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High End Luxury Cars

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  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    That LS car is coming out to steal the thunder of the new S-class in the most important market in the world for the S-class and will cost $10K+ less (in many but not all cases) and will have a lot more horses and more technology.

    We'll see about that. The LS460 has 380hp and the S550 has 382hp so I don't know where you're getting "more power" for the LS from. I guess you're comparing the LS600h to the S550? If Lexus wants to badge their car as a "600" in their usual wannabe attempt to imply status then they need more than 430hp to get with a real "600", a S600 that is.

    I understand what you're saying about Lexus and their long term strategy, but homer (i.e. the average buyer) couldn't care less about that, they're looking at the car not Lexus' business model.

    With all the quality problems Lexus' parent Toyota have had lately with Avalons and Camrys I wouldn't get too cocky about Lexus being so untouchable. Lexus was so lucky to have the Camry to come to market first so their owners would suffer those transmission failures first allowing Lexus to make sure it didn't happen on the ES350.

    M
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    "The GS is already hitting the skids."

    I guess the business reason for this is, don't have your CEO publically make untrue and ridiculous claims about a new vehicle.
    You can fool some of the people.....

    However, I am eagerly anticipating driving the new LS 460 this fall.
    With the restyling, Lexus will have a winner here.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    Homer was a reference to the dealer GM not the buyer.

    I don't remember anyone saying the GS would put the E out of business. Just that it would do well in sales at someone's expense, and it has. Somehow you seem to take every reference to problems to this extreme case of going out of business.

    Flying Spur - In depth story in today's NY Times.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/14/automobiles/14AUTO.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    BTW - in that same auto section there's a lease ad for the $80K CLS500 at $749 per mo with $4K down, 39 months. Basically it's the equivalent of $850 a month. Looks like MB is dealing them as that looks like a cheap lease for that expensive of a car.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    You'll have to forgive some of our resident Lexusfans, they'll try to put a business spin to everything like the cars themselves don't matter at all. Its all about the business and how MB execs are so worried and can't sleep at night and the always pending demise of Mercedes-Benz. It has been this way for years now. The Lexus LS is coming to compete with one car, the S-Class...not the others in the class so it is said. Only the S-Class will be hurt according to this theory and the same thing was predicted back in 2001 with that LS. Mercedes is always in dire trouble anytime Lexus introduces a new model.

    This is just spin, Merc1. No one is that dumb, to infer MB is going away bcos of the LS. That the S sales will be impacted by the new LS series is what Len is saying, and I concur. I believe you do too. Until the new LS series gets here, the S550 has the field pretty much to itself, hence it is enjoying its advantage right now. I have said it often, the LS and S will battle for sales supremacy. The LS will outsell the S, but the S will remain the top marque for sometime to come. With time, Lexus will achieve a status close to the MB... Its already 4th in prestige, according to a recent survey, just behind MB. We'll see...

    But pls do NOT discount the business side of the car industry. Its why GM and Ford are in such big trouble today, while Toyota is minting $$$... To not include the business angle is perilous.. But of course, as a pure enthusast, and a narrow viewpoint, you are correct to focus solely on the car itself. That view is not general and too narrow...
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I don't remember anyone saying the GS would put the E out of business. Just that it would do well in sales at someone's expense, and it has. Somehow you seem to take every reference to problems to this extreme case of going out of business.

    I guess you missed the hype about the new GS this time last year. Anyway the GS has NOT done well at someone's expense. The Infiniti M that some here said didn't matter is actually starting to outsell the GS on a monthly basis and the E and 5 still outsell it quite easily so at who's expense has the GS been successful at??? Very curious to know who that is.

    BTW - in that same auto section there's a lease ad for the $80K CLS500 at $749 per mo with $4K down, 39 months. Basically it's the equivalent of $850 a month. Looks like MB is dealing them as that looks like a cheap lease for that expensive of a car.

    And your point is what? It would appear to me that what you saw was a local thing and not a nationwide deal for the CLS?

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    This is just spin, Merc1. No one is that dumb, to infer MB is going away bcos of the LS. That the S sales will be impacted by the new LS series is what Len is saying, and I concur. I believe you do too.

    Nah the spin is when the implication is that Mercedes is going to be oh so severly impacted everytime Lexus makes a move. Then we get the more logical spin on the original whenever its called into question. Naturally I agree with what you're saying now. Sometimes though you guys make it seem like the S (and Mercedes itself) is going to all of a sudden stop selling because of the new LS, that is nonsense.

    But pls do NOT discount the business side of the car industry. Its why GM and Ford are in such big trouble today, while Toyota is minting $$$... To not include the business angle is perilous.. But of course, as a pure enthusast, and a narrow viewpoint, you are correct to focus solely on the car itself. That view is not general and too narrow...

    Really? Ford and GM's problems have nothing to do with this conversation nor does all this business doubletalk. Buyers don't care one bit about any of this. Are Toyota buyers staying away because of the CEO drama Toyota is currently having? Of course not. Nor do they care about how much money Toyota made last year. Not discounting the business end, just saying that it isn't relevant to us talking about cars.

    You'll be unhappy to know that the GS is already down in sales just a year after introduction. That Infiniti M that you claimed wouldn't matter in the sales race due buyers not wanting a sportier car in that segment has managed to outsell your GS last month. I seem to remember a lot of hype this time last year about how the GS was going to do so much and yet its already hitting the skids. Go figure.

    The only way all this business mumbo-jumbo would have anything to do with this is if Mercedes had put out a half-done, lacking S-Class like the W220 was upon its introduction as far as build and quality is concerned. Clearly (so far) this isn't the case this time around.

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    My gosh Merc, you can't handle anything from OAC or myself. You take everything so dramatically out of context that it's ashame. I'm sure you were even reading a negative comment into the lease when in fact the point was nothing more than to note that pricing for anyone interested in the car. Lighten up.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    MB's fan base is so much more superior to that of other brands that it proves unneeding for any other car company to try and overtake them.

    Superior? I don't think so. Even though I personally lean on the side of Eurocars, I still must recognize that the Lexus fan base is incredibly brand loyal, and statistics further prove that to be true . . . in fact, maybe even more so than MB fans.

    TagMan
  • drfillldrfilll Posts: 9
    And will give the next GS more chutzpah next time around. Trying not to offend is not gonna get it in the mid-luxury class!

    I think the point oac and lj are making is the S won't be so hot next year, so have your fun now, and pull that gross, cus a storm's coming!

    Calling the LS Hybrid a 600 is fine, but with not much more than 450HP at the end, a price over $100k might justify the 600 moniker, to show a true S600 competitor.

    Maybe LS550 would be more like it?

    DrFill
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Yes it is true, Lexus does have ONE of the best the best fan/buyer bases around. If I were a Lexus buyer, I'd see no need to cross-shop the comp. as these appliances are very reliable and work as advertised.

    But no matter how crappy, snotty, poorly MB assembles there cars, and I'm not saying they are, people will continue to buy them in droves. Some of the same people who're buying the W221 in it's first year are some of the ones who got pinched on the inception of the W220 with all of it's quality problems. And there are several in-house/independent studies that back up this.

    But it has to be said again. The new LS, while said to be a greatly improved vehicle over it's predecessor, will not shudder the S alone. And yes, the marvel LS600hL will be a welcome addition to it's line, but it will not topple a S600. And we all forget that MB has so many different variants of the S that they too help push sales. Hopefully the LS won't be so one-dimensional this go round. It's going to take more than an Ultra pkg. to take on the S.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Sometimes though you guys make it seem like the S (and Mercedes itself) is going to all of a sudden stop selling because of the new LS, that is nonsense.

    Me thinks so... Nahhhhh !!! just pulling your legs... Lighten up, will ya !

    Not discounting the business end, just saying that it isn't relevant to us talking about cars.

    OK... I hear you...

    You'll be unhappy to know that the GS is already down in sales just a year after introduction. That Infiniti M that you claimed wouldn't matter in the sales race due buyers not wanting a sportier car in that segment has managed to outsell your GS last month. I seem to remember a lot of hype this time last year about how the GS was going to do so much and yet its already hitting the skids. Go figure.

    I have said it many times I am no GS fan, so this does not really apply to me... I test drove the new GS300 and M35 when they both came out, and if you recall my test drive write-up on the sedan comparison board, it showered lots of praise on the M35. I loved the car and so were my kids who begged me to buy the car right there... (they came along for the ride)... Yes, the M is a better car than the GS.... currently.

    However, to its credit, the new GS came hobbled - 245HP GS300 (too low) and 300HP GS430 (carry-over motor) - knowing there was a GS350 and GS460 due within 18 months of the March 2005 release, may have something to do with its declining sales after only 12 months in the market. If I know I can get a 315HP GS350 in a matter of 6 months from now, why would I buy a 245HP GS300 ? And if I can get a 380HP GS460, should I pony up the $$$ for a GS430 ? Think the market does not know about the new GS twins coming real soon ? Even Lexus expects it to be so... Especially with an IS350 with 306HP (actual 325HP on old SAE standards) selling cheaper than a GS300... The mid-cycle refresh for the GS couldn't come any sooner...
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Oh please Ljflx, there was nothing to "handle" there. The many posts about how MB is cheapening the brand with their leasing practices precede you here. That must have been the hint or implication I had in mind when reading that.

    Forgive me, but I didn't expect you to give helpful information about Mercedes-Benz products. If that is what you were truly doing with that info on the CLS lease that would be a first.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    However, to its credit, the new GS came hobbled - 245HP GS300 (too low) and 300HP GS430 (carry-over motor) - knowing there was a GS350 and GS460 due within 18 months of the March 2005 release, may have something to do with its declining sales after only 12 months in the market. If I know I can get a 315HP GS350 in a matter of 6 months from now, why would I buy a 245HP GS300 ? And if I can get a 380HP GS460, should I pony up the $$$ for a GS430 ? Think the market does not know about the new GS twins coming real soon ?

    I love how you try to spin and excuse the GS for its 2nd year (same model year) falling sales. Now how many people do you think know about the GS350 and GS460 outside of the small group of people that visit internet chat/mesg forums? The average Lexus buyer doesn't know about the GS350/460 and dealers certainly aren't telling anyone about them with GS300/430s sitting on the lot. Secondly Lexus the all-knowing, with its richie-rich parent, cannot make a mistake company should have done better with the GS from the start. Goes back to what I've said all along when we have to hear about Toyota and all their money. All the money in the world doesn't mean anything if the execution is off. What sense did the weak GS300 make in the first place? I'm willing to bet that once the new engines are in place sales will spike for a few months and then start to slip again and then what? The car is years away from a total re-design. Hp along isn't going to "fix" the GS. A car that has to get a mid-cycle refresh for its 2nd model year is in trouble. I seriously doubt the 07' GS will be a facelift or "refesh" as you put it, more likely just an engine swap.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I think the point oac and lj are making is the S won't be so hot next year, so have your fun now, and pull that gross,

    Yep that is their point, the difference is that I don't think any of the Germancarfans go on and on about how Mercedes' sales are going impact everyone else so much. The house of Lexus is built on sales and more sales speeches from the faithful. Then when it doesn't hold up you get the spins. Lexus had better be glad themselves this year because without the new IS250/350 twins they'd actually be looking at a decent decline overall YTD.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I guess the business reason for this is, don't have your CEO publically make untrue and ridiculous claims about a new vehicle.
    You can fool some of the people.....


    No we all got what he was saying wrong! That never happened, now. ;)

    M
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    A car that has to get a mid-cycle refresh for its 2nd model year is in trouble. I seriously doubt the 07' GS will be a facelift or "refesh" as you put it, more likely just an engine swap.

    Yeah... I mean an engine swap... And the GS is NOT in any trouble as you imply. This is like you accuse us about the LS v S-class... The M outselling the GS is only in recent sales, so why would you use a few months trendline to pass judgement ? Not quite a trend as you make it. Could it be you really despise the GS that much ?

    BTW, the execution of the GS was biased to Lexus' strength - luxury. However, the performance side is there, just *hidden* behind all that VDIM junk... If I were Lexus, I'd put a kill switch for VDIM, stiffen the suspension a lot more, upsize the wheels to std 18" (w/19" option), and add in a 6-MT to the GS350 AWD trim... I bet that'd put the GS in a position to compete with Howard's 545i a lot better, eh ?

    Will Lexus ever put an MT in a GS ? Maybe/maybe not... Guess we'll see in 6 months or so when the GS350 gets here.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I love how you try to spin and excuse the GS for its 2nd year (same model year) falling sales

    You're so desparate to find fault with Lexus that if one of their models shows down yty numbers in the second year, you make it out to be a failure. Tell us, why don't you, how often is it that an MB model is growing yty when it reaches the 13th month or so after a redesign? Are you going to claim that it happens all the time?

    It is perfectly normal for a new model from almost any company to achieve its best sales numbers in the first 12 months after a redesign, for year 2 to show a decline, and for the worst sales numbers to be in the 12 months before the next redesign. Infiniti is the exception, not the rule.

    Are you going to call your beloved S-Class a failure if it is showing down yty numbers in months 13 and 14? That seems to be what you are saying for the GS.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    So OAC - in Merc's world Lexus buyers are dummies who don't know anything about the model line changes that are coming and just walk blindly into a dealership and write a check. These of course are the same people that according to him take surveys galore and read all about relability but when it comes to understanding what they are buying (for big bucks) they couldn't care less about researching model changes due. When it comes to sales in Merc's world Lexus model line replenishment cycles like we see with the IS and now the ES (which will bolster sales shortly) and the LS which will have huge demand late in the year don't count even though he's used them often for MB when it's in replenishment mode.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Re: Cheapening their brand etc.

    I just saw a new promo for used MB cars. MBUSA is offerring 2.9% loans on most models but not the S Class. This could be interpreted as the S Class doesn't need re-sale support. (Another less likely interpretation is that the S Class Program Manager blew his budget last fall on the S Class discounts to clear the way for the new model.)
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Yeah... you are so right... Not to pile on Merc1, but sometimes Merc1 sees the gnat in other people's eyes, but fail to see the big rock in his own eyes... :P But, we love Merc1 all the same. And we'll love him even more when he buys either the CLS or the S320 CDI due here next year..
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Of course, you are right in everything you posted about Mercedes, as usual.
    If MB execs. lose 5 seconds of sleep over the new LS, it will be a lot.
    MB is making a HUGE comeback right now. I cannot believe how quickly their sales of the E-Class have improved and the new S-Class is getting absolute raves!!
    I would think it's the Lexus execs. who are going to be very frustrated.

    You have to laugh at that dumb commercial Lexus used to run where the German car exec. (MB?, BMW?) looks like he will be shot behind closed doors for not keeping up with Lexus' incredible "advancements."
    That was one of the funniest commercials I have ever seen, totally pathetic and an outright lie! They almost topped it though with the hapless GS going down an ice-covered Lombard Street!
    Give me a break!! They must think we are all idiots.

    Lexus thought they would finally overtake MB, and it looks like they will be slipping down the mountain, just before they thought they were finally reaching the top.
    Those guys are legends in their own minds.

    I'm still driving the new LS in the Fall. Want to see if the driving dynamics have improved.
    I don't hate Lexus but come on folks, get real!!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    And the GS is NOT in any trouble as you imply. This is like you accuse us about the LS v S-class... The M outselling the GS is only in recent sales, so why would you use a few months trendline to pass judgement ? Not quite a trend as you make it. Could it be you really despise the GS that much ?

    Well doesn't a downturn in sales for a car in its second model year mean trouble? If this were a brand new Mercedes model it would be called some sort of crisis.

    BTW, the execution of the GS was biased to Lexus' strength - luxury. However, the performance side is there, just *hidden* behind all that VDIM junk... If I were Lexus, I'd put a kill switch for VDIM, stiffen the suspension a lot more, upsize the wheels to std 18" (w/19" option), and add in a 6-MT to the GS350 AWD trim... I bet that'd put the GS in a position to compete with Howard's 545i a lot better, eh ?

    Uh....if the performance is there and you can't get to it then the execution is off! There is no amount of spin possible to get around that, besides VDIM has nothing to do with the suspenion and other things that the GS needs to fully compete with a 5-Series in the sport competition. A 6-speed manual in a GS? Keep wishing.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You're so desparate to find fault with Lexus that if one of their models shows down yty numbers in the second year, you make it out to be a failure.

    I love it, this is exactly what Lexus fans love to do. Look at a MB's sales and cry crisis. It happens every year (usually in the first few months of the new year) when Mercedes' sales are the ones in question. Just returning the favor. When MB had that many negative numbers in their sales reports it was a huge crisis and a desperate situation. Now we have a new catch phrase for what Lexus is going through, "replenish mode" to explain it all. I remember saying the same thing at some point, but no it was dismissed then as excuse and MB was in a 'crisis' then.

    BTW, didn't call the GS an outright failure, only that the it hasn't lived to all the sales hype that was so preached this time last year. The car has been a failure as a true BMW competitor like Lexus promised it would be, but certainly not a failure in general.

    Tell us, why don't you, how often is it that an MB model is growing yty when it reaches the 13th month or so after a redesign? Are you going to claim that it happens all the time?

    Tell us why is that when sales of a Lexus don't put everyone else on the trailer as predicted an example of a Mercedes-Benz needs to be found in order to prove a point that no one here ever made about Mercedes' sales?

    To actually answer your question of course it doesn't happen all the type, but the E-Class did just that in its 13th or so month down the line. In fact its best year was 2004, and having been introduced at the end of 2002 for the 2003 model year it easily passes the 12-13 month timeframe you're talking about with better sales happen in its 13th-18th months!

    Are you going to call your beloved S-Class a failure if it is showing down yty numbers in months 13 and 14? That seems to be what you are saying for the GS.

    Of course not, but then again I'm not predicting the second coming of the automobile in every sentence about the new S-Class either.

    Let us not talk about desperate because the things I'm reading here from Lexusfans reek of it. Mention sales downturn and the GS in the same sentence and you get a revolving door of spins about how Lexus buyers are so astute as to not buy a GS now because of a pending model change, yet the GS300 has increased its sales YTD! Makes sense to me that only GS430 buyers are the smart ones that know about the pending GS460 while the GS300 buyers don't know about the GS350.

    What a revelation!

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Now who is taking things out of context? I said that the average Lexus buyer doesn't know about the GS350/460, not all Lexus buyers.

    Your theory about Lexus GS buyers knowing about a new model and holding off doesn't hold water because why all of sudden would these buyers realize this now as opposed to a few months ago. If they're so smart wouldn't they have realized that from the moment the LS460 was shown that a GS460 was right around the corner? Ditto for the IS350 and upcoming GS350? The truth of the matter is that the GS has always been a weak seller once the initial hype is over. What will be the excuse when the GS350 and GS460 start to slip while the E-Class and 5-Series remain more constant over their production run?

    If Lexus buyers were so tuned into coming model year changes why would any of them buy a GS300 at this point? We here in the internet community know about these type of things, but the average person doesn't and you know this. If they did the GS300 wouldn't be up YTD. Unless you're saying that GS430 buyers are the only smart ones because it is the GS430 that is pulling the GS line down YTD, not the GS300. The real kicker is that the GS300 is the model that stands to be the most transformed by its new engine, not the GS430 because it isn't eactly slow relative to its V8 competition compared to the GS300 and its 6-cylinder competition (at least on paper with "only" 245hp). Point is that the GS300 buyers are the ones that should be holding off buying one. Guess they really don't know much about the GS350.

    M
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Trouble is, you are just trying to rouse people unnecessarily. That act used to belong to someone else here I won't name (Pat is watching). Stick to talking HELM and not GS and everything will be OK.

    BTW, every car manufacturer has their *dogs* and their *stars*. In the HELM space, Lexus strategy was to dominate in certain factoids (reliability, quality, customer service, price) and these will translate to sales for the LS. Mission Accomplished... Within 15 yrs, the LS made it to the top of the heap in total sales = most loved HELM mainstream sedan.

    Like I said, Lexus' will not overtake MB in 20 years, but have put enough dent in the 3-star mystique. The response from MB has been more models, more power, and a return to its past history of quality and reliability. Both the Germans and the Japanese worries about each other, for to ignore your competition is committing corporate suicide. All of these should translate to better products for us. The new LS series is already better styled, and laden with gadgets. Ditto the new S550... And now a new battle begins, and we'll see how it shapes out. We are witnessing history in the making, folks...
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    But no matter how crappy, snotty, poorly MB assembles there cars, and I'm not saying they are, people will continue to buy them in droves. Some of the same people who're buying the W221 in it's first year are some of the ones who got pinched on the inception of the W220 with all of it's quality problems.

    Now, after reading this and the rest of this latest post, I generally agree with your perspective.

    I have always indicated that Mercedes "fans" and buyers are very forgiving at times. This forgiveness applies to Eurocar fans in general. We've had to be. Reliability hasn't always been what it should.

    The Mercedes were historically die hard vehicles until recently when all sorts of issues literally plagued the vehicles across the board.

    Look what Jaguar went through, until recently. Same with Audi. Remember the little Audi "Fox" model. That horrible car battered Audi's reputation. But look at Audi today.

    It's been ups and downs with the Eurocars, but many of us have kept coming back for more because there is truly something special about them. This is not to say that all have come back for more. There are limits, and many buyers have given up and gone Japanese. This is true.

    But, I think it is fair to say that there are those of us that truly admire and love the Eurocars for their "nature" and while reliability does matter, it is is simply not everything. Besides, I'm willing to bet that the reliability of this new S-Class will be better than previous generations. Certainly Jaguar has undergone what is nothing short of a a miracle in reliability improvements, and I expect Audi is on the upswing. But regardless, the true Eurocar fans will generally stay loyal, and that is my main point here. Our forgiveness is due to our true admiration for the special qualities of the vehicles.

    TagMan
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    If you think that was bad you should see the IS250/350 brochure. You would think the IS is a German car. The whole thing was shot in Germany and it talks about Germany constantly.

    What I never got about their commercials was the relevance of having British and Italian engineers appear to be in awe or worried about the RX330 when hardly anyting from England and certainly nothing from Italy competes with the RX. It reeks of a wannabe mentality.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Trouble is, you are just trying to rouse people unnecessarily. That act used to belong to someone else here I won't name (Pat is watching). Stick to talking HELM and not GS and everything will be OK.

    Nah, not trying to rouse anyone "unnecessarily", just exposing some of the fallacies and hype often given here when it comes to Lexus.

    Within 15 yrs, the LS made it to the top of the heap in total sales = most loved HELM mainstream sedan.

    Most loved and best seller due in part to being much cheaper than its main competition, don't forget the price part. You mentioned price as one of the things Lexus set out to "dominate" as in being a value relative to the competition so it isn't right to leave it out when praising the LS' sales performance.

    M
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    "You are trying to rouse people "unnecessarily." "

    Looks like I passed the mantle onto you.

    I guess "unnecessarily" is defined as any news a Lexus fanatic doesn't want to hear.

    Who knows? I may become one myself after driving the new LS.

    Can you imagine the effect on LS sales if MB decided the prices of the S-Class were inflated and brought them down to match the price structure of the new LS vehicles?
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    I guess "unnecessarily" is defined as any news a Lexus fanatic doesn't want to hear.

    Fighting words from our resident agent provocateur... But we need to get the focus back on the cars, pls.

    Can you imagine the effect on LS sales if MB decided the prices of the S-Class were inflated and brought them down to match the price structure of the new LS vehicles?

    What would be the key selling point for owning an MB ? - that it is priced as a Lexus ??? Huh ! Lexus would DARE MB to try it... Make that double-dare MB to do it... Lexus would laugh all the way to the bank; MB's already sagging profit line will sag even further, and the S would lose its luster and prestige. Lexus would win that battle in a heartbeat, PLUS, Lexus produces their cars far cheaper than MB could ever do in this lifetime. Not gonna happen.. rather, Lexus' pricing would creep oh so slowly but surely to match MB... And that is the pattern you should expect to see. It is Lexus that needs to catch MB's brand name, not the other way around, for now....
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