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High End Luxury Cars

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  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    This is Europe. Cost cuts are probably more symbolic of where costs can be cut without legal consequence than what is cut. If those employees had been E-class personnel than that would have served the purpose.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    M-B (ok Germany) needs to stop the relentless march ahead of technology for technology's sake. They all seem to think that they cant launch a new car unless everything mechanical is replaced with electronics. The Germans do mechanical VERY well. Electronics, not so much. E-brakes, E-steer, E-etc. are unnecessary. If an electronic do-dad does not have a clear and obvious benefit to the driver, skip it. Consumers will not remember who was first out of the gate with this or that fancy feature, but they WILL remember when that feature breaks. Making sure everything WORKS should be much more important than being first.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    M-B (ok Germany) needs to stop the relentless march ahead of technology for technology's sake. They all seem to think that they cant launch a new car unless everything mechanical is replaced with electronics. The Germans do mechanical VERY well. Electronics, not so much. E-brakes, E-steer, E-etc. are unnecessary. If an electronic do-dad does not have a clear and obvious benefit to the driver, skip it. Consumers will not remember who was first out of the gate with this or that fancy feature, but they WILL remember when that feature breaks. Making sure everything WORKS should be much more important than being first.

    If companies such as Microsoft, Sony, Cisco, Oracle, and Dell took that approach, they'd either be at the back of the pack or out of business.....

    In this Technology Age, the best companies are always pushing the envelope.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    Sort of like Rolex? Tony
  • MB is going to eliminate 9,600 employees (about 9% of their German workforce).

    Should be fun to watch them build the same 'high quality, durable, incredibly engineered' vehicles with a whole lot smaller work force.
  • I enjoy reading your posts. They are thoughtful although a little laden down by the Booz, Allen and Hampton razamataz. What do you do in the real world?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    CFO of a 750mln business (American sub of a European company) in the past but have my own business now with a couple of partners today. I'm done with the corporate world (nothing beats ownership) and I'm no fan of Booz Allen or MacKenzie etc.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "If companies such as Microsoft, Sony, Cisco, Oracle, and Dell took that approach, they'd either be at the back of the pack or out of business..... "

    So... Microsoft taking 5+ years between operating systems instead of their usual 2-3 is them pushing the envelope and throwing caution to the wind? Hardly. With more and more heat from Linux and OSX, Microsoft is taking their time to make sure Vista is as polished out of the gate as absolutely possible. They will not rush it out now and then try to fix all of the broken features in the field.

    Cisco has quite a sterling reputation in the networking world. I seriously doubt they would risk that image by putting out any product that had not been tested to death.

    Dell got to the position they are in with a combination of brokering special deals from best buddy Intel, clever marketing, and by undercutting the competition on price thanks to Japanese style manufacturing efficiency. Not the products themselves. They make a windows box just like everyone else. I really dont see how they apply.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    As well these are technology companies so there is no correlation. Putting in new technology that is difficult to use by the driver and works horrendously and, as well doesn't do anything better than the old technology (if it were to work properly in the first place) is not pushing the envelope. It's ripping the envelope in half.
  • Mercedes (and BMW) have made it more difficult for drivers to perform basic tasks.

    Increasing complexity without improving function is a regressive design philosophy.
  • The Land Rover Discovery II, the English agricultural vehicle so well loved by the citizens of Greenwich and Darien , is a good example. The Ford sourced ZF (I think) transmisson does not have a diptstick to check the fluid and a fluid change requires using a Porta-Power to pry apart the frame rails. Bring one to your local tranny shop for a change and they will chase you out. This is progress?? You don't have to be a luddite to think that a Disco with a 5 speed stick shift (how much would a garage charge to change the clutch? $300 in labor?) would be a more practical, less expensive solution.

    What about multi-zone HVAC systems that cost an arm and a leg to fix. Is there any real benefit when most of the time there is only one person in the car? Moreover, when one wants to change the temp most people simply manually crank the temp up or down anyway. Do we really need/want four zone HVAC? Speaking of simple solutions, how about a Disco with a leather interior, no sunroofs to leak and a diesel? Same thing with the E Series Diesel. I'll bet there would be a market here in the US for a no NAV, stick shift version that could be a car guy's Last New Car. Speaking of interiors, most manufacurters charge $1100 for a sun roof. Every one gets one. Yet, in the Northeast, I just don' t see them being used. At all. Even the rear edge is rarely raised as a vent.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    If everything goes right I think you'll see a lot of diesels this time next year. A stick shift in an U.S. model E-Class isn't going to happen, though I agree there would probably be a market for it especially for people who like diesels. Not getting the Nav is no problem on the E though.

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    A sun-roof is rarely a stand alone option, at least in the luxury class, anyway. Its usually bundled with this or that package. Also, with a glass roof you can still enjoy the extra light without it actually being open, which may be a reason why some people get them. My wife and I generally dont open ours (I've got a convertible, which is a REAL sun-roof) but we do usually leave the shades open.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    The sun roof on every car I have had it on is too small, and doesn`t come forward enough....I sugested this to Lexus a number of years ago....The new bmw stationwagon my wife has, the roof is quite a bit longer, sort of two sections and it is amazing the additional amount of light it lets in....Makes a big difference, and almost overcomes the opening not starting out more forward....I believe the new Mercedes is going that new longer route on the S..Hope it spreads to other cars Tony
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    Yeah, that BMW wagon roof is nice.... Same idea as the ones in the X3 and X5. Definitely a HUGE upgrade over the typically-sized sunroofs.
  • tiny1tiny1 Posts: 26
    Ok, you guys are worrying me with the recent Merc Benz posts...which brings up the following question. I just bought a 2002 CLK55 AMG Coupe with 39K miles. It has three months of factory warranty left then CPO warranty for a year expiring in Jan 2007. I couldn't pass this deal up at $32k. My issue is that I would like to drive this car for many years, and feel a little vulnerable with warranty for only another 15 months. M-B dealer offered to extend CPO for 2 yrs at almost $5k (which I thought was too high), and I've since found out that 3rd party warranty companies will not touch the AMG package. One company has emerged, "5Starwarranty" offering an exclusionary contract backed by Mercury Insurance for $2.5k (5yr/100k miles). Does anyone have any experience with this company or others they could recommend? Or would you just take the risk in the out years? The car is in outstanding condition now and was well maintained by previous owner. I would appreciate your thoughts...
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Why don't you run a D&B report on them and Mercury Insurance to see if they are financially healthy. You can also look up the businesses with some research tools like hoovers on-line and see if they any data on them.
  • SELL....THE CAR....WHILE YOU STILL CAN...
  • tiny1tiny1 Posts: 26
    Not sure I really want to know the answer to this, but...why do you say "sell the car while you still can"....Am I sensing some personal experience with this model?
  • Insurance Companies not wanting to insure the car is a big piece of the puzzle..

    The dealer offering a 2 Yr warrenty with god only knows what restrictions..for $5,000 dollars is another big piece of the Puzzle..

    Your own research into how reliable that model is (is not) Does not match up with your desire to keep the car long term.

    The Price you paid for a relatively new model...(a good price) Cries out why such a good price.

    Life is far too short to subject yourself to the frustration you know is coming...

    If you are a Conservative sell the car to a LIBERAL...If you are a LIBERAL sell it to a Conservative...It will help ease the pain of selling a car you REALLY like...
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    VW must need cash badly. Porsche took the bait; Mercedes passed on it.

    http://www.dw-world.de/dw/briefs/0,1574,1728454,00.html
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Why so quiet lately? I sense that you have given up on "the great debate".
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    I don't think Merc1 will recognize the term, "the great debate". You may have to restate it as, "The great crusade to enlighten the unwashed masses." ;)

    Merc1, we all respect your views and particularly your passion for MB. Please don't give up.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You may have to restate it as, "The great crusade to enlighten the unwashed masses."

    Hey I like that! :)

    Well there isn't anything for me to "give up" on, its more like there really isn't anything of interest to discuss here at the moment. I'm reading the same boring stuff over and over, usually about a German brand so I decided that I'd wait for a new subject or direction before posting again. I would like to talk about something different or at least something we all (or at least most of us) can at least see somewhat eye to eye on.

    Not to promote another mesg board (or put down Edmunds) but there are some sites out there that have a large international community of posters that make the discussions a little more lively and less one-sided.

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    While still not on the same level as BMW and Lexus (basically tied for September) M-B did report best ever September sales, so something is working.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Here was MB's US sales - basically flat to prior year. Somewhere else I read that Lexus was up 9% and BMW was up 3% including the Mini. I believe BMW sales were about equal to Lexus if you include the Mini and about 3k less without it.

    http://www.automotive.com/features/90/auto-news/15587/index.html
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Lexus: http://pressroom.toyota.com/photo_library/display_release.html?id=20051003

    BMW: http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2005/10/03/144737.html

    The industry as a whole had a real tough time selling SUVs in Sep, due to the gas price spike. Lexus held up ok I think. But I think recent rx400h sales are a bit underwhelming. Possibly still supply-constrained, I haven't followed it that closely.

    If I were MB I'd be disappointed that the new ML was up only 21% yty in Sep. Plus the R doesn't seem to be jumping out of the gate.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    It was the other way around then, BMW and Lexus were just about even and the Mini gave BMW a 3K edge.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yeah I saw that, but like others have said its bascially a wash with last year.

    The ML, CLS and SLK (new models) have been pulling all the weight so far this year. Its too early to tell whether or not the R is going to do anything since for Sept it was only on sale for the last two weeks of the month. The E seems to have regained its former sales lead on a month to month basis, but for the year its going to be a fight to the end with the 5-Series for year end honors it seems. I guess the initial shock of all the new competition (both external and internal in the CLS) has worn off.

    As always the luxury brands will rally in the last few months, especially Dec when they all run their biggest promotions of the year.

    Though the C-Class did manage a small increase last month, its the S-Class that will really start to turn things around starting in Feb. Then sometime next summer the E will get its mid-life facelift.

    M
  • So, I had a dream that the Lexus LS was revealed, and it looked like a Ford 500 in the front, and had a Maybach rear. The interior was just like a Maybach as well. Swathed in way too much bird's eye maple. It was hideous. Now, enough of my silly dream though. When is this car being presented? Lexus needs to leak spy shots like Mercedes does with their cars, and get the comotion started. Let's hope that my dream will remain just a dream though. Here's to hoping that this new LS looks great.
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