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High End Luxury Cars

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Comments

  • 00boxsters00boxsters Posts: 202
    Do tell. Also tell the number of Lexus dealerships and amount of adverti$ement there as well.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    Regardless of where you purchase your car, you will register it in the same place, and part of your transaction amount will consist of applicable sales taxes.

    I'd LOVE to have 12-15% profit margins! Then I too could discount thousands, and still make a good living.

    I've picked up plenty of people at the airport, bought their lunch, etc. as well. It's all in a days work.

    Otherwise, it sounds like you live in a pretty perfect world, and for pennies on the dollar. Good for you.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "I'd bet that there is in fact specific data to demonstrate my (or much less likely your) point but it is not readily available to the public. (I did a google search and turned up some interesting, if not entirely specific, income data for high level car brand buyers published in Newsweek and listed it above.) I am certain that Toyota, Mercedes and the like research their product price points and their customers incomes very, very carefully. They will milk their cows for as much as they can."

    So in other words there is no data for you and I to look at then.

    "You do a discredit to "most consumers" of high end luxury cars by discounting their ability to distinguish value from cheaper. I believe that most consumers that can afford a $65K or costlier car did not obtain the means to do so by said ignorance. Your love sick admiration for Mercedes blinds you just as it has blinded many in the car industry itself. Currently overall, Lexus does the LS better for most consumers than Mercedes does the S. The proof is common sense. The LS sells better because of it and not simply due to a lower price. The pudding will be when the '07 LS prices are closer to the S and the LS will still trounce the S in volume sales."

    You keep saying that I stated that price was the sole reason for the LS outselling the S, and I didn't. I said it was but one factor. How major is open for discussion, but to blindly think that every consumer can just buy up on a whim is the "ignorance" imo. What the hell does a blind devotion (IYO, btw) have to do with a price debate? Until the LS sells at the same price level as the S I couldn't care less if it outsells the S. Closer to S prices and that same price are two different things and no Lexus is going to match the upper end S-Class models in price anyway, they know better than that. Price has been since day one, a main Lexus' main selling point over Mercedes. That seems to have been forgotten here.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    See this is how it goes, you ask about sales in Europe and then you get some excuse about dealership numbers and advertising, yet an issue of price in this country doesn't matter. For the record I think that Lexus having fewer dealerships in Europe and lack of advertising for the Lexus brand are legitimate reasons, but when it comes to Mercedes price can't possibly be an issue. Typical one-side Lexus vision.

    M
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    someone in this thread said the following:

    "The new M5 goes to 60 in under 4."

    Are there any tests to confirm this?
  • 00boxsters00boxsters Posts: 202
    One works with the data one has Merc. For the fourth time, I google searched and found the Newsweek article. While less than perfect it was a place to start. You present no data, perfect or otherwise, and never addressed the only data at hand.

    You are quite adept at using quotes of others to rebut. Please quote me in saying you find price was the sole reason.

    Blind devotion misdirects many a man in many ways Merc. Yet again it has happened to you as you incessantly insist on mixing up value and price. You fail to consider that if an LS430 were the same price as an S430, more LS's would still be sold. Lack of reliability would be at the top of the list to actually avoid an S currently.

    What was your spin on the May Road and Track issue and how the S500 placed (5th)last in the Lux sedan comparison. Reliability was not even a factor! Why was the LS excluded?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    One works with the data one has Merc. For the fourth time, I google searched and found the Newsweek article. While less than perfect it was a place to start. You present no data, perfect or otherwise, and never addressed the only data at hand.

    The data you presented said what? What the average income for a Mercedes owner was? Means absolutely nothing imo because the average Mercedes owner doesn't have an S-Class. They probably have an C,E,ML, or something else less expensive in the line. I'm basing my point about price on common sense about a car being 14-20K more expensive and that it might be at a slight disadvantage in a sales race.

    Yet again it has happened to you as you incessantly insist on mixing up value and price. You fail to consider that if an LS430 were the same price as an S430, more LS's would still be sold. Lack of reliability would be at the top of the list to actually avoid an S currently.

    You have know way of knowing what the LS would sell at S-Class prices. Why should anyone consider such a thing, its a classic "what if" scenario. You want me to consider that, but yet you won't consider that some buyers might be priced out of a car like an S-Class? Doesn't work that way. Lack of relibility would be at the top of YOUR list. You can't speak for everyone else. Now value is seperate from price? That is hilarious. Talk about a "spin". The price difference between two cars compared to what you get is the "value" in a lot of peoples minds. They are closely linked.

    You on the other hand have simply overlooked one Lexus' main selling points when it comes to Mercedes. Price!

    What was your spin on the May Road and Track issue and how the S500 placed (5th)last in the Lux sedan comparison. Reliability was not even a factor! Why was the LS excluded?

    There is no spin needed, the S500 got beat plain and simple. Ask Road and Track why the LS was excluded.

    The LS sells better because of it and not simply due to a lower price.

    To me that implies that you think I said that price was simply the reason for greater sales. For the fifth time I said it was a factor, a factor.

    M
  • 00boxsters00boxsters Posts: 202
    You have know way of knowing what the LS would sell at S-Class prices. Why should anyone consider such a thing, its a classic "what if" scenario

    As I said above, consider it because it is going to happen in 2007. You use/'blame' the lessor sales numbers of the S on its higher price making it unobtainable as a result. For the fifth time I said it was a factor, a factor. What will you blame when the price is not a 'factor'?

    You want me to consider that, but yet you won't consider that some buyers might be priced out of a car like an S-Class?

    Check message # 9166 above Merc. "I suspect there may be a small minority of LS buyers that are stretched just to afford it and an S is beyond their means."

    Lack of reliability would be at the top of YOUR list. You can't speak for everyone else.

    Never presume to speak for everyone but I speak from personal experience and experience from friends/family and from reviewing these and other boards with numerous Merc reliability complaints. Its no secret even to those blinded with admiration.

    The price difference between two cars compared to what you get is the "value" in a lot of peoples minds.

    Value is intrinsic to the car itself not related to 'the price difference between two cars'. I do not understand what you are trying to distinguish here Merc perhaps this is where we run afoul.

    There is no spin needed, the S500 got beat plain and simple. Ask Road and Track why the LS was excluded.

    I did email them and will share their response with this forum if a similar response is not published in their June issue.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I did email them [Road & Track] and will share their response with this forum if a similar response is not published in their June issue.

    Why not just tell us now?
  • flyfisher1flyfisher1 Posts: 37
    Tell me you didn't list prestige as a reason to buy an Lexus.
  • I must be missing your point....The sticker price of the car does not include sales tax..if that is what you are saying...the sticker price on the car includes 12-15% markup ...maybe more on a mercedes, I don't know....The registration fee is also not part of the sticker price and is added onto the transaction...

    I have never seen it done any other way....I have always bought and not leased my cars...but even a leased vehicle is priced from the sticker and sales taxes etc are added on top of that....when you bargin the price down it is down from the sticker price and you may indeed only get 6% or even less...then the taxes are added on top of that....then the dealer get his bonus (whatever you call it ) for volume from Mercedes at the end of the year.

    I live in the real world...Lexus dealers are known for their service ...that service is expected by Lexus owners......It would be helpfull if Mercedes operated in the same manner, however I do understand you have to cut someplace when the profits are just not there.
  • 00boxsters00boxsters Posts: 202
    They have yet to respond to my email. I just ment that they will likely get a large number of questions regarding that comparison and may just publish the answer(s) instead of individually responding to my and others emails. I am not one to hold back much!
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    Yes, perhaps I'm not articulating myself very well. When you purchase a car, I would imagine that you think of it in terms of a total transaction cost. I do. There are more parties interested/involved in your purchase of a car than just the dealer. (manufacturer, government). So, portions of the check you write/loan you commence, are divided among at least three parties. The party you have to depend on for service is the one being compelled to surrender the profit they stood to make(in my case 6.9%, which is pretty slim), just to "earn" your business.

    It is not lost on me that Toyota and Daimler have different ways of marketing their product, as well as different ways of rewarding the dealers for getting said product on the road. Us trading barbs about how it should work is pointless.

    It is also not lost on me that our usefullness as salesman of cars is quickly growing extinct, and that the momentum to make us all but history is picking up speed, especially in the bigger markets, where there's a dealer on almost every corner, and the internet makes everyone believe they know everything. I'll move on soon, hopefully on my terms. I've been building furniture for 14 years now, and this may be the time for me to think about the little shop I've thought about having. Who knows? I've grown weary of people deeply resenting the profit I wish to make, but don't hesitate to pick up the phone when there's a problem.

    Just curious, since you're an LS owner, somebody somewhere is paying you very well. What do you do for a living, if you don't mind my asking?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Stroudman - How about selling Lexus cars in central NJ. I'd love to buy a car from you.
  • jvcnjvcn Posts: 50
    Don't want to distract from the usual debates, but can someone tell me where is the best place to get detailed car sales figures for all the major luxury brands on the Web?

    Thx
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    Too cold up there for me! :-)
  • 00boxsters00boxsters Posts: 202
    I have seen people post stats from this website. Hope this helps. :)

    http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2005/04/29/053405.html
  • I was in Insurance...Home Office...Sales type...I was lucky enough to retire early about 5 years ago....
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    gg107, you started a nice thread. Congratulations for getting us off the MB vs. Lexus rut. While the initial premise is that cars with equal equipment can be compared across dealerships is appealing, the comparisons are hard to make because the sales people setting the prices, unlike a stock broker, have an interest in maximizing the sale price. So they are not acting as a disinterested broker, but as an owner maximizing gain. (Yes, I'm aware that stock broker's commission varies with the price of the stock but this is not significant here.)

    As a result, there many reasons for the variation in these quotes. Two new ideas not so far discussed involve how the quotes were solicited and timing. To say that there is significant variation in these quotes, there would have to be a consistent method of getting them. Perhaps your negotiating ability, personal mannerisms, zip code, etc. affected different dealership people differently and in order to maximize the profit, they quoted differently? To conjure up an example, a bearded guy in a tweed jacket with leather elbow patches with a 14850 zip code, everything else being equal, would get a better price in Ithaca than Queens, NY.

    Timing is also important. Maybe you collected your quotes at different times of the week and of the month? Maybe some of these dealers at that point in time had excess inventory? Or were expecting in a big stock order? Or, need cash to pay taxes?

    On a related subject, Stroudman, you're a good guy. You have the kind of values that appeal to me. You and your store are the kind of people I would rather do business with. As long as you would take care of me, you would have a customer for life. You must offer the level of service like a nice men's store such as Paul Stewarts or (the old) Brooks Bros. But, as I write this there is a little bit of a contradiction. I'm wearing a Lands End shirt and a pair of Bills Khakis. They were both bought on line because even though I like the experience of a good men's shop and claim to be a loyal kind of guy, you can't beat a $29 blue oxford button down from a catalog house. Warranty? You call LL Bean or Land's End and they come pick it up! Maybe an 800 number trumps my "loyalty"?
  • digital_bdigital_b Posts: 126
    so I guess the fact that the LS won a comparison featuring the 745,A8,S430,Phaeton,Jaguar sedan,and the LS means nothing? [from a late 04 car and driver] . I beg to differ. while it didn't cause me to buy mine it sure felt good to read that it won. and by the way there is a reason why in ALL the magazines, even the british ones [CAR, top gear] the s class [and all mercedes in the last 3 years I have been reading them] finishes at or near the bottom of every comparison. also in customer satisfaction surveys [in europe mercedes and audi get killed in them but not bmw]. but of course 'prestige' is supposed to lead one to another marque instead of customer comments or magazine reviews right?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "As I said above, consider it because it is going to happen in 2007. You use/'blame' the lessor sales numbers of the S on its higher price making it unobtainable as a result. For the fifth time I said it was a factor, a factor. What will you blame when the price is not a 'factor'?"

    Like I said before, we'll see what happens. There is no way Lexus is going to charge the same money for the LS compared to the next S-Class, that would kill one of their longest running themes, being cheaper than a Mercedes. Sure they'll increase prices for 2007. They base LSxxx will probably be a 60-65K car, but you can bet the next S-Class won't even be close to that, unless they sell the next generation S350 here, which they might. If the LS truly sold for S-Class prices there wouldn’t be anything to debate about sales. Such a thing would mean that one car is better suited to the market in most peoples mind, whether ir be reliablity, options or whatever. That said, you’ll be waiting a long time for a LS to base at 77K.

    "Never presume to speak for everyone but I speak from personal experience and experience from friends/family and from reviewing these and other boards with numerous Merc reliability complaints. Its no secret even to those blinded with admiration."

    This is what everything goes back to reliability. You think I don't know about this? You think I believe that it doesn't exist? Really now.

    "Value is intrinsic to the car itself not related to 'the price difference between two cars'. I do not understand what you are trying to distinguish here Merc perhaps this is where we run afoul."

    Probably so. I think that such a huge price difference is integral in making the value argument to most people.

    M
  • 00boxsters00boxsters Posts: 202
    What will you blame when the price is not a 'factor'?"

    If the LS truly sold for S-Class prices there wouldn’t be anything to debate about sales. In your/this case I would agree.

    Such a thing would mean that one car is better suited to the market in most peoples mind, whether ir be reliability, options or whatever. Might you insert prestige' for whatever? Point taken?

    That said, you’ll be waiting a long time for a LS to base at 77K. The longer the better! The way that Lexus has gouged on the 2006 GS though, you will not have your precious $10-14K buffer to argue in '07 with the LS. Yes, we will see...

    Probably so. I think that such a huge price difference is integral in making the value argument to most people. Generally speaking, content and performance being a wash, then I would agree lower price means better value.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    My recollection is that the R&T comparo was titled something like "european luxury sedans"
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I don't think the GS is a good example because the GS has always been much closer to its Mercedes' rival the E-Class in price than the LS has been to the S-Class. BTW, its more than 10K price difference. The 65K S350 goes on sale this month so up until now the base prices were like 56K for a LS and 77K for a S430.

    The prestige argument is bunk imo. Period.

    You and I will have to agree to disagree on the definition of "value". There is no written standard for what "value" is. It is what each buyers sees it to be.

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    The prestige argument is bunk imo. Period.

    What is "bunk" about prestige? Do you doubt that prestige is something people are willing to pay for? Or is it that you doubt that prestige could be "worth" 5-figures to the average S-buyer? Or what?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Do you doubt that prestige is something people are willing to pay for?"

    No, don't doubt it at all. Question is how do you measure this? How do you who thinks a car is more prestigious and how many bought that car because of this. Prestige imo isn't as high up on the scale as other things like performance, safety, styling, reliability, comfort, room etc. Its a perception not something you can measure from car to car by just looking at them.

    "Or is it that you doubt that prestige could be "worth" 5-figures to the average S-buyer?"

    Nope, don't doubt that either for a buyer looking at a 100K S-Class. The "average" S-Class isn't a "5-figure" car though.

    "Or what?"

    Bingo! Let me be clear here. I think the theory about "prestige" canceling out a 12-20K price difference for the average buyer is bunk. The only way for this theory to be true is for every buyer to be able to afford both. Problem is we don't have a way of knowing what percentage of buyers can or can't afford either car.

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Whatever it's about, Toyota is on fire. What is really scary is this mammoth growth is on top of record numbers a year ago. Usually you only see such growth off of weak prior year numbers. They are getting into the danger zone on domination. The demand for hybrids speaks for itself. This market is going to sizzle and no one is more prepared for it then them.. BTW - read a post that hybrids have poor fuel economy in stop and go. But the exact opposite is true as very little gas is used in city driving. Weakest mileage is in pure highway. Best mileage is pure city. It's the opposite of everything we are used to.

    http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/050503/auto_sales.html?.v=6
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Let me try to be clear, too. I never said that prestige definitely cancels out a 12-20k price differential for the average S/LS buyer. Only that it MIGHT, and that we can't know because, as you are saying, we can't measure it.

    Just as we can't measure how important price is to the average S or LS buyer. I mean, do we know for a fact how many potential S buyers bought an LS because they could afford an LS but not an S? No. Just as we don't know for a fact how many potential LS buyers chose to buy an S because the LS wasn't prestigious enough for them.

    The best sign that in this price category, prestige could be worth 12-20k? The base LX costs 10k more than the base TLC. There are some equipment differences (worth $3k to me as an LX owner, but that's imho). But the LX sells 50% more units than the TLC (1q05). Surely that's a sign that Lexus could raise LX prices (I would guess to 15-20k over the TLC imho) and still sell the same number of units as the TLC. In other words there is actual evidence that at the LX/TLC level, the prestige factor is indeed worth at least 10k.

    So while we can't directly measue the impact of either price or prestige, it is indeed possible that at the S/LS level, prestige could be "worth" the 12-20k you keep talking about.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Several places but you'll have to search the news stories. In PR Newswire click on Industry and then Automobiles and you'll see the stories that lead you to news on the brands including car sales by brand (and usally for the industry as a whole). Good time to search is right about now as the news comes out at this time each month.

    http://www.prnewswire.com/

    Another good site is here.

    http://wardsauto.com/
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I think the theory about "prestige" canceling out a 12-20K price difference for the average buyer is bunk. The only way for this theory to be true is for every buyer to be able to afford both.

    Not so, not every buyer has to be able to afford both for the theory to be true. The theory could be true if the number of buyers who buy an S over an LS because of prestige exceeds the number of buyers who can afford the LS but not the S.
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