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High End Luxury Cars

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  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    About those batteries...did you know that the first-generation Prius was announced in 1995, and went on sale in Japan 1997 (and in the U.S. in 2000)? Do you think that Toyota and Lexus might have some inkling as to the long-term reliability of the batteries? Do you think that any car manufacturer would extend an 8-year warranty on something that it expected to fail in large numbers in 5 years, which would generate huge warranty costs?

    That warranty is there to put customers at ease with a new technology. It is that simple.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    From Automotive News, "The chairman of the world's largest auto supplier has called for an end to the blame game in manufacturer-supplier relations. Carmakers and their suppliers share in the design and development of components and systems and should share the responsibility when things go wrong, said Franz Fehrenbach, chairman of Robert Bosch."
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    From Automotive News, "Audi will build supercar to rival the Porsche 911...
    Audi will build an aluminum supercar based on the Le Mans Quattro concept that was shown at the 2003 IAA in Frankfurt."

    I remember the pics of that concept and think it was a beautiful car.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Just got on here to see that the Euro crowd have decided to move out and create a forum dedicated to themselves. Good for them. Maybe we'll actually be able to debate rationally without the hysteria.

    Did anyone read about the joint GM-Toyota plans to build fuel-cell powered automobiles ?

    See the article here

    http://www.toyota.com/about/environment/partnerships/gm_exxon.html

    Anyone knowledgable about fuel-cells to explain this to us ? Is Toyota giving up on gas-fuel hybrids, or looking to chart incremental market share on fuel-cells ? Is this a technology that will make it into cars by the end of this decade ? And what are the advantages v gas-electric ? Isn't GM supposed to be working with MB on a joint hybrid system ??? Which of these combinations (bio-diesel, diesel-electric, gas-electric, fuel-cell, etc) is the real deal going forward ???
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Maybe this board should be renamed the Japanese lux cars since the Euro lovers have cut out. I saw stroudman had to take a shot at us though - unfortunately. I thought he was better than that.

    GM/Toyota - they have had so many relationships over the years that I once thought they would merge. These days Toyota wields power over them, correction over everyone, and can call the shots but they are also trying to be more and more an American company. From what I've read Toyota is pretty far down the road on fuel cells and GM doesn't - for the time being - have the capital to do this alone. I also think that the only way fuel cell development takes places more quickly and efficiently is for some of the giants to merge or do JV's to get it done. I'm afraid it's 25-40 years away and gas or diesel hybrids will be the staples to get us there. But Toyota hooked up with Exxon (merely $60bln in operating profits there) plus GM means this could move faster than I think. That is some heavyweight group!
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    But I'm afraid itr's 25-40 years away and gas or diesel hybrids will be the staples to get us there.

    25-40 years away !!! By then, cars will pretty much drive themselves and park themselves., won't they ? :) Would we not be *driving* above ground circa 2025 or thereabouts, as these futuristic movies would have us believe....? Who would need any of these fuel types 40 years from now ??? I guess we'll probably be using some other alternative *fuel-type* in the future, maybe Hydrogen ???

    And Toyota-GM collaboration continues to baffle me. On the one hand, Toyota is shooting for #1 in worldwide unit car sales by 2010 (saw an article in the WSJ last week talking about this wrt the new Hilux Toyota is rolling out to developing countries), OTOH, they are working with their competitor to bring new technology to the market. A competitor they do not really need, or do they ??? Baffling !
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    OAC - I had added some more to that post at the same time you were posting. But it's funny - I've done JV relationships with competitors where the battle is cut-throat on one-end and very co-operative on the development front, particularly new technology and new product. Toyota is pretty much a sharing type of company so I'm not surprised by this. GM would gladly drop marketshare for higher profits. Sometimes you've got to get smaller to get bigger. But again a relationship linkining the most powerful company on earth (XOM) with the most powerful auto mfr (TM) and the largest auto mfr. (GM) is some JV. They are already odds-on favorite to make this happen the fastest and best. The biggest problem that makes this long-term is the re-tooling of the whole infrastructture needed to support fuel cell vehicles. How do you transition to that day in the future when fuel cell cars start to be produced in major volumes while 99 of every 100 cars on the road are still standard gas hybrids (or possibly diesel hybrids). Then of course - you need 15 years for those percentages to reverse themselves. That's why it's nice to see Exxon in there so quickly.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    I guess they call it *co-opetition*, a new (may be not so new) marketing term floating around these days....

    Talking about hybrids and high-end lux, seems like the 400HP (estd) IS500 is a done deal and bound for the US market within a couple years from now. We already know that there will be a hybrid V-8 (400+HP) LS600. If MB and BMW brings in their diesel cars, up the ante on HP (>400HP) as both are determined to do, and still keep a very decent MPG on these cars, these would all be good for the market. What will happen to fossil fuel-based cars 10 years from now ? And by inference, XOM ? Are we talking extinction of the gas-engined cars as we know it today within a 10-20 year span ???

    More questions and uncertainties than there are answers....
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    I just don't ever see diesel cutting it here. MB and BMW have to be real careful here. If they go with diesel hybrids and the market rejects the diesel they are in serious trouble in the US. Neither company scores well in reliability as is, so trusting them in a new technology with a fuel America has rejected is a longshot. I would expect them to bring standard gas hybrids here long before they bet the ranch on diesels. I think you'll see what you have today - gas hybrids replacing gas and a handful of diesels for the select tiny diesel market. On top of that diesel fuel prices will go through the roof in the future. Meanwhile I think gas will eventually stabilize in the $42-48 a barrel range. With technologies under development to limit the needs of fossil fuels (not to mention Congress already hinting at year-round DST) it is hard to imagine the market driving oil prices up relentlessly. Remember there is also a terrorism factor built into those prices that eventually will come out.

    Over time the battery will get more and more powerful and start to handle the highway driving with greater efficiency. Lexus already sees it or has access to it which is why you're seeing the high MPG articles. This will make the fuel side (and the type of fuel) less and less important. We'll never get to an electric car but we will get to one that shares a much greater power performance when you are cruising at 70mph rather than idling in city driving. The electronics,(and we know who rules that roost) - I mean the real electronics not the I-drive stupidity - will increase in importance everyday going forward. I'd love to see Toyota's acquisition list.
  • I think all are the real deal...However Fuel Cell general use is 15 years away.

    The any Fuel Electric ...in SUVs will be enormous...It takes the guilt out of driving SUVs...Helps American Manufactures...Big Big Saving in the oil resource...
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Michael - politics will play a huge role too. As technology lowers the need of oil the many Arab countries that depend on it will have serious issues for their economies. They have virtually no other exportable product and the people are poor as it is in most cases. No one is about to make business investments in those countries either. So it is a complex long-term issue for the world community thus the intervention of politics is inevitable.
  • I am personally surprised the Euro guys ran.......I guess it is a testiment to the truth and power of our arguments...

    The bottom line is it will be difficult for them to compete in the luxury car market against a big engined hybrid with the quality of LEXUS......I really see the Germans in a trap, just like Ford and GM who are so tied up by the Unions they really have little chance to be competetive...With the Europeans it is the Socialist Governments and ever increasing regulation and taxes.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    that comments about other Forums members are inappropriate. I would appreciate your cooperation.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    This is not a dig at anyone.

    Is anyone here happy that there is a new board for "Euro" luxury sedans? All this does is split what should be one board for all luxury sedans. Now, all of us interested in luxury sedans have one more board to subscribe to. So is this board left to discuss only Japanese, American, and non-euro luxury? No. Posters on the other board will probably want to check here as well as post here any information they might want to pass along. There are lumpers and there are splitters. This seems like a pointless and needless split.

    I understand that those who started the other board are tired of endless arguments about which brand is better. In the immortal words of Monty Python, "Let's not argue about who killed who...". Why can't we just discuss the merits of the cars rather than bashing a brand because we don't like it or a particular car of that brand? Anecdotes are fine as long as they don't become sweeping generalizations or accusations. To quote another source (Rodney King), "Why can't we all just get along?"
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Pat:

    Since you acquiesced tp the creation of an Euro High-End forum, maybe you should rename this forum non-Euro High Luxury End, eh ? Just like Len opined earlier.... That way we all can get to post our parochial feelings about our brand of choice. I don't mean this in a negative way, but simply stating the obvious....
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    It doesn't bother me. It just proves to me the inability of some to handle the brand that is no. 1 in US luxury sales. I only read about 4 or 5 posts over there and cut out when I saw a dig thrown at Lexus buyers. It's not Japanese premium lux vehicles that bother them - it's Lexus. But if they need the confines of Europe only and need to exclude Lexus cars - so be it. Frankly I'm surprised a board like that is allowed to exist. But I have no desire to post, or even read a multi car board that needs its isolation.
  • paldipaldi Posts: 210
    This discussion should stay High End Luxury. If the Japanese and Americans want a separate forum, then start one and see if it floats. The Euro guys can still come here and go there. The grudge was getting in the way of the discussion IMHO. Everybody seems happy on the Euro side at present. The manufacturers seem to buy from the same tech suppliers and have a lot in common including executive staff cross-polination... :)
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    "And Toyota-GM collaboration continues to baffle me. On the one hand, Toyota is shooting for #1 in worldwide unit car sales by 2010 (saw an article in the WSJ last week talking about this wrt the new Hilux Toyota is rolling out to developing countries), OTOH, they are working with their competitor to bring new technology to the market. A competitor they do not really need, or do they ??? Baffling ! "

    It really shouldn't baffle.

    First, it lowers costs for both GM and Toyota.

    Second, at a time when GM is struggling, Toyota is trying to to keep the possibility of a foreign backlash to a minimum in the US.

    Third, With fuel cells or any other technology that replaces the ICE, there will need to be new infrastructure to fuel the cars. If you have several big carmakers coming out with different types of fuel cell vehicles, the possibility of having different types of infrastructure heightens. IF the 2 biggest car companies jointly develop, it leaves less room for multiple types of fuel cell vehicles, and therefore simplifies infrastructure.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Makes perfect sense. Thanks for such an eloquent answer....Did you say you were a car salesman in years past, Max ?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Plus both companies have worked together well in the past. It's the Exxon involvement that makes this so promising.
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