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High End Luxury Cars

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  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    That Lucerne is as vanilla as it gets, but is minimal and extremely well executed nonetheless. There isn't one detail that is mis-proportioned. Giugiaro influence. I wish something like that would come out of BMW instead of those harlequin designs.

     

    Yeah Merc, both the Maxima and GS have that slovenly fatso look about them. I hope I'm wrong but I'd bet the next LS has the same countenance. Camp Lexus tends to think it will be the next coming of Marilyn Monroe. I guess it doesn't matter though—Toyota is well-capitalized.

     

    With all of this talk about sales etc., a lot of you guys keep forgetting why people buy German cars. I'm not going to utter the reasons again. But do you think for one minute that they don't consider reliability? Many of them do, it's just that they go with the risk. Some people would never buy stocks or lay a dime on a crap table. It's no different. If you get burned, you shrug your shoulders, walk away, and get the same night's sleep as if nothing ever happened. And if you can't then it's not for you. Reminder—reliability issues are nothing new with German cars.
  • "the S class is still the worlds luxury king and i really don't see that changing anytime soon."

     
    Haha, there's still RR's & Bentley's . . .

     

    Which car is the king of luxury cars is purely in the minds of each individual who makes the purchase. The fact that they sell more S class in the world than any other cars in it's class have as little relevence to it's status as the King of luxury as the case of Toyota blowing away everybody else in net profits have in relevence as the King of all cars.

     

    Don't tell me that a person that choose to buy a top of the line Jaguar XJ (which isn't a big seller anywhere with the possible exception of UK)over everything else in it's class & just spend $100K+ for it don't feel like they have picked the best & most desirable car in the world.

     

    Please drop this idea of MB, or any other brand as the most deirable, or being the King of anything.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Time to move on Merc1.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Thanks for the report. It looks kinda scanty... or is it that I don't have my reading glasses on ?

     

    :)

     

    How 'bout Jaguar, Phaeton, Acura, Ferrari, AM, etc... And your favorite, Maserati Q... Maybe more details on these cars later as they come to you ???
  • Very well said. Even in the DaimlerChrysler empire itself, S class has to bow to the Maybach. As for unit sales, I'm sure all the A-class and C class sales make the S owners feel very special; similarly, the gaggles of S320's sold as glorified taxis in the third world countries must make the S500 and S600 owners feel proud.
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    MB needs people like you to keep the company aflow. So keep buying them. Real rich people don't need to drive MB to show off.
  • I couldn't agree more with your comments. I have followed the auto industry from ~12 yrs old on (father owned auto dealership) and have graduated to German cars. My current car is an '05 Audi A8L. There is just something about German engineered cars. If you want that rock solid good handling well put together feel - MB/BMW/Audi have it. If you like gizmos - the Japanese have it.

    As far as reliability. I owned a '00 A6 4.2 prior to the A8 and had zero problems. My "other" car is a '02 Denali XL and it, like yours, has been trouble free for 60K+ miles.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Hmm… Flyfisher, you did great except for the gizmo part. Evidently it’s chow time at Camp Lexus. They’ll be weighin’ in on that one after dessert.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    From Detroit News:

     

    "On Thursday, DaimlerChrysler said its fourth-quarter net profit fell 63 percent to 526 million euros ($712 million) from 1.4 billion euros a year ago as Mercedes, once its star division, struggled with quality problems and the dollar's weakness against the euro, which hurt its results in the key U.S. market.

     

    While once-troubled U.S. unit Chrysler more than doubled its fourth-quarter operating earnings to 386 million euros ($523 million) from 143 million euros a year ago, earnings at Mercedes nearly evaporated -- falling to just 20 million euros ($27 million) from 784 million euros.

     

    DaimlerChrysler CEO Juergen Schrempp called the Mercedes result "unacceptable" and announced a plan to cut costs and boost revenues that he said would improve the division's profit margin to 7 percent by 2007. It currently stands at 3.5 percent."

     

    This has about as much credibility as Bush cutting the deficit in half by 2009. Wink, wink.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    And you don't think that same feeling exists in a Lexus, specifically the LS430??

     

    Designman - Re last nights comment - I would tend to agree with your comment if you narrowed it from German cars to BMW's. I know people that won't ever go near an MB or Audi again. Never met anyone who said that about a BMW. Friends warned us to stay away from the 7 in the late 90's because they had some bad experiences and knew my wife and I would never put up with the problems they did. Yet they stayed BMW in cars although they did bring in the LX and RX from Lexus as SUV's. That's what is always so funny about this - so many multiple brand owners exist.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 839
    I've been lurking here for a while, but never posted on this board before.

     

    I grew up in a household of Mercedes-Benz cars, and my father bought his first M-B (a 1968 280-SE) when most people were still coveting Cadillacs.

     

    But I'm here to tell you that M-B quality has diminished, I'm no longer loyal to the brand, and Lexus products appeal to me.

     

    BTW: My opinion has also been swayed by the fact that VERY few cars are now truly exclusive. If you can sign your name, you can drive whatever you want. In my city, expensive brands/cars are EVERYWHERE. I mean, really, who's impressed? When everyone drives a luxury marque, will anybody notice?

     

    We're still holding on to my late mother's '92 300-E because it has less than 70K on the odo, and it represents the last of an era when Mercedes-Benz products were built to a standard, not to a price.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    flyfisher:

     

    Chow-time :)

     

    Audi sold how many A8's last year ? 5900 units. Whoopie ? Many buyers must love it so much that it came at a distant 4th position to LS/S/7 in sales. Must be only the 6K people want that rock solid good handling well put together feel of the German-engineered Audi A8.

     

    As to gizmos ? You gotta be kidding ! If you mean gizmos that actually work as intended, absolutely the Lexus trumps the competition. But for sheer gizmos, no car beats the S-class ! You should know what you are talking about before jumping in here.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Gizmos? Gizmos? We don't need no stinkin' gizmos!!
  • i just purchased an 05 SWB A8.

    beautiful automobile. nope.... it doesn't sell in the numbers that an LS430 does. I'm sure one of those reasons is price. the A8 is more expensive and also is only available with awd.

    another nice quality about the A8 is the ability to purchase the car in a long wheel base version or short. plus....what's more advanced than an automobile made completely of aluminum? right now the demand for the A8 is pretty strong. better discounts are available on the LS by far. take a look at what options are available in an A8, S, or 7. take a good hard look. these are upscale luxury cars. the Ls430 is just not in the same league. nice car but not enough of it. but...i do think Lexus will within 10 years produce a vehicle that is comparable.

     

    as for the S class being king....what i was trying to convey is that the S class dominates in its segment. i was excluding the brands that sell at price points starting above 150k.
  • hello flyfisher1,

     

    what color and options did you get?

     

    the Japanese make nice automobiles but

    they need help.... in my opinion in the

    styling department. they either are too

    bland or just strange in appearance. they seem to have

    their electronics down pat. when it comes

    to HP and available options the Germans just plain stomp on them.
  • LS430 not comparable with S, 7 and A8 ? LOL !! Not according to even the enthusiast magazines. Not only is the LS430 tested together with these cars, but it came out first & second & the results are not price adjusted, so the LS430 really did very well against them not because it cost less than the others. Where is the S class? It's placed last in one & I think 4th in another.And these enthusiast magazines usually are heavily biased towards more sporty & more German feel vehicles too. They also acknowledged that the LS is probably the best equipped of them all, & they didn't even take into account the fact that all the gizmos actually works more flawlessly than those in the European brands as all the surveys known worldwide has showned.

    Now you don't have to decide what to buy using the rankings in these mags, and as I said before, the most desirable car is in the eyes of the beholder, but saying the LS is not comparable with the 7,S and A8 is plain ridiculous.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 839
    No question, the A8 is a spectacular automobile. But unless the recent accolades from the automotive press drive up its re-sale numbers--not to mention doing something about the high cost of insuring an aluminum-bodied vehicle--it's hardly a contender for Lexus in the 'best value' category.

     

    But three years from now, a $35,000 '05 A8 will be on my shopping list.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    What precisely are the available options on the A8 SWB that get you so excited, that make it an "upscale luxury car" with "the Ls430 is just not in the same league"?
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Full-size luxury SEDANS are imho supposed to offer ROOM as part of the luxury equation. And imho that should extend the trunk as well, yet the A8 (whether LWB or SWB) offers only 14.6 cu ft, less than an E, A6, or even ES.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    First off, congrats on the new A8. A very fine automobile. Beautiful interior, maybe the finest interior of all lux-cars sold here in the US.

     

    ...take a look at what options are available in an A8, S, or 7. take a good hard look. these are upscale luxury cars. the Ls430 is just not in the same league...

     

    I have taken a good hard look at these options and fail to see what makes the A8/S/7 *more upscale* than the LS. Only thing I saw were AWD (A8)/4Matic (S). Care to tell us what else makes your German makes more upscale than the LS? Please don't say looks.....

     

    Oh, I get it: a need to justify your new purchase.

     

    ah ah ah ah ah ah :)
  • ....ahhhh...all wheel drive!

     

    and yes i know that Audi's don't hold their

    value as well as Lexus. cars are like mutual funds that only go down in value...even Lexus.

    I've often wondered if the addition of the AWD hurts the resale because of the way the vehicle would be used.

     

    Audi's, MB, and BMW all have 12 cylinder engines,

    LWB and SWB, 2 of 3 AWD, leather everywhere interiors, true sport versions, active suspensions.

     

    as for the automobile magazines...i get them all. i do respect the opinions of the testers. when doing comparisons they always factor in price/value. Lexus is usually the big winner in this category. what is lost in the discussion though is that the German platforms are available in more configurations with more drive train choices. this naturally increases cost to the manufacturer. another note. whenever you read about the S class in tests 9 times out 10 it is the S430. the smallest engine available. also the S only comes in a Long version which I'm sure removes some of the handling prowess.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    A8,S,7 "upscale luxury cars....the Ls430 is just not in the same league". Says who?

     

    Here is how a large sample of owners rated them (on non-reliability issues, since we all know who wins on reliability):

     

    Performance: LS 5, A8 3, 7 5, S 3

    Comfort: LS 5, A8 3, 7 5, S 3

    Features & Instrument Panel: LS 5, A8 3, 7 4, S 3

    Style: LS 3, A8 3, 7 4, S 3

    Overall Appeal: LS 5, A8 3, 7 5, S 3

     

    all on a scale of 0 to 5, 5 being best

    source http://www.jdpower.com/cc/auto/jdpa_ratings/FindJdAwards.jsp

     

    Who is "not in the same class"? Maybe its the A8 and S that aren't in the same class as the LS and 7.

     

    Maybe you think the A8 is in a class above the LS, but I'll go with a large professionally measured sample, rather than a sample of one (namely, you).
  • thanks for the congrats!

     

    no justification needed!
  • i have to laugh every time anyone who drives a Lexus needs jdpowers statistics to support and propel any debate about the vehicles they purchased! jdpowers jdpowers!!!

     

    the point i [aka "namely,you"] am trying to make is that Lexus does not offer enough options and variables to truly be able to compete with the Germans. if you disagree that's great. no problem here! but next time you need an AWD, 12 cylinder, or LWB Lexus....you ain't getting it!!!!
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    I don't get it when you talk about all these engines and platform options. MB's S had two engines in the affordable range for their base cars - a 275HP and a 303 HP when I shopped in 2001. The LS had one engine, the 290HP. The A8 had one engine, a 310 HP and they had just discontinued the SWB edition because they sold less than 500 of these in the two preceeding years in the US per the dealer I shopped at. I haven't seen much change since then except that Audi brought back the slow selling SWB this year. I'm not counting in the S55 and S600 because they are very low selling custom cars for all intent and purpose. Kudos to MB for the limited production cars and options that no one else offers (even in the base cars) but anyone shopping for the more generic cars isn't dealing with as much variety as you describe. With MB - when you buy the more generic S-class as more than 90% of all buyers do (or E or anything else) you are also paying the freight for the variety that they offer even though you chose to pass on those options. If you want to be as full service as that you average in the overhead and other costs that allows that versatility onto each and every car. But if you consider a SWB car with one engine and a LWB car with another as a big amount of choices than I guess you are right. But it's only one more than Lexus and it won't last much longer as Lexus has said they will offer a LWB car in 2007.

     

    As for the V12 - that's coming as well from Lexus or a hybrid variant of it which is much a smarter way to go. But let's see if Audi can even sell 250 of their V12's in a year. MB sells about 1500 and BMW about 700 on average. There aren't many who want it or are willing to pay for it.
  • This is the funniest argument yet. So, BMW having a 6.0L V12 somehow makes your A8SWB more than a short wheel base 4.0L V8??

     

    Does your remote have a button for instant reconfiguration to V12 or length stretching? If not, why should those options be a consideration to evaluating the worth of _your_ A8 at all?
  • jvcnjvcn Posts: 50
    This is purely anecdotal so make of it what you will:

     

    I met someone this weekend who is a bit of a car nut in So Cal. Very rich guy with several big houses, etc.

     

    He says that for him, MB doesn't provide a good fit either for luxury or sportiness. He still likes BMW but he independently brought up the WSJ article about MB's problems.

     

    He has an LS430 for work travel, a 2004 Maserati Spyder for sporty driving, a big Chevy Suburban, and an old Jag (don't know which one) to restore. He had a Porsche but switched to the Maserati. I know he has other cars, but I didn't see them as they were at another location.

     

    It doesn't take many like him to change the image of MB at the margin. And it's the margin that determines profitability.
  • Question: how many variants of 2005 Rolls-Royce Phantom are out there?

    Answer: Exactly one.

     

    Question: how many variants of 2005 Ford Focus are out there?

    Answer: more than half a dozen.

     

    Does that mean Rolls is low-brow when compared to Ford?

     

    If you know your core audience, you don't need numerous variants. A platform has to be engineered for a specific engine/drive-train for optimal driving dynamics. Numerous variants only serve to compromise driving dynamics. e.g. the S class platform is obviously engineered for its core 8-cyl market; that's why the AMG cars are using 8-cyl not 12-cyl engines.
  • has an interesting rant this week about DCX and MB in particular. Should be interesting reading for those who read this forum.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Thanks for the report. It looks kinda scanty... or is it that I don't have my reading glasses on ?"

     

    Nope, you're right after Detroit, the Chicago show just doesn't make as big of an impression. Not very much new there, now New York is a different story.

     

    M
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