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High End Luxury Cars



  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    What part of anything didn't you get? I initially said that not every LS buyer can afford a LS, I didn't claim to know how many could or couldn't.

    What part of not everyone leases didn't you understand?

    There are buyers/owners on these boards that pay cash and/or finance and you're going to say that price doesn't make a difference in those cases. You're only fooling yourself if you think that. Common sense should tell you this, but I guess not.

  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    The question in #5291 was very simple:

    How many LS buyers find the price of the S class 'too high'.

    Where's that beef Mr. Murky.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yet another pointless exchange, whats the point, is there ever a point? Keep thinking that price has nothing do with luxury car buyer's decisions.

    Everyone leases so a few hundred a month this way or that way won't make a difference.

    Every single LS buyer looked at the S-Class and found the price "too high" so they bought the LS.

    We know factually that every single LS430 buyer can afford a S500. Even though some LS owners who know other LS owners say it isn't so.

    All of this makes so much sense now!

  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Problem with the pros- and cons- to this argument are the unknown variables that play major role - earning power of LS vs S-class buyer, what $ value is associated to the *prestige factor*, the proportion of owners who lease vs purchase, etc. Unless there are definitive knowledge to these factors, then I submit the argument on price-matters is for naught.

    Every single LS buyer looked at the S-Class and found the price "too high" so they bought the LS

    Factually incorrect, Merc1 !!! Way too general, so I will assume you will back off this statement.

    As a lux car buyer/owner, my personal viewpoint is that a $20-30K price difference b/w the S500 and the LS is not justified, based on the feature contents of both cars. I honestly do not see the justification for why an S500 should cost $90K while a fully-loaded LS430 UL should cost about $20K less ! What specific features makes the S that much higher-priced over the LS? To me NONE. Hence, the price difference can only be associated to what MB and the MB buyer will associate to a prestige-factor whatever that is !

    Oh, btw, I never even considered the S in my lux car purchase choice(s).
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Thanks, oac, you said what we've been trying to get Murky to admit:

    1) No facts or data re earning power of folks shopping for cars over 50K - so the price argument is constantly recycled hot air

    2) Most likely reason that LS outsells S 2 to 1 is that the S is a lousy value

    I think the price difference that exists between MB and Lexus is there because the difference in Toyota and DCX/MB P&L statements suggest that

    * it costs MB more to make the S because their manufacturing processes aren't as efficient as Toyota.
    * their service costs are higher because of higher defect repairs they have to eat during warranty
    * they spend more on advertising than Lexus because the 'prestige' thing is a marketing scam
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Well I for one, am an LS owner, and I dont have a hundred grand to shell out on a loaded S500. $25,000 does make a difference to people like myself.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    People making statements about their own buying considerations on this board do represent a very valid source of data.

    I know when I spend 70-something on my XJR, the key consideration was to get the right car for me. But I also know would have not spend more than 79.9k - it was a mental block, even though it's not like it would have broken me at all. If you *can* spend 70k cash, in the majority of cases it means that you have a multiplier in that in cash, and that you *could* spend more but chose not to. And a very valid reason for that is that there are very compelling choices that right there -like the Lexus-, and you think hard about the true value-add of spending more - not because you can't spend more, but rather because you do try to make a buying decision that is not based on 100% emotion and impulse and leaves you feeling potentially disappointed afterwards. But it may be a perfectly valid reason to spend more to come to the conclusion that you truly wanted the star on the hood very bad.

    But it does vary from person to person, and I am not sure even car vendors have reliable data on that. For all the silly questionnaires I have received after buying new cars, none of them included questions like "how much liquid cash reserves do you have?" and even "what is you total net worth?" - which private banking institutions do the whole time, without asking you what car you have. perhaps there's a business to be made combining such data... :-)

    I do think that $10-15k do matter when you're spending 70k. It may however be very much of a rational block, of a target the buyer puts in his/her head saying "I am not spending more than that" - I truly think that once you cross that price barrier, spending more is something most people can wing, but they simply freely chose to not inflict themselves a bigger whole in the wallet.

    And it's been also repeatedly and correctly stated that for those leasing the difference truly is rather modest - but again, there may be an emotional inner barrier there.

    And the inner barrier may have been built by the availability of a truly great product at a leading price: the Lexus. I am not saying it is the better car, that is for everybody to decide for themselves, but unquestionable the Lexus is a great car on its very own merits irrespective of price, and happens to be a price-leader (but it ain't no bargain, let's make that clear) - that is a powerful proposition in any market, because it means buyers take note and use it as a reference point for what they should expect in many respects.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    I would assume you probably *could*, but that it'd be more painful than you'd care for. If we were like young kids our whole life, where we're willing to scratch up every cent we own for a car or motorcycle, I'd assume quite a few of the people posting to this board could potentially wing whatever they set their minds to - but afterwards they'd kick themselves for the utterly wasteful idiocy. But I do remember instances when I wiped out everything that was at my disposal to score what I thought was the deal of the century that would get me the motoring experience of a lifetime... just to feel like I had to do the same all over again a year later. Thank heavens my buying behaviors have matured somewhat... :-)
  • Merc:

    I looked at the Mercedes S class before buying my Lexus...I found the quality too LOW and bought the better car for LESS money.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    I do agree with a lot of what you posted. There can be a mental block buying something at close to $100K price point, regardless of what it is. Anecdotally, my wife and I are in the process of buying a third home. The price tag is $429K and since it is an investment property, the bank wants us to put down 25%. That is $107K out of our pocket. Adding closing costs and other costs, we'll put down close to $115K. The house is currently in escrow and should close later this month. Now I say this just to make the point that buying a $100K S500 should not have been a problem for me, but I'd rather put that amount of money on a house which will appreciate rather than to make a point of a social status that may be associated with owning a marque MB superstar car. Having said this, I am in the market for a $75K LS4xx by 2006 ! Would I consider an S-class in my purchase choice ? NOPE ! And it ain't because of its price either.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Was that the S cost more money for all the WRONG reasons.

    Inefficient manufacturing
    Higher warranty costs
    Higher marketing costs

    This is the basis of the 'prestige' of paying more for a MB.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    You sure put it well. Tony
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
      We've said alot about the prestige aspect. Just how many people are as informed as we all are? You're exactly right in your points about MB. Being educated enthuasists, we know what we're getting. But, I've seen many purchase MB for simply the perceived prestige factor. It's really perception isn't it? The facts would indicate Lexus is equal or better in reliabilty and ownership experience, but I get the feeling that the perception favors MB. What do you all think?

  • cove148cove148 Posts: 117, "build your car" feature varies by zip code on at least the LS430. For example the Dallas zip code least expensive package is the "PM" package and the smart access feature is bundled in adding roughly another $1000 to the car. Use a L.A. zip code and Lexus offers more lower cost packages. To me this is a marketing ploy, but it says you can price a car lower in certain markets. I am sold on the LS430, but could live without a $1000.00 access key. Lexus guy- how do you see this?
  • Perception IS Reality.

    You are right the AVG. guy buying a luxury car just doesn't know.

    Growing up I always wanted a Mercedes SL...Went out to buy one and discovered I didn't fit well in it and bought an Allante...

    I also began to learn that there were alternatives to Mercedes, Even the SL...the car mags actually favored Allante over the SL in 89 and I think 90. They also favored the 93 Allante over the SL.

    In short I began to understand the Perception and Reality of the Mercedes Name were not exactly the same.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Its hard to tell. A lot of it depends on what the dealer has, and what sells. We bought my wifes RX in Carlise, but it came from Jersey. Try finding an RX or ES without leather. You're supposed to be able to get them that way, but its damn near impossible to actually find one.

    Eww.. Allante. Did you have to put buckets inside to catch water when it was raining? Lol
  • After about 1/2 a dozen trips to the dealer...They got the top right.

    Never could take the car through a car wash, without a couple of towels to dry it out.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081

    "Every single LS buyer looked at the S-Class and found the price "too high" so they bought the LS"

    was pure sarcasim in response to Footie's posts. Gee whiz. Unless someone spoke with every LS buyer you/we/he/I have no way of knowing this.

    My problem with this "over 50K doesn't matter" theory is that it ignores the fact that not every leases these cars, and that some actually finance and Footie would have you believe that every single person looking at the LS can just ignore such a price difference.

    I'm not even picking on LS430 owners and their wallets because we all know that some of them could buy a Maybach or SLR if they wanted too, but to think that this is the case for all of them is foolish. It also ignores what actual LS owners have posted right here on this board and others. The bottom line is that for some, 56K to 83K is not doable. This is common market sense 101.


    This is recycled hot air at it hottest: "Most likely reason that LS outsells S 2 to 1 is that the S is a lousy value"

    Prove it. Question every LS buyer in the US and 1) find out if they even looked at the S-Class and 2) tell us if value was the reason they bought it over the S-Class.

    This is common sense footie, to some people price matters, I guess I shouldn't be shocked that you can't grasp this without a JDP or CR report. Let us forget the actual LS owners who have said so. When you bought your LS did price matter to you?

    Your point about why the S-Class costs more you hadn't even mentioned until now. Nobody is debating why the S costs more or that the price difference is justified, only that it is there and that may deter some buyers.......hence some people's simplistic look at the sales numbers to tell them which is the "best" car is ridiculous. When actual owners come out to say that price does matter, you change your argument. Figures, very CVT like.


    Everyone knows why you bought you LS, your reasons aren't arguable with anyone.

    You bought an Allante over and SL? A completely inferior car because you fit in better, I guess we all have our reasons, but I hope you don't think the Allante was superior to the 1990-2002 SL.

    "Even the SL...the car mags actually favored Allante over the SL in 89 and I think 90. They also favored the 93 Allante over the SL."

    In 1989 yes this is true. The 560SL was based on a 15+ year old design at the time so I'd hope that in 1989 a three year old Allante was superior.


    The introduction of the R129 SL for 1990 spelled the end of the already slow-selling Allante. Nobody favored the Allante over the 1990 SL except for that one instance and that was based on sheer hp/performance compared to a 6 cylinder 300SL. In this Car and Driver comparo they also had a side-bar on the 500SL, and it outperformed the Caddy in nearly every way. Not to mention build quality, top operation, safety engineering.. the list of SL advantages over the Allante goes on and on, again with the 1990 model. The R129 SL was build the old-fashioned MB way, like a bank vault and the comparision to an Allante was nothing short of a slaughter. A family friend had an Allante I couldn't believe that 60K car required you to get out and put the top up/down when much cheaper cars (also from GM) had power tops! By the time (1993) GM made the car even remotely close to being worth the asking price, the 1986-1992 models had killed the car's chances with the public. How in the world you expect to compete with a 236hp rwd 560SL with 140hp and fwd I'll never know. Thank god they did better this time around with the XLR.

    Now if you have a review in which the Allante was judged superior to the 1990+ 500SL I'd love to see it.

    BTW, I'm still waiting on the proof behind that innovation claim about MB/Lexus....

  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Nope - you missed it again.

    Mercedes price differences AREN'T justified.

    They exist because MB has competitively inefficient manufacturing, higher warranty costs due to more defects and has to spend more on advertising.

    The nothing SUPERIOR about the cars to justify the costs.

    And what's wrong is that they aren't designed or built as good as the competition.

    Besides impressionistic assumptions like yours, if MB was executing at the same level as Lexus or Infiniti, the financial press would be singing their praises. Their P&L would be better, they wouldn't be losing market share in their own country...
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Wow, unbelievable.........I said:

    "Nobody is debating why the S costs more or that the price difference is justified, only that it is there and that may deter some buyers.......hence some people's simplistic look at the sales numbers to tell them which is the "best" car is ridiculous."

    and then you say:

    "Mercedes price differences AREN'T justified."

    What part of my original statement don't you understand? Nobody said that Mercedes' price differences were justified. Who was debating justification of a Mercedes being priced higher? Where did I say that their prices were justified. Post # please!!

    Your whole reason for being just a few days ago was to tell me that price didn't matter.

    Then when actual LEXUS OWNERS come forward and say that price does matter (reducing that silly theory to dust) you revert back to saying that the price difference isn't justified, when no one was debating, arguing or suggesting that the price difference was justified in the first place!

    We were debating price in relation to buyer's habits and once actual buyers said price matters you shifted your argument.

    What did you tell me about adding "IMO" at the end my statments? You're in desperate need of following your own advice because obviously a plenty find the Mercedes price difference (whether is warranted or not) to be worth it....reguardless of what you think and you surely don't speak for the market.

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