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High End Luxury Cars

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  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well don't get me wrong on the Pacifica, its a fine vehicle, it just isn't a Lexus and the price difference shows that. I'd still go for it, its more family friendly than the 300.

    "All OAC is saying - he can correct me if I am wrong - is he doesn't consider sub $25-30K cars as real lux car sales. Neither do I. But MB and BMW will always count them - as would anyone if they are in their position - for obvious reasons. So saying a million cars is sold by either brand is fine but don't misrepresent fleet taxis and $18-25K cars with real low profit margins as real luxury car sales because they are not and Government data supports that.

    I have to ask you when was the last time you looked at a 325i or C230, neither of which you'll find on a dealer lot in base form and neither are that close to 25K for this to be a valid point. My second point is that both entry level cars from BMW, MB and even Audi trade on being sports sedans and they are hardly the strippers you're implying. Look at their pricing. As far as 18-25K cars in Europe, again you really need to check the pricing of these vehicles. BMW and Mercedes still sell cars that cost more than any Lexus and they do it handidly, especially Mercedes. Even if you take out all the cars below your price point of 18K, you'd find that BMW and Mercedes still crush Lexus worldwide by far. I will never, ever agree that MB or BMW are not luxury brands when they still sell more luxury priced cars (30k+) than Lexus does worldwide. Mercedes in particular has a market penetration that Lexus can only dream of at this point.

    BTW, that Government price stuff was a lame excuse to give Cadillac the luxury sales title and more importantly to set the bar for that silly luxury tax way back when. The U.S. Governement hasn't a clue of what a real luxury car is because the home brands don't even compete at the premium level.

    It also think its a little early to claim where Lexus' prices will start when they too will offer a 4-banger diesel in Europe. Hardly a "luxury" car either by Oac's standard.

    Is Toyota seperate from Lexus or are you joining that bandwagon too, by saying Toyota in one market and Lexus in another? If the 325i isnt' a luxury car, then neither is the IS300. This 30K price barrier is ridiculous if you're going to use that as your sole criteria as to what a luxury car is.

    A luxury car is price, specification, engineering, refinement, performance and other things besides just what it cost. For one car not be a luxury car at 29K and the other is at 32K is just too ridiculous to me. You have to look at the cars themselves and every aspect of them otherwise the Honda Accord Hybrid is a luxury car at 30K+, and we all know it isn't. A BMW or Mercedes, regardless of their price provide the same trademarks: experience/styling/engineering/safey as the upper models, just not in as great a quantity.

    How can you knock MB and BMW as not being luxury brands when Lexus is the ultimate in branding 101. It was created soley for the purpose of getting people to pay more for Toyota made products. If Mercedes and BMW sell some non luxury cars by your definition, then some of these re-worked Toyotas that are branded as Lexuses are just as suspect to me, especially the current IS300 (a Euro Toyota), ES330 and RX330. Now because Lexus has convinced Americans to pay more than 30K for them makes luxury cars, while a low-brow BMW/MB thats provides all the characteristics true to their respective brand aren't because they start at less than 30K? That is a clear double standard. Europe is a different story I'll give you, but even there I'd like to see some numbers for all these low end 1-Series, A-Class and 5-Series/E-Class cars that are sold with nothing on them but the basics, I bet without all these Lexus still doesen't even get close, especially in Europe. There is no way a half-million MBs and BMWs are even close to being all strippers, compared to 25K Lexuses sold in Europe last year. No way.

    M
  • Hmmmm

    At least to Lexus owners...The ultimate in Prestige is Reliability...The most reliable Ultra Luxury Car in the world is a conformation of It's Prestige..

    The top Selling Ultra Luxury Sedan in largest market in the world tells us what the public thinks.

    BMW hangs on to Best Handling luxury Sedan and the Prestige that goes with it....

    Mercedies..It is .........Pretty......
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,663
    I wouldn't agree they are not luxury or prestigious brands either - not in any way shape or form. Nor am I saying that. But there are many cars they sell that are not luxury cars, nor do they qualify as luxury cars by government defined standards. Just because a brand has a lux classification - it doesn't mean everything it sells are lux goods.

    BTW - the luxury tax I'm talking about is a European luxury tax on goods sold in europe, not the US one.
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    MB-Chrysler,MB-Chrysler,MB-Chrysler,MB-Chrysler,MB-Chrysler,MB-Chrysler,MB-Chrysler....
    You are WRONG. People DO think of Chrysler when one mentions MB. Do you know what their offical company name is? HA, HA, HA.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    LOL. Absolutely correct. However, an MB is not a re-branded Chysler, nor is a Chrysler a re-branded MB. While I don't doubt the MB-DC conglomerate makes use of economies of scale they don't go about this re-branding business like other companies.
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    Are we talking about cars here? If Lexus LS 430 is called Toyrus LS 430, it is still the best car out there in terms of reliability, value, etc.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,663
    I think of Chrysler as benefitting from better German engineering (not sure if that is really true or not) and you can see some MB design elements clearly in many of the new styles. I hardly think of them as being branded as one company and I can't imagine many ever will, at least in the near-term (next 10 years). Likewise I think anyone who thinks of Lexus and Toyota as one brand is equally foolish. It's really a silly argument, and one not worth discussing, on both sides. In the case of MB though it is far out because they acquired Chrysler. Why penalize a company's prestige for buying another one? Makes no sense. To a lesser extent - but still beyond any sensible credibility - you have certain people who love German cars but who can't and probably never will accept (and clearly don't understand) the risk for creating, challenging and rivaling brands that they want to put on a pedastal. Similarly - why deride a brand for it's guts and success and at the same time redefining the rules of how the game is played. For the record and IMO - Merc1 is NOT one of those.
  • I think the question in my mind is why did Mercedes feel a need to buy Chyrsler...They must have been lacking something that Chyrsler could provide...Engineering maybe...or styling?...or something.

    Sad when the mighty fall, I never thought Mercedes would have to run to Chyrsler for help.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,663
    My take on the Chrysler deal - they saw synergy and spreading their heavy cap investments among a lot more cars for a lot longer period. It's exactly what Toyota does. Notice how the nav systems and other lux items filter down after 3 years or so to the Camry's. With the cap expenditures needed in the future for change the world technology you need more than a million cars to spread that cost over. They also saw a natural currency hedge by having tons of US production vehicles added in to give them greater worldwide cost balancing. I'm sure they saw many other things but I don't think any of it was to help Mercedes. They had less problems, though rapidly developing ones, at the time. But I am also sure they knew that with the increased competion in the lux market they wouild need something else to prop up earnings as MB went thru some bad cycles. Schrempp so much as said this in that last financial report. Lastly - he saw what every international CEO sees these days - greater and deeper globalization of product. Till this day I have always thought it was a smart business move and I hardly think it has hurt MB's name. It was just a poorly executed acquisition in its initial few years. To MB's credit many analysts gave them an exit route on the poor earnigs this past quarter by using Chrysler as a cause and excuse for ignoring MB needs. It was a lot of BS and Schrempp shot it down as nothing but BS.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    Lexus was not 1st-to-market with pivoting headlights, MB was the 1st to do so. MB was also the 1st to introduce the "knee-bag" feature, so let's explore your "frivolous comments" comment, shall we?

    "Japan always has, and always will have, better all around technologies than Germany." - Now that I've picked myself up from the floor from laughing so hard, please consider adding the "IMO" prefix to such commentary. Also, offer some empirical evidence to support your assertion.

    An A6 and A4 seem "prehistoric" compared to the RX330? Can't even begin to think of an appropriate response! Different missions, design/engineering targets, intended buyers, etc.

    "Mercedes is no longer a dominant manufacturer, and do not completely excel in anything..." - If I was cross-shopping cars and you were the salesman spouting such drivel, that alone would send me elsewhere. You certainly are free to express an opinion... how about a little humility prior to exposing yourself to further ridicule?
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    It depends on your definition of value. To some value is multi-million dollar mansion on the Navasink River. To others, it's a small apartment in Manhattan. Different environments, missions and lifestyles. Likewise for cars. Different missions, different values.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I'm fairly sure that you're wrong on the pivoting headlights, and that in fact Lexus beat MB to market there. Post some proof for your stand and I'll retract my statement.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I thought Mercedes had them on cars in the 1920s. Long before Lexus ever existed. It is not a new idea by any means. But more recently, wasn't BMW the first to come out with them with HID headlights?
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    > ... take on the Chrysler deal ...

    Good points. Furthermore, I am sure the top MB management wanted NYSE listings and US top management type remuneration - European CEOs never get those $50M paydays that are still common in the USA within the Fortune 500... I would not underestimate that aspect, especially with someone as ego-driven as the current DC CEO...
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Huh...

    Pivoting headlights came out on the RX330 almost 2 years ago...which benz has them?

    Knee-bags. Geez...I'm thinking back from the mid 80s to current and I can't think of any Benz that has them. You may be right, a benz may have had them but I can't seem to remember which one or ones does.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Lexus introduced them first on the RX and then a few months later pivoting headlights appeared on the 5-series.
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    We have beat it to death with Lexus vs. MB. All the objective data has shown Lexus won, just read Consumer Report, Car and Driver, Automobile, Motor Trend, etc. PLease don't waste everyone's time by going there again. I hope you know what value is at this time.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi all,
    Do we have to talk about this Lexus vs MB issue again??? This topic is really getting old..Ctsang is correct to say the objective data says it all. Why don't we leave it at that? I sincerely doubt any diehard German marque fan is going to give Lexus its' due no matter how well Lexus does..

    To change the subject: What do you all think of the introduction of Drive by Wire? I personally don't like it. It takes away the feel of the accelerator. I definitely can tell the difference between my LS400 and LS430. I find the response of my 430 somewhat jerky. Is there any real benefit to this technology? Or is it another example of fixing something that isn't broken?

    SV
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Here is a link to the tax table for Europe by country:

    http://www.eurocarprice.com/tax/taxmap.htm

    Switzerland (7.6%) is the lowest and Denmark the highest.

    There's no reference to a 'luxury' tax. Got some links to help us learn abou them?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    >> Do we have to talk about this Lexus vs MB issue again??? This topic is really getting old.

    I could not agree more. (Hah, I'm sure you all are surprised to hear that! :))

    Why people can't understand that agreeing to disagree and moving on IS AN OPTION is beyond me. I also don't see why people can't understand that as stubborn and committed as they are to their own point of view, so are the people posting from the "other side".

    What some of you don't seem to understand is that all of you clearly love these cars, love talking about them and that you all have lots of interesting and productive things to say - but you're not saying them, you're just pointlessly arguing. If we would just accept the fact that not only does not everyone agree with us, there is no requirement that we - fruitlessly - try to MAKE everyone agree with us, and we could get back to having a fascinating, CIVIL conversation! :)

    And for the record, "objective data" is still in the eyes of the beholder. It's easy enough to come up with any set of statistics to support just about any viewpoint. The slant of the person looking for the stats figures in hugely to what is selected to be posted.

    This is not directed solely to any one poster here, it's directed to everyone: How about we try just accepting the fact that everyone else here is entitled to his own viewpoint - just as YOU are entitled to yours.

    Ya know?
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