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High End Luxury Cars

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  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Pricing.

    1. MB starts at 29,970, Lexus at 30,280. MB's product line BRACKETS Lexus' in price. If Lexus ran 30-70k and MB 50-140k you would have a valid point on price. But MB starts slightly lower.

    2. "10k-30k more for BASE MB models compared to loaded Lexus models"

    a. The prices given on the Lexus website are for base, not loaded, vehicles.

    b. The 10-30k premium you suggest is only true for some comparisons. But even there, if you look at lease rates the gap is narrower, or even non-existent.

    c. Your vehicle-by-vehicle matchups don’t make sense:

    S vs LS. LS is often cross-shopped with the E, not solely with the S. You can find examples on these very boards.

    SL500 vs SC430. What about the CLK and SLK?

    3. “The greater the price, the less willing consumers are to buy any particular product.” You forgot to add the qualifier “all else being equal”. Because if there is suitably higher content to go along with a higher price, the higher priced product need not sell in lower units.

    For instance, I don’t have numbers but it wouldn’t be surprising if diamond engagement rings outsold sapphire ones, despite being higher priced. Why? Because of the prestige and tradition that go with diamond. Higher content.

    Prestige is valuable, and, other things equal, if one product has more prestige it can command a higher price. PRESTIGE IS JUST LIKE ANY OTHER “FEATURE” OF A PRODUCT, such as larger engine, better styling, etc…insomuch as people are willing to pay extra for it.

    Suppose there is a housing developer who is building new homes on a large tract of land. Suppose that he offers only two models, “m4” which has 4000 sq ft on 1 acre, and “m5” which has 5000 sf on 1.25 acres. You are saying “The greater the price, the less willing consumers are to buy any particular product.”…meaning that it is impossible to sell in the same quantities if one is priced higher. I submit that if m5 is priced only slightly higher than m4, say 5%, then it will not only sell more units (directly opposite what you suggest), but it will probably sell MULTIPLE TIMES as many units as m4. Similarly if the developer tries to price too much for the extra content, say 45%, then m4 will outsell m5 by multiple times. If follows that there is a some price premium between 5% and 45% where the two will sell in EQUAL numbers, DESPITE m5 being priced higher. I don’t know if that premium will be 20% or some other number, but the important point is that if a product has higher content, be it size or prestige, it can outsell even a lower-priced product.

    We can see this principle in operation in the real world, even WITHIN THE MB PRODUCT LINE. Did you know that in some years the S500 outsells the S430? How could that be, if “The greater the price, the less willing consumers are to buy any particular product”??? Answer: sufficiently higher content, including prestige. So you can’t use price as an excuse for MB’s US sales performance, because there is an offsetting factor at work: prestige.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    "the funny part about that Car and Driver comparison you refer to is that the LS430 scored DEAD LAST for skid-pad, road-holding, braking distance, and other driving dynamics."

    You should check your facts. C&D tested the LS with all-season tires and the S with summer tires. Somehow I think that might have had some impact on the relative "skid-pad, road-holding, braking distance, and other driving dynamics"...don't you?

    Put another way, if summer tires don't have performance advantages over all-seasons, why does anyone make them or buy them?
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    "Just admit it, when it comes to safety MB offers more features, offers new features earlier, and offers more comprehensive crash protection than does Lexus."

    As I tried to make clear earlier, I don't dispute MB's 120 years of SAFETY innovations, and I don't think others here have either, so why keep pounding away on the safety issue?

    Where we differ on innovation is the relative merits of post-1990 TOTAL innovation (not just safety) by the respective companies. As I posted earlier, Toyota has 2.5 TIMES the number of issued patents.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Forget which mag it was but the description never left me. They described the LS handling as "greasy". That goes way beyond tires. Do you know how a picture is worth a thousand words? Well that one word is almost worth a thousand test drives.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I'll grant that outfitted with 18" summers instead of 17" all-seasons, the LS still isn't going to be a BMW in disguise.

    But Mr. tiag_m5/jovialanus somehow left out part of the C&D comparo: the LS's "Acceleration is brisk: second best to 60 mph; third in the quarter, at 95 mph, as it showed taillights to three of the four Germans. Yet its fuel economy on our trip tied the Jag's at 21 mpg, topped the Audi's, BMW's, and Benz's by 2 mpg"
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Phew !!! Long post.... tiag_m5, are you related to Denaliinpa, by any chance ?

    "Lexus lags behind the automotive market in safety, hasn’t innovated a single safety feature, and refuses to provide basic safety features on its models?"

    What a tall statement to make ? So what does these things you state so emphatically translate to ? Poorer product ? Less safe product ? What ?
  • Merc.

    Aren't you the one who talks about Lexus stealing all those Mercedes Innovations...

    I simply agreed with you...

    The prof that lexus makes them better is the Lexus Dependability compared to Mercedes..Lexus has most of the same innovations..just put them in a couple of years after Mercedes...Yet ours work flawlessly...and You wish yours did.
  • Tiag:

    My 01 Ultra has Curtin side airbags in the back and side airbags in the front.

    Since this is the High end Luxury Board I will stick to responding to The LS.

    I am not sure what emergency telematrics is..I have to ask is that the thing where if you get into a crash or your air bag inflates a 911 call goes out automatically with the location of your car...I have that...Plus an Emergency button that I can Push...It all works through the GPS system

    So both Lexus and Mercedes don't offer Battery disconnect on fuel shot off...I don't know if my Lexus does or not and I am not going to wade through Hundreds of pages of Manual to try and find out.

    The Price Barrier is a Testement to Lexus construction Techniques...The fact Mercedes is Overpriced is a Bad thing...for them RIGHT?

    WHAT IS THIS INNOVATION..That results in 56% lower fatalities?.. Whatever it is I am sure My Lexus has it....Is it Airbags, Seatbelts, Crumple zones, VSC, ABS, ?...What pray tell are you talking about?
  • Tiag:

    So you are saying Mercedes Uses their Upscale Buyers like Ginney pigs to test their Innovations and then put those innovations in all their cars later when they are sure they work? AND they upscale buyer gets to pay for the privledge of being a Ginney pig.

    It has already been acknowledged that Mercedes and sometimes BMW will often engineer innovations that LEXUS will not have for a couple of years.
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    Shut the door of any current Benz (except the G class) and is just doesn't feel as solid as MBs from ten years ago. The interior materials feel cheaper.

    BMWs also don't have the same build quality. The current M3 has had TWO "service actions" for its engine because of rod bearings.

    Porsche has had an RMS leak (rear main seal) in some Porsche 996s and 997s and Boxsters. They know they have a problem but won't fix it. The 911 Turbo and GT3 have a different engine and don't suffer this problem.

    Is a 7 speed transmision an innovation? I guess, but who cares? Give me a car with stuff that works over "innovations" that don't.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Aren't you the one who talks about Lexus stealing all those Mercedes Innovations..."

    Nope. That was your claim.

    "The prof that lexus makes them better is the Lexus Dependability compared to Mercedes..Lexus has most of the same innovations..just put them in a couple of years after Mercedes...Yet ours work flawlessly...and You wish yours did.

    Again, one single example of this being true would be nice. One example. Is it airbags, ABS, ESP, Brake Assist? What are these things that Lexus made so much better. I've asked this question for over a year now and yet no answer still. Again an example of airbags, abs or any other MB innovation not working would be nice also. All you'll do is turn around and repeat the above, but that doesn't make is so. Where is the proof to any of these claims you've made? Another poster, tiag_m5 is asking you for the same thing.

    You do understand that there is a difference between a rear side airbag in the seat or door, as opposed to side curtain airbag that stretches from front to rear? It seems you're trying to say they are the same thing. They aren't, and the LS430 doesn't have side airbags in the rear seat or doors like all the other cars in this class do.

    M
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    OK, how about this one-- look at the S class forum and see how many people have had problems with the air suspension systems in their MBs. Then see how many people have complained about the suspension system in their LS Ultras.
  • Ok - you win. Only problem is MB comes in 31st out of 32 brands in Germany in relaibility and can't even get a poor rating in CR's figures. They get full black circle everytime on every car. Translation - abysmal.

    Look, I never said MB was more reliable than Lexus. In fact, I said quite the opposite. That said, MB reliability is blown way out of proportion. Most problems are minor in nature (i.e. burnt out light, broken switch) and not anything disastrous like a cracked engine block. Guess how many major problems I have had with my 2000 S430 that I bought in May '99? NONE. The battery quit on me last year, but that's it. In the end, I would prefer the piece of mind in safety of a MB than the reliable nature of the LS430.

    I'll take a very safe car and no.1 reliability rating over your sick statistics any day of the week.

    Your loss I suppose. Maybe when you roll your LS430 and its shoddy engineering allows the roof to collapse and crush your skull you'll think differently. Or maybe when your rear passenger receives rib fractures because Lexus doesn't offer rear side airbags you'll think differently. Or maybe when you roll an SC430 and you have your head sheared off on the asphalt because Lexus is too cheap to include a rollover protection system, available in cars that cost half as much, you'll think differently… but then again maybe you wont because you’ll be dead. BTW, what is "sick" about my statistics? Do they make you sick because you know they are true? Interesting.

    Your price issue is absurd. Lexus allows you to opt for the things MB forces down your throat. Opt for them all and you're in the low 70's. Try to keep price affordable and you are high 50's. No LS is built at the MSRP without any options so throwing up a mid 50's price is pure BS. But I thought choice was good not bad. I guess when it comes to options and pricing its bad but when it comes to derivatives of cars its great.

    I'm not quite sure what your point is here. I acknowledge that Lexus offers many features standard that you must pay for with MB. This only further proves my point. A fully optioned LS430 costs $66,339. A base S430 costs $77,970. Let me rephrase what I said originally: Mercedes vehicles COST MORE than comparable Lexus vehicles. Why is this so hard for you to understand? Because Lexus vehicles COST LESS than Mercedes vehicles, it is only natural that Lexus should sell a greater volume of cars.

    By the way with MB's horrendous integration of electronics I hope all the safety iems work when someone needs them.

    Don't worry; they do.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    For one Lexus' air suspension has been an afterthough since day one, it isn't even on enough LS430s to make a differece on this board. Every S-Class has air suspension.

    Furthermore air suspension problems aren't new in the least and they aren't a Mercedes first innovation.

    As far as how the supsension "works" it does just that, the S-Class has a wonderful ride with better handling than a LS430 too boot.

    M
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    These German vs. Lexus battles rage on endlessly, but let me ask both sides one question:

    If an S, a 7, and an LS cost exactly the same, and they were all determined to be equally reliable (based on JD Powers surveys, etc.), which car would you buy?

    Personally, as someone who has owned MBs, BMWs and now an LS, I have to admit I would go for the S.
  • BTW, did you change your moniker to tiag_m5 today to distance yourself from the incorrect claim that airbags were an MB innovation

    Yeah, I did that and made sure to include the same profile information in order to disguise my identity :/

    No really, I just wanted a name that wasn't so... vulgar, since I new this would be a long battle :)

    Oh and that GM airbag thing is a bit of a misnomer. Yes they experimented with front airbags first, but unfortunately they never implemented them into wide scale production cars. Mercedes introduced the driver airbag on the 1981 S class.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Shut the door of any current Benz (except the G class) and is just doesn't feel as solid as MBs from ten years ago. The interior materials feel cheaper.

    I suggest you check out the SLK and CLS, they are built better than other current Mercedes. No car is built like those older Mercedes were, especially in sheetmetal thickness. Maybe a Maybach, but I haven't shut a door on one.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I still don't see how you could think that price doesn't play a role in sale.

    Mercedes' SL, CL, and S-Class sell at prices which there no Lexus model to even compare, pricewise. That doesn't limit their sales at all?

    The SC430 compared the SLK? Not likely. One is a luxury car with no roof, the other is a much tigher, and now sports car. The CLK and SC line up perfectly though except for the AMG models.

    That Mercedes lines starts at a few thousand dollars less than Lexus' doesn't account for the dozen or more cars they have that cost more than any Lexus. If their lineups matched up evenly from top to bottom then a sales contest would be truly level, but they aren't.

    The LS430 is basically trying to hit two sections of the market at once. The LS430's base price is in indeed in E-Class territory, but it can be optioned to almost base S-Class territory, again a brillant strategy on their part, but they don't see for S-Class prices either way so how can you really compare sales of the S to the LS and say the LS is better because it sells more. It costs less, simply put. Everyone does not lease either.

    "Where we differ on innovation is the relative merits of post-1990 TOTAL innovation (not just safety) by the respective companies. As I posted earlier, Toyota has 2.5 TIMES the number of issued patents."

    Patents can be issued for the slightest improvement to an existing technology, this count unless you've gone through each one still doesn't mean Toyota has innovated more than Mercedes since 1990. All the true break throughs were already done years and years ago.

    All Toyota did was add to them.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "You can argue this snob attitude all you want, but profits are the telling story. It's like I tell my kids, no one cares how smart you think you are, it's the grades that count..

    What does this have to do with safety engineering or equipment? You ride down the road thinking about Toyota's profits? Or does it cross your mind how safe and well built you car is...that safety part courtesy of Mercedes, Volvo and others. Nobody cares about Toyotas profits when they go buy one, much less riding down the street in one.

    "You offer opinions, I offer facts. I've taken a nasty 35 MPH side impact in my LS400 and the car barely moved. I heard a faint thump..That's about it.."

    Courtesy of all those who showed Toyota the way. Likewise Toyota will do the same with Hybrids. Heck Ford and Nissan either have or will have Hybrids because of Toyota. Its the same thing.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "By the way with MB's horrendous integration of electronics I hope all the safety iems work when someone needs them.

    If there were any examples of this even remotely being true wouldn't the FT, WSJ or some other news agency have reported it by now? Mercedes' problems with electronics were or are with Nav systems and other convience features, not any safety innovation. Again if you have proof of any safety equipment not working I'd like to read about it. Otherwise this is just hype at best. You think Mercedes airbags, abs, pre-safe, brake assist and other safety features don't work, yet they've been on the roads for years and years? Come on now.

    "Lexus allows you to opt for the things MB forces down your throat."

    Very curious to know what these things are? What could Mercedes possibly force on someone in a luxury car that they either don't want or that Lexus makes optional?

    M
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