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High End Luxury Cars

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  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Now reliablity has "tempered" the enthusiasm for a car that hasn't even been revealed yet, along with poor styling and the increase in size. Nothing but wishful thinking on your part.

    What you fail to realize is the Mercedes, unlike Lexus knows how to make a larger car appear smaller. The new ML is larger than the old one, yet it doesn't look it. Ditto for the current E-Class compared to the 1996-2002 model. How in the world is it a mistake to make the S bigger when the 7-Series, A8 and Phaeton are all bigger than the current S? Do you think its a mistake because you think it will look like the 1992 S-Class on the outside? Its not Mercedes' fault that Lexus doesn't know how to get space out of the LS without making it look like a box. When they do try to "style" a car right there is not much room as those have complained about in the new GS.

    Mercedes would be very foolish not to make the car bigger in order to at the very least match the competition in room. Lexus gets to make a stretched version of the new LS, but the S-Class is supposed to stay the same size. Only in Lexiland.

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Personally, I'm all for more roominess in sedans and SUVs...and that's one reason I took a look at the specs of the GS and RL and CLS...but didn't go any further (though with the CLS it was also lack of AWD and the reliability factor).

    However I'd like to point out that whatever the exterior dimensions (which I haven't checked), the current E is less roomy on the interior than its predecessor. IMHO the MB designers may have prioritized exterior looks over interior space.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    However I'd like to point out that whatever the exterior dimensions (which I haven't checked), the current E is less roomy on the interior than its predecessor. IMHO the MB designers may have prioritized exterior looks over interior space.

    I haven't found that to be the case at all. There a few deminsions that are smaller than before and some are larger, some exterior, some interior, point being the car doesn't look as large as the previous model while it doesn't give up more than a few tenths of an inch here or there and in some cases its larger, all without looking like it. They're basically the same size and yet the current one looks much smaller on the road was my point.

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    My recollection is of reading an MB press release of the E...probably the wagon...and thinking it odd that they put in the release something like "almost as much interior room as the previous generation"...and thinking that if I were the PR person and those were the facts, I wouldn't even mention interior room in the release.

    But I do understand your point that visually the new model looks less massive. I think that all the criticism MB got over the old S's massiveness might have influenced this design direction.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    "But I also think MB reliability has tempered the enthusiasm the S would have normally had and I also think that new S will not be as good looking as the current car. As well I think MB is making a big mistake going back to the mammoth size of the old S-class car and putting in that i-drive equivalent technology. That is going to be a car that turns off the better half of many families - in my opinion."

    That's my opinion, just like you have an opinion on styling - which often I disagree with. In my circles I don't know anyone who is eagerly awaiting this next S-class and typically these are people that have owned or in some cases still own/lease MB's and would have eagerly sought info about it in the past. I think MB's poor reliability has caused a "hurt" beyond what you think. I've heard it first hand pretty often and it's written up all over the place. Lastly I said nothing about a poor design. I think the current car is a gorgeous car - but from the styling direction MB seems to be going - the creased line on the side ie - I think the new car will be a dropoff in looks. It's an opinion, not fact. Nor is it wishful thinking. Why would I want MB to fall off? They make the type of lux cars I seek. BMW, Audi, Jag and Infiniti don't cut it for me.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "In my circles I don't know anyone who is eagerly awaiting this next S-class and typically these are people that have owned or in some cases still own/lease MB's and would have eagerly sought info about it in the past. I think MB's poor reliability has caused a "hurt" beyond what you think. I've heard it first hand pretty often and it's written up all over the place. Lastly I said nothing about a poor design. I think the current car is a gorgeous car - but from the styling direction MB seems to be going - the creased line on the side ie - I think the new car will be a dropoff in looks."

    Like I said in Lexusland I guess. Sure MB's reliability standings have cause a lot of hurt for their current cars, but people in your "circles" really don't think anything of MB anymore anyway (according to you) so.....I wouldn't excpect them to get excited about anything from MB. I'm sure your ranting about how perfect Lexus is has more than a little to do with them not awaiting news on a new Mercedes. I thought all of them had left MB anyway, which is the way your posts usually read.

    Despite what you and "circle" thinks, when a new Mercedes comes out its a big deal, especially a new S-Class.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Sorry, you'll have to produce that one. Until then that sounds like complete nonesense to me.

    "But I do understand your point that visually the new model looks less massive. I think that all the criticism MB got over the old S's massiveness might have influenced this design direction."

    Of course it did, which is why I find it funny that one could possibly think that it would be a mistake to make the S-Class larger considering that they know how to make the cars appear smaller while being larger and/or the same size as before.

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I find it funny that one could possibly think that it would be a mistake to make the S-Class larger

    Wasn't me that said that...I said I was all for more roominess.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Interesting how you are so totally oblivious of reality when it comes to MB. Wake up, man, and smell the roses.... The current single-engined LS430 which is 5 years old is outselling the current S (430+500+600+55) and 7-series (745/760) COMBINED ! Does that get your attention ? Maybe it doesn't, but Germany is certainly concerned. Add the now very public issues of reliability and quality as opined by Cordes himself, and who can forget the recall of millions of MBs at a gigantic cost exceeding a BILLION dollars. All of these will hurt MBs bottomline (something you don't care about, but is real), hurt their image, hurt their brand, and cause MB to struggle even more as they try to over-compensate for their fall, yes, I said fall from grace. It is inevitable, Merc1, much as you would not acknowledge the obvious.

    Oh, in Lexusland, we are realists....
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Sorry, you'll have to produce that one. Until then that sounds like complete nonesense to me.

    OK, I can't find the release. But the EPA data do back me up:

    current E320 wagon: 96 cu ft passenger, 41 cu ft luggage, 137 cu ft total

    old E320 wagon: 98 - 44 – 142

    So in the case of the E wagon (not sedan), it does appear that room was sacrificed for style. 5 cu ft may not seem a lot, but for example only 10 cu ft separates a 2005 S sedan from a E sedan, and only 10 cu ft separates an E from a C
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    I think the recall was for over 1 million cars worldwide, but not millionS.

    -You know, I've only been posting here for maybe a month or two, and I've already seen this battle of agendas and googling skills cycle itself through at least once or twice. This is like arguing politics or religion, it's endless. I bring a huge bias of my own to the table, but even I can recognize the character and value of almost every car out there, despite the fact that one (MB) is not only my favorite, but it puts bread on my table as well. Who's less slanted, FOX or CNN? Who was really the master - Jesus, Allah...Yoda? We don't have to be RIGHT about everything just to talk about some cars, do we?

    -and it just might be that because the LS sells at a much lower pricepoint, depending on how it's equipped, a larger segment of the market finds it financially accessible. Also, toyota builds a lot more of their car volume-wise. You can almost count on your toes how many 600's and AMG cars are even made, they're practically hand crafted. And MB sells every one they build...
  • Hmmmmmmmmmm

    Do I want a long big turning radius LIMO of a Mercedes...OR....A Smaller LS with more head room and ample leg room front and back with a 20 cu. ft. trunk to go with its very short turning radius?

    Hmmmm Easy to park...More spaces to park in the big city...My wife can even wear her hat in the car....A trunk full of two sets of Clubs and all the luggage I will ever need....All of that or do I just want a Pretty Really Long car?
  • Perhaps they sell every one they build because they don't make many (as you stated) or is it that they are very poor business people and just don't want to sell a bunch of S Class Cars?? even though they are wanted by the masses crowding into the Mercedes Dealers with money in their hands
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    "And MB sells every one they build"

    But so does virtually every other manufacturer of everything they produce in any industry you want to pick. So what's the point. The real issue is did they build and sell as much as they expected and as profitably as desired. The answer to that is NO. The reasons are many.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Talk about looking through Lexiglass.

    "Wake up, man, and smell the roses.... The current single-engined LS430 which is 5 years old is outselling the current S (430+500+600+55) and 7-series (745/760) COMBINED ! Does that get your attention ?"

    No it doesn't because as always you and all the others here forget that price would prevent a S55 or S600 from even coming close to putting the S-Class on the same sales level with a car that sells from 60-63K on a regular basis. Not to mention that the S430 and S500 start a much higher price. Amazingly you write this every year or so like all these cars cost the same. Tell me how a 760Li is going to add up so many sales in order for the 7-Series overall to outsell the much cheaper LS430. Talk about not seeing reality. Price doesn't count in Lexiland I guess.

    "Add the now very public issues of reliability and quality as opined by Cordes himself, and who can forget the recall of millions of MBs at a gigantic cost exceeding a BILLION dollars. All of these will hurt MBs bottomline (something you don't care about, but is real), hurt their image, hurt their brand, and cause MB to struggle even more as they try to over-compensate for their fall, yes, I said fall from grace. It is inevitable, Merc1, much as you would not acknowledge the obvious."

    Who hasn't acknowledged this? I mean really who said anything about this not being true or that it hasn't hurt Mercedes-Benz? No one here. The problem is that you can't seem to understand that not everyone lives in Lexiland.

    We were talking about the future S and styling and what not, yet it always reverts back to this same tired bs about the corporate side and the even more tired more sales=better car, things most buyers (except ljflx's "circle") couldn't care less about. Talk about inevitable and predictable. Yawn.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "So in the case of the E wagon (not sedan), it does appear that room was sacrificed for style. 5 cu ft may not seem a lot, but for example only 10 cu ft separates a 2005 S sedan from a E sedan, and only 10 cu ft separates an E from a C"

    Unless you know why Mercedes did that you're just guessing. Forgive me for not looking at a wagon when sedans are what we normally discuss here.

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Could be that those brilliant MB engineers felt that consumers really want less interior room in a wagon, and just gave it to them. ;) Someone over on the Luxury Performance Sedans board said "German companies design cars to please German engineers. Admittedly, I do not know their pricing strategy or approach to change. But, tell a German engineer that something does not work properly and the response is either "you are wrong" or "we need smarter buyers". Can you say I-Drive?" Maybe a gross overgeneralization, but I found it amusing.

    Anyway you are forgiven for overlooking the wagon. I think I originally looked at the press release because I am always thinking about what comes after the LX for my wife.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    speak for yourself. I've never had anyone do a locked-wheel, complete circle in an S-class car and complain about the turn radius. On the contrary, they are usually pleasantly surprised, unless they are long term MB owners who know what to expect. Now, before you google the specs for the diameters of the two cars in question forthwith back to me, don't waste your efforts. People don't buy full size luxury sedans soley on the turn radius spec. As has been said ad nauseum, you find the LS, and /or toyota in general, to be a superior product, for your personal reasons, and hey - that's great. If you feel this strongly about it, maybe the local Lexus dealer could use another fiery salesman, but not everyone's buying it.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Maybe a gross overgeneralization, but I found it amusing."

    Yeah I'd say it is, and a little ridiculous too.

    M
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    ...and once again, mass appeal is not what Benz is trying to achieve with the S. You are comparing Hershies to Godiva. A small group of people gladly pay three times as much for a morsel of chocolate than a whole bar, because TO THEM, it tastes better. Toyotas are made to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Now, I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but they are more certain to bring "the masses crowding into" their showrooms. Egos and arrogance, and maybe some cultural differences notwithstanding, some people like the way the Germans build a car - just let them.
  • We are in agreement...Turning radious is only one small reason to buy a Lexus as is trunk space and head room, Bigger reasons would be reliability, Ecology (lexus has the cleanest V8 engine in the market meets all California standards without modification the only gasoline car to do so)...Safety...Value ...
    Other reasons would of course be looks and prestige...
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Toyotas are made to appeal to the lowest common denominator

    And MBs are not ? You are looking through the rose-colored MB USA glass here. There are literally millions of MBs worldwide, majority of which are low-level C, E and even S-class sedans built for the masses... you know the ones with vinyl seats, no moonroofs, barely an A/C, buttons galore, wheel covers, manual windows and doors, etc.... In many cases, these are found on the roads of Europe used as sherpas for transporting people. Talk about appealing to the lowest common denominator....
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Who hasn't acknowledged this? I mean really who said anything about this not being true or that it hasn't hurt Mercedes-Benz? No one here

    Really ? Maybe I missed something... but its good we are finally admitting the obvious.

    We were talking about the future S and styling and what not, yet it always reverts back to this same tired bs about the corporate side and the even more tired more sales=better car, things most buyers (except ljflx's "circle") couldn't care less about...

    Merc1, you may not do this deliberately, but when you refer to Len's circle of friends, your tone (to me) comes across as condescending. If I read you wrong I am sorry. Regardless, the new spy pictures of the new S looks terrible, and I will agree with Len here that the new style doesn't look as beautiful as the current S, and was something I was refering to in my previous post, that MB will try to over-compensate and screw things up even more. I guess, time will tell.
  • LS430s are hardly mass market cars....they compete directly with Mercedes S class and the BMW 7series and outsell them both combined....

    We both know that the Mercedes/Chryisler is not making a profit...So why do they build the S class as a show piece for the Chrysler lineup? That is the way Lexus started as a show piece for the Toyota line...and to compete with Honda and the Acura line and it just grew from there leaving Acura and Mercedes and BMW in it's dust (at least at the high end).

    You are right again, Some people still do like the way Germans build a car. As has been said many times we all buy our cars for different reasons.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    You can use the products that either Daimler or Toyota make for heavy/commercial worldwide industry to try and make a point, if you wish. I thought this thread was about high end luxury cars as they pertain to the American market?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    But isn't that exactly what you just did with your point about Toyota?? We are not talking Corolla here we are talking LS430, a car hardly made for the lowest common denominator. Let's get real.

    OAC - what I said about the MB S is what I feel personally and what I am hearing from others. The brand has lost stature since 2001 when I was shopping. Does anyone think they are as high and mighty as 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 15 years ago?? I certainly don't nor does anyone I know. It's funny this Lexus group of friends I know drive BMW's, Jags and Lexus and a few have old world MB's because that was when they made great cars. The ones that have or had the newer models were dis-satisfied and switched or are about to.. Does it mean they want a common car. Of course not but relative to what they paid they are/were not happy. But what the heck.

    I'll say again I think a larger car than the current car - whether it looks it or not - combined with an I-drive type of technology will not play out well with spouses and the I-drive doesn't play out well with anyone anyway. That's not an attack on MB, it's an opinion I have. When you have faulty electronics you should be looking to fix what is broken not add more tech inventory to go wrong.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    Actually, my point isn't to include corollas. When your flagship car is at a $60-65k pricepoint, there are more people able to buy it, than if it were priced in the high $70's on up. Whether you think the pricepoint is justified or not in either case, is your opinion and mine. Japanese brands are selling their flagship cars at much lower pricepoints than the Euros, so, within the luxury "denominator" it will sell (appeal) to the largest audience. It's vanilla. Because you could pay more for a car and choose not to doesn't mean everyone else has the same option. Some folks are maxing out their budget at the LS pricepoint, but would drive (or at least consider) a 7-series or an S-class if it didn't cost them any more. Every day I see people get very excited about a car only once they realize it fits their wallet.

    -I do agree about the electronics. I think Daimler has made some bad decisions lately, and putting in an I-drive type control in the new car is among them. I think they should relinquish the tech war, and get back to simple solidity.

    -More than half of the 7 cars I see driven in my area are driven by females, so they can't all be afraid of the technology, tho.

    -The folks who are either mourning or musing over the recent fall of Mercedes are talking about cars whose problems took 2-4 years to make the front page. The suits at Daimler said by '06 they would have these problems corrected, and so far, they seem to be doing so. So it will take a while to get that word out, as well.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Since you're an MB sales professional, I'd be curious as to your take on the JDP non-quality-related survey results. For instance, go to http://www.jdpower.com/cc/auto/jdpa_ratings/FindJdAwards.jsp and add the 2004 A8, 7, S, and LS to the list. Ignoring all of the quality-related categories and looking only at the categories of performance, comfort, features/instrument panel, and style, it really appears that S (and A8) owners aren't all that happy with their cars, after they've made the purchase, as compared to 7 and LS owners. What are your thoughts as to why that might be?
  • 00boxsters00boxsters Posts: 202
    Some folks are maxing out their budget at the LS price point, but would drive (or at least consider) a 7-series or an S-class if it didn't cost them any more.

    Interesting supposition. Do you have any data to back up this claim? I have seen 'average yearly income of buyer' data on different models but not specifically for the three models you mention.

    I believe that the same folks that can afford $65K for a car can afford $75K for a car. Those folks that make $150k plus a year place value very high on their list. Most of them become wealthy because of this mindset among others.

    As to Mercedes telling their employees they expect by '06 they would have these problems corrected, well, what would the suits say otherwise? Certainly not the hard truth! "It may take us several years to correct the penny wise and dollar foolish path the top management chose so as to run up their sales stats and stock options in the short term."
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    I don't know the income stats for lux buyers, but lets get real. A buck fifty for family income in a major metro area is far from wealthy. The average family making 150K is stressed out to just pay the bills and given housing costs in no way do they have S Class disposable income. Two public sector employees (a policeman say working some overtime and a school teacher with an advanced degree) are quickly closing in on 150K for a combined family income. Over 20 Boston policeman and 35 Mass State Troopers last year made over $200,000. None of them are driving 7 Series, S Classes or whatever.

    My insurance agent tells me that the lux cars he sees are almost 100% leased or bought by the owner's company. (As a related point, the dealer principal of the MB dealership in ME told me that he doesn't have a very profitable operation because the MB customers in ME all BUY their cars, not lease them. And the leasing is where the money is for a variety of reasons.) My impression is that here in the Northeast the lux market is not as large as it is elsewhere because a lot of people under 60 are in 55K SUVs. There was a statistic a few years ago that the Chev Suburban owner had the highest family income. He of course need the Sub to pull all his toys around.
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