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High End Luxury Cars

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Comments

  • Merc:

    No offense BUT...I prefer to believe you do not respond to me because my simple logic leaves you unable to respond.

    Your game is to always provide a moving target rarely give straight answers, jump from price to features, from S class to c class, provide long drawn out responses to hide your non-answers to specific questions.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    merc1,

    Can you not see how your logic is completely flawed?

    Basically your logic is Lexus sells more cars than Mercedes because they have a cheaper overall line-up. Meaning cheaper average sales price.

    If that were true, how do you explain Mercedes sales being higher than Lexus sales 10 years ago for example? There was even a bigger price gap between the 2 makes back then and I didn't see Lexus outselling Mercedes.

    See there are many variables that effect sales figures, and Lexus/Mercedes sales/price data over time just doesn't prove out your theory at all.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Some of you need to drop the personal comments and stick to talking about the cars ...
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Me, "ignore" price at every turn? Au contraire, as a reading of my past posts should show. I pointed out that the median (as far as we know) LS sells for 13K less than the median S430. What you seem to "ignore" is the offset to the 13K that Lexus can't do much about...namely MB's higher prestige.

    Why do you think the LX has outsold the TLC by 45% in units YTD (per autosite.com)? Do you really think that the LX has $10K worth of physical improvements over the TLC, as viewed by real buyers? I think not. I think the physical differences are worth something, but not $10K or more. (As an LX owner, I think I should know something on the subject). Let's say for the sake of arguement that the average buyer sees $3K of physical improvements. It then follows that the prestige of the LX is worth MORE than $7K (otherwise the LX wouldn't outsell the TLC). Prestige is worth something, and IF priced appropriately, a higher price, higher prestige vehicle need not sell fewer units than the competition, as I have tried to communicate before. As shown by the LX/TLC example, the higher prestige, higher price vehicle can actually sell in GREATER units.

    Is MB pricing prestige appropriately? I don't know. But I do know that you can't simply explain away MB's sales performance by looking at price, without ALSO considering that prestige is HELPING MB's sales performance.
  • Here is a link for an interesting article on the recently released automotive owner survey titled "Total Quality Index" by the research firm Strategic Vision where Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti tied for first place - http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2004-05-24-carquality_x.htm

    Unlike the more widely published survey by J.D. Powers their methodology differs significantly from the Powers survey that primarily focuses on "only the things gone wrong in the first 90 days (of ownership)". BMW, Lexus and Jaguar also finished near the top with only five points separating the top six finishers.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    That link didn't work for me, but I found the press release: http://www.vision-inc.com/svi_04_tqa_release.pdf
  • dogface5dogface5 Posts: 87
    MB's problem is not prestige or pricing, it is reliability. If benzes were half as reliable as lexi, they would sell twice as many. Unfortunately they are not.
  • viskhaviskha Posts: 35
    The July '04 issue of Car & Driver has an article on Lexus setting up an in-house performance shop like BMW's M division - the first 3 models will be next generation IS350, GS350 and LS500.

    The LS500GT will have a hybrid system with total output at 600HP!!!!! This 2006 model is expected to top $100,000! Lexus is moving into 6 digits!!
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    That survey is strange, basically the entire car industry performs within a 10% range.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Mike you constantly mention things that have no logic. We're talking about price and sales and how they relate, you mention that "America has chosen with their wallets". You're right that is simple and takes no thought to reach that conclusion. Until you bring a logical point to the table why would I bother. Simplistic is right.

    "Your game is to always provide a moving target rarely give straight answers, jump from price to features, from S class to c class, provide long drawn out responses to hide your non-answers to specific questions.

    This from one who hasn't been able to answer anything in years of posting here. You mentioned that Lexus takes Mercedes' innovations and perfects them about a year ago, yet when asked what those innovations are, NO ANSWER. You mentioned that Mercedes' safety innovations have electronic problems and that they don't work. I asked for specific examples of this, yet again nothing, nada, no answer.

    A discussion about engine design, features or anything will get the same response from you, either sales numbers or reliability surveys. Tell me why would I bother to keep responding to something so irrelevant? You rarely if ever bring anything factual to the table. Others (see below) at least bring the facts along for the ride, and we have a genuine "discussion" (most of the time) as opposed to an argument that will happen if (I can't) I took most of your posts seriously.

    You make statements with no facts so please don't fool yourself by thinking that I can't respond. For the sake of the board I won't respond to your posts, most of the time.

    maxhonda99,

    "Basically your logic is Lexus sells more cars than Mercedes because they have a cheaper overall line-up. Meaning cheaper average sales price."

    Are you saying that this isn't true?!?!?? Because it most certainly is true about the average sales price of a Benz compared to a Lexus, but like I've said before that this is only one factor in sales, not the end all Max. You keep missing that part. I didn't say that price was the sole reason.

    "If that were true, how do you explain Mercedes sales being higher than Lexus sales 10 years ago for example? There was even a bigger price gap between the 2 makes back then and I didn't see Lexus outselling Mercedes."

    I think you know that in 1994 Lexus wasn't what it is today. There were 4 years old and hadn't hit their stride yet, and 1994 was way before the SUV boom, which happens to be %50 of what makes their sales press releases so hot. I think you know this because then you state: "See there are many variables that effect sales figures...." Which is what I was saying all along, with price being one of those factors that favors Lexus.

    syswei,

    "Is MB pricing prestige appropriately? I don't know. But I do know that you can't simply explain away MB's sales performance by looking at price, without ALSO considering that prestige is HELPING MB's sales performance.

    I never disagreed with the notion of prestige helping Mercedes' sales, but tell me what does prestige matter when there is a potential 13-20K price difference that some buyers can't make? I see your point about prestige, but I don't think you see where price is the end-all if you don't have the money to step to the more prestigious car.

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    "I don't think you see where price is the end-all if you don't have the money to step to the more prestigious car"

    Has price kept the LX470 from outselling the TLC by 45% in unit terms? Surely there are some buyers that just can't afford the 10K premium for the LX...so yes, price is the "end-all" for those buyers. But the greater prestige of the LX seems to be the "end-all" for MORE buyers, as long as prestige is priced appropriately. Hence the higher priced, higher prestige vehicle sells 45% MORE units, at least in this case.
  • tracer999tracer999 Posts: 5
    Information has been slim on what is going on in the Rolls-Royce and Maybach showrooms and how the lucky new owners across the land are enjoying their new luxo-barges. Is there really a decent market in the U.S. for sedans that sell for over 300 large? How do these cars satisfy their owners after the initial blush wears off?

    My sense of things is that 1) demand has been disappointing for both marques, and 2) Maybach dealers in particular are disappointed as they each made a big financial commitment to facilities to get the franchise and the current sales rate will not provide a decent return on this investment. Rolls set up about half the number of dealers as did Maybach with a much smaller investment required, so I would guess they are happier. Maybachs were all supposed to be custom-ordered. Do all of the Maybach dealers now have demonstrator/show units, or are prospects looking at pictures and video screens? Rolls has a more conventional sale strategy, with dealers putting cars into inventory and selling from stock.

    I have driven both cars and must admit they are impressive. But in the case of the Maybach, is it worth roughly three times the price of an S600? I think the problem is most qualified prospects think not.

    Now, IMHO, the Roller is a different kettle of fish. Where the Maybach stylings looks to me like the world's finest Toyota Avalon, the RR is the most impressive looking mega-luxury car since the gorgeous Rolls-Royce James Young Phantom limos were discontinued some forty years ago. And therein may lie the problem. This car just screams: "Look at me! I am stinky rich (and you are not)!" Hollywood celebrity types like this, but not your typical successful small-town factory owner. Or maybe even a New York City orthopedic surgeon.

    In any case, Automotive News sales estimates show both the RR and the Maybach delivering about 30 cars a month nationally, a bit off the goal I think.

    Any board participants have any more hard news or comments on these two ultimate high end luxury marques?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well we tried again and got very close to an agreement, but no luck.

    Those two trucks are a good example because they are virtually identical and the big L is the only major difference for some. I see that.

    What you don't see is that no matter how highly one might place the S-Class over the LS in terms of prestige, if they don't have the money to step up to the S430(slightly 13-17K more) or S500 (much more 15-25K) prestige isnt' going to make a difference.

    Overall there other other factors in sales of the S vs the LS, my point was the price favors the LS. Prestige means nothing if you don't the money to buy into it. How many base LS intenders (56-63K) can just say oh the S500 is more prestigious and pay 85K for one? Far greater price difference there than between two identical trucks from Toyota/Lexus.

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Karl Blade, as in Karl Blade Chevrolet?

    Have you considered Bentley? I remember someone on this board buying one, maybe a Continental GT, but can't remember who it was or how much he liked it. I have seen one Maybach around, it was parked with the chauffer sitting in it.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "But in the case of the Maybach, is it worth roughly three times the price of an S600?"

    Yep, seems crazy. People with the savvy to aquire wealth may enjoy spending but not squandering, rather, choosing other ways to enjoy/flaunt wealth and retain equity—art, real estate, jewelry. The image of wealth is one thing but the worth of these cars both emotional and financial is another.

    Not only that but the styling is dubious. The old Rolls were stately and elegant. The new ones are just Texas-big and look like rough-hewn plastic IMO. The finer subtle details are gone— heavy-handed.
  • lexus0622lexus0622 Posts: 27
    I think a couple of folks here are on the list for a Bentley GT, and may have already placed orders. But, I don't believe anyone has actually received one yet.

    shoes is a poster to this board but also posts on the Bentley GT board. He's traveling in Europe now and recently posted his experiences sitting in one while over there:

    #87 of 90 I spent time in one by shoes May 30, 2004 (1:36 am)
    I am traveling in Europe now, in fact, I picked up an AMG car at the factory and am driving very quickly through Europe. However, while in Stuttgart, I saw a dealer with a Bentley Continental and he was nice enough to let me sit in it a while. He said he had driven it at 330 KPH on the autobahn, which I thought must be an exaggeration. Anyway, the interior of the Bentley was extremely nice- much higher levels of luxury than the Phaeton (whew) although the gauges were familiar. Even the headliner was leather. However, it feels very tight, even headroom (maybe it was the black leather headliner that exacerbated that impression) and there is shockingly little room in the back. I will be driving this car in the US in two weeks and will post after that.

    #89 of 90 Sexy Car by shoes Jun 01, 2004 (10:59 am)
    I am posting this from Geneva, Swisserland. I spied a Bentley Continental on the street here and asked my wife to take my picture with it. She asked me to get out of the way so she could just photograph the car. I guess I know where I stand.
    The interior still looks pretty tight- maybe those basketball guys are used to tight quarters. I think the black headliner in the car I sat in may have made it seemed worse than it is, but I am only 5 feet 5 inches and find everything roomy.

    It's pretty quite on that board, so I suspect those of us who are interested are just waiting.
  • Merc.

    I will leave your ramblings for others to judge...I have been posting on this board for less then a year.

    The Japanese take almost EVERY innovation and work with it and make it better. It is why their machines specifically cars are so much better/dependable then the industry as a whole.

    Finally...the answer to your question is "Yes" it is not true that Lexus sells more Luxury cars then the Germans because they are cheaper. They sell more Luxury cars because they are BETTER.
  • lexus0622lexus0622 Posts: 27
    I think a couple of folks here are on the list for a Bentley GT, and may have already placed orders. But, I don't believe anyone has actually received one yet.

    shoes is a poster to this board but also posts on the Bentley GT board. He's traveling in Europe now and recently posted his experiences sitting in one while over there:

    #87 of 90 I spent time in one by shoes May 30, 2004 (1:36 am)
    I am traveling in Europe now, in fact, I picked up an AMG car at the factory and am driving very quickly through Europe. However, while in Stuttgart, I saw a dealer with a Bentley Continental and he was nice enough to let me sit in it a while. He said he had driven it at 330 KPH on the autobahn, which I thought must be an exaggeration. Anyway, the interior of the Bentley was extremely nice- much higher levels of luxury than the Phaeton (whew) although the gauges were familiar. Even the headliner was leather. However, it feels very tight, even headroom (maybe it was the black leather headliner that exacerbated that impression) and there is shockingly little room in the back. I will be driving this car in the US in two weeks and will post after that.

    #89 of 90 Sexy Car by shoes Jun 01, 2004 (10:59 am)
    I am posting this from Geneva, Swisserland. I spied a Bentley Continental on the street here and asked my wife to take my picture with it. She asked me to get out of the way so she could just photograph the car. I guess I know where I stand.
    The interior still looks pretty tight- maybe those basketball guys are used to tight quarters. I think the black headliner in the car I sat in may have made it seemed worse than it is, but I am only 5 feet 5 inches and find everything roomy.

    It's pretty quite on that board, so I suspect those of us who are interested are just waiting.
  • tracer999tracer999 Posts: 5
    Chevrolet? Yes, and BMW too. But that's an echo from an increasingly distant past. It has been over 20 years since I turned the dealership over to other members of the family (who still operate it) and moved on to the custom motor coach manufacturing business. Yes, I saw a Bentley Continental GT at Desert European Motors in Rancho Mirage in February. Didn't do much for me and I don't know why. But the Aston Martin Vanquish V12--that's a car to aspire to.
  • prattsterprattster Posts: 59
    From Top Gear, June 2004 issue

    "Our new design was wrong." - BMW Boss's Shock Admission

    You knew it, we knew it, anyone with any taste new it - BMW's 7-series is horrible. Now it seems BMW knows it too.

    BMW has finally admitted what everyone in the car world has long known: the current 7-series is a disaster. In an interview with American business magazine Fortune, Helmut Panke, BMW's chairman, said: "I admit the intensity of the public debate over our new design (which began with the 7-series) did suprise me. There are still too many articles focusing on 'I wish this car looked different blah, blah, blah.' The 7-series was a combination of completely new technology with new design direction. The key point is that we should never make big steps in strategic directions without preparing our customers."

    Panke is the first BMW executive to publicly acknowlege what many Munich insiders have privately been saying about the 7-series - that BMW made a big mistake in launching Chris Bangle's new design direction and the complex i-Drive system at the same time in the most conservative sector of the market with no explanation.

    Panke's comments have been greeted with relief in Munich. "It's a weight off everyone's shoulders," one insider said. "Panke has finally said what we all knew but could not say - that we tried to do too much, too soon with the 7-series and we did it in the wrong market. We were too far ahead of the audience and lost a lot of goodwill. It was a real own goal that has overshadowed the launch of the very good cars that have followed the 7-Series."

    This only further supports that the "Battle of the Best" will be between the future '06 LS and S class models. This new 7 goose is cooked and we have live with this design for years. A premature all new skin redesign is a signal of failure and BMW will never do this. Given the dismal reliability reports and below average resale the 7 series historically had it's gonna be a long hard slog as Rumey would say..
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