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High End Luxury Cars

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Comments

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I've never had one in my life. Therefore I would say your postulation is unsubstantiated speculation. :P
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Holy smokes! We have a winner! . . . by a knockout!

    who can top THAT?

    :D
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Sales of the BMW 7 series increased 23.3% since January 2005.
    On the other hand, sales of the Mercedes Benz S-Class decreased 13.3% since January 2005.

    As a side note, sales of the E60 were up a whopping 42.8% since January 2005!

    The BMW success story continues to unfold, thanks in no small part to Chris Bangle and his amazing designs.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    It's really hard to say at this point whether moving up into "semi-exotic" territory will work for Jaguar or not. If they can do a Flying Spur for $100K, they might have a shot. Jaguar can't win a tech race with Mercedes and Lexus. The nice thing about moving above that level is that it gives them some breathing room, where the latest and greatest electronics won't be as important, and they can afford to have design cycles longer than 5 or 6 years.

    If they want to compete with Maserati and Bentley though, the 4.2L AJ-V8 has to go. Jaguars will need to come standard with a minimum of 400 horses, and offer a lot more than that. The "XJ12" name also needs to come back. A V8 with a blower on it is just not the same.

    Their interior quality also needs to get about 5000% better. The '07 XK is a definite step in the right direction, but they'll need to do better than that to best the Quattroporte, S600, etc.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    When I consider the success of the Range Rover, in spite of what are off-the-scale poor reliabiity statistics, it makes me think about the XJ Porfolio and its styling, and what could be possible for Jaguar. It's got to be about style. That is what it always was and that is what it needs to be. The word "gorgeous" that they use for their marketing campaign, needs to be true, without fail. That is why I mention Range Rover. It presented itself with a style that could not be resisted by many in spite of its horrible reliability record. And, again, I emphasize STYLE as a major key, IMO. As far as technology, they already have enough of the basics covered . . . with bluetooth, touch-screen navigation, voice-command, etc., and with Ford's resources, I think they should be able to have any sufficient additional technology that might be needed. In my opinion, I think price will be a huge factor. Personally, I wonder if they shouldn't actually LOWER, not raise, the price. The car (XJ and its versions) would stand out as a steal if they did that. It would generate sales momentum and recognition. But, if they go to very limited production and high prices, I think it could be the end of them. (Unless a new style emerges that is drop-dead irresistable). Tough one indeed.
    TagMan
  • First, I want to mention the IS's total hotness, as I should have gave it an Honorable Mention, since I was in a discussion of general styling between marques, Japan vs. German. It is a close second to the 5-series, and better-looking than a 3, which is alright.

    And my #2, the sales numbers for Mercedes-Benz last month: January January Monthly YTD YTD Yearly
    Model '06 '05 % 2006 2005 %

    C-CLASS 3,098 3,548 -12.7% 3,098 3,548 -12.7%

    E-CLASS 2,465 2,725 -9.5% 2,465 2,725 -9.5%

    S-CLASS 923 1,064 -13.3% 923 1,064 -13.3%

    CL-CLASS 68 135 -49.6% 68 135 -49.6%

    SL-CLASS 528 677 -22.0% 528 677 -22.0%

    CLK-CLASS 1,126 1,225 -8.1% 1,126 1,225 -8.1%

    SLK-CLASS 619 881 -29.7% 619 881 -29.7%

    CLS-CLASS 901 778 15.8% 901 778 15.8%

    R-CLASS 686 n/a n/a 686 n/a n/a

    M-CLASS 1,962 980 100.2% 1,962 980 100.2%

    G-CLASS 93 88 5.7% 93 88 5.7%

    GRAND TOTAL 12,469 12,101 3.0% 12,469 12,101 3.0%

    Call me crazy, but I see a trend. Or a motif? :confuse:

    I like the M-Class' me-too styling, but when the Johnny-Come-Lately is carryin' the ball for the ENTIRE BRAND, there is no joy in Benzville!

    DrFill
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    A little perspective please. The model line-up has gotten a little . . . well . . . tired. The new M's positive sales show that a freshening is what is needed on the other models as well, and it is coming. The new S-Class will do well and the new E and C will follow soon, but should be sooner, IMO. The new GL will be helpful with little competition, since it is a three-rower, and we've already discussed the dysfunctional flip-flop third row seats in the Lexus SUVs. The CLS will do OK, and I believe that a new SL is in the works, but again, should be sooner. So, Doc, is it my imagination, or are you hoping to see some trouble for Mercedes?
    They will eventually work their way to better times with newer and even better products. Heck, they have to. (A wild card could be their diesels, if fuel prices go crazy, and if they could supply enough of the engines, but that's just a long shot.) Not the best numbers, that's for sure.
    TagMan
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    there is no joy in Benzville

    Somehow I think that the germancarfans will find a way to profess happiness with those numbers. Like, MB showed an increase over January of last year.

    I guess the M-Class accounted for 982 units of the total MB brand's 368 unit increase.

    Ummmm...maybe SUVs do count for something! ;)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Same thing every year with Mercedes' Jan sales figures. They always start off very slow from Jan-March, yet this is touted as some type of negative trend or crisis even (by some in the past). This has happened every year for the last 2-3 years on this board, yet when the year-end totals are counted up MB still posts a gain over the previous year - no matter how small it may be percentage wise. Hype lives! This hype would have you under the impression that all of a sudden buyers have turned away from Mercedes-Benz in one month because in Dec 2005 they moved over 31K units, second only to Lexus' 35K units.

    tagman,

    I wouldn't worry about those sales figures, Mercedes always has a slow Jan and Feb and it every years this is always seen as some type of crisis. Nothing more than hype from the Lexus camp because year after year MB's sales pick up dramatically in the spring/summer months on their way to putting MB ahead of the previous year's totals.

    M
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I appreciate that.

    Seperately from the stats, don't you agree that the line-up needs some quicker freshening, and maybe even a little "housekeeping" in a couple of spots?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    My point wasn't a personal dig at your "tastes". I just didn't (don't) understand how the new S could be so ugly when the 1995-2000 LS400 and 2001-2006 LS430 weren't. A style question, nothing more.

    As much as I've said negatively about the current CLK before its facelift and the Maybach, you of all people should know I wouldn't cut a truly ugly Benz product a break because it is a Benz. Did you forget this? If I truly thought the S-Class was ugly I'd be the first to say it like I did with the Maybach and 2003-2005 CLK320.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Seperately from the stats, don't you agree that the line-up needs some quicker freshening, and maybe even a little "housekeeping" in a couple of spots?

    Sure. A new C-Class and a facelifted E-Class would help a lot. BMW and Lexus have the advantage of having newer sedans in each category, especially Lexus. As DrFill points out all of Lexus' 4-doors are new for either the 2006 or 2007 model year. That will likely translate into breathtaking sales numbers for Lexus in 2006 and 2007, but they'll also be under the gun to refresh and re-design all 4 of their sedans around the same time again in 5-6 years. BMW has a similar situation with their oldest sedan being around from "only" 2002, while the outgoing S-Class goes back to 1999. What other changes do you think they should make? This will be a big year for MB even without and all new E or C-Class. Everything else either gets a facelift or new engines that will account for a better than average (for the last few years) sales gain over 2005 IMO.

    M
  • Mercedes sales were up 3% in January over a year ago. The new S along with the restyled SL and E should add volume later in the year. MB will IMO have a good year.

    Luxury cars are selling! In January Lexus cars were up 36.9%, Cadillac cars up 33.4% and BMW cars up 23%.

    Truck sales for Lexus, Cadillaac and BMW were weak in January.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    Where do you see me using the word ugly. I said I didn't like it but I also said I thought the car had a beautiful silhouette but was overdesigned and henced being overdesigned ruined its looks. The overdesign is in the wheel arches and the trunk. Too many parts calling for attention can ruin a cars design just like spoiled superstars can disrupt a team that is great on paper. The flow is lost. That's how I feel about this S - take out the arches and fix the trunk and the car would look great to me. I don't find the car to be ugly - I just don't find it to be good looking.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    "As DrFill points out all of Lexus' 4-doors are new for either the 2006 or 2007 model year. That will likely translate into breathtaking sales numbers for Lexus in 2006 and 2007, but they'll also be under the gun to refresh and re-design all 4 of their sedans around the same time again in 5-6 years."

    But technically there's a weakness in your argument as it that means Lexus just went through the period you're theorizing about in the future (correctly in all likelihood) with very healthy growth. In truth the real answer continues to be something that MB missed - the SUV phase. Lexus can much better balance out its line-up changes because of the the vehicles that many here so often want to exclude - SUV's. Stale cars - new suv's; stale SUV's - new cars; plus a strong wildcard - hybrids. In the US they have much better balance than MB right now and it shows clearly in the sales numbers and what happens when models go stale. My instinct also tells me that if Lexus rolls out a minivan it will do a lot better than the R-class. The issue for them though is the fear that it might cannibalize the RX.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    One other point and dare I say this but does anyone think MB is disappointed with its' SUV sales? A 1900 unit month is not that healthy of a run-rate - IMO - and I thought I read they were hoping for 30-35K unit sales per year.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    New and improved SUV's from Lexus, if TRULY improved as they genuinely and sorely NEED to be, could be a windfall for Lexus. I remember someone posting that there were no new Lexus SUVs in sight for a while. Too bad.

    The Mercedes diesels are still lurking, and could be big.

    Regarding the R . . . it is a sitting duck. (And gives MB a bad look).
  • Why you have to take the food off my plate!

    The words out of my mouth! :cry:

    Lexus knows the market, a lot better than Mercedes does.

    Besides juicing up this forum, I also posted those numbers to show a general trend. At Lexus, cars were down in 2004, but SUVs were up big! New record.

    In 2005, cars were up big, SUVs stayed strong, but leveled off. New record.

    When everything but one vehicle is taking a dive, that says somethin'.

    Ford sold "only" 52k F-series! But Fusion AND Mustang AND 500 were up. You can be more optimistic.

    The facts, the numbers say more than I can about where a couple of companies are headed. Mercedes will ALWAYS be Mercedes, but I see someone movin' towards the Head of the table, and someone who is scouting out a Booster Chair.

    DrFill
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    You are tootin' a little loudly, Doc.
    ;)

    Lexus knows the market, a lot better than Mercedes does.

    never chalk up experience . . . who has more?
  • The R-Class needed to get 1000 units to show me this thing is going to make it. It came up well short. It's had plenty of press, plus the Auto Show season to stoke interest. Those are weak numbers, regardless of month, for a brand new Benz.

    I'm still holding out hope the Lexus HPX concept will get on in 2008. That would be HOT! Sore it in NY in 2004. Unreal!! :shades: Please make it! :blush:

    DrFill
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    I think you are looking at model year 2008 for the new LX and 2009 for a new GX. The GX is selling very well and has exceeded their expectations completely. It's a very popular SUV in my town - you see them everywhere - and everyone I know that has one loves it. Lexus hit the mark with it even though I totally agree with you on the third row and as well, the stupidity of the back door swing out.
  • With the HPX? :shades:

    DrFill
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    DRfill - I was there at the NY show as well and that HPX drew in a lot of interested people and excitement. But the issue is will it cannibalize the RX? Personally I don't think so but I can appreciate some serious reservations about that issue at Lexus HQ.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Yes, my environment, (and I think I'll stay discrete here) is LOADED with 'em. Then again, disproportional number of MB's . . . everywhere.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    "never chalk up experience . . . who has more?"

    In the SUV market - Lexus (3 touchdown favorite when they meet on the field)
  • That rig was BIG! MUCH larger than the Infinit FX or RX330, or new M-Class. Similar to the SRX (which I like), but cooler!

    That has $50-55k all over it!

    Maybe they don't want to add another SUV, even a CUV, to prevent overkill.

    DrFill
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I was really only referring to MB's long legendary history of making and selling autos . . . After all . . . who goes ALL the way back to the beginning of automobiles? It's not Lexus. But, again, I was only making a point . . . no need to debate it.
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    Oh, I'm sure that it wouldn't cannibalize the top-selling RX... and it wouldn't make any sense for them to make a minivan. First of all, what would they call it? MX? Mazda would obviously sue them- maybe VX, but Vauxhall? They won't- the Sienna is already "Lexus-like."

    Also, the RX isn't stale anymore. Along with the popular RX400h, the RX350 was just released. It replaces the RX330 for the 2007 model year and it has 270 horsepower (the same as the LX470's V8!).

    ;)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well you don't have to use the word "ugly" per say. Saying that any of the styling elements are awful and/or that they ruin the design is pretty much the same thing to me when it comes to styling. If it isn't good looking then that leaves ugly or bland, or as you put it "overstyled". Either way it ain't good for the S in your eyes.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    But technically there's a weakness in your argument as it that means Lexus just went through the period you're theorizing about in the future (correctly in all likelihood) with very healthy growth. In truth the real answer continues to be something that MB missed - the SUV phase. Lexus can much better balance out its line-up changes because of the the vehicles that many here so often want to exclude - SUV's. Stale cars - new suv's; stale SUV's - new cars; plus a strong wildcard - hybrids. In the US they have much better balance than MB right now and it shows clearly in the sales numbers and what happens when models go stale. My instinct also tells me that if Lexus rolls out a minivan it will do a lot better than the R-class. The issue for them though is the fear that it might cannibalize the RX.

    Well for one I think the SUV boom is over, it will be all about maintaining at this point. Yeah the Germans missed it in the past, heck Audi is just now introducing a SUV nearly 9 years after Mercedes did. Whenever a brand re-designs all of their sedans in a year or so their sales are going to shoot through the roof, if that is the position then yeah they are in better shape than MB. I think I said just that in my post earlier tonight.

    M
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