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High End Luxury Cars

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  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Huge "problem". I was faced with a similar "pandemic" when I acquired the S65 early last year. Turns out, the guy who was supposed to buy it bought a 760i Dinan Edition instead. This was the only S65 that was in the area and the S600 that I was eyeballing, the owner of the MB dealership wasn't ready to part with it(MB factory order that he wanted 185k for, yeah right) so the S65 it was.

    Hopefully, I'll be faced with something similar to expedite my buying time.

    BTW, don't feel bad for me for long as you know we're anticipating the arrival of our S8 from Ingolstadt this October. So I will still be with my favorite G-Brand.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Oooh...and S8...lucky you! Awesome car, arguably Audi's best car along with the RS4.

    M
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Blkhemi:

    I read your profile. Very nice write-up, btw. Those 19 cars in your stable, if you don't mind me asking: how do you keep them garaged ? Do you have a huge football-field sized garage, or are these parked at some remote secured location ? Very curious... I have 3 cars, with a 3-car garage, but have so much *stuff* in my garage I can only fit one car in my garage. And why do you NOT have an LS4xx in that line-up ?

    :)
  • stevekilburnstevekilburn Posts: 359
    Your strategy speaks like a mass-market mentality. The argument is good for toyota but not Lexus and especially not LS.

    The name of the game in HELM is rarity, refinement, unattainability. The image of UNATTAINABILITY becomes stronger when the price of entry becomes higher. Its counter-intuitive and hard to assimilate and understand.

    Increasing the price will increase desirability for a top of the line cutting edge product like LS. In fact I suspect that some toyota guys are influencing the Lexus division too much and bringing their mass-market mentality which is not good for LS.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    "....19 cars....how do you keep them garaged?"

    You're not the only person to ask this question on this thread. When I bought my property, there was an old barn that was about 8500 square ft. that I restored and made a 2-story garage out of.

    As to the LS, I had a '98 and I had a terrible experience with the car and the dealer(2) customer service. But I know my case is really isolated as my late father-in-law had an '02 Ultra that he put 80k trouble free miles on it. But hey, I never said I'll by Audi again after my near-death experience with my '87 5000. But in '03, I couldn't resist the temptation of the understated beauty and quickness of the S8(first one), and bought another Audi. Same with Caddy, altho their current line-up(save for the awesome new Escalade) is not what GM has the potential to do, which is really sad as they are determined to be the "standard of the world" again.

    So when the new LS arrives this year, I'll definitely check it out as that's what we car geeks do. If Lexus has tightened up on the suspenders and offers a "real" Euro-Tune sport option as rumor has it, then they may be in the running with the S63 that I'm contemplating.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,682
    You seem to have HELM very seriously confused with super cars that cost $200-300K and up. HELMs are mass market cars as they are made in large enough quantititiesand they are attainable by many in large cities and their nearby suburbs. That's why you see so many of them. In a given day I'll spot 20-30 of these cars within 30 minutes of driving, if it even takes that much time. Heck I bought bagels the other day and nearly got into the wrong car because an identical match was parked right next to mine. Across the diveide from me sat 2 S430's.

    Wake up Steve. the dream is over - your arguments aren't arguments of any merit nor are they even worth discussing as everyone's points, including yours, are crystal clear by now. You just go on and on and on because your arguments are made purely for the sake of disagreement, borne out further by your purposeful barbs on people as Gary H so well pointed out. But I guess this is all done with "love".
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Such an eloquently written post.

    No longer going to structure my evenings around American Idol since Paris is gone. If I see it I see it if not then I don't. None of the remaining contestants deserve to win IMO.

    I actually get tired of seeing Mercedes around here on a good Saturday!

    M
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    So what you are saying is that Lexus should price the LS way up in the stratosphere to make it "unattainable" for most folks.
    This really makes no sense at all.
    A great prescription for the demise of Lexus.

    One cannot force instant status through unreasonable pricing. Status will come with time and patience. Lexus will continue to gain in status as it becomes universally accepted. Let's see how it does in Europe first.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,682
    "No longer going to structure my evenings around American Idol since Paris is gone. If I see it I see it if not then I don't. None of the remaining contestants deserve to win IMO."

    Not sure I agree with you that none of the rest deserve to win, as I thought katherine would win when they were in the final 24, but my wife and I were not happy about Paris' departure. I think she's a great talent, a great personable kid and will have a big career. I like Simon, but some of his barbs on Paris were irritating and totally unfair. For example she's 16, maybe 17 now, and he'd criticicize her for singing a love song beyond her years. Well think about that - why have a 16 year old allowed in the competition if you are going to say she looks foolish singing an older person song. It means she has to choose from a smaller playlist then someone who is older and can sing such a song because of his/her years. That means the competition isn't fair and needs to be tiered by age groupings, if he is judging like that. Simon has criticized Paula for making the judgments go beyond singing ability and then he goes and does the same, albeit in a different direction by saying she looked silly singing a love song. How she sang it is what mattered and in all this competition I can't find a song Paris sung that I'd grade below very good.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Agree. Its quite simple, price goes up, volume goes down. Lexus isn't interested in being a Bentley. Even Bentley doesn't want to be Bentley in the old sense anymore. They could price the Conti GT up with the Arnage, and poof, there goes all of those new sales.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    At $65k, I'm test-driving an LS this Fall.
    I consider that a fine value for a re-designed LS with ML and navigation.
    At Steve's "stratospheric" markup, I'm staying home.

    Of course an even better value would be shopping for a 2006 LS 430 at the end of the summer. I wouldn't do it. The re-design is that significant to me.

    As I "age", comfort and luxury are becoming more important to me.
    Translation: I got used to those first class seats to Maui!
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    lj - I owe you a personal thanks. You saved me from replying to steve's post, and I could never have said it better than you did.

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Translation: I got used to those first class seats to Maui!

    Uh oh . . . you've been bitten by the bug! Unfortunately, there's no cure . . . you're hooked for life. The good news is . . . you'll enjoy it.

    We should all have problems like that.

    BTW, trade-in the 545? No way.

    TagMan
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    The 545 is very nice but it begs to be driven faster than I can do in most situations.
    Not a great car for the USA at present.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Well said, Len...

    I don't know about NJ where Steve lives, but here in San Diego, the *show-off your wealth city*, these HELMS are a dime a dozen... They are everywhere. Some neighborhoods, HELMS outnumber your average CamCord mainstream cars.

    Saw an F430 just the other day and did a double take. Such a beautiful car. I've seen plenty of Massers/S600/Bentleys in La Jolla, Del Mar, and the uber-rich neighborhood of Rancho Santa Fe. A good friend of mine in the Navy has an S600 he totes around to work daily... Go figure. Does the Navy pay that much ??? :)
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    "....19 cars....how do you keep them garaged?"

    You're not the only person to ask this question on this thread. When I bought my property, there was an old barn that was about 8500 square ft. that I restored and made a 2-story garage out of..


    Thanks for the response... The next time you want to discard one of these HELM cars, I'd be glad to take it off your hands for a small % of actual cost... Be nice and help out another car nut/yenta (apologies to Designman), will ya ? :):):)
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Hpowders... You ain’t gettin’ a Lexus. I am almost willing to bet the ranch. I know the dyed-in-the-wool BMW buyers and you’re one of them. The Lexicans throw a nice party around here, they’re smooth and charming, a pleasure to chat with and very convincing at times. But then the bimmerphile gets into a Lexus and drives it, it’s like someone threw a bucket of ice water over your head to get you out of bed. You say whoa, WHOA, what the hell am I doing!!! Wakes you up fast, especially if you go from a 5 to an LS.

    As I "age", comfort and luxury are becoming more important to me.

    Raspberries. We’ve already “aged” and have made it past that excuse. BMWs are easier drive so they are better suited for both old goats and young whippersnappers.

    Furthermore, if you can make it past Banglization and iDrive like you have, guess what… you’re here to stay buddy boy, chocolate chip cookies and all.

    (Pssst... Oac shows a not-so-hidden weakness for bimmers. He could be here soon enough.)

    ;-)
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,682
    "As I "age", comfort and luxury are becoming more important to me."

    Translation from our vintage TV show - "The golden years are gone, we have hit the second plateau."
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I hear what you are saying, but I plan on driving an LS 460 this Fall, and I will be going there with an open mind, but not an open wallet as Steve would have me do.

    If the car's driving dynamics have been improved a bit, it could very well be a serious contender.

    I will post my impressions at that time. Hopefully, I will pay enough attention so I won't be actually driving an ES by mistake-a sure characteristic of a third plateauer.

    If the new LS can core a apple, well, then it's a done deal.

    I kind of long for those second plateau days.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    While I'm sure the 2006s will have nice discounts, it doesnt make any sense to buy one when the '04s are exactly the same and will be that much cheaper. (And if you're willing to give up the 6-speed auto and a few of the gadgets, the '01s are "close enough", and can be had for under $30K).

    Agree though this redesign is a biggie, and definitely worth it.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I will post my impressions at that time. Hopefully, I will pay enough attention so I won't be actually driving an ES by mistake-a sure characteristic of a third plateauer.

    hpowders . . . just remember . . . you have the right to remain silent. Anything you post can and will be used against you.

    Caution . . . Merc will surely be able to retrieve any data you post at a moment's notice, without warning. ;)

    :D

    TagMan
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    "Anything you post can and will be used against you."

    I will make sure I have a double espresso the morning I drive the LS.
    Can't risk regressing into third plateau dementia and mistaking the IS for the LS-could get downright embarrassing. I don't know how many times I can use the excuse, "it was dark."

    Happened to me already when I thought I was driving the GS 430 and it was really the GS 300. The business guy from Joisey caught me on that one!

    What a revoltin' development that was!
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Funny, I'd never have imagined that a Navy town would be big on conspicuous consumption. Does San Diego really have more HELMs on a per 1000 car basis than say Ft Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Las Vegas, LA, etc? Someone could do an R L Polk analysis on this and pick up an MA.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Funny, I'd never have imagined that a Navy town would be big on conspicuous consumption. Does San Diego really have more HELMs on a per 1000 car basis than say Ft Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Las Vegas, LA, etc?

    No kidding.... would be a nice study to perform. Last I checked, San Diego has LOTS of uber-rich folks. Realtors, retirees, techies, bankers, energy speculators, Hollywood recluses, insurance execs, golf magnates, biotech execs, and of course, home to the US Pacific Naval Fleet, and the accompanying military-industrial complex ! It has been shown that Rancho Santa Fe (92091) is on the top 5 richest zipcode in America, located a couple miles to my home - tho' physically close, but miles apart in bank statements.

    http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20050508/news_1h08rancho.html

    Rumor has it that a few years ago, one gentleman outbid everyone else for an oceanfront home here in La Jolla, by a whopping $40 Million over the asking price !!! Now that is a grand purchase, and one that would fit Steve's definition of *premium* or "quantum leap" in pricing... :) An uber-HELM purchase, to be exact...
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yeah that may have been a little harsh because I do like Katherine too, but I guess overall this year was the worst group of finalist in the history of the competition, IMO of course.

    My money is on Chris now though I can't (won't) make time to watch it anymore..still upset about Paris, Mandisa, Ace all having been voted off.

    Oh, well we both know that this whole thing is driven by age and looks to a point and the singing just happens to be the cover.

    See any interesting HELMS today?

    M
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I have friends who live in La Jolla that I had first met when I lived in Maui for about three years. Wow . . . San Diego, La Jolla, and area are top notch due to incredible weather and beaches. If you like great restaurants, the area is loaded with 'em.

    oac is living in a great area indeed.

    I'm also a Californian, but relatively closer to Silicon Valley area / S.F. Bay area. Our area does have the number ONE richest zip code in Atherton, and number 6 in Marin county.

    Truthfully, the entire area out here is so economically powerful it is almost ridiculous. But there is something to be said for that "sunshine tax".

    And to paint a fair and balanced picture, there are also some areas that you would not want find yourself alone at night.

    As oac can tell you, home prices are usually beyond many folks wildest imagination. The secret out here has always been to purchase real estate as soon as possible and keep working your way up as fast as possible to keep building more and more equity.

    There is a magazine called "Unique Homes" that often showcases some of the nations top real estate from various areas, and it gives a glimpse into some of these markets. Also, for fun, you can go to some of the internet real estate sites and click on various areas around the country and see just what is on the market and how much it costs. It's a real eye-opener!!!

    Personally, I love California. Yeah, there are a few too many "fruits and nuts", but nowadays they are everywhere, anyway. Recently, we went skiing and snowboarding on a Friday and surfing at the beach the next day, Saturday. Now, that's truly amazing to me. Then there are those giant redwoods and Yosemite and so much more.

    I have some friends that just moved to New Jersey (job thing), and said it was absolutely beautiful. So, it just goes to show . . .it's a beautiful country we all live in, that's for sure.

    But then again there's those guys from Long Island with 19-car garages! And those lucky Europeans are the ones that get the diesels . . . go figure. ;)

    TagMan
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    is great if you live there, but if you don't, try and find a parking space!

    Ah. Good old 94027, tagman. Very nice!
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    I have to agree. My son lives in La Jolla(techno overload geek) and there are some pretty nice HELM's there that makes Rodeo Drive look like a strip mall(He drives a Lambo Murecilago, and I thought that was something until I saw a Porsche Carrera GT-twice the price). It's like the further south in SoCal, the better. During my years in Orange County(uber-rich Newport Beach-Balboa Estates), I saw more HELM's there than in LA, you'd think it would be vice versa.

    Beyond belief, one would think that places like Southern Florida, Vegas, even rich-ole Houston Tex would have more of them. But here on the east coast, I'm seeing more and more very high-end exoctics(saw my first Enzo on this coast last week, and the guy down the street from me just purchased his Flying Spur). But we're still far behind other parts of the country.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    One other very cool fact about HELMS and cars in general in California is that the milder climate and sunny weather cause less wear and tear to the vehicles. Years ago the difference between a used East-coast car and a California car was much more dramatic, particularly regarding rust and body damage, but modern manufacturing techniques have improved a lot in that area. But there is still a general advantage to a California car, IMO.

    TagMan
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    (Pssst... Oac shows a not-so-hidden weakness for bimmers. He could be here soon enough.)

    A not-so-hidden weakness ??? My dear Designman, my love for BMW has never been hidden ! It's just that I like Lexus just a tad more .... My wife's favorite HELM style-wise remains the 750i... I told her she needs to see the new LS before she decides a favorite... I hope the LS is better styled than the Bimmer, otherwise I won't hear the end of it if I choose to buy an LS460 instead of the Bimmer. Personally, I like the 3-er the most. Give me a 330i w/SP in silver/black, or an IS350 w/ML/Nav in red/tan, and I am a happy camper. The way I drive, I sure need an aggresive car, while the LS serves as a change of pace car for me. For my money, that IS350 looks far more aggresive than the Bimmer, so if I had a choice it'd be a tough one b/w the two... 5 years from now, with both of my kids in College, and a need to downsize from the big LX470 to a coupe/convert/sports car, then I'd see which one to take b/w an IS500/IS coupe, a 335ci w/SP, a Boxter, or something else in that $40-60K range in a true sport sedan/coupe... who knows what it'll be?
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