. :-)
  • Last weekend, I didn't finalize a purchase of a 2005 CL55 because of its dead battery. Yesterday, the salesman informs me that a bad instrument cluster is the cause of the drain, and a replacement is being sent from the factory in Germany. I told him that I would definitely pass on this car. I appreciate my boring Lexus a little more now. :-)
  • Designman:

    Given the choice would you want a Pretty computer that dosen't work well or an ugly computer that works seamlessly?
  • livinbmwlivinbmw Posts: 120
    Part of the problem was Bosch. One of the V8 engine components, built by bosch had to be replaced causing delays of about 2400 cars that otherwise would have been sold. Those cars effected will be on Aug sales and you'll see a big jump. The other part of the equation was that last year there was a huge dealer incentive on the old 5's and dealers were on a big push to get all the old inventory off the lot in preparation for the new 5. And there was a lot more inventory at that time. Average days in dealer inventory on the 5 is still short. That probably covers the biggest circumstances that you could attribute those monthly sales #'s that you have cited.

    BMW still sold over 21,000 vehicles last month even with the 2400 vehicles that were held up. That # is above MB and short of Lexus. BMW is a part of the market that is putting a huge amount of pressure on Audi, Infiniti, Jaguar, Volvo, etc..... How do they keep up financially?

    There are certainly many other statistics that show BIG brand strength for BMW. They are having a huge year in both new and CPO sales and the products will continue to drive this growth.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    If you buy a Macintosh you get beautiful design and something that works seamlessly.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I have friends who have a mac and would disagree with that assertion. :)
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Great episode - I loved it when Norton discovers his hero condemned the sewers of Paris rather than designed and built them. Best part of the Honeymooners was how they adlibbed their way through miscues they and the stagehands made. The adlibs were probably better than the original lines.

    Now remember - keep your friends close and Bangle closer.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    "Part of the problem was Bosch. One of the V8 engine components, built by bosch had to be replaced causing delays of about 2400 cars that otherwise would have been sold."

    If a V8 engine component was the problem, that really does not explain why the 5 series sales fell so much. The 545i comprises a very small percentage of 5 series sales.

    It is odd how much sales fell from June. It may be production problems... we'll see how the rest of the year shapes up.

    The only strength I see in BMW sales is X3. For the 3, 5, 7, Z3/Z4, and X5, sales are down across the board, year over year.
  • livinbmwlivinbmw Posts: 120
    5,500 more sales in 2004 for BMW, so far. A total of 167,732 ....... a very strong # in the luxury segment.

    In fact, among cars only it's the #1 selling luxury make in the country. STRONG! The 3 is the #1 selling car in it's segment. The Z4 is the #1 selling car in it's segment. The 5 is #2 in it's segment. The 7 is 3rd, very slightly behind the MB, but way ahead of the A8, XJ, Phaeton, and Q45.

    BMW is doing OK.
  • sapparosapparo Posts: 68
    Where are you getting your stats.

    Torrance, Calif. 08/03/2004 -- Acura sales of 17,057 units were up 4.1 percent over last year, setting a new July record and marking the division's third best sales month ever, Acura announced today. Year-to-date sales totaled 113,795 vehicles representing a 15.8 percent increase versus 2003.

    For the tenth month in a row, the TL performance luxury sedan was Acura's top-selling model, selling 6,282 units, with sales up 47.5 percent compared to last July. Year-to-date TL sales surged to 45,183, a 43.9 percent increase over 2003, making TL the best selling performance luxury sedan in the country.

    The TSX sports sedan enjoyed its second best month ever with sales of 3,514, while also posting a record July. Year-to-date TSX sales reached 18,266. Continued strong demand for the MDX luxury SUV helped boost sales to 4,767 for the month, setting a new July record. Year-to-date sales of the MDX reached 33,129.

    "Bolstered by its strongest product line-up ever, Acura is having the hottest summer of its history," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president, auto sales. "With the addition of an all-new RL and updated RSX this fall, Acura will be hotter than ever."

    Acura's doing quite fine thank you and wait till the new RL starts rolling this fall, this division is rocking once again.

    Check out red hot Toyota and look at the LS 430 sales. Boy, poorly styled or ugly looking cars must really be hurtin the bottom line eh..

    http://www.toyota.com/about/news/product/2004/06/02-1-sales.html
  • How far behind LS430 is the 7 for the month.

    Lexus sold 27,000 units in the month. 2,763 LS 430s
  • sapparosapparo Posts: 68
    BMW 3 series YTD are at 34K and some change compared to '03 at 37K+ units a deficit.. So the Acura TL is blowing out the much hyped 3 series in sales YTD.. BMW's sales gains are in the suv segment mainly with the new X3 models.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The whole point in time sales thing is way overblown. We've all seen the auto market take wild swings. BMW had it's best year ever last year across all model lines. My guess a lot of people are in a wait state for some of the new offerings that are coming out. Same as what happens to every manufacturer.

    Same thing last year for BMW, during the summer sales went down and then went up strongly for the rest of the year.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    However you want to look at it and whatever fan you are there is the big three in the lux segment and then there is everyone else. livinbmw is right - the pressure on audi, jag etc is enormous right now based on the growth of Lexus and the strength of BMW and MB. Toyota, as a whole is simply on fire - across the board.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "If you buy a Macintosh you get beautiful design and something that works seamlessly"

    Ugh. With only a 50-75% premium over a comparable Windows box. What a deal.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Aye! What happened to the graveyard shift?

    Let me see, what can we talk about. Mmm… how about SL vs. Studebaker Avanti?
  • I have never driven one but I was always a big fan of avanti...I think they still build them in Canada (at least they did a few years ago)
  • bmwdougbmwdoug Posts: 248
    BMW, MB, Lexus are great cars, they are priced at a premium for a reason. Camry's, Accords, Altima's are great cars, they sell for less money for a reason. Macintosh's simply put are the sport luxury models of the computer industry, elegant, hip, cool, and pure luxury.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "Macintosh's simply put are the sport luxury models of the computer industry, elegant, hip, cool, and pure luxury."

    No, they're more like the IS300s of the entry level luxo segment.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Mike, I consider the Avanti to be one of the best styling designs ever made. It looked modern in 1963 and it still looks modern. Would not take much to tweak it into today.

    kd, I have always enjoyed reading your posts, but comparing Macs to entry-level cars tells me you don't what you are talking about in this area. Macs are industrial-strength. This is why something like 90% of the computers used in graphics, publishing, multimedia are Macs.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "but comparing Macs to entry-level cars tells me you don't what you are talking about in this area."

    That is their one and only strength. I know several people who have macs in their orgs as well as friends who have them. They excel in the graphics area, that's it. I have yet to find one organization that deploys mission critical business apps on a mac. 99% use Windows, the remainder use Linux.
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