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High End Luxury Cars

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  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi all,
    I doubt that Aluminum would make a difference (in a negative way) in the crash results. Keep in mind Aluminum is used on aircraft regularly. Only recently have they moved to lighter composities.

    On the radio front: I read the Edmunds Top 10 ranking of the sound systems. All except MB (surprising) were on it. I swear that the Mark Levinson on my new LS is better than my '02..The old car's system seemed muffled. The Pioneer in my LS400 was better at reproducing instrumental music..But now you can tell the difference.

    Anyone listen to the Alpine unit in the Jaguar?

    SV
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    >>i tried to pull up an article on businessweek but you have to be a member to do so. maybe you could copy/paste it.

    NO NO NO NO NO NO!!

    That would violate every copyright law in the book!!! :)

    The problem with the link is that something has lately screwed up the way they get posted. To make that link work, you have to copy it all the way through the ".htm" that follows the highlighted part, paste it into the address bar, remove the "-" and the space that is between the "-" and the ".htm". Yeah, PITA.

    I have reported this issue, but so far I have no feedback on what is the deal.

    Meanwhile let me see if I can make it work. Try clicking here.

    :)
  • rl81rl81 Posts: 53
    A couple of things that made me think in this article:
    -dealerships:
    What were your experiences with the dealers when you bought your cars? Does anyone have experience with European delievery? What I am trying to get at is if the buying "experience" truly was one that you would expect from a luxury marque...

    -price+performance:
    That seems to be the Japanese carmaker strategy. Enter the market with lower prices and when they have a good stand, they go on par with the other ones. That was the argument that I made in here before. Now, why would they want to increase their performance if they were already better than their competition? Ohh, maybe Lexus is not that fast after all.

    -style:
    If I remember right, I talked about that before. That will be their biggest challenge, and I don't believe that they can do it really. Toyota tried to make Scion stylish and most people I know agree that they failed miserably. The Tc is the most bland and the least ugly. Most people here will probably say that the Bangle BMW design is ugly. I think that what BMW does, works for them. It is sort of...consistent. But tell me: if you don't have the Lexus badge on, can you really tell what it is? Does it stand out from the crowd? I know that wasn't their purpose until now...

    Finally, it seems from this article that MB and BMW are what Lexus is being measured against...
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Don't understand why you are interested in selling prices but not in profits or a company's financial strength. What someone sells something for is simply a mark-up of its costs to build combined with desire of the consumer to own it. Plenty of other factors like the supply you will build come in to play as well. But if your not a limited production business the two I noted are 90% of the game. Mercedes days of high mark-ups are long over which is why they are bleeding. No one will pay that type of premium anymore because MB is no longer head and shoulders above anyone and their products don't hold the highest residual values as a result. Quite the contrary - they trail many now and their residuals are among the lowest in the land. In the old days an everyday S500 would have been able to command $110K at today's prices if the MB prestige and greater than everyone quality factor had held. It didn't and that's why the price is more often $85-87k. That price is way below MB's historical cost mark-up. What other major manufacturing product (or car) - other than cyclicals and technology - is so much cheaper today than 12 years ago, when costs to build were far lower for MB? Yet many still fail to understand how Lexus resculpted this whole field. Other than them who else enterred the game at this level? If you want premium brand status where people paid whatever MB wanted for its product, the late 80's is the time frame. That was the time to brag about their selling prices. But it's been steadily downhill ever since with the slide accelerating more and more in the last 5 years. There's no v-curve correction in their future. There rarely is in any business.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "If you ask for the price you can't afford it."

    Sucker line, plain and simple. It’s an ancient sales tactic that doesn’t work today. I seriously doubt whether it ever did. If any salesperson ever used that on me I’d remind him of what HE can afford and let him know in no uncertain terms what an AH he is.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I haven't read the story but why would BW focus purely on cars and say what the rankings are tied to that. If you spread your focus to SUV's in a big way, the much more important growth and profitable part of the market (and the smarter business play of course) than you are likely to pass-up car sales or maybe just maybe you are just postponing them. If you are still at a young point in development you can't cover all bases. Heck if you're an old and mature company you can't do it so easily either. If you think about it look at all the MB car owners driving Lexus SUV's. It'a another way of penetrating the MB core customer and a real smart strategy. A great experience with a Lexus SUV and a lackluster one with an MB car will push you to make a change or give it serious thought. So to penalize that strategy with a narrow focus as BW may have done (again I didn't read the story) is silly. But I consider the RX much more car than SUV anyway and Lexus sells 80-100K of them every year.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 31,164
    "We are taking them seriously," says BMW Chairman Helmut Panke. "But right now, we have one global competitor, and it's Mercedes."

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  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    So that means you should pay for excess that will never be used and could'nt be used without endangering your life or the lives of others on the road. But it's a good thing because you know it's there. There is a certain amount of excess that is normal build into any product. It's just part of the process. But to focus on the type of excess that goes way beyond that and can never be used, as a main reason to buy is as illogical as it gets for me. I've always put my money where I need it and I'd like the people I buy goods from to do the same. Audi needs much better reliability, not the stupid un-needed and unusable excesses that car rags love.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    He's right. Lexus isn't a global player yet and won't be until 2007, MB is hurting and wounded and BMW is strong and unlike MB has never fallen from the position that made it what it is. It's as smart a statement as he could have made IMO. But he did iinsult Audi in the process, at least using that standalone statement as a criterium. I read it as he smells MB blood, is in the best position as ever to displace MB as most prestigious brand (which I think BMW can and will) and he'll watch closely the developing moves of the 800lb gorilla in Japan with their upcoming global moves and strategy. Smart statement except for the Audi part.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 31,164
    Well.. the Businessweek article was about Lexus.. So, I'm sure that is where the context comes in.. And, really, Audi, though a decent competitor is way behind BMW on a global basis..

    I don't think he was trying to comment on all the competitors... Just saying he had bigger fish to fry than Lexus..

    Also, I doubt that BMW AG considers Lexus separately from Toyota, when looking at them as competition.. I'm sure BMW NA sees it differently... (my editorial commentary).

    regards,
    kyfdx

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  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,918
    A magazine is interested in talking with current and former Audi owners with strong opinions about the brand. If you traded in an Audi to buy another brand's SUV, please indicate that in your response. Please reply to jfallon@edmunds.com no later than Thursday, March 3, 2005 with your daytime contact info and a few words about your decision.

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    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
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  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    The key word in his comment to me was the word "one" in reference to "one global competitor". That made it clear to me that he doesn't take Audi seriously since they are a global player and a German company as well. It's actually a very respectful comment to Lexus or Toyota - however you look at it. You can't compete globally with something that doesn't exist yet so in reality he could have been insulting if he wanted to. But he smartly chose not to be that way.
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    I find it amazing that people are so amazed at what is a Toyota Celsior with a different badge. It is well-built but beyond boring.

    I wish BMW never made an suv and concentrated on wagons instead.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    In reality the LS car came first and the Celsior was its offspring. You'd prefer a station wagon over an SUV? I'm sure BMW competitors wish they'd make a mistake as big as that one.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Your point about how to count cars doesn't piss me off at all nor do I think it would bother many. It's simply a ridiculous way of looking at things. You have this strange theory that a car can only count if it has some weird purity that you believe in. The fact that an ES330 is only 25% Camry as sv7887 pointed out so often is something you just don't get. But let's look at the real world. How many Camry's do you think the ES330 canibalizes every yearn or vice versa? You may not even need two hands to count them. You may not even need a finger. You know why, none of its buyers consider it the way you do and its a car that hits its mark perfectly. Now ask how many competitor sales the ES330 is canibalizing because it's cannibalizing 75k of some lux brands cars every year. The fact that A GX470 has a totally different feel, look and lux presence and fabulous ride that makes you think it's a lux car rather than an SUV vs. a 4-runners pure truck feel is lost on you. The fact that the LX470 was raised to a height that made it the ultimate lux SUV and cannibalized Range Rover sales and more than doubled what TLC's normal annual sales in the US had been is also lost on you. The fact that the RX is an original vehicle is somehow lost on you. What is funniest and strangest of all is you also discount a vehicle like the TLC because it had a Toyota badge even though historically it is a legendary, expensive SUV viewed as the best or one of the best SUV's ever made and one that is far removed from Toyota's normal prices to begin with. In your view a business can't take advantage of its' existing assets. That's a nice way of saying let me make as little money as I can. So you can make the argument you do but I think other than some diehard German car fans you won't find many people who think as you do. That's why it won't bother anyone. Success has a way of easily disproving that these type of thoughts are nothing but someone's fancy.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    “I wish BMW never made an suv and concentrated on wagons instead.”

    I couldn’t agree more. The problem is that SUVs and Mini are responsible for their recent success. Cayenne now accounts for more than half of Porsche’s sales. If the world wants pigs, you sell pigs and count your money.

    “You'd prefer a station wagon over an SUV?”

    Absolutely. A sport wagon with a convertible rear hardtop. Covers many bases.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    “You'd prefer a station wagon over an SUV?”

    But the market wants SUV's.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Sometimes I wish gas prices would double. That would put an end to this SUV nonsense.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Not with hybrids on the horizon. It's here to stay.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    That is the most deperate spin I have ever read. You mean to tell me that when Lexus does this 125K sports car and a 100K hybrid version of the next LS it won't be a luxury car because they won't sell in large numbers?

    Spin ? Me, concort spin ? Hehehehe :):):)

    Why drag up long lost posts..... Among all the posts here, I have lost touch where we were, what we were discussing, and why ???? BUT, I have found something: That DENALIINPA is absolutely infatuated with this forum as his opium. As a long-term poster here, my suggestion for him is to take a break and slow down.... Not everything needs a response....
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "Not with hybrids on the horizon. It's here to stay."

    Could be. But I'm not so sure about it. I have a feeling hybrid prices are not going to come down to price levels of conventional cars, even with volume production. There’s too much going on with them mechanically and electronically. Did computers ever come down to the price levels of typewriters? The comparison is extreme, but similar nonetheless.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Sometimes I wish gas prices would double. That would put an end to this SUV nonsense.

    No matter what, SUV is here to stay in my house. Its not that I want one, but the significant other MUST have one. I blame GM and Ford for creating this monster.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "I blame GM and Ford for creating this monster."

    Not me, I blame the significant others. I recently counted 19 SUVs in succession at a stoplight in my town... all driven by significant others.

    (I think we are going to be blessed with a visit by Pat pretty soon ;-)
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Ya, I'm here ... :-)

    GM and Ford don't really belong here - some of you need to check the topic and get with the program, yes?

    Someone said "Not everything needs a response" ... I could NOT agree more. Maybe we could try to ignore the posts that are way off base for whatever reason and keep our own posts topical?

    And if anyone has a serious problem with something out of line that has been posted, how about just dropping me an email and letting me handle it instead of posting a response. Dealing with that sort of thing is my job ... not anyone else's ...
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    That was downright impressive. I like your choice of the word blessed to. Hope Pat appreciated it.

    I almost forgot your marketing question. I can tell you that Lexus is going to make a real big deal about the new models and worldwide branding in 2007. This will be equal to or greater than the pre 1990 pre-launch and continuation after launch marketing and brand awareness push. Some of this I know firsthand because the marketing information business is how I make a living. Though they say they want to go after BMW that is only to raise awareness in the younger crowd for the new IS and GS. It's MB that remains in their crosshairs. BMW - no need to change anything - always a great local market advertiser with a lot of sponshorship events and dealer tie-ins. MB - no clue - they are going into cost-cutting mode.
  • Merc

    It would be nice if you would provide a post number ...I don't recall anyone saying the A8 was less safe then the LS...Saying this over and over again does not make it so...But I am Old and have a Sometimes faulty Memory..so I ASK YOU to PLEASE back up your claim.

    If You cannot Provide the POST NUMBER...PLEASE STOP MAKING THAT STATEMENT WHICH I DO NOT BELIEVE TO BE TRUE ...THANKS.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    All of these cars are leaders in safety and as a result are among the safest cars on the road. But if any of them gets rammed by a large SUV it won't matter what they are made of. The real issue to me is why did Audi move to aluminum in the first place. Was it purely for weight and fuel economy or were they trying to create a point of differentiation. Whatever it was - it didn't do anything for them and probably scared buyers away.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Click here to get to what oac wants you to see.

    Sorry about the link problem ... :(
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Thanks, Pat. I tried many times and finally decided to post the entire text with the link provided.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Too bad he didn't ask him about his stolen car.

    When you see profit maximaztion instead of cost cutting you know the guy is still in shock/denial and can't handle the reality he's facing. Last time I heard that type of talk was when Al the butcher/hatchet man was hired for another turn around and failed to the point that he falsified revenue in the pre-Enron fiasco days. It also reminds me of pre-owned vs. used labelling. I do agree with him that sending a few top lieutenants to help Chrysler didn't have any effect on MB. In a manufacturing business that big the system is what is crucial not two managers. But that's also why I think MB's problems are so big. There is something wrong with the system and a guy was fired for saying so. Meanwhile a cost cutter is brought in for the fix. Draw your own conclusions on that one.

    The other thing is he mentions is this:

    "with the aim of repositioning Mercedes as the No.1."

    So he admits MB has lost its throne? That is very interesting because it may have been an accidental slip of what the real mindset in the company is given everything else he said was a lot of BS trying to cover such a thought up.
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