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High End Luxury Cars

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  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    So, I get it . . . Toyota will collect an extra two hundred dollars for every car it sells and then send it to GM to help them out!

    Or . . . maybe . . . Toyota raises prices as an excuse, and KEEPS additional profits, becoming even more powerful and arrogant.

    Hmmmm. Let's see here . . . which one is more likely?
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    BMW is best in class for ugliness and cheezy new interiors.. Who's cost-cutting their interiors the worst today? BMW easily followed by M.B.

    Sapparo,

    my fellow German car fan!

    It is so nice of you to join us with that amusing post!

    Now how about posting something that resembles reality?
  • talk about spin! in your eyes MB doesn't have any credibility to begin with. MB said up front that the system would not
    function properly inside of a metal building. there is certainly nothing wrong with them simulating a new technology that when used properly will save lives. did you need to see an air bag explode in an actual living persons face to feel comfortable that the air bag would do what it is designed to do? in this weeks Autoweek on the last page they a have a paragraph about this demonstration. the building was a steel structure which confuses the radar based system.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    talk about spin! in your eyes MB doesn't have any credibility to begin with. MB said up front that the system would not function properly inside of a metal building..

    Actually, my initial passing interest in this story was the fact that the new S-class could potentially have such a safety issue with system failure leading to over $500K in damages to three S cars. Especially since MB has so much riding on this car ! I read up about it and couldn't find any much contrarian opinion. I posted it here for Merc1's response, if he had one. But Merc1 mentioned it was a hoax. To me that looked strange, that MB would *hoax* itself using its own engineers, in front of a TV crew, and then scapegoat a magazine reporter. And of course, Merc1 challenged me to do my research better, so I dug around and found the update to this story.

    Does it sound right that MB would design a system that they know doesn't work in a particular environment, then invite members of the press to witness such a potential failure ? Especially the caliber of the press they invited, including a TV crew. Which marketing guru thought up that idea ? Ultimately, MB needs to better market their product and not set themselves up for such potential disaster. Someone in Stuttgart ought to re-examine their strategy and stop the shenanigan. I cannot imagine Toyota setting themselves up for such a situation....Is this a symptom of something larger, or just an aberration ???
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Tell you what, you pulled a different version from a "Club Lexus" website and I pulled on from a Mercedes-Benz news website, and neither of us were actually there so we really don't know what happened. Two very different versions of the same event. Suffice to say I know you'll believe the version that makes Mercedes looks the worst because it fits in with your determined (but baseless)), but typical everything-is-wrong-with-Mercedes slant.

    What I do know is that every single roadtest of the S-Class so far, MT,CAR,C&D,Motorweek,Automobile,Road and Track and countless other European magazines have driven the car and report that the system works as functioned so until there is some real world case of this system failed the whole thing is nothing but BS. Do you really think I'd buy something from a "Club Lexus" website about Mercedes failure?

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Merc1 what's your take on why Mercedes had to borrow the Mazda RX 8 on its flagship car(could it be because it was designed in Japan?)and current Toyota RAV 4 design for the 06 ML.. Isn't it funny how the MB copying theme is now on the other foot?

    I think it isn't doesn't even begin to catch up with what Toyota and Lexus have copied over the years so you have no room to talk, at least not yet.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Does it sound right that MB would design a system that they know doesn't work in a particular environment, then invite members of the press to witness such a potential failure ? Especially the caliber of the press they invited, including a TV crew. Which marketing guru thought up that idea ? Ultimately, MB needs to better market their product and not set themselves up for such potential disaster. Someone in Stuttgart ought to re-examine their strategy and stop the shenanigan. I cannot imagine Toyota setting themselves up for such a situation....Is this a symptom of something larger, or just an aberration ???

    That doesn't make any sense. Mercedes didn't "invite" anyone to do anything. A magazine wanted to test this feature and when they were told by MB that it wouldn't work under the conditions present they decided to run the test anyway. My guess would be that MB only stepped in once they realized that the editor was going to run the test anyway and that under those conditions the system wouldn't work - so they decided to help out - which you're right MB shouldn't have participated, but would else would they do? Stand there and watch it fail or try to at least simulate how the system works?

    Secondly, where in the world are you going to using a cruise control system in a all-metal enviroment on the road OAC? Please tell me where you'd encounter such and "environment" and what type of person would use such a system in that type of enviroment. If you're in a tunnel with foggy conditions why on earth would you try to use any type of cruise control system?

    Mercedes needs to better market their product? What does that mean? Not let stupid magazine editors conduct ill-concieved tests sounds more like it and if some MB engineers were in on it they should be dealt with also - since it appears they knew the system would work in such an environment. Why trust MB's reputation to an editor who can't mash the brakes the right time is beyond me. If Mercedes is guilty of anything it is going along with such a lame demonstration in the first place - if I believe something from a "CL" website.

    Hoax, farce whatever, the test was BS plain and simple. The system wasn't even activated, an editor was supposed to step and the brakes and didn't.

    This amounts to nothing more the usual anti-Mercedes hype that gets tossed around as it were fact.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well it’s been that way for the last few years now. BMW is doomed because of styling and idrive, yet their sales are on fire all over the world. Audi will never make it for various reasons, but the favorite is Mercedes-Benz. Can't go a week without something negative being said about Mercedes, usually with an attached comment about how Lexus is going to cause their demise and how Lexus will rule the world.

    I see you pointed about where VW/Audi got some recognition for safety, yet of course this will be seen by some as some sort of failure by BMW,Mercedes and Volvo.

    None of the Toyota/Lexus apologists tried to spin the "lets help GM" nonsense - I'm shocked. Could it be that they see it for the disingenuous crap it really was?

    M
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Mercedes didn't "invite" anyone to do anything. A magazine wanted to test this feature and when they were told by MB that it wouldn't work under the conditions present they decided to run the test anyway. My guess would be that MB only stepped in once they realized that the editor was going to run the test anyway and that under those conditions the system wouldn't work - so they decided to help out - which you're right MB shouldn't have participated, but would else would they do? Stand there and watch it fail or try to at least simulate how the system works?

    There is no *the sky is falling on MB* vendetta out there unless you assume one. Every make gets its fair share of criticisms and defense.... Its all part of the debate... WRT the PCS story, I quite understand what you are saying and I don't really disagree since neither of us were there, so all is heresay. BUT, something is wrong with the story.

    It will be inconceivable that a magazine and TV crew will simply *invite* themselves to an MB facility to test the S-class without an official invitation from MB. Secondly, the whole thing had to be put together and managed by MB, not the mag/TV crew... Thirdly, something unforeseen happened and someone had to take the fall...the mag editor was blamed, even though its in a controlled MB location, managed by MB engineers, yet an outside entity was blamed.... Sounds strange to me thats all..

    Oh well... the S will be here soon enough, and all this will be fully tested all over again, this time by buyers whose opinions count the most...
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    It will be inconceivable that magazine and TV crews will simply *invite* themselves to an MB facility to test the S-class without an official invitation from MB. Secondly, the whole thing had to be managed and run by MB, not the mag/TV crew... Thirdly, something unforeseen happened and someone had to take the fall...the mag editor was blamed, even though its in a controlled MB location, managed by MB engineers, yet an outside entity was blamed... Sound strange to me thats all..

    Thats just it OAC, this ridiculous test was done at the Magazine's test facility not Mercedes-Benz's. This was not done at "Mercedes-Benz controlled facility" This is what I mean by at least getting the facts straight before blasting Mercedes over something that wasn't their fault to begin with.

    I know you dislike Mercedes, but do you really dislike MB that much to actually think they'd set up a test in one of their own facilities knowing the system they were testing wouldn't work? My goodness.

    If this had been Mercedes' idea don't you think they would have set this test up in an ideal location, uh like wherever they developed the system in the first place?

    M
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    this ridiculous test was done at the Magazine's test facility not Mercedes-Benz's...

    My bad... I need to adjust my contacts a lil' more, eh ?

    I know you dislike Mercedes...

    That is not true. I have loads of friends with MBs. I ride in one every so often... but me personally, I won't buy one for two reasons - overpriced (imo) and quality/reliability issues. On this forum at least, what we have are our biases, none any worse or better than the other.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    This is true, about all of us having our biases, but the above happens far too much around here when it comes to Mercedes and German brands in general - distortion of the facts in order to paint the worst possible picture. That is worse than just having a "bias".

    M
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    "..distortion of the facts in order to paint the worst possible picture. That is worse than just having a "bias".

    You are certainly entitled to your opinion, of course, but I must disagree. No one distorts facts around here.. rather everyone argues from their fav brand position.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    OK, I'm going to throw this in. There really is NO TRUE good-looking luxury car you can buy that doesn't have reliability issues of some sort. It seems to come with the territory. In fact, the more gorgeous a car gets, there is a tendency to have a somewhat proportional statistical relationship to reliability issues, or upkeep in general. Even to the point of exotic or ultra high end vehicles, which will cost very large sums to maintain. It is pretty darn ridiculous to compare, for example, a Toyota Prius with a BMW 7-Series or Mercedes S-Class or Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas.

    The beautiful cars come at a price. And while it is an undisputable truth that Lexus has generally good reliability, their service costs can actually be measureably high due to their frequent "entire part replacement" procedures. Another important point to consider about Lexus is this: Just because a vehicle is expensive or has decent reliability, it doesn't automatically make it a beautiful luxury car. I have always said, look at vehicles that are several years old, and you can obviously see which ones have staying power. For example, the Jag, BMW, and Mercedes ALL continue to have great presence after many years. Sorry to say, but the Lexus looks like a "Japanese clone", even if it is made well.

    From a distance, the Lexus could be a regular Toyota. Basically that's what they are anyway . . . well-trimmed, well-equipped, and nicely-appointed Toyota's. Not to say there is something wrong with that. It's a good formula to sell cars, but, again, from a distance (and sometimes close up), the Lexus LX is the Land Cruiser, the GX is the 4-Runner, the ES looks like a Camry, the LS (although a different vehicle) looks like an Avalon. This IS the Lexus story, not a biased view.

    This IS the history of Lexus, like it or not, TO BE A PREMIUM TOYOTA COUNTERPART. My goodness, no matter how reliable, Lexus is NOT a Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas, or a BMW 7-Series, or a Mercedes Benz S-Class, or a Bentley, or an Aston Martin.

    TRUE Luxury, style, class, and prestige may, in fact, come with a greater degree of upkeep. Heck, a mansion wil have more upkeep than a condominium, and a yacht will have more upkeep than a rowboat. It comes with the territory!!!!!!!! And the territory includes Mercedes Benz, Jaguar, BMW, Bentley, Aston Martin, Porsche, and others.

    By the way, the yacht probably has a dingey, so I guess in that regard Toyota could be included.
    That's just the way it IS!
    TagMan
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    The Avalon looks more like the GS than the LS.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    TRUE Luxury, style, class, and prestige may, in fact, come with a greater degree of upkeep. Heck, a mansion wil have more upkeep than a condominium, and a yacht will have more upkeep than a rowboat. It comes with the territory!!!!!!!!

    Would you have been singing the same tune 20 years ago, when MB was known for reliability?
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Routine MB maintenance was very steep in those days.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    “By the way, the yacht probably has a dingey, so I guess in that regard Toyota could be included.”

    Ah, good post, and funny at that. I just love the masters of metaphor. However, I think you will raise the ire of the Lexicans. They should be coming out of the woodwork any minute now.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    From a distance, the Lexus could be a regular Toyota. Basically that's what they are anyway . . . well-trimmed, well-equipped, and nicely-appointed Toyota's

    This is what they WERE ! But is the new GS and IS Toyotas ? Of course not ! These are built from the ground up on a new chassis. Would the new LS be a regular Toyota as you alluded to ?

    This IS the history of Lexus, like it or not, TO BE A PREMIUM TOYOTA COUNTERPART. My goodness, no matter how reliable, Lexus is NOT a Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas, or a BMW 7-Series, or a Mercedes Benz S-Class, or a Bentley, or an Aston Martin.

    Again, I'll re-phrase this more correctly. This WAS the history of Lexus... And those other cars you mentioned are NO Lexus either. Maybe you have not noticed, Lexus is doing real well, and in the most important market, the NA market, Lexus is the #1 of luxury car makers. Does that not tell you something ? Would Jaguar not love to have the level of success that Lexus has ? Ditto MB, and BMW... Love it or hate it, Lexus is a force in the industry. One can even argue that no marque brand has made more dramatic changes to the luxury car market here in NA than Lexus. Of course, there are historians who'd rather we live in the past. Nothing wrong with history per se, but failure to acknowledge the present is wrong. Lexus is among the elites in the luxury market, whether you like it or not. That is simple reality in today's auto market !

    Here is something I'd like very much to debate on. In the boardrooms of MB, VW/Audi, BMW, Jaguar, which car maker do they talk about most ? I'd wager its Toyota/Lexus. Would make sense seeing the dominating position the latter is, and the potential dominant position in the future starting in 2006. Sorry, Tagman, times have changed...As Len (ljflx) would point out very eloquently, Lexus' price has increased with each new release, and slowly but surely are approaching MB/BMW level. Notice where the new GS sells for, at the 5-series level. Notice where the new IS sells at, at the 3-er price point. See the changing landscape ? The next LS would be priced quite close to comparable MBs, you'll see, and it would sell real strong too, just like the new IS and GS are currently doing. That is success...
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I AM in an environment where there is talk about cars with very often little or no regard to budget limitations. I agree that the Lexus is frequently a topic of discussion and has a well-earned reputation. There is no dispute over that at all. What I am saying, however, is that as the ability and willingness to buy and maintain a high-end car increases, the Lexus becomes LESS of a consideration. There IS a sweet spot for it, I'll admit. It is the first tiers of successful folks who are VERY concerned about the reliability, because they do not want to have any additional out-of-pocket- expenses to upkeep the vehicle. Also, they need to be a bit "pointy-headed" about their decision, so as not to look too flamboyant. These are the "clipboared buyers" with their copy of Consumer Reports magazine attached that "analyze" the purchase so that they can be comfortable and sleep well at night believing that they made a "smart" decision. It's a different mentality than buying a car simply because it is gorgeous and upscale with tons of prestige. The Lexus IS model that you refer to is NOT that kind of car, even if it has its "own" platform. Heck, that car would compare more to an Acura or Jetta, or something like that . . . NOT an S-Class or Jaguar XJ, etc.

    Recently, a friend, whose wife is a successful real-estate agent, wanted a new Jaguar XJ sedan, but after discussing it, she was afraid that her clients might get the wrong message. They decided to "tone it down" and get her a Lexus sedan because it wouldn't have much of an impact on her clients. And that is a great example. The car has LESS impact and does NOT STIR the EMOTIONS the way the upper-end BMW's, JAG's, and Mercedes do. It's just in a different category, successful or not. Lexus is still a well-appointed Toyota, no matter how you slice it. Even if some of the models are only marketed with the Lexus label.
    TagMan
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    the NA market, Lexus is the #1 of luxury car makers

    False!

    Lexus is not the #1 luxury car maker in any country!

    I think by now we all know who is is the #1 luxury car company in the USA, dont we?

    In Canada Lexus is not at all as popular here as in the USA.

    Here is something I'd like very much to debate on. In the boardrooms of MB, VW/Audi, BMW, Jaguar, which car maker do they talk about most ? I'd wager its Toyota/Lexus

    False again!

    MB's key focus is BMW

    Audi's key focus is BMW/MB

    Jaguar's key focus is moving upscale after encountering disappointments with their Jaguar X type.

    BMW's key focus is being number one luxury car maker and staying number one

    The focus of Lexus according to Clements is to beat BMW(although the GS is no threat to the BMW5 and the IS no threat to the BMW3)
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    Ah, a car that stirs the emotions doesn't mean it is a good car. My family has both MB, and BMW, but they are in for repair more often than our Lexuses. Here's the point, TagMan: people nowadays don't buy cars to just look at them.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    In our family we dont only look at our 1983 MB300D and a 99 BMW323i , but we also drive them! In fact it is a good thing that we can drive these two cars because in all honesty our cars are not the "best of lookers"

    but they are in for repair more often than our Lexuses.

    I am sure your Lexuses are more reliable! Sonatas are more reliable than Camrys. So what??

    My wife and I maintain tight auto budets(we are both accountants by background) and would ditch our cars in a second if they were expensive to maintain! That has not happened yet!
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    I think you will raise the ire of the Lexicans. They should be coming out of the woodwork any minute now

    The Victory Speech

    We have managed to re-take the Alamo and it appears that we have won this war of attrition !

    All Lexicans have finally become worn out by their own arguments!

    To the victor belong the spoils!
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    It's good to see a LOT of agreement on this. If no one cared about what a car looked like the auto business would not be the business it is today. APPEARANCE is a HUGE factor in the auto business. Of course, not the ONLY factor. Design studios and departments are CRITICAL to the success of a car.

    And your point is so correct when you admit: As a Lexus owner, you don't care much about the appearance of your car!!!!! Perfect for you! You've made my whole point, and I thank you! Yes, you can feel successful in your Lexus, but . . .

    For the rest of us that DO appreciate the beauty and prestige of a gorgeous and fine luxury car, we would not be driving a Lexus for that reason. We would rather drive Mercedes Benz, Jaguar, BMW, Porsche, Aston Martin, Bentley, R.R., etc. Truly, world's apart.

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Thank you, Dewey!!!!

    We are united once more!!!

    TagMan
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    Thanks for agreeing that MB and BMW are not as reliable as Lexus. They used to look good, but the new S class does not. Too bad. Sooner or later, like reliability, they will loss the beauty part to Japanese too. Thanks again. Case closed.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    You still don't get it, Lexican. No one is disagreeing that Lexus is generally more statistically reliable than almost ANY other car on the planet. You can enjoy that statistic all day and all night. It's all yours. You've got it. But hands off any claims to being a high-end marque. They do not rightly belong to you. Like I've already said, statistically the great and gorgeous cars cars do generally require more upkeep, though not in every case, and it often just comes with the territory. But, what a wonderful territory! And . . . when it comes to the ownership of a car with prestige, gorgeous style, and all the qualitites that make for a high-end marque, you are out of the club, and can never get in. (hint: a nice European vehicle would help) Keep your clipboard and Consumer Reports magazine in the glovebox of your Lexus. As for me . . . please pass the Grey Poupon!
    TagMan
  • martianmartian Posts: 220
    I would think that luxury cars should be tops in reliability? After all, they are assembled in fairly small quantities, and they are made and designed by the best minds of the industry. To me, there is NO excuse for the transmission of a $75,000 Jaguar failing at 20,000 miles! But that is what you read about these brands..and to see a real high-end marque like M-B having more initial problems than a Chevy is something very wrong. LEXUS has found a niche..among people who want a luxury car with little downtime.To a lot of people, that is important :lemon:
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I'll stay with this a little more. Without a doubt, when a beautiful and expensive car fails miserably, it is tragic. When a Chevy fails, it's just another day. That's because of the IMAGE asociated with the high-end marque. That's the whole point. It IS MORE MEANINGFUL when these things happen to the great cars. But, let's be balanced here. Reliability statistics were never meant to be interpreted to mean that all the great cars are living in the shop! It IS an indication that those cars are more likely to visit the service center more often, but it does not have to be catastrophic. The statistics are not measured in dollars spent, but more about frequency of repair. Also, there is merit to the argument that high-end owners are typically fussier about their cars, and tend to want things just right. After all, having paid all that money . . . they will often visit the service department to get things perfect. Here's another BALANCED view. Almost every vehicle dealership has a service department. All those cars in the shops (even the Lexus's) are not in there just getting an oil change. Go take a visit and you will see there are Lexus's getting major repairs, too. But, then again, as we are pointing out . . . it's just not nearly as unfortunate to see a broken Lexus as it is to see a broken BMW. It stirs the soul, somehow, doesn't it? There is a greater feeling of sadness and disappointment when that gorgeous Jaguar needs to be fixed. Do you get it? When celebrities have issues, the world knows about it. When you have issues, only your friends and family know. There is a GREATER attention and PRESTIGE that goes along with a high-end marque. Thus, the greater disappointment when they have their faults. I'm very certain that the owners of Mercedes, BMW's, Jaguar's, etc. KNOW what I am saying, but I would bet anything that the Lexican does not understand this at all! And that's just more of what separates the two worlds.
    TagMan
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