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High End Luxury Cars

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  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    So no exuse about MB selling less cars than Lexus because of Lexus costs less. If anyone is shopping among them, that person CAN afford either one. If a brand is truly better than the another, I have no problem paying $10K more. But the problem here is: the car that costs more is actually LESS reliable than the one costing less.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Camp Lexus loves the GS so the next LS is a lock regardless of what it looks like.

    The next LS is certainly NOT a lock in my books. We can only go by precedence. The chances are far greater that it will deliver as promised, re-writing 1989 all over again. A re-styled 350hp LS460 with modern/custom lux and priced at mid-$60K will be the sweet spot for me.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    There is no point in even responding...
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,682
    Curious about pricing. On many threads are the prices paid and buying experience posts for various models of many brands as made and posted by buyers. I'm curious if you've ever checked the ones on MB (or any others) that posters state and if so do they have decent accuracy. The Edmunds average TMV prices are always higher and usually a lot more realistic in my personal experience. I've never been one to push for the lowest price. Like many financial people I'm a much better negotiator for my business than I am for myself. Once I get a deal that I'm satisfied with I take it. I'm also leasing, so pushing hard for that lowest price only gets you a percentage of it anyway. But I also find that a good professional relationship gets many rewards that are never reflected in price. Lastly there always are good deals on unpopular color combos. I could have taken an MB S or an LS4 when shopping in 2001 and 1998 at bargain basement prices but in colors I couldn't stand. I still cringe whenever I see either car in those awful medium greens (to me) of the late 90's. I even saw an S600 in one recently.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    You do realize that sometimes people will pay a higher price, if they are getting something for it? Even to the point that a higher priced vehicle outsells a lower priced vehicle, as long as the higher priced one has sufficient extra content? Merc1 once mentioned that the S500 in some years outsells the S430, despite the higher price. Obviously, the extra content, a bigger engine in this case, is priced just about right…and so the higher priced product can outsell the lower priced one.

    What you (and Merc1) still aren’t getting is that the S has some “extra content” and that this can account for some degree of price difference without hurting relative unit sales. I am speaking of prestige, of course…which as a 15 year old company Lexus can’t do a whole lot about in comparison to 120-year old MB. If the S and LS were equally desirable in every way except prestige, the S could be priced somewhat higher than the LS and still sell the same number of units.

    How much is that extra prestige worth at the S/LS level? I don’t know. But I do know that you can’t simply explain away the S’s relative sales performance as being due solely to price, when you have the prestige factor there as a mitigating factor.
  • denaliinpadenaliinpa Posts: 169
    i also grew up in a "Toyota family". had a bunch of Toyota's along with other
    Honda's, Mitsu's, and Acura's. today Toyota doesn't manufacture one car that i would actually purchase except the current GX suv. when price enters the buying mix i for one have always felt that Toyota "dumps" the LS in the US market. dont' think for a second that Toyota doesn't price the LS below the Germans deliberately. even though i don't consider the current LS to be an equal of any of its German counterparts the pricing of the car along with it's perceived value is the main reason behind it's sales .....imo. price+payment size=sale.

    one last thing.....who CARES what bill gates drives!
    worry more about what his position is on estate taxes.
  • topspin628topspin628 Posts: 373
    I think many people who buy this level of auto pride themselves on being good business people. As for spending more for better product, isn't that what put MB on the map in the US to begin with? People were fed up with Caddy and Lincoln breaking down after 30-40 K and wanted to invest in a car that they could drive for 80-100K without a problem. Thus the willingness to pay a premium for the MBs over the others. I think that the top economic group making this decision en mass lead to the brand being perceived as a status symbol as these cars started showing up in volume in Beverly Hills, E.Hampton etc. Better quality at a higher price lead to a status symbol.
    The problem with MB is that the basis for it's success, better reliability, has been compromised. So why would a "smart" business person pay a premium for a car that now has questionable value in terms of reliability. I love the S Class and wanted to pull the trigger even though it was significantly more expensive than the LS I wound up leasing. I preferred it's looks and ride to the LS BUT I couldn't convince the business side of my brain to pay more for a car I did not feel comfortable in from a reliability point of view. I also don't have the time or desire to make trips to the service center even if only to "fix" warning lights popping up erroneously. I had stated earlier that in 2 different test drives at 2 different dealers, the car malfunctioned.
    When MB gets back to it's root mission of highest quality, then it could once again command a premium price for me.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Better quality at a higher price lead to a status symbol.

    The key words are "better" and "higher". If you are neither of the two, then the opposites apply - "mediocre" and "lower"

    When MB gets back to it's root mission of highest quality, then it could once again command a premium price for me.

    Well said ! Hope the MB fans think this through before throwing all sorts of labels on others....
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I tease "Camp Lexus" quite often but I trust that you realize it is just banter. Actually I'm not critical of anyone's choices, regardless of their reasons. Sometimes I just don't understand the emotional equity people have in brands. But if someone is locked into a brand, it's their prerogative.

    It's funny how we talk around this place. I'd bet none of these conversations take place in our "brick and mortar" lives with the candor that goes on around here. We'd probably lose our clients and jobs in a fingersnap. Hey, remember the movie Jerry Maguire where he writes a report called "Things We Think But Never Say", then gets fired? That's this place!

    Some close people at work have cars I don't like. What do you think, should I tell them about it? "That friggin' car looks like Quasimoto!!!"

    ;-)
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Just curious...what end of the design industry are you in...what do you design?
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    I haven't taken the time, or maybe had the willingness, to pore over the TMV versus testimonials of the many brands as of yet, but it would be interesting I'm sure. One thing I have learned about people is, they love to brag about how much they spent on their house, and how little they spent on their car. The people who end up feeling like they left money on the table after taking delivery, don't tend to want to go out and tell their story. So the results of these testimonials MAY be a bit one-sided.
    Also, depending on the time of a model cycle in the year, the factory may have dealer cash on a car that in some cases steeply effects the sale price. If I have a couple of grand back on a car, I will tell you about it. and we don't keep ANY cars in green or bordeaux red, or any of those off colors, all you get there is a car you have to sell at cost. It's sad to see a beautiful design painted with a hideous color. BMW's recent designs especially only look good in certain colors, IMO.

    -also, to who ever posted it, I never meant to infer that the only, or even main, reason the LS sells better than the S-class, is price. But I do believe it is a factor, although I won't put any more energy into arguing over how significant of one it is. The LS is very likely the most sensible full size luxury car on the market today, and it will appeal to most of the market, but I will maintain that not every one in that market is going to go for it.
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    There is no point of listening to excuses why MB keeps losing sales to Lexus.
  • If Toyota is dumping the LS 430 in the US market as you say....Doesn't that make it a TREMENDOUS buy? Why would you be opposed to a TREMENDOUS BUY.

    We have had enough arguments about quality and Safety to at least admit it is close to if not better then the S class and 7 Series.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    I tease "Camp Lexus" quite often but I trust that you realize it is just banter...

    Of course I do

    But if someone is locked into a brand, it's their prerogative

    Like many of us here, we've had a fair share of different car brands. At this point in my car buying life, my preferred auto is a Lexus. Why ? My business involves travel and I cannot afford downtime at dealerships to fix little electrical gremlins afflicting some of the other German brands. BMW would be a choice I'd like to own, but the styling has gone south, and I am scared owning a used Bimmer. MB is beautiful but afflicted..... Don't much care for VW, Audi, or Jaguar. That's why my car choices are limited, and why I am sticking to the one car brand that has so far met my needs - Lexus.
  • I am changing Friends..

    I don't have a single friend that brags about how much he paid for his house or how little he paid for his Car...I have friends that will tell you (if you ask) what they paid for their house or car.

    I think we will all agree that price is a factor in the Car buying decision. I think where we get sideways is in how big a factor it is. Surely price is not the most important factor and to some is not even a big factor. Quality, Size, Looks, Dependability, Warrenty, The Dealer, Performance, interior design, features, engine size, Safety ....and yes Prestige are all factors.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    I don't care if Mercedes keeps losing sales to Toyota. It's the best thing that could happen to them. Darwin will take care of it one way or another. In the meantime, enough people still prefer a Benz that it keeps bread on my table and pays my bills. If that changes, I'll find another gig, but I will still think very highly of Mercedes-Benz automobiles. The current state of affairs at Daimler is not a club you will be able to beat me up with...
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    Wouldn't you say that when someone logs on to Edmunds, or receives a survey in the mail, that they are being invited to opine?

    You know, I have to ask, is this about being right or winning arguments just for their own sake? I am very aware that you drive a Lexus and think very highly of it, which is fine. You're very aware that I sell as well as drive Mercedes-Benz, and think very highly of them, but I can very safely say that I find my posts to be Benz-centric because you guys are constantly on the attack. It just seems that the only time you post is to try to prove me wrong about something. There is no such thing as dialogue. Is it because I'm a salesman? I love cars and just want to talk about them. There's BMW, Infiniti, Acura I guess, Maybach, Bentley, Jag...
  • flkeyflkey Posts: 11
    Amelia Island, FL, show car show event, WOW.
    Maybach is drop-dead beeyuteeful, fit, finish, materials, features, doodads and geegaws, $325,000, Zowie.
    Also, CLS is well done, but small in C tradition, sticker on model I saw....$102,000. Only Lexus exhibit was the new GS model.
    Well, that is it from the COCOON [ '03 LS430], in S.W.FL
    (We seemed to be in an endless rut)
  • flkeyflkey Posts: 11
    Amelia Island, FL, show car show event, WOW.
    Maybach is drop-dead beeyuteeful, fit, finish, materials, features, doodads and geegaws, $325,000, Zowie.
    Also, CLS is well done, but small in C tradition, sticker on model I saw....$102,000. Only Lexus exhibit was the new GS model.
    Well, that is it from the COCOON [ '03 LS430], in S.W.FL
    (We seemed to be in an endless rut)
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    Did you sit in the CLS? It sits better once you're in it, IMO, it's just the getting in and out that's a bit of a dance. It's definitely a sports car.
  • If you can go back and look at your very first post on the forum. (in response to your second paragraph.)

    You sell Benz and drive them so that is your bias...I own an LS so that is my bias.

    I agree that The S is a Beautiful Car with very high Prestige....The new GS may be even more beautiful.

    I try very hard to only respond in kind...I would truly be happy just to read and learn.. but.. Perhaps because I have reached the advanced Lexus Owner Age..My bell rings in response to something posted and I feel the need to respond.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I think one point stroudman is trying to make is that the conversation does not have to always be adversarial. It would be nice to just discuss the cars without a feeling that attacking each other's preferences is a requirement.

    When one part of a particular post does not sit well, It's not really necessary to "respond in kind" to every post after that. Why not just accept that preferences are what they are, everyone has them and is certainly entitled to them, and when you get to the bottom line we are ALL here because we enjoy talking about the cars.

    It doesn't all have to be an endless, unwinnable argument.

    And of course I'm speaking to everyone, not just to you.
  • paldipaldi Posts: 210
    Just a heads up that 20 plus Phaeton owners are spending the weekend at the VoA headquarters in Auburn Hills meeting each other, swapping VAG Coms, talking to VW technicians and marketing people. Great thing to do if you can do this once or twice a year!

    image
    Just a few of the attending Phaetons... :)
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "I don't care if Mercedes keeps losing sales to Toyota. It's the best thing that could happen to them. Darwin will take care of it one way or another. In the meantime, enough people still prefer a Benz that it keeps bread on my table and pays my bills. If that changes, I'll find another gig…

    Stroudman… Excellent thoughts and good attitude. I like the philosophical and pragmatic quality of your posts lately. I am sure you will continue to do well. Don't let Camp Lexus get to you. They are tenacious. But I think everyone around here is pretty much in agreement on the positives and negatives of all these cars. It's just that the ball needs to go back an forth over the net.

    Just curious...what end of the design industry are you in...what do you design?

    Syswei… I am a graphic designer and creative director of a company that produces scientific communications in multimedia—web, video, print, slides. I also have a degree in engineering.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    The "battle" really is about positions. Camp Lexus, as Designman often calls it, is one-sided.... What about Camp MB ? Yet to see that :)

    Stroudman is actually a good poster and quite honest about his affiliation with MB. My only complaint is the name-calling.... I'd be happy to buy from him anyday, unless its an MB :)

    Designman: An engineer turned scientific designer ? Makes perfect sense to me :) Being in the scientific business myself may well explain why I like your writings; they reflect the kind of logic that "afflict" many people in the business :):)
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "What about Camp MB ? Yet to see that"

    LMAO. TENACIOUS!

    Hey, how come the R&T comparo didn't get much play around here?

    Gimee a B!

    Gimmee an M!

    ;-)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "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....."

    More of the same. You have to be an owner and yet when I did give a lexus a compliment it isn't meant. Lets bring up how unnattractive you think older Mercedes were to try and cover up the fact on how ugly current Lexuses are. What tired nonsense. As to be expected I guess. Time for a new line Oac.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "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."

    Who here said that price was the only reason and that if priced equally the MB and BMW models would sell at the same rate as the Lexus? Talk about reaching!

    What you simply can't admit or see is that price does make a difference to some if not all the buyers in this segment. You can talk about why the price difference is there between a Lexus and a BMW/MB and whether not it is justified until you run out of space here, but no one is arguging that point. The point is that you and others take this most simplistic approach about more sales meaning a better car and that ignore price which is but one factor as to why the LS sells better. Do you honestly think Lexus would sell 30k+ LSs a year at 70k+. Well I guess you would since logic doesn't apply here.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    " 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."

    You only say this because I mentioned this same thing a while ago about that character line. You never even brought it up before now!

    "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."

    I guess this comes from thinking that the Lexus LS is the way to design a bigger car. What makes you think that a 2007 S-Class is going to look anything like a 1992 S-Class because it may be the same size? This is a clear bias that is based on just that bias, nothing else. Since you've payed so much attention to the spy photos you should have realized that the car isn't going to be a box like the 1992 model was! Again this is nothing but hype to me, saying its a mistake to make a car bigger based on a 1992 design instead of taking the mindset of them taking the current car and enlarging it, which would look much better than the 1992 design. Clear and present unfounded worry based on hype.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Stroudman when you read this:

    " 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."

    You already know where the conversation is going. The above statement isn't even close to being true yet, but here it is stated like its going to happen this year or that it has already happened. This is a industry projection for like 2008, but on this board and other anti-GM boards the Toyota fans are salavating on this one.

    M
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