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High End Luxury Cars

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  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I have no doubt that the average MB sells for more than the average Lexus. But I also have no doubt that the difference is less than the 50% (68k vs 45k) implied in your post 5034. The problem with your analysis is that your numbers are not weighted; specifically volume-weighted. Because MB has a broader model range, the existence of certain higher end models and trims, such as the CL and AMGs, that are priced high but sell in smallish numbers, skews your calculations. More so than is the case with Lexus, with its lesser diversity.

    Your overall point about price also ignores the fact that the respective models are not in distinct silos, never to be cross-shopped. You know as well as I that sometimes people will consider the LS vs the E500. There are examples of this on the Edmunds boards. And to some extent this negates your claim that higher prices for some models are the reason for MB's sales performance.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,662
    I can't buy those numbers and this is purely from experience. There is no way the S-class sells at a $98K average. That would bean the weighted volume is toward AMG's and S600's when in fact it is way more weighted to $75-77K S430's and $83-85K S500's. Put it more simple I know a very uppity crowd and not one of them ever had a $98k S-class. I contacted many of the folks I knew when I was shopping in 2001 and the most anyone paid was $86k for an S-500. Most had paid $75-77K for S-430's. I also remember very well looking at the 60 day list of inbound S-class cars in 2001 at the dealership. Heavy weighting to S430's in the mid $70's and S500's in the $83K range. I don't even remember a car coming in that was in the 90's and in fact when I asked about things like ABC I was told that those options pushed the car into the 90's and were custom orders. MB only builds a nandful of them as spec cars.

    Just go do a poll on the S-class board - you'll have a hard time finding a person who dropped $98K on the car let alone that being the average. In fact even in reading all the posts over the years the highest prices I saw were a few far and in between $95K AMG's.

    Sorry - I have no doubt that MB's prices are higher - but not by the differences you posted and I certainly know the S-class prices and the E-class prices as well. There is also no way the E-class average is $57-58K. I fully loaded the E430 (4-matic) in 2001 and got to nearly $60K. Above that you had to custom order the car. There was a heavy weighting of inbound E-class cars in the $50-52K range which were E-320's. Most 430's were in the $56K range but represented only a fraction of the total E's. The only way your numbers work is with Enron-like accounting.

    There is though a big difference between custom ordering MB and Lexus. The MB dealer will gladly fulfill your request annd give you a due date and if I remember even set up a tracking ability for you. The Lexus dealer will do it as a last resort and usually has to be threatened. Who knows when that order will be fulfilled.
  • Merc.

    You said the following:

    "Lexus doesn't even compete in the space above 70K. How can this be a level."

    Lesus competes quite well with the $90,000+ 600 SERIES. If we just talk cars specific cars....S600 vrs. LS 430 vrs 700 series..I hope we can get around this Price and Styling Only discussion. Styling, Price, Prestiege, Dependability, quality of the product, Features, Safety, Handling, Ride, are all factors.

    We are talking about the best Production cars in the world and just talking my car is prettier then yours or yours is cheaper so it can't be as good as mine is getting old.

    HAVING MADE MY MORE MATURE COMMENT I can't help but revert to my true self and add (for Merc's Consumption) The buyers have decided with their wallet which car is the best.
  • Whoops:

    Should have said S series which is far more accurate then S600 ...Sorry Merc.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    I agree. The C and the E make up 60% of MB sales. A sales weighted average price would probably be more useful.

    Same goes for Lexus.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Of course a sales weighted average would be more accurate. But to get that you would need more information that what is readily available in press releases, etc. For example, you would need specific model breakdowns in the model ranges, ie. C230hatch, C230K, C240, etc. And then since Benz has such a huge variation in prices for each model(for example a C240 can run from anywhere around $32K to $45K), you would need a rough estimate of what the average car goes for.
  • flkeyflkey Posts: 11
    Whoa, are you guys not exhausted? Pun intended.
    Lexus is good, Benz is good, but.....
    1. Lex is the better value in consideration of price
       and options. E Benz is prettier. S tired.
    2. Lex fuel filler on left, Benz on right, huh?
    3. I drive a 2003 LS430, 9000 mis, o.a. mileage
       22mpg. I check each tank fillup and electronic
       mileage confirms this figure. City/highway.
       '03 E430 $1000 gas guzzler tax.
    4. Again, for '03, Lex has VVTi. Benz does not.
       The driving experience is remarkable when the
       cams
       change lobes with VVTi.
    5. Lex has fore and aft driver seat bolster
       adjustment. Does Benz?

    OK, my 2cents, FWIW. It seems to me you are beating
    a dead horse.

    flkey@
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    If we only knew, for example, Lexus' US (or worldwide) revenues, we could divide that by the number of units and get the true average realized price per car. As far as I can tell, Toyota does not break that number out.

    We'd have to be careful to use revenues from original new car sales only. I imagine that MB "wins" on the service revenue side, due to poor reliability! hehheh.
  • lexus0622lexus0622 Posts: 27
    These postings are a scream! So much energy, so much passion, so much conviction, so much of so much.

    I'm glad that everyone is having so much fun. I love to see the opposing sides go at it and then see the soothing messages of the arbitrators.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Yeah, some Lexus owners have passion...unlike the cars themselves, hehheh.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    "Never have so few posted so much that amounted to so little."
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    "Never have so few posted so much that amounted to so little."

    Churchill would be proud indeed !!!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "All I have to say is your theory is obviously flawed of looking at the entire line-ups and averaging the prices. Each lineup is made up of numerous components(models) and saying the sales are higher because price is lower is B.S."

    I think you're getting off track here. All I'm saying is that when you get past the C and ML Mercedes-Benz is at a price disadvantage compared to Lexus. Yes you are correct in the two examples you gave about the ML and C-Class vs the RX and IS/ES, but this isn't the whole lineup which has to factor into overall sales when they're counted up at the end of the year. You continue to ignore the other 7 models that Mercedes has, that cost more than Lexus'.

    "1) The original RX300 and ML320 came out at basically the same time with similar MSRPs. And the RX300 even outsold the ML 2 to 1 to 3 to 1 margin."

    Max I didn't say that price was the only reason why certain Lexi might outsell certain Mercedes'. Clearly the RX outselling the ML isn't price related. I think you know this already. You're trying to apply everything I said about pricing to each and every sales relationship between Lexus and Mercedes at every model level and I never said it applied in every case.

    "Funny thing is, even when the GS300/400 was new in 1998 it was outsold by the 2 year old E-class by about a 2 to 1 margin. I don't see the cheaper price of the GS helping it outsell the GS from 1998 to current."

    Same thing as in the case of the ML vs the RX, the GS wasn't what the market was looking for at the time thus the E outselling it. The GS was a tough sell anyway for other reasons, but those don't pertain to what we're talking about here. I think you know that my price theory is based on the MB's that are clearly way more more expensive than the competing Lexi, or the Benzes for which there are no Lexuses competing. My whole point is that how is MB supposed to climb to the top of the sales chart when they're charging more than anyone else in the luxury car market. This is what some believe on this board, not you necessarily.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I don't disagree here, you've seem to get my point that MB's sell for more and cost more out the gate, at least once you pass the ML and C-Class. I never claimed that those numbers were sales weighted, only that the average MSRP is higher in most cases and much higher in a few instances.

    As much as I love the E500 I don't think it is as much car as the LS430 for that price and I think most people would agree the appropiate Benz to be compared is the (again) much more expensive S-Class.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "I can't buy those numbers and this is purely from experience. There is no way the S-class sells at a $98K average. That would bean the weighted volume is toward AMG's and S600's when in fact it is way more weighted to $75-77K S430's and $83-85K S500's."

    I didn't mean to imply that the average S-Class sells for 98K, but only the S-Class as a group costs way more than the LS430. Even still using your numbers for the S430 and S500, which I agree are the bulk of S-Class sales, 75-77K and 83-85K is still way above the average selling price for the LS430, which is about 60-65K. My point still stands here.

    "There is also no way the E-class average is $57-58K. I fully loaded the E430 (4-matic) in 2001 and got to nearly $60K. Above that you had to custom order the car. There was a heavy weighting of inbound E-class cars in the $50-52K range which were E-320's. Most 430's were in the $56K range but represented only a fraction of the total E's. The only way your numbers work is with Enron-like accounting."

    You've got to stay current. That was in 2001. The average E320 on the lot now ranges anywhere from 52-55K. The base 49K model is sometimes hard to find. The E500 starts at 57K now. Most E500s are easily 60-62K now. Things have changed since 2001 my friend. These prices are way more than the average GS300 or GS430.

    M
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Edmund's car comparator is a good tool for comparing car's features, specs and pricing.

    A comversation with a local realtor made me go take a look at the market another way.

    I think there is another way to look at the luxury lineup. Instead of arguing about pricing differences in traditional market segments, compare cars on the basis of similar sizes, performance, efficiency, warranty, etc. Then look to see what ones in that class cost.

    This is the way the majority of non-luxury cars are done - where entry means small and midsize means midsize.

    I did this an found that Lexus doesn't do well with the IS300 as a small luxury car offering, while Infiniti does. The ES is too large to be a 'small' car.

    Here's my small luxury car comparo:

    MB C Class YTD sales 21.3K units
    BMW 3 series YTD sales 34.4K units
    Infiniti G35 YTD sales 23.5K units
    IS 300 YTD sales 3.5K units <--- only one in class that doen't offer AWD

    Here's my midsize luxury car comparo:

    MB E Class YTD 17.3K units
    BMW 5 series YTD sales 14.7K units
    Lexus ES 330 YTD sales 24.1K units
    GS fits here too 2.5K units

    Here's my large size luxury car comparo:

    MB S Class YTD Sales 5.5K units
    BMW 7 series YTD Sales 5.3K units
    Lexus LS YTD Sales 10.5K units

    This pretty much lines up cars with similar features, specs, performance and size.

     I think that consumers have figured out that the traditional definitions of entry, mid and premium for the luxury market is way off the mark in terms of the value proposition.

    I asked a realtor friend yesterday why she had a new Lexus 330 and not a Mercedes E. She said, "same or better features, rock solid reputation, 1/2 the lease price." So why not get a C Class. "Too small".

    IMHO, the MB.s aren't class leaders in anything but high price.
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    Do you have a trust fund or just a very tolerant employer?
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I do understand your point that a higher priced product is less affordable, limiting its audience and therefore sales. I hope you understand my point that if additional value (prestige in this case) is present to offset the higher price, then unit sales need not be lower than a lower-price, lower-prestige product.

    After thinking more on this, I want to try to synthesize these 2 viewpoints. Let me draw on an analogy I made months ago. Suppose a housing developer offers two models of home, model h4, 4000 sq ft on 1 acre, and model h5, 5000 sq ft on 1.25 acres. Your point is that if h5 is priced 25% higher than h4, it will sell fewer units. I can agree with this, because the price is 1.25x, and the content is 1.25x; therefore, affordability will limit sales of h5 relative to h4. HOWEVER, if h5 is priced at only 1.05x h4, do you see that h5 will sell more units that h4, even though h5 is still priced higher and is therefore &#147;less affordable&#148;? If buyers see sufficient content (i.e., they smell a bargain), they will buy more of the higher priced unit. I am saying that there is some price, maybe between 1.10x and 1.20x, where unit sales of h5 will equal h4. In other words, there is a balance point, say at 1.15x, where the &#147;value proposition&#148; (meaning content) offsets the &#147;affordability factor&#148;.

    In looking at MB versus Lexus or anyone else, we don&#146;t know the dollar value that buyers place on prestige, and we don&#146;t know whether the price/prestige ratio is beyond the balance point or not. So imho we actually can&#146;t say whether the price of MB vs Lexus, taking MB's extra prestige into account, is limiting unit sales of MB vs Lexus or not.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    With all the talk on sales and prices, nobody mentioned (unless I missed it) that Mercedes last week announced a recall of 680,000 cars worldwide. This includes E-Class sedans built after March 2002, E-Class wagons made after March 2003 and SL models built after October 2001 because the electronic braking system has failed on some E-Class and SL-Class cars.

    The recall affects more than 143,000 cars in the U.S., according to Automotive News.
  • mbukukanyaumbukukanyau Posts: 200
    will be more than 400 Horses Supercharged Northstar. The M5 500 might not be on top for too long
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