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High End Luxury Cars

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  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Oac… thanks partner.

    Kdshapiro… Thanks for the link. Perhaps there is historical conflict on the origins of hybrid cars. Indeed, web info cannot always be trusted. Also, maybe the pundits question the exact nature of the technology. Anyway, here are some references for Ferdinand Porsche as the alleged "first" to develop a hybrid auto in collaboration with the Jacob Lohner company which was Austrian.

    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2004/10/porsche_conside.html

    http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/tw/hybrid-history.htm

    And here is the hybrid 1900 Lohner-Porsche which predates the Piper patent. The electric motors are integrated in the wheel hubs.

    image
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Web information is definitely suspect at times. But there could be some logical explanations. The 1905 patent could have been the first in the US. This of course could be fully investigated for the motivated. All patents should be on-line somewhere.

    The Porsche vehicle may have been "first" in the world.

    But at any rate we are seeing that either the Germans or Americans pioneered hybrid vehicles a 105 years ago, but the Japanese re-decided it was an idea whose time has come.

    I'm with Stroudman on this. Hybrid is not having your cake and eating it to. Hybrid is pay more, have marginally more cake with less calories. You could take the same 5-10K premium and dump a supercharger and other performance mods into your vehicle. This way you can have the whole pie.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    I really have a hard time understanding you or maybe you don't get hybrids. Your logic is also hard to get or your just not taking enough things into consideration.

    Let me deal with the logic item:

    MB charges 9K more for an S500 than for an S430. The S500 throws in about $3000 of optional items that the S430 lacks and the rest is for a 28HP bump. So you're out $6000 for that more powerful engine. Now Lexus comes along and gives you a new technology that gives you a greater HP bump than that S500 increment plus a lot better gas mileage and less polution. The cost is also less than you would pay for the bump from an S430 to an S500. Yet the Lexus hybrid buyer needs to do a break-even calc on the added cost?? As if gas mileage is the ony thing he is getting. Tell me - what does the S500 buyer do - see a pyschiatrist?? He just paid a lot more for a lot less than any Lexus hybrid buyer ever will.

    As for all these firsts - who cares. Some of these lead times are 6-12 months or less usually debuting only with a new model. You can't handle the hybrid but in any business the most important item to be first on is a ground breaking new technology. That's the big dollar item. The rest of the stuff is pennies. Who originally thought it up is meaningless. Who brings it to market successfully is what counts - in any business. Sooner or later everyone offers the new technology - whether they are the groundbreaking dollar ones or the ho hum penny ones - and buyers couldn't give a damm who was first. But that groundbreaking technology lead will bring a bump in customers and that bump is usually permanent if the cars continue to be made as well as Toyota, Lexus and Honda make them.
  • Stroudman:

    YES...I expect to get the best price on my car and the absolute best service...I am shocked to learn that some customers are discriminated against at the Mercedes Dealership...
  • Poor old Mr. Smith now owns his S450 or S500...BUT...He is sitting at home with his $80,000, once again, sitting in the dealers shop for week after week...

    HE HAS, No $80,000....No pretty car to drive....But no problem...His neighbor has a clean burning, hybrid LS, Great Gas milage ...A very Green car...With a tremendous sound system, and ultra comfort, And it always works...

    Like all Lexus owners, he is also very nice and willing to give Mr. Smith a Ride to work whenever he needs it.

    Do you want to be Mr. Smith or his neighbor.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    "who originally thought it up is meaningless. Who brings it to market successfully is what counts..."

    -boy, are there some double standards around here...
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Where's the double standard. I'm making a business case issue here. The company that broke ground with the mainstream PC doesn't even make them any more and got crushed right after the starting point. IF you go online and buy a Dell or an HP do you say thank-you to IBM while you are doing it. Do you even care that IBM started it all. That's my point.
  • Well....We could talk about Mercedes having dozens of engines to choose from or that they invented windshield wippers or some such.....But there is a new kid in town with perhaps the greatest new innovation in automobiles in the last 50 years...No wonder people want to talk about Hybrids.

    Two things.... the most expensive Mercedes S is not as reliable as the LS 430, and the cheapest S class is more expensive then an LS ultra...and not nearly as reliable or Green.....or as fast for that matter...Nor does it have the luxury features of an LS ...And it may not even be as safe because they don't put all their safety features into it and the safety features they do put in...LIKE BREAKS...sometimes don't work properly.

    Food for thought.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Do you even care that IBM started it all.

    I do, they changed the world like the old AT&T and made billions from it. Do my kids who use an HP computer care? Probably not.

    Two things.... the most expensive Mercedes S is not as reliable as the LS 430

    So what? A $70K Rolex is not as reliable as a Timex. With a hybrid one is paying for technology costs and they know it. People see two identical vehicles, one with a hybrid drivetrain and one without. There is a marginal gain for a lot of money. Similiary to the S430 and S500. Marginal gain for a lot of money. People will buy it because they can, not because the difference is anything meaningful. But don't try to tell someone buying a hybrid is a performance upgrade and gas saver at the same time. Not if I have to spend $5K to save 500 dollars worth of gas.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    "People will buy it because they can, not because the difference is anything meaningful."

    People will buy it because it's the latest and greatest thing. In the lux goods arena that has an even greater weighting. The fact that it keeps the air cleaner, gets better mileage and adds power are added benefits. If we equated the cost of these cars to lesser cars the way you want to equate a gas to a hybrid engine then none of these marquee names would exist. On top of all that you are caught up on the thought that the hybrid will always be a $3-4K higher cost. Give it a year or two and it will be less than $1500. When it gets to that point everyone, well almost everyone, will want it.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    Not all dealers are the same, but where I work, I view my clients as my employer. I LOVE it when a prospect comes through my door, spends hours of my time getting a very good education on the car, and grinds and grinds on the price, (which at these price points is so tacky) and then the famous words "I'll have to think about it," which is fine. I never lean on anybody. But then they never follow up with me, and become mysteriously unreachable. So a month or two later, I see them pull up on a saturday, when my service lane is closed, with a busted tire or wish to drop the car off for service, a car with a competitor's decal on it. "where's my loaner?" they ask, and I'll need my car back ASAP, they say. The techs and advisors will be back on monday morning, in the meantime (here's the good part), the guy who did nothing for you other than beat my NUMBER is who you'll have to call if you want anything special. Why on earth would I do anything special for someone who wasted my time and expertise, which is just as important as theirs, and wasn't willing to pay me for it?

    -shocking isn't it?
  • denaliinpadenaliinpa Posts: 169
    i understand this....there is not at this time an LS430 hybrid for sale. what will it cost? how dependable will it be? what will the resale value be? these are all determining factors for any "reasonably intelligent" buyer. isn't it great that the Lexus crowd love to debate the benefits of a vehicle that is not even in production!
    talk about logic. would it not be logical to at least see some of these vehicles on the road before we say how great they are :confuse: ?
  • denaliinpadenaliinpa Posts: 169
    what safety features are omitted from the S430???
    food for thought....it's spelled "brakes".
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Please keep your comments focused on the vehicles and not each other.

    What is it that goes on between a few of you? Lexus and Mercedes-Benz both make outstanding vehicles. Each offers some things the other does not. These things appeal to different audiences - that's what makes the automotive world interesting.

    Why this means grown men (I assume??) have to get into a mud-throwing one-upmanship match about which manufacturer is the single gift to the automotive world - to the total exclusion of the other - is beyond me. Each manufacturer has contributed greatly to our automotive world, past and present. Each has its flaws, each has its attributes. Those issues contrast between the manufacturers but do NOT mean either is some kind of pariah in our world ... why keep behaving as though something you don't like about "the other side" makes that manufacturer worthless??

    Are there not other "high end luxury marques" to discuss? Does this entire conversation have to be solely a few MB enthusiasts and a few Lexus enthusiasts throwing sarcasm and insults at each other?

    Can't it be about what is good about each brand instead of choosing off sides and denigrating the other? Or here is a thought - maybe we could have some thoughtful discussion about what improvements could and should be made on BOTH sides without all the chest-beating, mine-is-better-than-yours-because-I-say-so garbage?

    If there is no other territory to cover here, I'd say this discussion has run way past its purpose and it's time to say good night Gracie.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    -Does anyone else think it's ironic that as much bad press as I-drive has gotten, that audi has, and mercedes will have similar systems in their cars? Joe DeMatio of automobile mag equated it to eating a burger, drinking a beer, and talking on the phone while trying to drive, and I would tend to agree. Even if the succeeding versions of it become simpler and more reliable, it's still too much for a driver to deal with, IMO.

    -speaking of the four door Porsche, could it be that they will also someday broaden their product line to the point that they're trying to be all things to all people, like benz for example? I would love to see mercedes cut their offerings in half again...3 sedan sizes, a couple of sports cars and wagons, maybe one SUV/crossover, and that's about it. An S-class would cost $150k, and be so well developed and reliable that it would once again dust everything, from every angle possible.

    - 7-series update...better, worse, too little too late?

    -Does anyone care that Jaguar has one foot in the grave?

    -volkswagens' march upmarket is not going to work.
  • denaliinpadenaliinpa Posts: 169
    stroudman i have an 05 A8 and so far i really like the mmi. the system is no more distracting than a navigation system. for the items
    used most there are redundant controls on the steering wheel so as not to distract you from the road. with all of the electronics now in vehicles it seems to be
    almost a necessity to have such systems.

    as for the 7 too little too late. i liked the front end better before the update
    and the backend still looks the same to me. the interior materials of the 7
    are the bright spot of the car along with the new engine.

    as for Jaguar the question should probably be does anyone care about Ford.
    i do just like i care about GM. i have two GMC's in my driveway.
    it is important for everyone in the US to have an interest in seeing these companies flourish. even with the globalism argument and foreign manufacturers with plants in the US i am still biased towards the domestics.

    VW will make it with the Phaeton imo as long as they continue with a second
    generation and try to keep the price point around 55-60k. that seems to me to be the natural next step in price from a loaded Passat. when it comes to the
    Phaeton try to keep in mind it is not just a US market vehicle. the T-reg has
    had good sales in the 50k area so it would seem reasonable that the Phaeton would also.
  • paldipaldi Posts: 210
    Hard to do that with the Phaeton. Loaded car is sticker-ed at $76,500. That includes the must have options including the comfort package, tech package and stereo upgrade. Personally, I can do without the seat massagers but want the A/C cooling in the seats. Need the power soft-close trunk but might do without the park sensors. DVD Navigation and a phone are both must haves now. I really want a solar sunroof - like you have in the A8! There's not a lot you can leave off and still be in this lux class! Nobody wants a base car...
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Stroudman, I'm not as up on the MB line as apparently I should be. Do you mean to say that they offer MORE than "3 sedan sizes, a couple of sports cars and wagons, and maybe one SUV/crossover"? Wow. Talk about line extension and dilution. No focus. Crazy.

    Jaguar's present condition surprises me. Unlike MB they have a focused line: three sedans, one with a wagon variant, and a two seater. The product is great, the XJ sedans are 10K-15K less than the problematic Germans, the new sports car looks great, the AWD sedan and now a touring wagon variant are ideal for the Northeast, etc. What's not to like? Yet they can't move the iron. Probably they are hobbled by reliability legacy issues, the lack of a macho, uber sedan image, and as a result low residuals which means higher lease payments in this predominantly lease driven market segment.

    Because of this, probably the best deal out there in the high end market is a year old (new alu design ) XJ sedan for maybe 49K or less. Think about it: no reliability problems, no image problems (i.e, the boss arriving in a MB at 9:00 AM), picnic trays in the back seat for those summer jaunts up to the Finger Lakes with Cindy, much better customer service at a much less crowded Service Advisors desk, and a ride that can't be beat. Ask Brock Yates of Car and Driver.
  • Stoudman:

    Because that person bought a car from you...He paid an excessive price for it, he likes good service...and diserves good service. Those are the reasons you should give him good service...If you want a repeat customer.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    I don't think Stroudman was referring to a customer. Rather he was referring to an arrogant sort who thought he could get the best of both worlds: a great price and free extraordinary customer service from someone else. Kind of like bringing your clothes purchased at Macy's into Gimbels for free alterations.
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