Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





High End Luxury Cars

14684694714734741156

Comments

  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    I really did not take the money into consideration for the initial thoughts....I first wanted a change from Lexus and something that drives sportingly..Also the ability to carry a little more cargo than the convertable....The wife went and test drove the bmw, and I could tell she really wanted that car, so I was blindsided in that way..I should have started another paragraph in my above post as the cost of the bmw and what followed was really just a side thought... Tony ps The reason I further posted to Merc was I would have sold the clk to him at a more reasonable price...I like him He has passion
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    From a post in the "High-End European Luxury Marquees" forum by rl81.

    I know quite something about BMW, since I have done some work for them last year. What most people here don't realize is that they are not as big of a company as most people think they are. From a business standpoint, they have been close to max capacity for like the last 5 years or so. First the E46 and then the Mini took off way more than they could have hoped for. Yes, at this point the people are slapping themselves on the back. The 7 series that so many people hate sells better than the old one, so it's a step ahead from their point of view. I believe that after the face lift, they went into the right direction from a design and engineering standpoint.

    So people, just think that BMW just a couple years ago sold more than a million vehicles per year. Their capacity is almost at 100% despite Bangle-design. In some ways a little drop in sales makes their life easier, because they can get their capacity under control. Yes, BMW wants to expand, but expansion can only happen so fast, and don't forget that most of their production is in Germany. They only started full production in Leipzig this year, where they build the E90. You'll see them be more agressive in the future.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Merc1: You always try to twist other people's words to make your point. My main points, for the umpteenth time are as follows:

    1) MB is no longer the de facto, *must have* lux brand. You may not agree, but the market has spoken. The market has expanded (no one argues this) and the many more players, and the many more quality brands have relegated MB to the mainstream of lux car brands, not one perched at the top as in the past. May be it is inevitable that no one stays at the top for ever...But with MB's quality issues (real and perceived), corporate issues (SEC troubles, CEO departure, management shake-up, etc), and production issues (way too many variants, huge costs, low profit margins, etc), and the competition gaining in strength, all contribute to nudging MB to its downward trend (see sales numbers below)...

    2) BMW sales of the 7-series may have improved with the '02 release, but it has not gained an iota of market share in the lux space. Rather, the biggest gainer remains the Lexus LS which came out of nowhere to become the best selling lux sedan in the NA market.

    3) In the $50-80K price range, the LS ($55 - 70K) sells more than the S430 ($70 - 85K) and 745 ($68 - 80K). Feel free to add the E500/55 to the list, just to make the point. But here on this forum, we acknowledge that the LS competes more against the S than against the E.

    Designman provided BMW sales numbers, so I won't go into it here. But see MB numbers (YTD)

    Mercedes-Benz (YTD as of July '05)

    Car: 83,708 vs. 90,390, down 7 percent
    Truck: 14,926 vs. 12,778, up 18 percent
    TOTAL: 98,634 vs. 103,168, down 4 percent

    Source: http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosinsider/0507/02/autos-234803.htm

    Do you see the trend here ? MB growing their SUV sales while car sales are declining ? I guess its not just Lexus that pads its sales with SUVs, right ?

    Lexus numbers (YTD, as of July '05)

    Car: 81,849 vs 79,630, up 3.9 percent
    Truck: 168,568 vs 163,292, up 4.4 percent
    TOTAL: 250,417 vs 242,922, up 3.1 percent

    Source: http://www.toyota.com/about/news/corporate/2005/08/02-1-sales.html

    Do these numbers mean anything ? Lexus is clearly outselling MB overall, and about equal in car sales, despite the zillions of MB variants. Like Len (ljflx) often states, too many variants are a weakness NOT a strength. Could be one chief reason MB is not profitable....
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "2) BMW sales of the 7-series may have improved with the '02 release, but it has not gained an iota of market share in the lux space. Rather, the biggest gainer remains the Lexus LS which came out of nowhere to become the best selling lux sedan in the NA market."

    According to the above post by rl81, they don't have to...as they are selling all they are making anyway and their factories are at capacity. An enviable situation for any manufacturer.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    they are selling all they are making anyway and their factories are at capacity. An enviable situation for any manufacturer.

    If they really are capacity constrained, it means that customers are paying more than they should for the cars. So...enviable in some ways for the company, but not so enviable for the customer.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Please give evidence of incentives on the brand new 3-Series, I didn't know there were any.

    You can get a new e90 for well under MSRP. That is not a sign of a hot car. When the new GS came out, you could not get one for under MSRP. I'll bet you that when the new IS twins come out, they'll sell for MSRP (+ in some markets like CA) and not a nickel less, at least through this calendar year.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,665
    But they are not. BMW lease deals are quite cheap and have been for a long time now. A company struggling to manufacture cars to a market that can't wait to buy them can charge a huge premium over everyone else. So why don't we see this - because it's not happening. Even in April 2004 I could have had a 745LI lease at the same cost of a $12K lower priced Lexus, so could anyone else in NJ, and I'm sure in much of the US.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Thanks for the concise post. I'm not thrilled by the outcome (I couldn't imagine ever owning a Lexus) but clearly the trend is the trend.

    As a small side note, notice the non-proliferation of the Lexus dealerships. All are very profitable with no one canibalizing sales from someone one town over. This is the business model of a successful, self confident brand. Look at Caterpillar. They are increasingly giving dealers ever larger territories to better support the customers.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    1) MB is no longer the de facto, *must have* lux brand. You may not agree, but the market has spoken. The market has expanded (no one argues this) and the many more players, and the many more quality brands have relegated MB to the mainstream of lux car brands, not one perched at the top as in the past. May be it is inevitable that no one stays at the top for ever...But with MB's quality issues (real and perceived), corporate issues (SEC troubles, CEO departure, management shake-up, etc), and production issues (way too many variants, huge costs, low profit margins, etc), and the competition gaining in strength, all contribute to nudging MB to its downward trend (see sales numbers below)...

    Says who? You keep saying that the market has spoken, yet you ignore the proof in my previous post blows out that theory about Lexus selling more cars in your given price range of 50-80K. Secondly, you say that Mercedes isn't the "de facto, *must have* lux brand", yet I can't get an answer as to who is? It certainly isn't Lexus. Lexus doesn't have a single car (at least until the IS gets here) that causes a person who is even mildly into cars (not charts, surveys, earnings and who the CEO is) feel like they "must have" one. Lexus is the most boring brand in the luxury car field and certainly the most boring one of the 3 luxury Japanese brands. So if IYO Mercedes isn't the "de facto, *must have* lux brand" I'd sure like to know who is. BMW?

    The numbers prove that are just that, the "one perched at the top" for the high-end buyer. They were never the only choice or the most popular choice overall, just the most popular for the high-end buyer.

    Prestige and clout isn't measured alone by sales numbers either. Lexus doesn't even have a performance orientated car yet and nothing with anything larger than a V8, so how anyone could think they're on the same plane with MB/BMW in desirability is beyond me. All they have is sedans and suvs and a coupe that drives like a sedan. Mercedes has cars that comparable with Acura/Lexus/Infiniti at the bottom/mid level and at the very least comparable to Bentleys/Ferraris at the top end. That is something Lexus can only dream about. You don't see anyone mentioning Lexus or comparing them to anything but other mainstream brands. They aren't nearly on the same level of desirability to people who know cars as MB is. Lexus is the ultimate consumer brand. Which focuses on how nice the dealership is, reliability surveys, and what type of loaner car is given out.

    All that irrelevant stuff about CEOs and what not doesn't enter the mind of most people when they see a car driving down the road, and to suggest that it does is really realistic at all. FYI: Mercedes was always one of the mainstream luxury brand every since the late 70s' or early 80s' when they started offering more and more choices. They haven't been "up there" with the likes of Bentley and such since the , 1920s, 1930's or 1950's. Lexus has nothing to do with this so again I don't see what your point is here.

    3) In the $50-80K price range, the LS ($55 - 70K) sells more than the S430 ($70 - 85K) and 745 ($68 - 80K). Feel free to add the E500/55 to the list, just to make the point. But here on this forum, we acknowledge that the LS competes more against the S than against the E.

    What does that have to do with anything? You're using one example of one car here, not the total sales numbers of all Lexus and MB models that sell between your original price spread of 50-80K. You stated that Lexus sells more cars in the 50-80K bracket than "all the others" and they simply don't when it comes to Mercedes. The E-Class is a 50K car from the start the GS isn't and you can't count the GS300, only the much slower selling GS430. The LS430 might outsell the S430, but the E-Class crushes the GS and that still puts Mercedes in the lead in 50-80K sales. Check the numbers in my previous post if you don't believe me.

    Do these numbers mean anything ? Lexus is clearly outselling MB overall, and about equal in car sales, despite the zillions of MB variants. Like Len (ljflx) often states, too many variants are a weakness NOT a strength. Could be one chief reason MB is not profitable....

    No they don't because you originally stated that Lexus sells more cars in a certain price range than MB. Now you're spun it around to say that Lexus outsells Mercedes overall....well...hello we all knew that. You changed your position mid-stream because original statement about Lexus selling more cars from 50-80K than Mercedes isn't provable. Thats only "twisting" I see here. You also stated that Mercedes is no longer the car of choice for the high-end buyers, which is where you came up with that 50-80K price bracket, which I really think is short by 20K on the top end. Then I gave you the numbers that proved Mercedes is still the #1 choice for the high-end buyer, even using your price bracket, not the actual one that should be up to 100K. Nevertheless I stand by my earlier post that disproves that Lexus sells more cars between 50-80K than Mercedes. Now if you have different numbers, and not for just one car, then by all means I'd love to see them. This is the only thing you stated I took issue with. No one here ever debated that Lexus outsells Mercedes. Not once.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Thanks for the concise post. I'm not thrilled by the outcome (I couldn't imagine ever owning a Lexus) but clearly the trend is the trend.

    The trend is that Lexus has finally decided to update their previous sales duds, the IS and GS so yeah they're going to finally start selling more cars than SUVS, at least in theory they should. While Mercedes has a 7 year old S-Class, and a middle aged C-Class along with an E-Class that is heading towards middle age, though the E is still a sales leader. Yet this is seen as some negative "trend" at MB, but when the GS didn't even sell 10K units last year, this was seen as normal.

    This is why I think it is so pointless to looks at the sales from a few months, as opposed to a whole year and draw all these conclusions, when these conclusions are fleeting at best. It is the exact same thing every year it seems. MB and BMW are having some type or "crisis", yet when Jan rolls around they both manage to top the previous year's sales.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Also, in your YTD numbers you use the Jan-July numbers for Lexus and the Jan-June numbers for MB. The press releases you linked are dated exactly one month apart. In short you gave Lexus and extra month in your previous post. Probably just a harmless mistake. ;)

    When you look at Mercedes' numbers for the same time period that you give for Lexus it looks more like:

    YTD: MB Cars - 100881 vs Lexus Cars - 81849, so Lexus isn't "about equal" with Mercedes in car sales unless you call -19K+ units for Lexus being almost "equal".

    Something told me that Lexus' car sales couldn't possibly be within 1800 units of Mercedes' car sales (according to your post) so I had to check that again. Turns out my hunch was right.

    As always whenever you look at Lexus and Mercedes-Benz's overall sales, MB is weaker on the SUV side and Lexus is weaker on the car side. That status hasn't changed this year because of the GS like your previous (incorrect) post implies.

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,665
    "Lexus doesn't have a single car (at least until the IS gets here) that causes a person who is even mildly into cars (not charts, surveys, earnings and who the CEO is) feel like they "must have" one. Lexus is the most boring brand in the luxury car field and certainly the most boring one of the 3 luxury Japanese brands."

    These or similar words are your mantra but they are meaningless when it comes to MB as far as I'm concerned. I know a lot, and I mean a lot of people who owned MB's over the years and not one of them was even remotely close to me in car enthusiasm. You paint this issue as if MB was Porsche, loaded with a majority of people who are car nuts. It's not - far from it. People historically bought MB because it was money in the bank on quality, reliability and retention value. In all three of those things Lexus has taken that spot. That is what OAC is talking about and also Blcklislandguy. The 15K or so AMG cars that are bought - rougly 1.5% of MB sales will hold a high degree of accuracy on your point but even there I am sure that there are plenty of people who are not car nuts.
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    If MB is as good as you claim, how do you explain that people who own or owned both Lexus and MB all say that Lexus makes a better car, ie. reliabilty and quality, etc.?
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    first-generation IS...attracted young buyers with a median age of 29 vs. 39 for a median 3-Series buyer. In fact, only one other vehicle, the tC from Toyota's youth-oriented Scion division, has younger buyers than the IS, Colon said. It also attracted new people to Lexus showrooms -- 90 percent of IS 300 buyers were first-time Lexus owners.

    source http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/mld/mercurynews/classifieds/automotive/12309512.htm
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Good eye on the links. So MB continues to outpace Lexus in car sales, that's good for MB. Hope they continue to do well.

    But more broadly on the theme of my original post, I don't know about your circle of friends or family, but only a small minority of people I know aspire/own an MB. Two friends own an MB - E320 and an S500 - that's it. The majority are BMW, Lexus and Infiniti buyers. I am 42, and my circle don't consider MB as a car to have. We look at MB as the car brand of the past, that our parents/grandparents lusted after. The status symbol of old money.... This is our time and our generation. In fact, one of my good friends, an attorney recently traded in her E320 for a G35 and a GX470. She claimed that she wanted more *fun* out of driving, hence she got rid of her MB.... I have more friends driving a BMW than a Lexus. That influenced my desire to own one, a 3-series. Loved the e46, but deathly afraid of repair costs on a used Bimmer. MB is a good brand but highly overated and over priced, for what you get. To get best value, buy a used MB with an extended warranty (CPO-ed). How can such a brand (MB) be the *must have* lux brand when it is plagued by so many *issues* ??? And these are catching up to the reputation and mystique of MB as a brand... hence the departure of Mr Schrempf. If you don't see the correlation of the MB brand decline with the CEO departure, then you are more fanatic than I thought....
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,665
    "To improve Mercedes quality, Zetsche will have to promote techniques developed by companies such as Toyota Motor Corp. aimed at finding and correcting the root causes of defects -- an approach at odds with the more traditional method of inspecting and repairing defective vehicles before they leave the plant."

    It comes from this column:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000039&sid=atdD41EpoiC8&refer=columnist_levin

    If I dropped $85K on a car I wouldn't be happy reading that comment.

    Somehow all of this is hardly the mark of a leader and it's way too much in the news. Has MB ever gone through turmoil, loss of quality and loss of profitability like this? Certainly not in my memory. They are Damliers big problem right now. The more I read about it the more I realize MB is losing it faster than even I think. Of course Merc will read bankruptcy into this but all it means is a loss of face, a loss of pride, a loss of capital/profitability and a business plan that canot afford another big mistake. Somehow I think putting Maybach styling into the new MB designs is the beginning of a big mistake. The Maybach is a flop so why emulate it?? Maybe the design was put together when Maybach was planning on selling 1500-2000 cars rather than the 500 they sold. Perhaps iit was too late in the game to change the design. Who knows - but at one point there were some questionmarks about the timing of the debut of the new S. Maybe the factions in the company were in disagreement.

    The other funny part of the column is the industry researcher who says MB was standing still. Seems to be quite a counter to Merc's posts that they will never stand still.

    Lastly - this bribery investigation line in the story by the US government is the first I've heard of it. As wel it seems like Cordes is highly desired to stay on but that he has no interest.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    We've had some discussion about resale figures of high end sedans. I've got one question that I've never seen addressed. Does the resale value of a car decline constantly every month as it ages? Or is there a step function whereby on say, September 1, every used car has a birthday and then it plummets a year's worth of depreciation all in one day? The answer to this question is important because it could help someone time a buying decision.

    Here are two examples based on the idea that seemingly the yearly depreciation of a car is calculated on one day once every year. First, car rental companies appear to load up on new cars as early as possible in the MY for a variety of reasons to include marketing ( to offer new MY cars for as long as possible to their customers), factory incentives (the factories must give some incentives to get the initial production run scheduled) but also to minimize depreciation.

    Another example is an ad Jaguar is now running (See www.Jaguarusa.com for complete details) for '05 XJL sedans. The ad offers a good deal: a 24 month lease for $795 per month with no cash down, no security deposit, etc. My thinking is they can offer this because in about 30 days this '05 will be a one year "old" model year car and worth far less. In other words, they will face a tremendous hit on Jaguar depreciation but if they can move it now with some price concessions they may save some of this.

    I realize that the idea that every year every car in the world has a birthday on the same day in September and loses 10 -30% in value sounds far fetched. But how else would it work? Is a 2005 MY car bought in December, 04 really worth "less" than one bought later in March, '05?
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Speaking of being "way too much in the news" the MB fiasco in the cover article is this week's issue of Business Week and the Fianancial Times seemingly daily has articles on the bribery allegations, Juergan's personal life, etc.

    But forget about all this. Have they ever found his limo? The up-armoured version with GPS? That has got to be as insulting and demeaning as say, somone stealing Defense Secretary Rumsfeld's vehicle while he stepped out to talk with some troops.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,665
    Pablo was following the Limo story in a German mag. Maybe he knows what became of the S-class limo. That was the armored one with who knows what on it - supposedly a $400K+ vehicle. It would probably have been part of his separation package. You know I worked for a European company and that cut off of comp without paying out an existing contract is unheard of in Europe. They must have really had the goods on Juergen's "activities".
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I know a lot, and I mean a lot of people who owned MB's over the years and not one of them was even remotely close to me in car enthusiasm. You paint this issue as if MB was Porsche, loaded with a majority of people who are car nuts. It's not - far from it. People historically bought MB because it was money in the bank on quality, reliability and retention value. In all three of those things Lexus has taken that spot. That is what OAC is talking about and also Blcklislandguy.

    My point is that MB isn't the same boring type of company that Lexus is, not that they are BMW or Porsche, or that MBs are only bought by car nuts. My point is that MB has gotten a lot younger in styling and in the driving experience over the last 10 years. On this board MB is judged by their sedans because that is where they line up with Lexus, but MB offers way more than just sedans and suvs. They have coupes, roadsters, sports cars, wagons etc., and I'm not even talking about their AMG models. That seems to be totally lost here. Models like the CL, SLK, SL, CLK, CLS, and SLR is where the bulk of the excitement within the MB brand is (not just the E/S models talked about here). Lexus has virtually nothing to counter this, unless you count the SC430 which has been panned in any and every comparo for driving and looking like a Buick. Mercedes isn't soley about the S and E-Class and their resale values that you love to point out so much. MB is so much more than just the two sedans you looked at or that your circle of friends have/had.

    Just because your circle isn't into cars as much as you are doesn't mean that goes for everyone that had or has an MB. This doesn't go for everyone's connection to MB, not at all.

    M
Sign In or Register to comment.