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High End Luxury Cars

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  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "I think you need to explain how MB can sell more $50-87k sedans than $30-40k sedans. According to you, fewer people can afford the $50-87k category, and affordability trumps all other considerations, so the $30-40k category should sell more units, not less. Why doesn't that happen? Why doesn't the $30-40k category sell more units in the real world? "

    This is amazing, you're asking why three different classes of Mercedes (E,S,CLS) outsell one class of Mercedes? This is sheer common sense and shows a serious desperation on your part. Why do they sell more of the upper end cars because they are three different classes of MB, thats why. The C-Class is just one model line! You're comparing 3 different classes of MB with one. Totally absurd imo.

    "And why is it again that the S500 sometimes outsells the S430? Can't fewer people afford the S500?"

    Read the previous post. How many times do we have to go over this? People looking a 77K S430 most likely can make the jump to 86K for a S500, that only 9K compared to 14-20K for a LS430 to a S430 or S500. Common sense. In short this buyer is already at a certain level of affordability.

    BTW, in the one year in which I saw this mentioned it was by a few hundred units, hardly a big difference.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Sorry to bust your bubble. As far as SUV goes, everyone and every media are talking about the Lexus RX400h, not MB M class."

    Really now? I guess thats why I'm reading about the M-Class in Car and Driver, Automobile already? Considering the truck just went on sale this month. I guess I won't be reading anything else further about it. Just isolated thinking I guess.

    Lastly, even if the M-Class wasn't covered or "talked about" by every major automotive publication, which it is/will be, who cares? The sales numbers matter and they'll prove you're way off base here. You can see what the media is talking about, but what "everyone" else is talking about is just you guessing.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "I had thought Porsche sales were up largely because of Cay sales. But if Cayenne sales 1QTR 05 are down 23% from 1QTR 04 what gives?"

    The 911 and Boxster are pulling the weight now, here is the whole article:

    http://www.autoweek.com/news.cms?newsId=102248

    M
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    Where have you been? Do you know every media started talking about the RX400h over a year ago with a long waiting list even now? Even President Bush likes the hybrid power plant. MB got a long way to catch up. Who cares about whether you care or not. You are really the one that's way off base. RX outsells M class (actually the whole MB line) by miles and miles and miles ......
    Your denial is amazing.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You stated that the ML isn't being talked about by anyone, media buyers etc. Then I replied that it has been written about in most of the major magazines so far. Then I get the usuals about sales and what not, all irrelevant to what was being debated. Who cares whether or not I care or not you ask? You do obviously if you feel the need to constantly tell me useless things that don't pertain to anything being discussed here.

    Denial or better yet looking through your choice in glasses is when you take half of what "Bush" says about hybrids and leave off the other part about diesels which will help the "other" company you feel compelled to deride. I really couldn't care less personally what Bush says about anything, but that is a whole different story.

    I'm trying to see where I'm in denial. Did I mention anything about sales or the RX not being a seller? No. Did I say anything about the RX not being talked about? Uhh..no. All I did was disprove your notion about the M-Class not being talked about at all.

    Also this statement is far from the truth:

    "RX outsells M class (actually the whole MB line) by miles and miles and miles ......"

    The ML sure, but the whole MB line? Wrong again. Talk about being "off base".

    Please read my post more carefully next time before responding.

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    ...prestige doesn't mean squat if you can't afford the car in the first place....a 14-20K difference is real and not everyone leases.

    Aren't fewer people able to afford an LX470 as compared to a Toyota Land Cruiser? Yet the LX outsells the TLC by about 50% in unit terms.

    Aren't fewer people able to afford an LS as compared to a GS? Yet the LS has historically outsold the GS by a wide margin (except in oddball months when the GS is brand new and the LS five years old).

    My point once again is that higher priced vehicles can and do sometimes outsell lower priced vehicles, despite the affordability factor, as long as sufficient additional content (whether prestige or something more easily measured) is offered for the higher price. In the case of MB vs Lexus, prestige is an offset to MB's higher prices.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Or maybe the TLC is a dud.

    Example: I wouldn't step foot in a White Castle if they were selling burgers 3 for a dollar. But I would buy a BK burger. Is the White Castle a better bargain, better value, better burger? Higher priced burgers may sometimes outsell lower priced burgers. :P
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "My point once again is that higher priced vehicles can and do sometimes outsell lower priced vehicles, despite the affordability factor, as long as sufficient additional content (whether prestige or something more easily measured) is offered for the higher price. In the case of MB vs Lexus, prestige is an offset to MB's higher prices."

    Sorry I don't think the point is valid because with those Lexus models you aren't talking about a price spread of 14-20K like from an LS430 to a S430 or S500. There is nothing in those examples even close to being that kind of price difference. The difference between the average LS430 and GS430 is what 5-10K if that. How much of a price difference between the average TLC and LX470? It surely isn't 14K or 20K.

    No one was disputing that higher priced vehicles can outsell lower priced ones, but your notion about prestige making the price factor moot with the S-Class vs LS430 is unfounded and can't be measured unless you know what every can afford and/or the average LS sells at S-Class prices. Unless there is something that shows that your point isn't valid with sedans is such a crowded market that have such a large price gap between them.

    " In the case of MB vs Lexus, prestige is an offset to MB's higher prices."

    Says who or what? There is no way to measure prestige in order to state that it makes up for the price difference cancelling about the affordability factor. If a buyer can't afford a higher priced car their perception of the car doesn't mean a thing. Nada. There is no way for you to know this and state it as fact.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well with the TLC people that don't know about its legendary off road ability and/or don't care about it probably don't feel comfortable paying that much for a "Toyota" so they're duped into paying more for a rebadged/wooded one at a Lexus store.

    M
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    When people buy MB, does that mean they are "duped into paying more"? The fact is people pay more for Lexus because it is a prestige thing. You just can't stand that Lexus means prestige. Again nobody mind paying more for better, but paying more for MB which is less reliable than Lexus, forget about it.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Ok now I get it because you said:

    The fact is people pay more for Lexus because it is a prestige thing. You just can't stand that Lexus means prestige.

    when that isn't what we were debating. You're just posting any and everything that comes to mind negative about MB just for the sake of doing so, regardless as to what the conversation is about.

    Got it. Total irrelevance. Somehow I thought you'd bring a logical viewpoint pertaining to the conversation to the table. Silly me.

    Wanna re-state how the Lexus RX outsells the whole MB line?

    M
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Now that you have professed love for the new 7-series, are you thinking along those lines ? Or would you rather up the ante with an upgrade to the C4 ? Just wondering....on a dark cloudy and rainy day out here in (supposedly) beautiful San Diego...
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    “Designman, I wish you had given us more of the story. Cayenne sales are supposedly 48% of all Porsche sales. I had thought Porsche sales were up largely because of Cay sales. But if Cayenne sales 1QTR 05 are down 23% from 1QTR 04 what gives?”

    Sorry, I’m confused. Which story are you referring to? I usually don’t go deep into sales talk. If anything I just allude to them and summarize what I read. I’ve always acknowledged that Cayenne in addition to the Boxster “saved” Porsche, or at least is providing them rainy-day money to work with.

    BTW, Cayenne represented closer to 60% of all Porsche sales not long ago. The dip had to come sooner or later now that their market is probably saturated. Once this happens it’s a matter of the tide going in and out. And it is pretty evident that with rising gas prices and energy initiatives SUVs are going to take a hit across the board.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Aye! You’re putting words in my mouth. I never professed “love” for the 7-series. I said at the same price (alluding to the cars in this thread) I may… that’s MAY… go with the 7. BTW, my wife loves CR. You know what that means. Dum-da-dum-dum… the plot thickens.

    Man, the 7 got absolutely slaughtered on ergonomics in the R&T comparo. On this issue the designers look like fools IMO. In spite of this it won handily. Curious comparo though. Old models and no LS.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    I'm in a tiny market compared to the 500 lb. gorillas in the area, but we've been selling them fairly well. The only thing that's hurt us is that the factory gave us a bunch of black ones early on, and so a few buyers are waiting for silver, pewter, white, etc. The bigger dealers in the area haven't got any to trade b/c they've sold out of theirs completely. So far, everyone I've driven in the car is very impressed with it. Time will tell how they sell in the long term, but I guess I'm pretty optimistic.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    I don't want to re-open Pandora's Box here, but I'm just curious about your thought's since you mention the much hyped RX400h -
    In the south, where I live there is a guy named Clark Howard who has a radio show on the AM dial and is one of these "consumer advocates," that talks all day about how expensive everything is, and how to make a toothbrush last ten years. Perhaps some of you have heard of him. Anyway. IMO he can make you so convinced that retailers are the spawn of satan and everyone's out to get you, kind of like watching shows like 20/20 and 48 hours, that you don't want to leave your house. When it comes to cars and the car business, he always has a lot to say, of course, and lately he's had a few comments about the prius, and other hybrids. He is discouraging people from buying them, and saying they're "a sham." He makes the same case I did earlier, that the amount of premium that one pays for a hybrid over a comparable gas burner makes them a losing proposition. In my area, the toyota dealer is collecting $6k NON-REFUNDABLE deposits on hybrid cars, and charging ADM, standard rates, etc. and people are LINING UP with their money! Suckers. If I were Toyota, I would be livid with the dealer body for treating their customers this way, particularly since these hybrids are sure to attract new people to the brand, and this will be their first experience with them. Please folks, don't get me wrong, I think hybrid is great technology that's here to stay, but I think in the short term, the market is going to course-correct a bit due to the way these vehicles are being marketed versus the real-world results they give.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    No one was disputing that higher priced vehicles can outsell lower priced ones

    Sorry but it seemed to me that you had been disputing that. I guess now you're saying that if the difference is 14-20k or more, a higher priced vehicle can't outsell a lower priced one. Well, let's see what happens when we get some numbers on S350 sales vs S500 sales, shall we? My guess is that the S500 will outsell the S350. Or are you going to claim that MB stopped selling the S320 in this country because demand was too high?

    As for what I wrote, "In the case of MB vs Lexus, prestige is an offset to MB's higher prices"...it appears you have misunderstood what I am saying. I'm not saying that prestige is 10% or 100% or 200% as important a factor as price. I'm saying that we don't know how important it is. But my overall point is that imho one shouldn't endlessly repeat that MB's sales performance is due to high prices, when there is a factor out there (prestige) which can account for some (unknown) measure of the higher prices.

    Fundamentally, we don't know how many buyers are 'priced' out of the market by MB (but can still afford Lexus). And we don't know how many buyers are 'prestiged' out of the market by Lexus' lack of prestige (relative to MB).

    Every time an MB fan says something like "it should be no surprise that MB undersells Lexus, what do you expect since its products are more expensive" I could just as easily say "lack of prestige vs MB hinders Lexus' sales, its pretty impressive that Lexus still manages to outsell MB". But in fact both factors are at work, and it isn't and will never be clear which is the more important.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    You guys are getting me confused on what I can get....I wonder now what I am going to get Lexus BMW Mercedes or if any are worth while....I use to think I would try and get the car that offered the best value for the cost....Tony I was thinking also about the Bentley, but with the little ding etc. that one just naturally gets I think that would be too painful
  • paldipaldi Posts: 210
    Bentley and Phaeton doors are aluminum - harder to ding than steel doors. Same, of course, for the A8L.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    BTW, my wife loves CR

    Yikes ! That, I submit, dooms any thoughts of your buying a 7-er !

    the 7 got absolutely slaughtered on ergonomics in the R&T comparo. On this issue the designers look like fools IMO. In spite of this it won handily. Curious comparo though...

    That's the *thing* about these comparos. They wilt like the proverbial grass in the hot sun. One day its the S-class coming in last despite its better handling, another time its the LS "winning" despite its poorer handling, and now the 7-er despite its poor ergonomics + i-drive.... Says R&T's Bornhop: "The intent of iDrive is honorable; the execution leaves much to be desired." Who ever bought a car because it won a comparo needs his/her head examined. We Lexus-ophiles will not be accused of doing something that absurd....
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    The 2006 VW Jetta is a blatant rip-off of the Toyota Corolla from the front head-lamp assembly all the way to the rear tail-lights !!! We are talking XEROX COPY here styling-wise, its not even funny. Hey, here is one German company copying a Japanese company's style in modern-day car design. I thought Europe is the home to the best car designers. No ? If Germany is looking over the Pacific to Japan for its styling cues, may the good Lord help them !!!
  • Stroudman:

    I bought a Preis a couple of months ago...It is my understanding that they are all selling at sticker...I got the fully loaded one with GPS, Sound system, Pass key etc. and it was approx $27,000 ...It took about 3 weeks to get it...

    All the dealers talked about a 6 month wait and a $500 deposit..Refundable...But I just kept calling dealers, told them I was talking to other dealers and had the exact car I wanted color interior features that I wanted in 3 Weeks...Fresh off the boat.

    It is not broken in yet but we are getting 50 mpg in mixed driving.
  • If you want the most car for the Dollar...Buy Lexus.

    If you want a real Drivers car get a 7 series

    If you want Prestige and pretty at a very high price in a car that is less then reliable..There is a car out there for you...

    Good Luck.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Sorry but it seemed to me that you had been disputing that. I guess now you're saying that if the difference is 14-20k or more, a higher priced vehicle can't outsell a lower priced one. Well, let's see what happens when we get some numbers on S350 sales vs S500 sales, shall we? My guess is that the S500 will outsell the S350. Or are you going to claim that MB stopped selling the S320 in this country because demand was too high?"

    You can re-word (spin) it as much as you like. First it was the CLS/E/S vs the C-Class to make a point about sales now its wait until the S350 goes on sale and lets compare it to the S500. I mean really. The simple fact is that you can't prove anything about prestige making up for higher sticker prices. Who knows for sure as to why Mercedes stopped selling the S320, you and I surely don't so what the point? The S350 is being added to a model line that is in its 6th year of production so I know that you realize that their are many other factors as to why it may or may not outsell the S500, not just a price factor.

    "it appears you have misunderstood what I am saying. I'm not saying that prestige is 10% or 100% or 200% as important a factor as price. I'm saying that we don't know how important it is. But my overall point is that imho one shouldn't endlessly repeat that MB's sales performance is due to high prices, when there is a factor out there (prestige) which can account for some (unknown) measure of the higher prices."

    Then why are we debating this? Who endlessly repeats that Mercedes sales performance is soley based on price? I don't. I've said from the beginning that price is but one factor in sales. Go back and read my previous posts. Also, I've never disputed that higher priced cars can outsell cheaper ones. I've point that out with various MBs vs. various Lexuses for year. You were the one that kept trying to say simply that prestige makes up for the price difference, which to me doesn't make any sense if the buyer can't afford a more expensive car to begin with. If its an unknown measure (something I just said in my reply yesterday) then why are we debating it?

    "Fundamentally, we don't know how many buyers are 'priced' out of the market by MB (but can still afford Lexus). And we don't know how many buyers are 'prestiged' out of the market by Lexus' lack of prestige (relative to MB)."

    Again so what is the point? We do know that not every single buyer of a say an LS can just jump to a S430 and/or especially an S500 because of the price difference. This is simply common sense to me, 14-20K is real. Prestige is real to people who think that way. I'm sure most think the S is more prestigious but how many can just pay an extra 14-20K more for one based on their beliefs instead of their wallets?

    "Every time an MB fan says something like "it should be no surprise that MB undersells Lexus, what do you expect since its products are more expensive" I could just as easily say "lack of prestige vs MB hinders Lexus' sales, its pretty impressive that Lexus still manages to outsell MB". But in fact both factors are at work, and it isn't and will never be clear which is the more important."

    You could say that, but I could say that the bulk of MB's lineup is priced higher than Lexus'. Once you past the C, ML, CLK, and E350/E500 MB's lineup costs way more than Lexus'.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "The 2006 VW Jetta is a blatant rip-off of the Toyota Corolla from the front head-lamp assembly all the way to the rear tail-lights !!! We are talking XEROX COPY here styling-wise, its not even funny. Hey, here is one German company copying a Japanese company's style in modern-day car design."

    When you're right you are right. Way too much Corolla at the rear and the overall shape, only the front end grille and side profile line is different. These latter two differences aren't spotted by most hence most see it as a copy, which it really is. A shame imo. That said the Jetta looks better imo because it doesn't appear as tall or generic overall, but yes it has way too many Corolla styling cues. I wonder if you ever said the same thing about the LS and the previous S-Class. Did you ever admit that? Anyway.....maybe VW thought that by copying the styling they'd get the Corolla's reliablity too?

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    It doesn't look too bad here I guess:

    image

    image

    I do believe I like the front end a little more now, even the rear looks better, but its still not quite right. Plus idrive remains. Though there is a nice new leather cap on the idrive knob!

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    We were debating it because in the past you suggested that there was no way the S could be expected to outsell the LS because the "huge" price difference meant that far fewer people could afford the S.

    Here is a choice quote from you from a while back: "there is no way a car that starts pricewise in most cases where another car tops out, like in the case of the LS430 vs the S-Class, could you ever expect to outsell the cheaper one".

    Now you're saying that "No one was disputing that higher priced vehicles can outsell lower priced ones", which I'll take to be a sign of progress. Enough for me...for now.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I stated years ago that a higher priced car can outsell a cheaper one and I never said that such a thing isn't possible. Even the quote you used from me states that about the LS and S, and in most cases not just in general. Did you not read the quote? There is 14-20K price difference in play here and you think its cancelled out by prestige.

    Your theory about prestige is what I take issue with. Not that such a thing can happen, cheaper car being outsold by a more expensive one.

    You simply can't say factually that prestige is a neutralizer to MB's higher prices when it comes to Lexus.

    Also, the main reason why I really got into this is because as usual every year or so we have to hear about how the LS is outselling everything and this sermon never includes anything about price.

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    From the WSJ today: "BMW AG...has improved sales of its core BMW brand in Western Europe 13.5% this year. Sales of Mercedes-Benz cars in Western Europe have fallen about 7% during the same period.

    That's a whopping big differential, more than might be explained by the S being in its last year. Is it the quality issues finally affecting MB in Europe, or other factors?
  • gg107gg107 Posts: 7
    I cross-shopped some of the cars covered in this forum (LS430, XJ), and posted this in another forum. It may be of some interest in light of some of the posts above:

    I'm closing in on a deal on a new 545i, and if the dealer will honor it, it's a good deal.

    But what interests me is that the market for BMW and Mercedes, at least in Southern Calif., is wildly inefficient. Dealers are not regionally competitive with each other in selling essentially identical vehicles. A dozen shares of XYZ stock is equivalent to any other dozen shares of XYZ stock, and no one would dream of paying a substantial price premium for those shares because s/he happened to live in Woodland Hills and dealt with a broker there, rather than living in Newport Beach and using a broker there. But even though BMWs are essentially identical, the best prices I got for the same vehicle (adjusted for options), on the same lease terms -- 36 months -- from among about 8 dealers had a range of more than $5,000 -- i.e., monthly carrying costs of over $140.00. And I have no doubt that the higher-priced dealers were actually getting something near their quoted prices on many of their lease deals -- which is why they wouldn't come down in price for me.

    The price range variation in Mercedes E350s was even greater, $200 per mo.

    What this means is that the luxury car shopper is not cross-shopping these vehicles on an active basis. This is puzzling to me, since this is an affluent, well-educated customer base, technologically sophisticated, with access to information. It's not that time consuming to send e-mails to dealers and negotiate over the phone. And consumers have the upper hand, because dealers must move their cars -- but we don't have to buy them. So why is there not more cross-shopping, forcing the market to be efficient? Is it the practiced manipulations of car salespeople? Is it the mystique of the cars themselves, overcoming rationality? Or what?

    Whatever it is, it's a good thing -- because an inefficient market means there are deals to be had.
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