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High End Luxury Cars

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  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Prestige totem pole still is:

    1) MB
    2) BMW
    3) Lexus
    4) Audi
    5) Infiniti/Acura

    Prestige is all about name recognition. A good measure of brand recognition is the prestige premium.

    For similarly equipped cars, MB charges the most, then BMW.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    Lexus at least starts with IS, the equivalent of C-class.

    Umm, what about the ES?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I'm not sure what your point is. The ES, despite its Camry roots, is still a well above $30K car. Lexus does not sell a car below $30K. Audi, BMW, and Mercedes do.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    You said that Lexus starts at the bottom with the IS..... My point was that the ES is the bottom.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    I don't feel like buying a MB S600 knowing that millions of A-class cars are on the streets.

    The A-Class isn't here in North America. Conversely, they don't have Escalades over in Europe. ;) In Europe there isn't the notion that "if you have a small, economic model in your portfolio, then your whole brand image is diminished." It's all about size and gas......

    If Lexus wants to enter and establish themselves in the European market, then they, too, will need a small little economic car for that populous market. Just like MB/BMW/Audi, Lexus wouldn't be looked at as a "lesser" brand because of it.... The Europeans embrace those small, economic cars. Us Americans look at it as "cheap and wussy." :)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Lots of familar (old) themes being tossed around I see.

    How many Lexus fans here have even driven a 745/750i Sport to even know if the car is tuned for sport? I wonder why most magazines that like softer riding cars like the S-Class, LS, and XJ almost always complain about the 7-Series Sport's ride? The car is set up as a sporty sedan in its segment, more so than any non AMG S, A8 or non "R" XJ. The upcoming S8 will soon join the upcoming S63 as the sporty (if not outright sports sedans) in this class. Claiming what buyers buy these cars for don't change what they are.

    Lexus being more prestigious than Mercedes and BMW. Is this supposed to be funny? A company that doesn't even control their own home market ain't got no prestige over Europe's ruling luxury car markers - Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Imagine the laughter if Mercedes and BMW were outsold by Lexus in Europe and Germancarfans were to come here and say that MB/BMW are more prestigious. Lexus didn't even become "Lexus" in their own country of origin until this year, yet they're supposed to have some type of prestige over Mercedes and BMW.
    Mercedes and BMW building/selling/marketing their A/B and 1-Series cars has not made a radiator grille of difference in their prestige anywhere in the world where they are sold along side those S600s, SLRs, 760Lis, M5s, M6s, 550is and SL65s. This is nothing more than a made up excuse (reaching) to give Lexus some type of advantage because in reality Mercedes makes buses, garbage trucks, taxicabs, and Unimogs, yet that S600 still gets the top spot (unless their is a Rolls or Bentley around) in front of wherever it is parked.

    Another myth - Mercedes cheapest car is the $29,975 C230 sedan, the truly under 30K hatchback has been gone for a year, and you aren't going to find many 2006 C230s around with non options clinging to that base price. Funny thing is Lexus sells the nearly identical (in hp/price etc.) IS250 for $605 dollars more (30,580) yet that isn't seen as cheap car? Neither car is going to be found in great numbers at those prices. We all know this. Yet if there is a base IS250 or C230 sitting around, they both have a chance at actually selling for less than the magical and oh so prestigious 30K pricepoint.

    bdr127,

    Oh don't worry Lexus understands this hence the little 4-cylinder diesel IS model over there, like all those smaller engined C,3,A4 models.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I wonder why they took it upon themselves to change the name for the U.S. market only? Doesn't make sense for them (MBUSA) to do that imo.

    M
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    I wonder why most magazines that like softer riding cars like the S-Class, LS, and XJ almost always complain about the 7-Series Sport's ride? The car is set up as a sporty sedan in its segment, more so than any non AMG S, A8 or non "R" XJ. The upcoming S8 will soon join the upcoming S63 as the sporty (if not outright sports sedans) in this class. Claiming what buyers buy these cars for don't change what they are.

    And how many S8 or S63 sales would be made again ????

    Lexus being more prestigious than Mercedes and BMW. Is this supposed to be funny? A company that doesn't even control their own home market ain't got no prestige over Europe's ruling luxury car markers - Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

    Let's face it, MBs and BMWs derive a huge chunk of their Euro sales from low end 3 and C-class cars that are mostly used as sherpas.... taxi cabs, I mean.. These cars litter the streets of Europe - vinyl seats, no A/C, manual windows, steel wheel covers, pretty much bare-bones... All of which counts towards MB and BMWs *prestige*, eh ? Oh, but here in NA, they market them exclusively as luxury brands... Good marketing that's all...

    Yes, MB and BMW are pretigious brands, no doubt, but to make them into these super brands is a myth, especially these days. Notice how the new GS is priced close to the comparable MBs and BMWs. How about the new IS and its MB and BMW competition... practically about same. Does that tell you something ???

    Lexus didn't even become "Lexus" in their own country of origin until this year, yet they're supposed to have some type of prestige over Mercedes and BMW.

    The kinda of sentiment MB had back in 1989. Continue the sarcasm...
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Second, how do you think lease rates are set? Are residual values related to how these cars will hold up 3, 4 or 5 years after initial purchase? You better believe it.

    And which brand has the #1 residual value? Hint: the first initial is B and they are from Bavaria.

    Which BMWs maintain the best resale values: Certainly not the most reliable among them which are the family of 3 series cars. It is the BMW 7 and 5 series that have the best residual values ! Yes, the BMW 7 series! Which coincidentally is the whipping boy among you CR obsessesed Lexus fans!
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    This Lexus mania with reliability is like some contagious virus! I myself was afflicted with this virus and if you want proof look at my dozen or so posts in this forum. Every single one is about reliability. I call this obsession with reliability insanity!

    I mean c'mon this is a luxury marque forum dealing with exciting premium priced sport-luxury vehicles! So what do you guys focus on most: Which car has the most refined lavish interior? Nope! Which car is the most driveable and exciting? Nope! Which car has the best fit and finish quality? Nope! Which car has the best aesthetic styling? Nope! Which car is most reliable? Yes, yes, yes and yes again!

    If this was a Hyundai forum where fans boast about the awesome reliability stats their Korean cars are receiving from CR/JD Power, I would not be surprised at all!

    But for God's sake this is not a Hyundai forum, remember? This is a LUXURY MARQUE FORUM! Why on earth spend money on a premium priced Lexus when you can get a Hyundai and rave in Hyundai forums about good CR stats!
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    You don't do residual values on an absolute dollar basis - you do them on a percentage of original MSRP basis. Using the right basis means the LS430 is easily tops in its class.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    We are talkig percentages based on the Blue Book! Absolute dollars has no relevance whatsoever!!

    Call it ESP but I sense a whole slew of future statistical-related posts!

    I can feel those viral sympthoms again :sick:
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    But for God's sake this is not a Hyundai forum, remember? This is a LUXURY MARQUE FORUM! Why on earth spend money on a premium priced Lexus when you can get a Hyundai and rave in Hyundai forums about good CR stats!

    I am not sure what your line of business is, but if you are in a business that makes your time very very valuable then you'd understand why reliable transportation is paramount. When you spend the kind of money these cars cost, you don't want to be dealer-hoping, trying to get your car serviced or fixed for nicks and knacks... Reliable car means never getting you and your business associates stranded on the road... or not been able to make your important appointment bcos your car wouldn't start... or other myriad of electronic gremlins that can afflict these high-end, electronics-laden cars...

    Think about this for a minute: the higher the marque, the more electronic gizmos that are crammed into them, and the greater the propensity for them to malfunction. Meaning: You gotta have cars that are RELIABLE, where these electronic features are seamlessly integrated and functions flawlessly *most of the time*. All of which Lexus sedans and trucks do fairly well...

    That's why Lexus is the #1 selling luxury brand in NA.
    That's why the LS430 is the #1 selling premium full-size luxury sedan in NA.

    Reliable, luxury, build quality, customer service, value priced, and good retention of value....Lexus is #1 in almost all of these categories...
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Let me list some of the best and most expensive premium priced sport or luxury vehicles on earth:

    Ferrari
    Bentley
    Mercedes Benz/Maybach
    Rolls Royce
    Lambroughini

    Are any of the above vehicles renowned for RELIABILTY?? I dont think so!
    In fact we all know that they are renowned for their UNRELIABILITY!

    So why do people spend humungous sums on such cars as listed above? Maybe such purchasers dont read CR and prefer reading Conde Nast and the Wall Street Journal?

    In other words reliabiltiy is a main concern for the proliteriat masses and a trifling concern for a select few capitalists who can afford the cars they dream about!
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    Well - I don't know how you do things or measure financial numbers but in my world if something cost 100K to start and sells for 60K today that works out to a lower residual than somerthing that started at $80K and holds in at $55K now. If you want to look at absolute retention instead of percent of original price retained then you should also look at the inverse - that being absolute dollars lost to depreciation. There's a quid-pro-quo for everything. I'm really not into disputing this so as far as I'm concerned it can end right now with you buying into absolutes and me buying into percentages. But I must say I hope you don't view stock prices like this.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    Did you ever hear of the concept rare goods? Let's see the values of those cars if they are mass produced. They'll fall faster than rain drops fall from Hurricane Wilma.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Percentages are more suitable for comparisons!
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    LS430s are not mass produced like Corollas but both rank closely in terms of reliability!

    But my question is who cares?

    A less reliable LS430 would still be a better car than a Corolla!
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    I think we'd all agree that KBB knows numbers. They know resale value. Heck, that's all they do!

    With that in mind, head on over to KBB's website.... About half-way down on the right half of the page, you'll see a section entitled "Best Resale Awards".... Go ahead and click on that link and check out which brand(s) KBB gave their award to......

    I dare ya. ;)
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    We are talkig percentages based on the Blue Book! Absolute dollars has no relevance whatsoever!!

    Call it ESP but I sense a whole slew of future statistical-related posts!


    Dewey, if you are correct on this I for one would be surprised. Len, I would say the true measure of residual value is not "current resale/original MSRP", but "current resale/original purchase price (or cap cost)". Some cars typically sell at bigger discounts than others, so MSRP is not necessarily a comparable number between different brands for true original cost.

    On that score, if after 3 years you can sell a typical 7 for a higher percentage of original purchase price than a typical LS, I would be impressed. To actually figure that out, I assume you could use the links to Edmunds' TMV pricing that Len gave us back in #10790 to determine what a car could be sold for now (I would suggest using the "sale by a private party" as the basis for current resale - that takes the dealer markup/markdown out of the equation). Then you would somehow need to figure out what those cars actually sold for back in 2002.

    In my zipcode, Edmunds says the typical 3 yr old 745Li would sell for $42,029 and the typical LS would sell for $33,809. To be conservative, let's assume the LS originally was bought for $55,000 (which is only about $1000 less than I paid for my '05 with Nav system, premium stereo, etc.). So the LS retained over 61% of original cost. For the 745 to match that, it would have had to have sold for less than $68,372.

    But Edmunds says a "typically equipped" 2005 745Li would now actually sell for $75,978.

    2005 745Li pricing

    Let's say that 3 years ago it would have sold for $2,000 less than in '05 (twice the amount I took off for the LS, just to be conservative again). That would mean that the 745 could have been bought for $73,978. Therefore, the 745 has kept less than 57% of its value after 3 years.

    So which is the residual value leader - the LS that retained over 61% or the 745Li that retained less than 57%?

    Oh yeah, I know, this was one of those "statistical-related posts" that you apparently think are irrelevant....
  • I think the number one sport sedan in this class is the Maserati, followed by Jaguar XJR. Audi S8 and the S55 AMG are about the same. The fact that BMW does not have a M powered package for the 7-series actually makes it less sporty than the models I've mentioned.

    However, I do believe a small percentage of buyers buy the 7 series because they think it's more sporty, because after all, BMW does indeed have more sporty model throughout its lineup, even though the 7 series itself is hardly sporty.

    Even with the sporty models such as S8, S55, or XJR, they make up a very small percentage of total sales, most people that buy these nice big cars buy them for the luxury, the comfort, the sporty models are more headline grabber than anything else.
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    The interesting thing is that this is KBB's projections of who they think will have the best resale value of a 2006 car in 2011. Here's the way they put it:

    Based on well-informed projections by Kelley Blue Book's expert staff of market analysts that are encapsulated in the Kelley Blue Book Residual Value Guide, the awards honor vehicles that are expected to have the best resale value after five years of ownership.

    Thanks, but I'd rather look at past history than someone's guess of what will be 5 years from now. I can evaluate someone's past performance a lot better than I can evaluate someone's future predictions!

    It's funny, because I can remember back in 1994 when MB's residuals were so high that I decided to buy a new rather than used E, because the difference was so small that the new car warranty outweighed it! Previously, I had bought a 1986 735i with 11,000 miles on it in 1987 for about a 25% discount off of new, and assumed I could do the same on an MB, but I couldn't come close to that kind of discount.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    And how many S8 or S63 sales would be made again ????

    I guess you don't understand that everything isn't about sales. We were talking about a sporty sedan that is what the 750i Sport, S8 and upcoming S63 will be, sporty sedans in the full-size luxury car class. They aren't made just for sales, they're made for people who want some with a little more bite, something I guess isn't understood in LS430 land. Who cares what they sell, that doesn't change the fact that they are there.

    Let's face it, MBs and BMWs derive a huge chunk of their Euro sales from low end 3 and C-class cars that are mostly used as sherpas.... taxi cabs, I mean.. These cars litter the streets of Europe - vinyl seats, no A/C, manual windows, steel wheel covers, pretty much bare-bones... All of which counts towards MB and BMWs *prestige*, eh ? Oh, but here in NA, they market them exclusively as luxury brands... Good marketing that's all...

    So what, they ain't lost one lugnut of prestige by doing this for over 100 years. It must be frustrating to keep repeating something as irrelevant as that, because buyers in those countries don't care. If you're going to "face it" then you'd be facing the fact that no matter what BMW and Mercedes sells at the low end their top end M, AMG, V12, 2-door, convertibles etc. etc. get all the glory. This is something Lexus only wishes it had. Now if Lexus can overcome their Toyota roots with certain buyers here then surely Mercedes and BMW can overcome some entry-level products that aren't their main focus. Does it bother LS430 and SC430 buyers that a ES330 is a Camry in leather? Heck no. Ditto goes for a S500 buyers who sees a B200 Turbo or a 750i buyer that sees a 130i in the same showroom. Darn right BMW/Mercedes are masters at marketing, its a cheap shot to knock them for that.

    Yes, MB and BMW are pretigious brands, no doubt, but to make them into these super brands is a myth, especially these days. Notice how the new GS is priced close to the comparable MBs and BMWs. How about the new IS and its MB and BMW competition... practically about same. Does that tell you something ???

    Yeah it does. It says that Lexus see itself getting closer to BMW and Mercedes in those market segments, sure does. The brand itself, years off from doing the same as a whole. BTW, I don't make BMW and Mercedes out to be superbrands, only that they are more prestigious than Lexus. The "Super Brands" would be Bentley, Rolls, Ferrari, Aston-Martin and the like.

    The kinda of sentiment MB had back in 1989. Continue the sarcasm...

    No, that is isn't sarcasm. Lexus being a no-go in their homd market is called a fact. It isn't the Germans fault that Lexus didn't start their dominance in their own market and let foreigners have their own homeland luxury car market.

    Also I noticed on the 2007 LS board you stated that because the LS thread has more traffic than the 2007 S-Class thread that means trouble for the S-Class. I guess that must be the same trouble the better selling E-Class is in next to the much more popular 2006 GS thread. Too funny.

    M
  • mbzlvrmbzlvr Posts: 14
    Los Angeles Times, along with Edmunds.com surveyed CEOs and found that Japanese cars were not on the "most wanted" list. It also mentioned that if the CEO drives a Lexus, the employees better ride a bus so as not to upstage their CEO.

    Ooops, the article said Tercel, not Lexus but just as well, a Toyota is a Toyota, no matter how hard you try to convince yourselves that a Lexus is a luxury marque.

    Ricky
  • Lexus is a Toyota.

    Infinity is a Nissan

    Aston Martin, Jaguar, and Land Rover are all Fords.

    Ferrari is a Fiat

    Lamborghini is an Audi

    Audi is a Volkswagen

    Bentley is a Volkswagen

    Rolls Royce is a BMW

    Maybach is a Mercedes

    Mercedes is a Chrysler

    Saab is a GM

    Come on... you can do better than that.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Can't believe I'm going to say this in Lexus' defense but that article is why newspapers should leave the "car" stuff to actual car magaiznes. A survey of CEOs is one thing, but they usually don't have a clue about the actual cars themselves, WSJ included.

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Oh? Please point me to the Toyota on sale in the US that is a rebadged version of the LS430 for less money. Cant find one? How about the GS, IS, or SC? Still coming up short? If a Toyota is a Toyota, shouldnt there be a Toyota version of the LS? I wonder why anyone would possibly buy a Ford GT? A Ford is a Ford. They might as well drive a Focus, right?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    Thanks, Gary. I was trying to be generous by giving him MSRP instead of actual sale price. By the way that price you noted on the LS residual didn't include the Nav and ML so the 61% is really closer to 65%. The typical options on the LS are the ones from the premium edition. I've pointed out the KBB shortcomings often on these boards but I was tired of going there. Their projected future residuals are based on lease residuals being offered by the manufacturers. The more you subsidize a leasae the greater you do in KBB. It provides about as much value as someone trying to predict the stock market values in 3-5 years. But if Dewey wants to buy that yardstick than I hope he lesaes his cars. The residual I'll never forget is the 2001 S-class. MB was offering high 60's as future retained percentage value in the leases I was offered (and they were MB finance deals) after 3 years. Actual result was high 40's. The E-430 was just as bad. As usual future predictions and reality are two different things.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Appreciate your attempts to seek alternative methods in determining residual values and I can fully understand your rationale but your estimate is just as good aa guesstimate as what is provided by the bluebook.

    Using the following ratio:

    (05 resales bought 3 years ago)/(05 Edmunds pricing) is as an a imperfect figure as using (current resale)/(original msrp)

    A perfect residual value figure would need the prices of the original cost and the current resale. Unfortunately as far as I know that data is missing!

    Here in Canada we cant even consider the above computations because there is no equivalent Edmunds TVM pricing for Canadian vehicles . In fact we dont even have access to Dealer invoice pricing information!

    Bottom Line: The Blue Book ranked BMW/Mini as number one and the Blue Book is considered the authority in residual values.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    Okay, if you refuse to like KBB, then how about ALG? They advise all manufactuers on lease residuals. They do a pretty darned good job from what most industry experts say.... ALG sets the standard.

    For two years in a row, BMW had the highest residual value as a brand for the luxury segment:

    http://www.alg.com/awards.aspx

    Lexus is a respectable #2.... but there's nothing like being #1!

    (Of course, I know what happens next.... In response we'll start comparing the residuals for the LS430 to the 7-Series........)

    Remember that there is far more to an entire brand than one car! Especially one that only makes up 5% of total sales..... Oh, FWIW, what are the current residuals on those two cars? Aren't they about the same, anyways? Around 60% for 36m/36k?....
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