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High End Luxury Cars

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  • ideleidele Posts: 200
    should be GS430 not GS450
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    Now that Lexus is in Japan, Toyota has some decisions to make about its own high end products.

    What will Toyota do with the Century, Crown and Celsior model lines?

    My guess: they will transfer key components (the V-12 Vvti engine, superb interiors, hand assembly, etc.) to Lexus models and move Toyota down market in Japan.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    The Celsior is the LS and will clearly move on to Lexus when the new LS debuts. Not sure about the others. If they don't fit the image Lexus is establishing they will remain Toyotas. But the announcement in the past was that the Toyota models moving onto Lexus will only do so when the new models role out. Why on earth would anyone who is as established and revered in Japan the way Toyota is, move down market. They will keep building everything they currently build with year-to-year improvements as always. What belongs in Lexus will move onto Lexus. What doesn't - including some high end Toyota's I'm sure - will stay Toyota.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    Your knowledge of marketing shows...For my two cents--I think Lexus will have a very small increase above their present prices..They`l make more money with the options, and I base this on the volume of cars they can make...They sure don`t want to have a very specialty car and make just a few a month....As you say they are very astute and will market as they have learned....I am afraid they have lerned over the years from the Germans, and have noticed from the last four cars I have purchased from them, that they have gotten more and more attuned to the Germans...Before that (when they first started) they were more American oriented..Tony
  • Oh, Tagman, it's you. Well I'll tell them the same thing I'm told you in the LS Forum:

    Sorry for the confusion, but my message and your interpretation of my message are different.

    What I was implying was that the S550 should be more impressive than the Lexus LS, given it's higher price point, past and present.

    Not discounting the S550, not saying it's not a great car, or the new standard, but I am VERY confident Lexus will have the last word on who is the standard around here.

    As far as I know, the only flaws in the current LS are styling and HP, and those have been erased with verve!

    The only question to me is does Lexus want to sell 40-45k units at $65k-90k, or sell 20-25k units at 75-100k. They could sell that many, and outsell the S450/S550, but I don't see them doing that right now.

    The new LS I've seen, can sell on it's merits (and sterling track record) alone, without a major discount to the Germans. It's as good looking, or better, than the 750/S-Class, as powerful, better quality, as many top-flite luxury features, is now as big, offers more gears, and a hybrid.

    A price difference is not an apology from Lexus.

    It's a gift. Thank you, Lexus!

    DrFill
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    Lexans, please don't write off the S quite so quickly. Just consider:

    1. Some folks who have seen the S in person have said that the wheel flares and the butt bulge are not as unattractive as they may have looked in the pics. So even if the LS has removed the basis for the knock on its styling, it doesn't mean that people will flock to it because the S is so much less attractive.

    2. As far as I know, no one - including the reviewers - has even driven the LS yet. What if the drive is basically the same as the current car (very good but perhaps not great)? Meanwhile, the S has received rave reviews for its handling.

    3. What if Mercedes really does fix its reliability issues, and restores its "bullet-proof" reputation? And what if - heaven forbid - Lexus slips up and has some teething problems with its new technology (OK, I have to admit this last one is hard to imagine...).

    My point is that the battle is not yet even joined, and some of you are pronouncing victory. A nice looking, reliable, great handling and prestigious S is nothing to sneer at - if, if, if.

    [I had another word that I wanted to use in the title, but I thought I'd better not.] ;)
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    "1. Some folks who have seen the S in person have said that the wheel flares and the butt bulge are not as unattractive as they may have looked in the pics. So even if the LS has removed the basis for the knock on its styling, it doesn't mean that people will flock to it because the S is so much less attractive."

    Gary - saw one today - trust me - the wheel arches are awful and so is the trunk. The car definitely had great potential but was badly overdesigned. Designman has pointed this out a number of times in many posts - cars are being overdesigned and too many car designers today are trying to outdo each other and are simply following each others lead like a bunch of beached whales. The existing S-class is a far more attractive car. No comparison in my book.

    Agree with you that claims of Lexus dominance and MB being finished are way overblown. But the Lexus issues have to be created for there to be a problem and the MB issues have to be solved. Big difference. But the biggest issue of all facing MB in the future is Price. It's overlooked everywhere but my business acumen tells me MB has to accomplish all their fixes and drop prices as well. It all starts with resale - if you can't hold up the resale then the upfront has to fall. You can't keep propping up leases and lease residuals forever. I see a continued slow to modest acceleration of Lexus in the class at the expense of the Germans. They are not running away with the match in a year or two but over 4-5-6 years more and more damage gets done.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    NO ljflx . . . the new S550 IS gorgeous. I saw it up close in traffic last week. TRUST ME . . . it's beautiful. I can't wait to take a closer look!

    And the S-Class' beauty does not add or subtract ANYTHING to or from the new Lexus LS460 which will be judged in its own right. So far the reviews on the S550 are stellar, calling it the new benchmark. When the new Lexus LS is fully reviewed I think it is quite likely that it will also be favorable.

    You may have a hard time with this, but guess what? . . . it is entirely possible that BOTH vehicles will get positive reviews!

    TagMan
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I don't have a hard time with anything. I don't find the car good looking - it's that simple. If you do than I respect your viewpoint. For me the trunk is too busy and the wheel arches ruin what is a great silholuette. In my view it's an overdesigned car and a falloff from the existing car. This has nothing to do with the LS.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I also respect your opinion and am pleased that your view of the S-class has nothing to do with the LS.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Normally I'd say that this is too funny to read a styling critique from anyone who prefers a Lexus when they've had to live without an inkling of "style" or "styling" with their ride of choice for years and years. Too funny. Everyone has their opinion on styling I guess, even those not used to seeing any. ;)

    I didn't expect anything else though. Things have to change when Lexus does something. The complaint about MB/BMW/Audi/Jag making all their cars look alike will never be mentioned again because Lexus has no adopted a styling "theme" across their entire line. So what if the LS460 is a upsized, slab sided, duller version of the IS350.

    M
  • The German's "familial" styling are better carried off as by some than by others. Jaguar's XJ and X-Type were too close in styling, as were the 5 and 7-series of the early 90's.

    I've mistaken an A6 for an A8 at the Auto Show this week!

    Having traits of other family cars, in itself, is not a bad thing, but basic things like headlights and greenhouses should be noticably different, IMHO.

    Having the Maybach and S-Class virtually share taillights, or the C-Class and S-Class of a generation ago, is not a good thing, as it says cost-cutting to the trained eye.

    As far as I know, over the last 20 years, the S-Class was only really attractive this past generation. The '92 car was a tour de force, but more Queen Latifah than Queen Elizabeth. :cry: The '90 that had to deal with a new LS, was obviously designed in the early '80's and was well past it's prime. :sick:

    Mercedes sedans aren't paragons of sex appeal, as Mercedes most beautiful cars are coupes (SLK, SL, CL, SLR), so I wouldn't raise my sword too high, Merc, on sedan styling issues. The '92 325 and the '95 740 were better looking than any Mercedes sedan over the last 20 years, including the last S500.

    Having seen 4 new Lexus sedans for release over an 18 month period (new pictures of the next ES are up at the ES forum), I'd say Lexus has stepped up, and their cars now have noticably more style.

    They aren't Lamborginis, but they have nothing to be ashamed of, and can at the least, sit with any Mercedes sedan when it comes to style.

    And I go on record, again, that the current 5-series is the sexiest luxury sedan on the market :shades: , so I am not a total homer, and I maybe just crazy.....

    DrFill
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Having the Maybach and S-Class virtually share taillights, or the C-Class and S-Class of a generation ago, is not a good thing, as it says cost-cutting to the trained eye.

    Yeah this is a good example. Now if this were true, why doesn't it mean the same thing for Lexus? Lexus is doing the same thing with design from model to model. Anyway, the cars you mention don't have the exact same taillights in the way they could be changed out from car to car like you suggest. Totally off there doc.

    Sure Lexus' new designs are better than what they used to be, well except for the still awful looking (side view) GS, but they aren't up to Mercedes' outgoing S or current E-Class yet. Not by a long shot. The CLS flat out stomps holes in anything from Lexus.

    Have you taken a good look the new ES? Nothing more than a collection of LS/IS cues with even more slab siddedness. But I guess you'd only mistake one Audi model for another, but not Lexus because they're still different enough from model to model right? Right.

    A 1995 7-Series better looking than the 2000 S-Class? Ok. In AMG trim the outgoing S had no equals in styling until the current A8 came along.

    The 5-Series I like also, but I wouldn't call it the sexiest sedan on the road. It is edgy, aggressive and mean looking in the BMW tradition with a much better rear than the 7-Series.

    You've got that about the 92 S-Class way, way backwards, it was poorly done 2001 replica LS430 that was past its prime mimicing a car "designed in the 1980's" as you put it.

    M
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    The E60 is the boldest, sexiest, most aggressive looking luxury sedan on the market, IMNSHO.
    The headlamps remind me of the eyes of exotic ancient Egyptian goddesses.
    I've had my 545 now for 6 months and I still remain transfixed gazing at it every morning.

    The "If You've Read This Far" Department:

    On a side note unrelated to your post-how carefully some of us seem to be stroking each others' egos!
    Gives me the creeps!
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Guess my opinion that the current S-class was the best styled in the current group was irrelevant and funny too. What is funny to me is your opinion. Reading thru the lines it's quite clear to me that you know the S took a wrong turn in styling but you keep trying to dress up your wording to make it sound otherwise.

    "The complaint about MB/BMW/Audi/Jag making all their cars look alike will never be mentioned again because Lexus has no adopted a styling "theme" across their entire line"

    Several of us have already said we are not happy about this - what more do you want.

    "So what if the LS460 is a upsized, slab sided, duller version of the IS350."

    Your opinion of course.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    "Normally I'd say that this is too funny to read a styling critique from anyone who prefers a Lexus when they've had to live without an inkling of "style" or "styling" with their ride of choice for years and years. Too funny. Everyone has their opinion on styling I guess, even those not used to seeing any."

    As I read this closer I realize how personal an attack this is and how predjudiced your entire view is to a car buying decision. It's downright silly and foolish of you to think so one dimensionally. Do you have any clue of the type of house I live in, furniture that exists in it, clothes I buy, jewely I buy etc etc etc. While we are at it let's be clear that you drive a Japanese car and have yet to lay out a dime on the cars you profess to love so much. That is the most telling thing of all to me. When it was time to write a check - you put your wallet in a completely different place than where your mouth is.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Guess my opinion that the current S-class was the best styled in the current group was irrelevant and funny too. What is funny to me is your opinion. Reading thru the lines it's quite clear to me that you know the S took a wrong turn in styling but you keep trying to dress up your wording to make it sound otherwise.

    You couldn't say anything other than that previous S-Class was the best styled car in the class - anyone sighted could see that. My point was that anyone who even remotely thought any Lexus, especially the LS430 was a good looking car or a car with a "classic look" can't really talk about the new S-Class looking bad or taking a turn for the worse, when Lexus has done far worse - and it was accepted as being a "classic look". How hypocritical is that? My point.

    Lexus fans convincing themselves that a car like the LS430 had a "classic" look when the look was anything but, is "dressing up" the wording. The new S is "ugly" according to you but the LS430 has a "classic look". That isn't biased? Right.

    I'll give you that the new S-Class in base form isn't as good looking as the outgoing model but ugly it ain't and in AMG trim (just like the outgoing model) it is stunning. Thats my opinion.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Sorry you took it so personal, but it was my opinion on the perspective being represented here. But this tired old "you can't talk about a car unless you own it" is just that tired, and irrelevant (on your part). I really couldn't care less what type of house, jewelry or anything else you buy/have. Your point about what I drive is equally silly because I haven't bought a car in years and your point would only be valid if I didn't buy a Mercedes next time I buy a car. Period.

    M
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Merc1-You are not playing the game!

    When dealing with the defensive-impaired, you must stroke gently, like one of the other articulate non -Lexus-loving posters does.

    Anyone with any sense of logic knows that one does not have to own a car to write about it.
    I recall someone here who has taken the ownership prerequisite point of view writing about Maserati, Rolls-Royce and Lamborghini! One of each in his garage?

    A typical defense-mechanism for the insecure.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    merc1 said:
    I really couldn't care less what type of house, jewelry or anything else you buy/have

    TRUE!
    ljflx - All the money in the world won't make your opinion any more credible than anyone else's. It just might get some more fanfare, but that's it. If you've really made a TRUE success of yourself, than you should already have learned that lesson in life. No reason to compromise yourself like that . . . especially since so many of your posts are more balanced and interesting. I often enjoy your "business" perspectives as well as your opinions.

    As for the HELMS . . . sure, the cookie cutter styling is rampant. And, not too long after I had read that the next E-Class was going to be different than the new S-Class . . . last week I saw a spy photo of what is likely to be the new E-Class . . . and guess what? . . . it looks like it has borrowed a LOT from the styling cues of the new S-Class. Here we go again! I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

    BTW, the X-Type Jag is history. One more model year perhaps, but then the ax, thank goodness. It is NOT an XJ! The S-Type DOES have different styling (although I hate it), and there is word of a radically different XJ possibly around 2009. IMO, the XJ has been an historical lesson and icon for gorgeous styling. They should have NEVER made the X-Type to cheapen it.

    Also, IMO, the 5-Series BMW IS truly a beautiful automobile, from a design standpoint and performance standpoint. Few come close. It's a terrific "all-in one".

    The new LS is an improvement, no doubt, and will represent itself well in the marketplace. There is no way that Lexus is the only company guilty of the "cookie-cutter-syndrome". I think the newest styling is somewhat "subdued", but it is now clearly adequate, and I think Lexus styling is "easy on the eye" in a certain sense because of that. It's a safe, and perhaps smart, place to be in the marketplace.

    TagMan
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    "All the money in the world won't make your opinion any more credible than anyone else's. It just might get some more fanfare, but that's it. If you've really made a TRUE success of yourself, than you should already have learned that lesson in life. No reason to compromise yourself like that . . . especially since so many of your posts are more balanced and interesting. I often enjoy your "business" perspectives as well as your opinions."

    This has nothing to do with success. The point I was making was that you don't set yourself up as a God on styling, nor do you think someone else can't see great styling because you don't like the car the person chooses to buy. It's absurd. Preference for car styling is personal and is hardly universal. There's a lot more that goes into buying a car like one of these than styling anyway - which makes the point all the more silly.

    Want to see what silly means - All this is happening because I said I didn't like the S styling. If you read back I never said anything bad about the car - and Hpowders fails to see merc1's defensiveness and inability to handle a comment he doesn't like.

    Hpowders - give me a break! Your posts are getting worse and worse.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    The point I was making was that you don't set yourself up as a God on styling, nor do you think someone else can't see great styling because you don't like the car the person chooses to buy. It's absurd.

    I agree. TOTALLY. I think you could have said it like you just did, and it would have reflected better on YOU, that's all. ;)

    BTW, did I read correctly that Ford is going to pump another 2 billion into Jag?

    Take care,

    TagMan
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Yes, perhaps in an effort to snub Mr. Ghosn's efforts to buy the company, Ford paid another $2 billion. For the money Ford has spent thus far to keep Jag alive, they could've purchased Jaguar 3 times over.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    This just kills me . . . There are some things to truly love about Jaguar . . . but what a stupid mismanaged mess. I wonder if there is any hope.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Well, the space that Ford seems to want Jag to move into now is the Maserati area of $80-100K sports cars and sedans. Its working for Maserati, but the Masers are something special that you just cant get from a Mercedes or Lexus. Jaguar needs a hook like that.
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    Just when I thought we were making progress toward actually communicating with, rather than electronically spitting at, each other, we seem to be slipping back. About 18 days have passed since my plea in #13202.

    And now, to give tagman what amounts to a true backhanded compliment for being "gentle" in his comments....

    I think people need to learn the most basic lesson in electronic communication: don't say in an email or posting something that you wouldn't say if the person were standing in front of you. I respect what tagman has to say not only because of his knowledge, but because he knows how to disagree without being disagreeable. Everyone needs to learn from that, not disparage it.

    At the risk of being too personal, I have to say to a certain southern BMW-loving poster here that your love of humor is evident, but if you want to use insult and hyperbole as your style, how about taking a lesson from Don Rickles, who got away with being obnoxious by applying the same style to EVERYONE, from his best friend to his worst heckler. Continually using that style of humor on only certain people or points of view is not so funny -- and I bet you wouldn't do it so one-sidedly in your personal or business life.

    To me, the best thing about this forum (and the LPS forum as well) is the opportunity to learn about the pros and cons of a lot of different competing cars and their manufacturers. If someone just wants to heckle or insult, then I suggest they go to Clublexus or Germancarfans and post about how the MB or Lexus respectively is far superior to the preferred cars of the other posters there. That would be a better test of your critical skills.

    How about using this forum for expressing strong opinions, not strong insults?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Agree Gary. But if saying you don't like the styling of a car warrants a personal attack on your tastes back - what is going to happen around here if you say something a lot stronger?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Excellent post. You expressed my thoughts exactly when you said you thought we were making progress toward actually communicating. I was thinking the same.

    Let's drop all the insults and insinuations going forward. This discussion is too high-class to get mired in mud-throwing.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    ... This discussion is too high-class to get mired in mud-throwing.

    But don't high-class people take mudbaths? :confuse: :P
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Well, the space that Ford seems to want Jag to move into now is the Maserati area of $80-100K sports cars and sedans. Its working for Maserati, but the Masers are something special that you just cant get from a Mercedes or Lexus. Jaguar needs a hook like that.

    Do you think it can work for Jaguar, though? I wonder if there is sufficient marketing research to validate this decision . . . or is this just management's theory and hope, and therefore a very big throw of the dice?
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