Howdy, Stranger!

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





High End Luxury Cars

1279280282284285771

Comments

  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    I used to sell VW prior to MB, so I would bet the Audi people found their fit and finish honeymoon to be over quickly, and replaced with squeaks and rattles, and check engine lights as well: apple don't fall far from the tree.

    with regards to Benz, not a lot of rattles or squeaks, but check engine lights, maybe. I think some of them are "new money" that go out and buy what they think is the biggest, most prestigious luxury car without doing any significant scouting beforehand. These cars aren't for everyone, and so maybe they found that out after spending 6 months in their car. I've heard a lot about how upset all these people are with their S cars, but in three years I've sold maybe 25 of them, both new and CPO, and NONE of them have had any serious issues. My entire owner body in that car are happy as clams. I also don't put a whole lot of stock in these surveys. I also sold Isuzu back in the day, and the trooper was a good, average SUV from the old school, but CR went after them and are probably one of the main reasons Isuzu is all but TU now. Otherwise, I think the folks who are most intolerant of the slightest inconvenience tend to kick up the most dust about it.

    -the front seats on the S sit too high. Even when they are adjusted all the way down, it still feels like they should go lower. Unless you're really tall, though, it really doesn't matter.

    -the cupholders suck. Bad.

    -The nav system, while easier to use, is now mediocre rather than downright sorry.

    -The S is long on back seat, but short on trunk. Some folks probably didn't learn just how much on the test drive.

    -and I could go on about all of the S-class' inadequacies, there are some. But at the end of the day, I lose a little business to the Toyotas, but I also get people who come back after a while, and want another Mercedes. They always say the same thing: "It just ain't the same, nothing else rides like your car, and I want back in." That's good enough for me.
  • 00boxsters00boxsters Posts: 202
    Defining 'wealthy' is a fool's errand here but your knowledge of police income in Mass. is something I could use at a party. Who mentioned anything about major metro areas by the way? You admit 'I don't know the income stats for lux buyers' but then spout off extraneous information. Get real. Insert $250,000 if that helps you see the point.

    The point was about those people wealthy enough to afford an LS are likely as able to afford an S or 7 series automobile but choose an LS for better reasons in addition to the $10K or so price difference.

    If I am wrong, which is certainly possible, then I'd wonder -Do the super wealthy (those that buy the S/7 series cars over the just wealthy LS buyers) purchase old school for different reasons?
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    That sure was a good post....I think a good salesman makes the buyer have more confidence in a car, even if the car has a few problems....I have had an inportant , serious problem in each Lexus I have purchased over they years---like the beginning-- A bit of trouble to get fixed, but the dealership and people were so nice that the problem is quickly forgotten....I wish you luck , and would think your customers are lucky people Tony ps I don`t think I would be buying any expensive car if I were making one hundred fifty.
  • 00boxsters00boxsters Posts: 202
    Income and educational levels of affluent consumers driving luxury cars
    "Fixing Cadillac," Newsweek, May 28, 2001
    If you wonder who is behind wheel of luxury cars, here are some interesting statistics:

    luxury car median age household income % of college graduation
    Mercedes-Benz 52 $186,236 71%
    Lexus 50 $151,711 69%
    BMW 45 $149,609 69%
    Acura 48 $107,261 61%
    Lincoln 59 $113,656 49%
    Cadillac 62 $106,701 46%

    Just found this on a google search. :shades:
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Interesting stuff, thanks!
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi all,
    I see we're back to the same pricing point discussion again. I do think a lower priced car will sell in more volume. Anyone shopping a S500 vs a LS430 will certainly feel the pinch of the pocketbook. I think a better comparo would be S430 sales vs LS430 sales. But even then there is a significant difference. The typical LS sells for less than it's typical $62.7K price, I got mine for 55K. The S430 4 Matic I was shopping was 78K list and they were offering me around $73-74K to buy it. That's still a considerable gap for someone who is stretching it. At some point these prices are going to matter. I had to decide between a 55K LS430 and 74K S430...The price difference definitely factored into the decision.

    Normally one would expect the lower priced car to sell more. I recall a funny case with Rolls Royce though. They decided to raise prices and oddly enough, sold more cars. I'd still maintain price is a big consideration in the purchase decision.

    Of course owner experience does matter too. I've always liked MB but have been scared off by the horror stories and residual values as of late. Maybe I'll pick up one of those upcoming E320 CDI 4-Matics. As Merc said, MB is great at making a big car look elegant. They've done a great job on their sedans. I only wish they didn't adopt the I-Drive approach. As it is, Lexus routing all the controls through the touchscreen drives me nuts. I'd prefer the Volvo approach with it just popping up when needed.

    SV
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Really ? Maybe I missed something... but its good we are finally admitting the obvious."

    Yeah you missed a lot. My point about this was that no matter what is being talked about styling, engines or whatever it goes back to the same irrelevant and imo lame stuff about profits and what not, things that have nothing to do with anything being talked about. No one posting here in favor of Mercedes has ever denied that they have some corporate and reliability problems.

    "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."

    Yes time will tell because this is nothing more than hype imo, to draw a conclusion about a car you've never even seen before. Spy photos really mean nothing until the finished product is shown. All a spy photo can give is a general idea as to the shape and size of the car. I'm sure you and Lenn will call the next S ugly either way because the current car is so good looking to the point of shaming the LS in that department so naturally you'd want the new one to stumble in that area. Now that Lexus has come up with a lame styling theme L-finesse (yeah right) you've convinced yourself that the GS is a good looking car when its really nothing but a rework of the previous car with too much wheelbase and BMW hoff kink at the rear and yet poof new styling direction that gets killed by another Japanese car in the M35/45 let alone the E-Class or A6 in styling, of course IMO. You guys believe anything Lexus says or does, and can't see anything else.

    M
  • iancariancar Posts: 31
    My business partner in Japan offered me a ride of a life time. His car, "Century", was a Toyota(?!) flagship in japan. The car looks classy and maintains an old Japanese car front and tail design. The side mirrors is built on the side of the over-hangs (another classy design that reminded me the old time). The biggest surprise come under the hood: a VVTi V12 (It is a shame that I forgot to ask how many horses it can produce.). Since i did not drive it, I cannot tell how it perform either. But even in the noisy Tokyo streets, the carbin isolate sounds like they never exist. My partner told me it is comparable with a Mercedes-Benz S600 with its horsepower, length, and room. He also told me even though its price tag is lower, Japaneses will respect you more because of it is "a domestic product". It will be hard for toyota (or lexus) to build the next generation LS to beat "Century"'s hospitality or its classic design. For me, its old look is an over kill. It will be the best if they can build me one with Left driver.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "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."

    I can understand why you would think this about the adoption of an Idrive like system, but why is it mistake to make the car bigger. Is the S-Class supposed to remain smaller than the Phaeton, A8L and 7-Series L models? This doesn't make sense. Up until all these newer cars came out the Mercedes was usually the biggest car in the class year after year, why on earth would they not offer more interior/trunk space if the competition has it?

    M
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Camp Lexus loves the GS so the next LS is a lock regardless of what it looks like. It could come out looking like Rosemary's baby. Doesn't matter.

    "L-finesse (yeah right)"

    Love it. They're learning to layer it on thick, as Bangle does.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    The difference in length size of the competitions current cars is half or three quartesr of an inch right now. If that's all MB is going up by then no big deal. But I've read they are going back to the 209" length of the past and IMO that is a mistake. That is all there is to it.

    Cheez - you are so worked up because we like the new GS. I haven't read a bad review of its looks anywhere except for a few posts on this board. I find it has a great balance of aggressive sport look and top notch luxury appeal inside and out, with the usual great Lexus build quality. I find it a very different car than the old GS. The pictures failed to show this but in person it was a different story. Plus the Mark Levinson stereo in this car is absolutely incredible. I prefer it's looks over everything else in the class but I'm a buyer in the next level up anyway, so what's the difference. But if you want to think that I feel that way because it is a Lexus then go ahead and think that.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "The difference in length size of the competitions current cars is half or three quartesr of an inch right now. If that's all MB is going up by then no big deal. But I've read they are going back to the 209" length of the past and IMO that is a mistake. That is all there is to it."

    Yeah right. Nothing technical to base this on just the usual bias it seems, the new cars deminsions haven't been seen anywhere by anyone. You heard this and read that ok. Thats all there is too it? Seems like there isn't much of anything to this to me. How in the world you've come to this conclusion I'll never know. Do you really think they'll at 6 inches to the car overall? Really now. Even I'd be surprised if they did that and even if they did MB is a master at making a large car very elegant and proportioned, unlike Lexus. With them its either box cars or whales.

    "Cheez - you are so worked up because we like the new GS. I haven't read a bad review of its looks anywhere except for a few posts on this board. I find it has a great balance of aggressive sport look and top notch luxury appeal inside and out, with the usual great Lexus build quality. I find it a very different car than the old GS. The pictures failed to show this but in person it was a different story. Plus the Mark Levinson stereo in this car is absolutely incredible. I prefer it's looks over everything else in the class but I'm a buyer in the next level up anyway, so what's the difference. But if you want to think that I feel that way because it is a Lexus then go ahead and think that."

    Somehow I expected no less. You'll like anything Lexus styles because they said they have a new design direction. Worked up? Nah, try tickled because you all are so gullable when it comes to Lexus' press releases. The usuals about stereos and what not, but thats to be expected I guess. You're right the pictures fail to show how truly unnattractive the GS really is. Next the STS its the worst looking car in the class, imo. Too much wheelbase and a humped back that only a L fanatic could love. We'll never agree on styling it seems. Even I can admit when a German car (even a Mercedes) is looking its best, but you guys I tell ya.

    Since when do you care what the "autorags" have to say about styling? All the years they said Lexus' were knockoffs they were wrong, but now because some of them like the GS and/or haven't called it ugly or a knockoff you agree with them now. Really now....

    Don't change it'll kill me!

    M
  • sv:

    You make some good points.

    About price, I find it interesting that people who own Lexus generally owned Mercedes S at one time or another (at least the people on this board) That means people with sufficent incomes to buy Mercedes chose Lexus...

    I also find many Lexus Converts from Mercedes S but few from BMW 7 and rarely a Lexus buyer moving to/ back to, Mercedes S.

    At least that is my observations from the posts of people on this board.
  • Merc.

    I know the SHAME forces me to put a Bag over my head whenever I drive my LS.

    The GS is a great looking car...With 4 wheel drive...Should sell very well in snow country.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    You'll like anything Lexus styles because they said they have a new design direction. Worked up? Nah, try tickled because you all are so gullable when it comes to Lexus' press releases. The usuals about stereos and what not, but thats to be expected I guess...

    And it is gullible to like a Lexus just because its a Lexus, but not when it comes to MBs right ? I submit that you are even more gullible than the rest of us since you can only pontificate about these cars. Try them for size... How 'bout that ? Bottomline is that you cannot bring yourself to like anything Lexus, and I don't mean the tepid likeness you spout about the old SC or 1st gen LS either. Let me remind you how abominably ugly old MBs were until the last decade. Timeless you'll call the oldies, but I'll call them ugly ! They were anything but aestethically pleasing. But today's MBs are distinguished MORE by their beautiful design than their quality and reliability, typical benchmarks of a marque brand. Living on borrowed times.....
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Let's talk about pricing of these high end lux cars for a minute.

    What is being insinuated here is that the reason for the LS's greater sales over MB + BMW COMBINED is simply that it is priced cheaper than these two. So, would it be correct to simply state that if priced about the same, all three will sell equally ? Nothing could be further from the truth.

    What is pricing ?

    Price for a product is a function of the cost of production and a desired level of mark-up. In addition, there is a price that the market will bear for a product, which is also a direct function of the demand for that product. Depending on the level of mark-up, the product may sell more or less.

    If the S430 is priced 20% higher than the LS430, does it mean it is worth 20% more ? Is MB pricing of the S-class sedans based on what the market demands or what the market can pay ? How is Lexus able to price a high end luxury car at such an affordable price relative to the S and 7 ??? Put another way, why is the S430 priced that much higher than the LS ?

    If MB execs believe they can sell MORE S-class sedans by lowering the prices, why haven't they done so ? Or selling MORE cars not important to MBs business model ? Assume the S430 price is lowered 15%, would that increase sales proportionally ? The next time I hear anyone defend why MBs sell so poorly based on pricing, I'd ask them to go back to their high school economics textbook and re-read the principle of supply and demand. The excuse of higher price meaning lower sales is hogwash, if MBs can be priced lower why aren't they ? Maybe it has something to do with the high cost of production of their cars, or should we say the inefficient production system ??? Conversely, the legendary TPS means the LS can have the same level or higher quality and refinement and yet be priced much much cheaper, at a HIGHER profit margin than the S or 7-series. Go figure....
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    please read my posts more carefully...I said just because you, and by you I mean the soldiers of the Toyota army who post here, can spend more on a car than the LS costs, but choose not to, doesn't mean everyone else in this market has the same option. A $60-65k LS can probably be leased in the $800's per month. An S430 average lease (36 months, 15k per year) is easily $400-500 more. I'm sure it doesn't take a genius to notice that some folks in our great country tend to live a bit beyond their means, and are stretching to get into an $800 a month car note, but can't even think about 4 figures. Just because you're living well within your means, don't assume everyone else is. Not everyone with a little money is as smart as you guys, believe me.

    -With regards to the lower price/higher sales issue, there are lots of factors, it's not that cut and dried. Mercedes has, however, lowered the price of their car with good results. In 1994 the base price of a long WB S500 was $95,300, and the U.S. sales that year were 2,880 cars. In 1995, the price fell to $87,500 and the U.S. sales for that car in that year were 5,585 cars. Since then, needless to say, the base price is still lower, and the sales higher each year.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    You really are over-reacting badly here. Go back and read my posts. Did I say the next S is/will be ugly. No - I said I don't care for the creased line they (and Honda) seem to like these days (every spyshot I saw has it) and I think the new car will drop off in looks - mainly because the current car is as close to perfect in looks as you get with cars this big. If you read a real negative comment in there - so be it. Then I say that I've read - several times - they are going back to the real large car of the past generations - which was a 208-209" car and I say it's a mistake - in my opinion. None of those cars ever looked anything but big to me. The ability to make a large car l;ook smaller than it is has only occurred - IMO - with the current S-class. But you read another condemnation into that, yet all I said was I thought it would be a mistake. On the other hand I, OAC and others are gullible because we like the GS - supposedly off press releases at that. Truth is none of us liked the car off the press release. We liked it when we saw it in the paint. It's selling well so there must be plenty of others who like it.

    Lastly - I have always said I never trust auto rag comparos becaue the bias is toward handling and not the balance most people seek in a car, particularly when we are talking high end lux cars. I always said individual car write-ups are worthwhile.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    When I was lease shopping in 2001 an S430 stickering at $76K and change was $185 more than an LS430 and an S500 stickering at $85k and change was $375 more. That is comparing it to a $62K and change LS430 at that time. The LS430 ultra at $71K and change actually had a higher lease price than the S430 but it was sold out for months.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    Thanks, Tony. This business has been very good to me, and I have had great success by talking very candidly with my prospects and taking good care of my buyers. Without them, I'd have nothing.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    If all of those payments were comfortable for you, that's great. I've lost lots of business over much smaller gaps in payment, it happens every day. For some buyers that's the difference between trading or not.
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    "Despite what you and "circle" thinks, when a new Mercedes comes out its a big deal, especially a new S-Class. "

    In the old days when MB cars were better, new MB was a big deal. But now no more. Look at the new M class, MB spent a lot in ads, but nobody is talking about it at all.
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    "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. "

    If MB keeps on losing money, pretty soon there will be no MB to talk about. Now that will be Yawn.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    C'mon. It's obvious that the Toyota Army wishes Mercedes would go away, but do you honestly believe they will?
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    MB may not go away. But look at GM, No. 1and the biggest for a long time, now going to be overtaken by Toyota. If Toyota can beat GM, they can beat anyone.
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    Even if the prices of LS, S, and 7 series were the same, I would still think more people will buy LS. Why Bill Gates drives a LS? You mean he can't afford a MB?
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    Looks like we're back to our favorite topic. I don't think MB is going anywhere. They still have the edge in Brand recognition. Sure, they've been eclipsed somewhat in the US market, but Lexus still doesn't have that worldwide brand recognition that MB does. Granted Lexus is relatively young, but MB has a 100 or so year edge in that respect.
    I find that we often engage in childish discussions on this issue. It's almost like a fight between the elders and youngsters of a family. I would consider MB to be the grandfather in this segment with Lexus being the bright and upcoming youngster. I think BOTH sides deserve respect. MB: for it's heritage and committment to safety and these days style, and Lexus for setting the bar in customer service and building bulletproof machines that are a pleasure to own.

    It's often amusing to read the discussions on this board. Some of us Lexus owners, seem to enjoy thumbing our noses at the MB crowd, while the MB crowd likes to dismiss (at times) what Lexus has accomplished in such a short period. Give it a rest guys, each marque has made significant contributions to the industry, and will continue to do so.

    SV
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    please read my posts more carefully...I said just because you, and by you I mean the soldiers of the Toyota army who post here, can spend more on a car than the LS costs, but choose not to, doesn't mean everyone else in this market has the same option.

    Soldiers of the Toyota Army ? What could you be implying by this statement ??? I own Toyota cars/truck, and makes no profit from this. OTOH, you profit by your livelihood from MB products. Who then is the soldier ???? Oh, BTW, I did read your post carefully, and this is what you said (see post #9019)

    -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...

    Is it remotely possible/plausible that a product may sell more because it is better ? Because it meets more of the customer needs/wants better than its competition ? That it is priced right ? That its production is far more efficient and cost-advantage over its competition ? etc... etc.... I'd prefer we offer more robust explanations than the cookie-cutter version of its priced higher hence ....
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    please go back and read my previous posts more carefully...if you haven't understood me yet, you might not ever.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    YES! YES!! YES!!! You're right! You're right!! I am completely clueless! O.K?

    The people posting on this board in favor of Lexus cars seem to be pushing the product much more intensely. I grew up in a Toyota family, have owned them before and think they're a fine product. The title of this thread should be "We really believe in Lexus and we will pound it through your skulls." I like almost all cars, of all pricepoints, and would love to just discuss the merits and drawbacks they all have, but the dyed in the wool brand camps are so ready to keep forcing this into an all out war, it's pathetic. I'm not saying I haven't been drawn into it as well, but it's got to stop somewhere. I have to question why to keep posting when it just goes around and around...
Sign In or Register to comment.