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High End Luxury Cars



  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    When you look at it, the MB nameplate is just 1 notch below Toyota, which isn't bad at all!

    I do agree with ljflx and merc1 that long-term reliability matters more than initial quality, though.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    ljflx, is a really great site for looking up movie trivia
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Thanks - I forgot about that website. The actor was Jack Weston. Great movie.

    MB - Perception is still high which could account for the ranking.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    It will take a lot to knock Mercedes off the perception perch. If the previous-generation boxcar designs couldn’t do it, followed by the current American-looking varieties with funny lights and cheap wheels, nothing will. They’ll have to collapse in puffs of smoke a la slapstick silent movie cars before people stop buying them. Even then, there will be vultures picking up the badges to use as paper weights and hang on their walls.
  • Designman, I had to laugh when I read your post. When I was a kid, I loved Cadillacs. I collected sales brochures and advertisements. In college, I found a hood ornament from an Eldorado, and was so thrilled.

    When I started buying new cars, I no longer really wanted a Cadillac. In the past 20 years, I have only owned one Caddy--an Allante. Hopefully, the upcoming STS will be a winner.

    Perhaps Cadillac will be on top of that "perception" perch soon with Mercedes, and I can wear the hood ornament on a gold chain. :-D
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    I don't agree designman. It's not as difficult as you state and it can happen a lot quicker than you'd expect. But if the quality isn't there than the resale values fall. Indeed that is happening right now. If the resale values fall the high upfront prices that generate the profits don't hold. If that happens it comes tumbling down as they will have to lower prices to move the cars. Perception and status is a house of cards tied to the high prices right now because the car quality doesn't support it. If it did the resale prices would have stayed at historic MB levels - above everyone else. If the prices don't hold the public perception and status will fall quickly. It's like so many bad things that happen in business. The signs are there, they are hard to believe and then a lot of things turn against you at the same time. Then people wonder what happened. They have to restore quality and confidence and do it pretty soon. They are addressing it because they fully understand the danger lurking in the near future. I think they will succeed at least to the point of turning things around. The difficulty was getting themselves to believe there really was a problem. They were in denial.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Well I agree with you―how do you like dem apples? There probably isn’t a single person or business in existence that doesn’t take life and everything in it for granted to some extent. It could all be over in a finger snap. And we see major corps failing all the time. Yet some never seem to learn. Indeed, I exaggerated a bit in my last post to make a point.

    But what I am saying is that MB is on the highest of pedestals when it comes to image. To this day, even though Cadillac has seen the dregs, the image still holds for many and it held even during the raunchy years. I think MB would have to go clearly out of business before people let go, and even then, they’d be wishing it back from the dead. From the upper reaches of corporatia to the lower-east-side pimps, it’s one of the ultimate status symbols, and to people who have built emotional equity in status, I have to believe reliability is a concept with which they have little familiarity. And with hefty price hits, there will be plenty of these people turning it into their opportunity.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    To a certain extent that's why I'd almost rather see them scale back and just build cars the way they used to. They are not going to be able to match the Toyota prowess of mass car building. On the other hand they can build very high quality cars with a lot of options and customizing and still produce say 150k+ cars a year for the US market. Sometimes smaller is better. Then they'd maintain that classy image forever. I think I'm starting to see merc1's light on his favorite brand.

    I have seen several people now in the $1mln+ per year comp range walk from MB over to Lexus. My old company's former CEO just did and I was shocked to find out the other day. He was one of those people that I thought would never move from MB. Swapped out of an S600 and into an LS430 ultra and loves it. We met for dinner, never talked about cars but had parked at the same NYC garage. Then we walked off together and both asked for the same car. It was a funny moment. I was glad to tell him I only had a custom lux. He had a host of problems with his S600.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    That was the post I meant. Ejerod really loved his car - initially - and then the replacement initially again - and thought the world of Benz, so that makes it scarier still.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yikes you'd consider a "Mercedes-Benz"..oh my. Didn't think that would be possible, I'm shocked.


    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.

  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289

    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")... 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: 4,661
    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.

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