Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





High End Luxury Cars

12382392412432441156

Comments

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "And, if you haven't noticed, there's not a single Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar, Audi racing in Nascar. If they are such tough cars with wonderful engines and suspensions, why aren't they competitive?"

    I'm sorry, but that has to be one of the most brainless statements I've seen on this forum. Just so you know, BMW, Porsche, M-B, Jaguar, Ferrari, Audi, Lotus, Maserati, Honda, Toyota, and Nissan have long and prestigious racing histories. They also take lessons learned from say the M3-GTR and apply it directly to street cars like the M3 CSL. Or the 911 GT2. An Audi R8 would mop up any Nascar class Taurus or Monte Carlo.

    Merc, Maserati has continually refined its SMG. Drive an '01 Coupe Cambiocorsa and the US spec Quattroporte and you'll see what i mean. Its not perfect yet, but give them another few years to work on it, and it should be on the level of a conventional automatic. Also, the US spec suspension is supposed to be tweaked for our roads as well. The blown M-B 5.5L in the E had better be waxing the Ferrari 4.2L, or M-B would be doing something seriously wrong. However, the Ferrari powerplant has got SOUL. The Benz, with its plastic engine cover, is just an appliance, handbuilt or not.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "The blown M-B 5.5L in the E had better be waxing the Ferrari 4.2L, or M-B would be doing something seriously wrong. However, the Ferrari powerplant has got SOUL. The Benz, with its plastic engine cover, is just an appliance, handbuilt or not."

    Compared to Italian cars...gulp(!) yep! Being a fan of Italian cars I have no rebuttle. Defense rests...lol.

    What I'm waiting for is Maserati to adapt VW's DSG to their next generation Sypder and Coupe, and possibly to the Quattroporte. I've driven the TT 3.2 V6 DSG and it really is this close to being the perfect gearbox. I'm reading that the 2005 911 may have this gearbox as on option. Have you driven the DSG?

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Cant say that I have, the TT has never interested me so I havent bothered to try. If it is as good as you say though, I just may have to give it a look. Does it do as good of job as the M3 SMG?
  • eaton53eaton53 Posts: 356
    "I'm sorry, but that has to be one of the most brainless statements I've seen on this forum. Just so you know, BMW, Porsche, M-B, Jaguar, Ferrari, Audi, Lotus, Maserati, Honda, Toyota, and Nissan have long and prestigious racing histories."

    Yeah, NASCAR's are purpose built race cars... don't have a single thing to do with production cars. Sounds like Toyota's getting in around '06.

    "An Audi R8 would mop up any Nascar class Taurus or Monte Carlo."

    Naw... the 'ol boys'll put 'em in the fence. :-)
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    "No it isn't because there is a S500, S55 and S600 and those models all cost way more than any Lexus. Period. Your reasoning assumes that everyone can afford to step up to the upper 3 S-Class models with no problem thus their price not being a factor (hindering) in sales."

    I disagree with your reasoning on a couple of levels.

    1. You are pretending that a wider model/price range hurts sales rather than helps sales. If we used your reasoning, then if Lexus were to introduce a 100k or even 200k super-LS, it would hurt overall LS unit sales. So I guess they'll never introduce higher-end models than the LS430, because it would hurt overall unit sales? Come on, merc1, you should know better than that! Put another way, if the wider price/model range is hindering S-Class sales, why doesn't MB just discontinue the higher-end models, and market just the S430? By your reasoning, S-Class sales would increase.

    2. You are talking about the price-sensitive buyer, but seem to fail to recognize that such a buyer need not buy a S500, S55/65, or S600. If he wants an S he can buy the S430. S-Class sales are NOT limited by the existence of the higher-trim lines, as long as the S430 is still marketed.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    I think the discussions about pricing and whether folks factor it in about 50K would be more interesting if one were able to demonstrate that specific price points actually were barriers for certain customers.

    What are the median incomes of the LS and S430 'buyers'. How many buy vs. lease. How many find that $1250 a month lease is a hardship, while $1000 isn't? What is their trade-off - $200 or $300 a month a very small amount.

    What % of these cars are paid for by these drivers' businesses? For example, how many VP's are there in the Fortune 2500 on car plans - maybe 25,000 to 50,000? How many people in similar sized private businesses. Another 50,000?

    I find it unlikely that the CEO of $100 million/yr up companies tells his Veeps that they can't spend more than $1200 on a car unless it comes right off the top of their $200K comp package. And they all go 'ouch'.

    Many of the people driving these cars aren't buying them or paying for them. They don't bail to a Lexus because the can't afford an S55. They drive it because of the way it looks, drives and how reliable it is. These days it looks like a very, very good decision amongst their peers. Maybe they look at an S55 and wonder how silly that would look in the lot - worrying about a "Feeling your oats, Charlie?" comment as if they were 23 again and dumping their paychecks into NOx upgrades for your Civic.

    So the real issue here is to put some facts and figures out there that talk about the 'buyers' financial profiles and where the money comes from that actually pays for them. Last time I checked with my MB/BMW friends, more than 75% here in New England were leasing.

    Small money from $65K to $80K in a lease.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    merc1,

    If having multiple models in one product range doesn't help sales then what is the point?

    I mean if Mercedes sells only a S430 and sells, for example, 20K units annually, or sells a S430, S500, S600, S55, and still sells only 20K units annually, why would they spend the millions of additional dollars in development, manufacturing, engineering, marketing, legalizing(engines & names) if they end up selling no additional units of the product? Mercedes would essentially end up making less money per car(a lot less) by having multiple engines in the same body style car for no reason.

    It's quite obvious Mercedes having a S430, S500, S55, S600 helps it reach a larger potential buying audience. Such as the S55 helps the S-class reach a buyer who wants a the room of a S-class but wants a much sportier car, without the S55, Mercedes would probably lose that sale to BMW, or now Maserati.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Good points except the ownership factor. Most people buying or leasing these cars are doing it with their own money. Direct payments by companies for cars are almost unheard of now and car allowances as part of salary are usually in the $500-$700 a month range (pre-tax). They are also less and less common than in the late 90's. Unlike salaries, once they are set they are not adjusted for inflation. I would bet that the Lease-buy ratio is 50-50 up front and some buy the cars at lease end as well. My experience is that it is better to lease and buy at lease end with these cars rather than buy up front - in most cases.

    Maxhonda99 - The S55 and S600 are halo cars as far as I'm concerned. The S600 only sells about 1,000 units a year in the US. Only 15,000 AMG cars are sold annually worldwide and the S55 probably is a small percentage of those cars. But sometimes when you read these boards those AMG's are represented as if they are mainstream MB's rather than cars that represent 1.5% of their worldwide sales. Though the S55 and S600 represent miniscule sales numbers by themselves their halo effect helps sell mainstream S-class cars. But again that is a gap Lexus - even more so than BMW - intends to close in the next few years. Right now there is no halo effect for the LS430.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    And it's still small money...
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Just my CFO experience and professional contacts of what is going on. In all the acquisitions I've done I also didn't come across anything more than an average $500-$600 a month car allowance - usually for salesman. The biggest car allowance I've ever seen was $1200 but that was a standalone.

    Lease/buy ratio - read a statistic like that somewhere recently but I'm not sure where. In fact it may have been more weighted to the buy side. However in the larger, higher wealth zip codes I would think that leasing is a 60%+ factor in the ratio. But that's just my gut.
  • Merc:

    In this Luxury Car Class the S Series...The 700 series and the LS..The discussion to revolve around the price of the car seems silly to me..

    Which is the best car, which handles best, which has the best ride is the most quiet, handles better, is safer, is most dependable..etc.

    To say one of these cars is better or worse then the others because of price or even total sales (although total sales does indicate people voting with their pocketbook) does not tell the story of which is the BEST.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    You are probably correct, AMG sales probably make up only about 1.5% yet everyone makes it seem like 50% of sales or something. I did some quick stats on BMWs M-lineup last year and their total M-lineup sales in the US in 2003 came up to just a tick under 1%. I would think Mercedes numbers would be similar.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,049
    "Cant say that I have, the TT has never interested me so I havent bothered to try. If it is as good as you say though, I just may have to give it a look. Does it do as good of job as the M3 SMG?
    "

    No, the Audi DSG is better -- not that the SMG is bad, but the DSG is another forward step in this kind of technology.

    If your lack of interest in the TT is styling related or size related, so be it. If you have a spare couple of hours some day, however, take a nice long test drive in a 3.2L DSG equipped TT -- they're pretty sweet.

    Too small for my tastes (our TT's have all been my wife's) -- but worth a shot to enjoy the marriage of the engine and transmission. Makes me long for a higher performance version perhaps in an S4 or an A6! Heck why not in an STS even!?!
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    You know, the whole tenor of discussion around here is centered around getting Merc to admit that the Lexus is better than Mercedes, and the LS is better than S. He already acknowledges that Lexus makes a quality car. But you aren’t getting him to say the LS is best or better than the S, or that Lexus is better than Mercedes. AIN’T HAPPENIN’ GENTS! Give up, move on, go polish your LSs, or light a votive candle with the hope that the next LS doesn’t go the way of cheesy cars like the ES, GS, Camry, Celica and the rest of the styling disasters that Toyota/Lexus is foisting upon us.

    :-)
  • Designman:

    Actually the tenor seems to me to be responding to Merc's little lexus digs in his messages. Rather then the other way around.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Styling disasters from Toyota/Lexus ? Toyota is not alone in styling disasters are they ??? Methinks BMW ain't doing any better either!
  • mbukukanyaumbukukanyau Posts: 200
    I am of the opinion that all cultures are equally capable of developing whatever technology they set their minds to. Who would have thought that a Rebadged Toyota Crown of 1990 sold as Lexus LS would be an S Class fighter it is now?
    Likewise the problems Germans are having now might silence the Nay sayers two models down. Same for those saying that Cadillac is not probably up to the Challenge. Perhaps in 2006 when the next generation CTS hits the market, a more compact car, the mighty 3 might not be so mighty after all.
    But its highly unlikely that other cultures could beat Kenyans on the Track. Highly unlikely.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Styling disasters and 10.2bln of profits don't go together. If they do what will Toyota earn with great styling - $20bln. They already make more money than the rest of industry combined. Sales volume and profits speak at an astronimically louder volume than people's opinions. Money talks. Opinions are sometimes just wishful thinking or rejection of reality - on everyone's part
  • mbukukanyaumbukukanyau Posts: 200
    That is just an opinion fortified by the Market place. Nascar cars are driven as hard as any race car out there. If the MB's of this world were that good, they might as well show up for one season, show people the dust and move one.
  • motownusamotownusa Posts: 836
    My uncle owns a 2002 S500 and he curses that car every single day. He said that the day he bought that car was the biggest mistake of his life. Second would be the day he married my aunt. They are still together after 31 years. That car has been to the shop numerous times for mechanical and electrical problems. On quite a few days the car simply would not start. He lives in East Hampton, New York where most of the snobs seems to prefer this 85 grand POS although he told me that he is seeing the LS 430 quite frequently now. He told me his next car would definitely be the Lexus LS430.
Sign In or Register to comment.