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High End Luxury Cars

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  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    The 2006 VW Jetta is a blatant rip-off of the Toyota Corolla from the front head-lamp assembly all the way to the rear tail-lights !!! We are talking XEROX COPY here styling-wise, its not even funny. Hey, here is one German company copying a Japanese company's style in modern-day car design. I thought Europe is the home to the best car designers. No ? If Germany is looking over the Pacific to Japan for its styling cues, may the good Lord help them !!!
  • Stroudman:

    I bought a Preis a couple of months ago...It is my understanding that they are all selling at sticker...I got the fully loaded one with GPS, Sound system, Pass key etc. and it was approx $27,000 ...It took about 3 weeks to get it...

    All the dealers talked about a 6 month wait and a $500 deposit..Refundable...But I just kept calling dealers, told them I was talking to other dealers and had the exact car I wanted color interior features that I wanted in 3 Weeks...Fresh off the boat.

    It is not broken in yet but we are getting 50 mpg in mixed driving.
  • If you want the most car for the Dollar...Buy Lexus.

    If you want a real Drivers car get a 7 series

    If you want Prestige and pretty at a very high price in a car that is less then reliable..There is a car out there for you...

    Good Luck.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Sorry but it seemed to me that you had been disputing that. I guess now you're saying that if the difference is 14-20k or more, a higher priced vehicle can't outsell a lower priced one. Well, let's see what happens when we get some numbers on S350 sales vs S500 sales, shall we? My guess is that the S500 will outsell the S350. Or are you going to claim that MB stopped selling the S320 in this country because demand was too high?"

    You can re-word (spin) it as much as you like. First it was the CLS/E/S vs the C-Class to make a point about sales now its wait until the S350 goes on sale and lets compare it to the S500. I mean really. The simple fact is that you can't prove anything about prestige making up for higher sticker prices. Who knows for sure as to why Mercedes stopped selling the S320, you and I surely don't so what the point? The S350 is being added to a model line that is in its 6th year of production so I know that you realize that their are many other factors as to why it may or may not outsell the S500, not just a price factor.

    "it appears you have misunderstood what I am saying. I'm not saying that prestige is 10% or 100% or 200% as important a factor as price. I'm saying that we don't know how important it is. But my overall point is that imho one shouldn't endlessly repeat that MB's sales performance is due to high prices, when there is a factor out there (prestige) which can account for some (unknown) measure of the higher prices."

    Then why are we debating this? Who endlessly repeats that Mercedes sales performance is soley based on price? I don't. I've said from the beginning that price is but one factor in sales. Go back and read my previous posts. Also, I've never disputed that higher priced cars can outsell cheaper ones. I've point that out with various MBs vs. various Lexuses for year. You were the one that kept trying to say simply that prestige makes up for the price difference, which to me doesn't make any sense if the buyer can't afford a more expensive car to begin with. If its an unknown measure (something I just said in my reply yesterday) then why are we debating it?

    "Fundamentally, we don't know how many buyers are 'priced' out of the market by MB (but can still afford Lexus). And we don't know how many buyers are 'prestiged' out of the market by Lexus' lack of prestige (relative to MB)."

    Again so what is the point? We do know that not every single buyer of a say an LS can just jump to a S430 and/or especially an S500 because of the price difference. This is simply common sense to me, 14-20K is real. Prestige is real to people who think that way. I'm sure most think the S is more prestigious but how many can just pay an extra 14-20K more for one based on their beliefs instead of their wallets?

    "Every time an MB fan says something like "it should be no surprise that MB undersells Lexus, what do you expect since its products are more expensive" I could just as easily say "lack of prestige vs MB hinders Lexus' sales, its pretty impressive that Lexus still manages to outsell MB". But in fact both factors are at work, and it isn't and will never be clear which is the more important."

    You could say that, but I could say that the bulk of MB's lineup is priced higher than Lexus'. Once you past the C, ML, CLK, and E350/E500 MB's lineup costs way more than Lexus'.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "The 2006 VW Jetta is a blatant rip-off of the Toyota Corolla from the front head-lamp assembly all the way to the rear tail-lights !!! We are talking XEROX COPY here styling-wise, its not even funny. Hey, here is one German company copying a Japanese company's style in modern-day car design."

    When you're right you are right. Way too much Corolla at the rear and the overall shape, only the front end grille and side profile line is different. These latter two differences aren't spotted by most hence most see it as a copy, which it really is. A shame imo. That said the Jetta looks better imo because it doesn't appear as tall or generic overall, but yes it has way too many Corolla styling cues. I wonder if you ever said the same thing about the LS and the previous S-Class. Did you ever admit that? Anyway.....maybe VW thought that by copying the styling they'd get the Corolla's reliablity too?

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    It doesn't look too bad here I guess:

    image

    image

    I do believe I like the front end a little more now, even the rear looks better, but its still not quite right. Plus idrive remains. Though there is a nice new leather cap on the idrive knob!

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    We were debating it because in the past you suggested that there was no way the S could be expected to outsell the LS because the "huge" price difference meant that far fewer people could afford the S.

    Here is a choice quote from you from a while back: "there is no way a car that starts pricewise in most cases where another car tops out, like in the case of the LS430 vs the S-Class, could you ever expect to outsell the cheaper one".

    Now you're saying that "No one was disputing that higher priced vehicles can outsell lower priced ones", which I'll take to be a sign of progress. Enough for me...for now.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I stated years ago that a higher priced car can outsell a cheaper one and I never said that such a thing isn't possible. Even the quote you used from me states that about the LS and S, and in most cases not just in general. Did you not read the quote? There is 14-20K price difference in play here and you think its cancelled out by prestige.

    Your theory about prestige is what I take issue with. Not that such a thing can happen, cheaper car being outsold by a more expensive one.

    You simply can't say factually that prestige is a neutralizer to MB's higher prices when it comes to Lexus.

    Also, the main reason why I really got into this is because as usual every year or so we have to hear about how the LS is outselling everything and this sermon never includes anything about price.

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    From the WSJ today: "BMW AG...has improved sales of its core BMW brand in Western Europe 13.5% this year. Sales of Mercedes-Benz cars in Western Europe have fallen about 7% during the same period.

    That's a whopping big differential, more than might be explained by the S being in its last year. Is it the quality issues finally affecting MB in Europe, or other factors?
  • gg107gg107 Posts: 7
    I cross-shopped some of the cars covered in this forum (LS430, XJ), and posted this in another forum. It may be of some interest in light of some of the posts above:

    I'm closing in on a deal on a new 545i, and if the dealer will honor it, it's a good deal.

    But what interests me is that the market for BMW and Mercedes, at least in Southern Calif., is wildly inefficient. Dealers are not regionally competitive with each other in selling essentially identical vehicles. A dozen shares of XYZ stock is equivalent to any other dozen shares of XYZ stock, and no one would dream of paying a substantial price premium for those shares because s/he happened to live in Woodland Hills and dealt with a broker there, rather than living in Newport Beach and using a broker there. But even though BMWs are essentially identical, the best prices I got for the same vehicle (adjusted for options), on the same lease terms -- 36 months -- from among about 8 dealers had a range of more than $5,000 -- i.e., monthly carrying costs of over $140.00. And I have no doubt that the higher-priced dealers were actually getting something near their quoted prices on many of their lease deals -- which is why they wouldn't come down in price for me.

    The price range variation in Mercedes E350s was even greater, $200 per mo.

    What this means is that the luxury car shopper is not cross-shopping these vehicles on an active basis. This is puzzling to me, since this is an affluent, well-educated customer base, technologically sophisticated, with access to information. It's not that time consuming to send e-mails to dealers and negotiate over the phone. And consumers have the upper hand, because dealers must move their cars -- but we don't have to buy them. So why is there not more cross-shopping, forcing the market to be efficient? Is it the practiced manipulations of car salespeople? Is it the mystique of the cars themselves, overcoming rationality? Or what?

    Whatever it is, it's a good thing -- because an inefficient market means there are deals to be had.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Hi Merc1:

    I wonder if you ever said the same thing about the LS and the previous S-Class. Did you ever admit that?

    I admitted nothing to that effect. My 1999 LS400 has ZERO styling cues from any MB that I can recognize.

    .....maybe VW thought that by copying the styling they'd get the Corolla's reliablity too?

    I sure hope so, but the DNA is all wrong... and that's what VW needs, a good reliability rating to turn things around. The new Jetta looks good, just too much Corolla to ruin an otherwise nice product....Of course, IMO.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    And consumers have the upper hand, because dealers must move their cars -- but we don't have to buy them. So why is there not more cross-shopping, forcing the market to be efficient?

    Good questions....My last 3 cars have all been purchased via online enquiries to Fleet depts. I'd think that many buyers of luxury cars may not care that much to save a nickel here or there. Just not worth the time to try to save $100 off the monthly lease payments going through 10 dealers cross-country, or inter-state, and having to deal with multiple sales people. Buying a can is often a very stressful thing, and some of us may just prefer to avoid the hassle altogether. Several community or Credit Union banks will help you locate and buy your car of choice, with minimal fees, and at much better discount than you can get on your own. Or you may just go back to your preferred dealer and get things done quickly and painlessly, sure you may have overpaid, but who cares as long as you enjoy the product....
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    The way a dealership chooses to move its cars comes from the top, and most dealers tend to follow one of two philosophies -
    1. Whore-up the market by selling cars at or near cost, which shows high volume numbers, tends to keep CSI scores relatively high, and keeps the dealer in high regard of the factory reps. The factory doesn't care what the dealer's gross-per-car is, as long as they're putting units in the street.
    2. Say to hell with the factory and their numbers, I'm going to take very good care of a smaller group of people, and hold gross on every car, which, in the long run is better for the brand. and if the buyer won't pay more than I as a dealer need to earn, then go get your bargain, but don't expect any favors from us if your car breaks. I, for one as a salesperson, don't tend to discount cars to people who call from outside my area looking for the best number. If I'm going to discount my car it will be to the folks in my area who have already done business with me, or will become part of my owner body, and refer others. Just my personal method, which has worked well for me.
    There has always been a healthy dose of irrationality among some of the car buying public, probably always will be. Wealth and wisdom are still sometimes mutually exclusive. Not among the typical posters here, but in the real world, yes indeed. Also, I think some of the super wealthy either don't have a lot of time to devote to shopping around, and also some tend to be wizards at running businesses, etc., but are fiscally sloppy in their personal lives. Millionares with 500 beacon scores.
  • gg107gg107 Posts: 7
    Interesting points, oac and stroudman. It may be that most of the super wealthy don't have time for shopping around, and don't much care about $100-200 per month more in lease payments. But I'd imagine the truly wealthy are shopping cars with MSRPs of $75k plus. Most of the people shopping in a lower range -- say $50-70K -- are probably not the super rich, but are affluent people who like luxury goods. They may be busy -- I am -- but as smart, educated people, one might think they would care about getting the most car for their money -- or, alternatively put, not writing an extra $3,600 check to the dealer for a 3-year lease.

    I will have to disagree with oac's point that community banks or credit unions can get better deals for consumers than they can get for themselves. In fact, I don't believe that any pre-negotiated credit union deal could approach in discounts what a savvy, opportunistic buyer could negotiate at the end of a slow sales month when the inventories are high.
  • 00boxsters00boxsters Posts: 202
    I and others continue to strongly believe that most of the folks buying an LS can afford to by an S. Not 'every single one' as you mention. Off the top of my head, I cannot think of much here when we can 'every single one' anything as you say. I included some data from a Newsweek article regarding income$ here last week that only one person acknowledged, it was not you. (#9042) You continue to use lack of data for support of others points but I have not seen Any data from You to sway the argument.

    I suspect there may be a small minority of LS buyers that are stretched just to afford it and an S is beyond their means. However, I believe most folks buy an LS over an S because of its much better value and reliability. The reasons I believe (the small number of) folks buy an S over an LS is because of the 'gotta have it' three pointed star (prestige as stated above) or to a lessor degree a feature not offered on an LS (awd for example).

    Your insistence on the higher price of an S over an LS being a major reason for the sales volume difference is weak and getting weaker. Most buyers in this market can afford either car but choose an LS more often for its better value and reliability not because they cannot afford an S.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I can think of a few factors that might account for variable dealer price-aggressiveness, in addition to what others have mentioned:

    - Some consumers may not be aware that price differences between dealers can be so large...maybe some of them assume the market is relatively efficient, and so don't bother checking with multiple dealers

    - Some consumers may be concerned that if they buy from an out-of-town dealer, they may get inferior service, or no loaner or whatever, when they go to their closest dealer for service
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    My last 3 cars have all been purchased via online enquiries to Fleet depts

    Do Lexus dealerships have fleet departments?
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    You also must remember alot of people are not going to go buy a car from far far away just to save a few thousand bucks on a luxury car. Most people probably only stay within 50 miles of home when buying a car.

    Also do remember some dealers are better at SELLING the product and therefore they get the customer to pay them more for the same product than they would have elsewhere.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Do Lexus dealerships have fleet departments?

    Yes. And the price quote you get is almost always lower than if you walk into the showroom to talk to one of the sales person on the floor...
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Where do you find email addresses for these fleet managers? Or do you just call up each dealership and ask for the fleet sales manager?
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