Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





High End Luxury Cars

1378379381383384771

Comments

  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Why own a Audi?

    Audi does not have the performance/handling of a BMW or the reliability of a Lexus or the status of a Benz but
    IMO they have the best "fit and finish interior quality" in the industry.

    Based on that A.T Kearney study which was not performed by a bunch of flunkies as claimed by one forum member:

    New and interesting exteriors draw consumers to showrooms, but it's the
    interior styling that closes the deal," said Carrannanto. "For the consumer, a
    vehicle interior is a lot like a living room and they have to like it before
    they'll go through with the purchase."
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Your well-worded post makes me realize that different brands are successful for different reasons. In fact it seems to me that people will actually turn to a particular brand because of the success it represents and they expect.

    Yes. The disagreement comes when one side suggests that what they look for in a brand is more important than what the other side looks for. Everyone here, including me is guilty of this.

    The problem, then is when a particular marque no longer represents what people expect from it. Such as, the reliability question that recently has hit MB. I believe MB will work through it, in my opinion, and I also think people buy MB for other reasons.

    This is true, which is why I listed several things that Mercedes is known or prized for. This is why I think Mercedes situation has a subtle, yet clear difference to say GM's situation back in the day when the Japanese (and Europeans) were coming on strong. Mercedes still makes great car in most respects outside of absolute reliability. GM on the other hand simply ignored the competition and wished they would go away + they built some truly lousy cars to boot. I mean Mercedes aren't ugly, slow, under-engineered or unsafe, but they could use a overhaul in the reliability area for sure. Mercedes has made a many changes to remain competitive, which is one reason for the current trouble. Mercedes doesn't do cheap well. Remember the old way was to build the car with very little consideration to cost (in other words their cars were of the engineers dreams) and then let the accountants deal with pricing them to make a profit. The 2000 S-Class showed that they didn't fully understand how to build to a price. Now this new S-Class appears to be correct from a build quality point of view as does the CLS and SLK, all having wonderfully built interiors.

    GM's downfall is similar to what Rolls-Royce went through before BMW bought them and gave them the funding and technical know-how to be competitive again. The car the Phantom replaced, the Silver Seraph was an antique compared to a Mercedes or Lexus or BMW, but the Phantom is state-of-the-art, but a tad bit overpriced to sell 1K units a year.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    MB's boutique approach may work, for a while, but unless the fundamental issue of quality (real or perceived) are tackled and solved satisfactorily, their troubles may not be over yet.

    True. I think their model approach will work also, but like you state the quality has to be there.

    I'm sure BMW's free maintenance is a big draw for a lot of buyers, but more importantly BMW has stayed true to being a driver's car. That and the fact that most of their models are relatively new is what really put them in the right position.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I think I remember this being asked previously and don't remember if you commented, but have you ever tried to get a job as car mag writer?

    Not seriously, no. I have written the mags before of course, even had a few letters to get published over the years.

    M
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    MB's boutique approach may work

    I dont know how boutique and MB can be used in the same sentence. Or maybe that is because I live in Canada where Smart Cars and B200s are sold in every MB dealership.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Your knowledge and thoughtfulness shines through much better for me personally when it is applied in the positive. Of course, I have to quickly add the same comment applies to some other posters here as well. Everyone's thoughts get a much clearer airing when they aren't buried in diatribe.

    Thanks. I agree about not being buried in diatribe, but some things I read here just send the meter into the red.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    IMO they have the best "fit and finish interior quality" in the industry.

    I agree. Audi just has a way of working the materials and design that just makes their cars so slick, IMO.

    It should also be noted that Audi's head interior designer (Stefan Sielaff) was hired by Mercedes to do the new S-Class' interior, but now he has gone back to Audi.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Or maybe that is because I live in Canada where Smart Cars and B200s are sold in every MB dealership.

    I've had some knock-down arguments with some other diehard Mercedes fans on Germancarzone about the A/B-Classes. I personally thinks Mercedes needs to kill one of them next time around. Now the A-Class is a hit in Europe with over 100K being sold in a less than a year on the market, and it seems that the B-Class has caught on too so the chances of Mercedes killing off one of them is that much slimmer now. How do the A and B-Classes sell in Canada? What do you think of them? They are the only Mercedes models I've never had the chance to see and inspect in person.

    M
  • I couldn't agree more about Audi's interiors. I spent an evening in a friends new BMW 545. The interior is just plain DULL. In addition, he couldn't get to the proper screen on his (idrive - is that what it's called?).
    There is absolutely no comparison to my A8L. I do not know how the 7 series compares.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Leave for a few hours and this forum lights up like a Christmas tree! :shades:
    Very active following your post. I have to compliment you on a very well thought out contribution and it reveals your vast experience and knowledge of cars period. Quite profound and as garyh1 stated...positive and without diatribe. When the host compliments you and then returns a second time to defend an issue that's pretty cool. All things considered it looks like Kudos around the board.
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    I have completely missed your point....

    Well, finally something we can agree on! ;)

    You have no justification in caliing this study crapolla unless you have access to the details of their statistical methodology.

    Gee, how many times do I have to say something before you will acknowledge it? Here are some quotes from my posts:

    But this "study", at least as reported here, seems pretty lame.

    On further reflection, "lame" is probably too kind a term for this study (again, at least as reported here).

    Based on the summary provided, it's so flawed as a study...

    Somehow, I don't think that looking at a few JD Power surveys and some Ward's sales reports constitutes ATK's best work. But as you pointed out and as I stated multiple times, I am only going on what this summary said. But note that this was a press release issued by ATK itself, not some newspaper reporter who didn't know what was being talked about.

    And by the way, I don't recall anyone using the word "flunkies" except you, and a search of this forum only picks up this post of yours and the next post where you stated "Based on that A.T Kearney study which was not performed by a bunch of flunkies as claimed by one forum member...." You totally made this concept up and then quote it as fact! I certainly never said that. However, having spent part of my early professional career in high profile management consulting, I can say from personal observation that not all work done by these organizations is of equal high quality.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    GaryH - perfectly stated. The report is worth less than the paper it's printed on. If they are using that survry to call attention to themselves than they wasted money and made themselves look bad and unprofessional at the same time. A double whammy.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "I really think that if Toyota (not Lexus) had a drop in reliability like Mercedes or VW have had they'd sink much faster because that is what they mainly depend on. It surely isn't design or the driving experience."

    I totally agree. This is exactly what Katsuaki Watanabe (Toyota's current CEO) has been saying recenetly. "We're not leading anymore, why not?" The one thing I like about Watanabe is that he's definitely not afraid to say whats on his mind. I dont remember Hideaki Otaka being nearly as vocal.

    The difference between, say MB or VW and Toyota is focus. VW let Piech run wild, and he nearly brought down the entire company in the process. Mr. Schremp did basically the same thing at Mercedes. Porsche buying VW shows that the board is still not looking at reality.

    Toyota is in full expansionist global conquest mode, but they havent lost focus on the details. Toyota doesn't have any serious quality problems yet, and they are going to make sure that things are fixed before those problems ever get a chance to develop. Toyota is like the Maytag of cars. Sure, they are appliances, but damn good ones. Thats what the vast majority of the car buying public wants, and Toyota is happy to do it better than everyone else. Let Honda, Nissan, Mazda, and Subaru divide the "fun" market among themselves.

    Speaking of which, I think the new synergy with Subaru is really going to help both companies. Toyota now has an easy path to an AWD Camry and Avalon, and Subaru now has a financial backer that actually has its finances in order. Subaru's flat 6 is an ok engine, but they could do wonderful things with the Toyota 3.5, that is if they're willing to have a Subaru with a "V" engine in it.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Very well said and I'm in total agreement with your post.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    I don't recall anyone using the word "flunkies

    No you did not use the term flunkie but crapolla is usually produced by flunkies.

    . But as you pointed out and as I stated multiple times, I am only going on what this summary said

    And the summary reveals nothing about their statistical methodology. But you claimed previously that their methodology did not isolate variables?

    I just based my opinion on the summary.

    Discussing this topic further would be as productive as flogging a dead horse.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    How do the A and B-Classes sell in Canada? What do you think of them? They are the only Mercedes models I've never had the chance to see and inspect in person.

    The A Class is not sold in Canada.

    I have inspected the B Class and the interior certainly does not lack any of the high quality you find in other Benzes. I read there is more passenger space than the MB E Class.

    I have never had any desire to test drive the B because it's FWD. Psychologically I cannot accept a FWD car with a Mercedes Benz logo on it.

    The car that is selling really well in Canada are SMART cars. MB cannot sell enough of them. In my neighborhood I can see quite a few driveways sharing a bigger luxury marque car with a SMART fortwo car.

    For myself a fourtwo would be a very practical car since I live and work in downtown Toronto. But I am not that practical.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Very Funny!
    Lecter actually said, "I wish we could chat longer, but I'm having an old friend for dinner."
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Speaking of which, I think the new synergy with Subaru is really going to help both companies. Toyota now has an easy path to an AWD Camry and Avalon

    An AWD Camry or Avalon would be a death-knell for Subaru.

    A Lecter-like cannibalization of sales would benefit neither Toyota or Subaru
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    No you did not use the term flunkie but crapolla is usually produced by flunkies.

    Wow, I guess dictionaries in Canada are different than down here. :confuse:

    Flogging a dead horse seems more productive...

    I would think "dead horses" produce more crappola than "flunkies", but that's just IMO. :P

    Finally, Dewey, I think you need to once again read that press release. They didn't do any real study. Based on their own statement, they just reviewed a couple JD Power surveys and matched them up with some sales figures from Ward's. THERE WAS NO INDEPENDENT SURVEY DONE. SO THERE WAS NO OPPORTUNITY TO ISOLATE ANY VARIABLES THAT WERE NOT INVOLVED IN THE DIFFERENT THIRD PARTY STUDIES (LIKE ADVERTISING, PROMOTION, ETC.).

    Hey, if you want to buy their report, be my guest. I can tell you my firm will not!

    Now we can "let sleeping dogs lie" next to those flogged dead horses.... ;)
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Lecter actually said, "I wish we could chat longer, but I'm having an old friend for dinner."

    Pardon my paraphrase. I was figured it wasn’t exact.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Commonly overheard by brand:

    Cadillac: I remember driving in one of these with my grandpa.

    Lexus: Hey, if you look out the window you can tell we're moving.

    Infiniti: Didn't we just fill up with gas?

    BMW: Whoa, Mario, I'm gonna be sick...
    Also: Who'd have thought an Interstate could feel like a "natural beauty" road.

    Mercedes: When did the mechanic say we could get back on the road?

    Audi: What kind of car was this again?

    Jaguar: You know, I own a Ford, too.

    Porsche: So do you really get a lot of dates with this thing?

    Nothing like hyperbole and stereotyping to stir the pot.... :) Please understand I don't adhere to all of these mythperceptions (intentionally misspelled)...I just wanted to be sure that I was an equal-opportunity offender.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I once hammered a jughandle in my old Volvo and my father-in-law said... holy spit, does this thing have four wheels?
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    OK I know CNN Money is not exactly an authority in terms of auto opinions but they rated the Audi A6 as their best pick versus the BMW 5, Infiniti M, Lexus GS and Acura RL.

    Audis seem to get the short end of the stick in this forum since there seems to be very few Audi enthusiasts here.

    That is a shame since Audis are such wonderful cars. The Europeans certainly knows something that we dont(A4 beats BMW3 sales and A6 sales is tied in top spot with BMW5 sales).

    IMO this forum is too narrowly focused on Lexus, BMW and MB. I guess that is a reflection of fourm member biases.

    CNN Money
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Since when is to be biased defined as being passionate about one's car?

    I own and love BMW's. That makes me biased?

    Anybody who drives an Audi A8 can post here.

    There is no conspiracy to keep Audi lovers out.

    It's not my problem if only one guy here drives an Audi.

    Since I have never driven an Audi, I have no opinion and certainly no bias.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    This is MY take on the Audi thing here. Just MY opinion. When I think of these different cars, I immediately have thoughts about them . . . preconceived ideas . . . as to what each of them IS somehow to ME.

    The BMW most definately makes me think of a sedan with great handling, engineering, and more . . .

    The Mercedes represents engineering, sophistication, and luxury to me.

    To me the Lexus represents comfort, modest luxury, and almost bullet-proof dependability.

    The Jaguar makes me think of gorgeous yet classic styling, luxury, and comfort.

    The Audi, however, leaves me pondering momentarily. I am aware of the well-done interior, but don't seem to grasp onto any immediatley identifiable traits that just yell "Audi".

    So . . . I believe that Audi needs to catch a serious case of "brand recognition". . . . or something?

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    The Audi, however, leaves me pondering momentarily. I am aware of the well-done interior, but don't seem to grasp onto any immediatley identifiable traits that just yell "Audi".

    So . . . I believe that Audi needs to catch a serious case of "brand recognition". . . . or something?


    Shortly after I wrote this brief remark, I wondered what company handles Audi's advertising campaign? Anyone know?

    Fair or not . . . when it comes to perceptions about products (nothing to do necessarily with the truth, mind you), I ALWAYS tend to give a fair amount of credit AND blame to the ad agencies.

    TagMan
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    As most people seem interested in the other brands, and I have not had my Audi very long, I have been waiting to give an update after a bit more time has gone by and I have taken the car on a trip--next week-....So far the Audi has been the best delivered car I have owned..Everything worked right from the beginning, although I did not know how to work everything as I have a steep learning curve coming from Lexus from the beginning. The car feels very crisp and sure of itself...The only difference I feel between it and my wife`s 530xi is it is heavier therefore not quite like the bmw, but not far off..My dealership treats me very nicely--but the real test will come when something is wrong...I do not believe I could have a better relatonship than the one I had with Lexus--great people-- I personally like the interior of the Audi much better than the Lexus, as it is new, so I will comment further after time...The screen extracts itself from the dash, and I know I like that better and will continue to do so..The car warms up way way quicker inside---like two minutes or so, and the seats warm up in reacord time..Personally I like the grill, but can understand how others may not...Seems all cars have something to not like....Further I got the sports suspension and although I have not been able to compare it against the regular suspension, it is great....All in all I think anyone considering this type of car would do themselves justice to test drive the a8...It is more expensive than the Lexus but cheaper than the Mercedes, and about the same as the bmw 7 Tony Further there is very little promotion and the dealership network is way behind the others---probably contributing to the sales numbers.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I realize that you have not had the Audi long, but right after reading your take on the car, I stopped myself from reading your post a second time. I did this on purpose to see just what it might be that I would recall about the car from your report. I remembered (regardless of accuracy) that you indicated that it did not handle as well as your wife's BMW, and that you liked the interior, and that you were getting used to the car, but you generally liked it. That's how I remembered your post.

    Then, I went back and read it a second time. There was more detail, of course, but I found myself searching your words for that "something special" that the car offered you.

    PLEASE do not misunderstand my post to mean ANYTHING negative about you, your post, or your car. I thank you for taking the time to share your Audi experience so far, and hope to hear more after you have it longer. I hope it turns out to be a GREAT car for you, as I would hope for anyone buying a car.

    I think that your post is further indication of the lack of a well-known identifiable trait regarding the Audi. However, I will soften that statement a bit by saying that I believe there is a continuing trend towards "interior awareness" regarding the Audi, and your post also further indicates this to me.

    Stay in touch.

    TagMan
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    Years ago I actually bought an A4, so I'll give you guys my take....

    At the time, I needed/wanted AWD for the blizzardy New England winters. Audi was the #1 luxury brand if you wanted AWD, hands down. Since then, the other luxury brands have "caught up" and offer AWD in much of their model linup.... With regards to the questions about advertising, I see quite a few Audi commercials that focus on AWD.

    I also wanted something that was dfferent... Lots of people had BMWs and Mercedes and Lexus. As a 20-something recently out of college, I wanted something that was a little more unique and not as common. Audi fit the bill there.... Of course, you can't really advertise "not as common" without really saying "you don't sell as many cars as your competitors." :confuse:
Sign In or Register to comment.