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High End Luxury Cars



  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    The diesel and hybrid discussion is better placed on the News & Views board and/or the Hybrids board.

    We need to get back to the broader subject of the High End marques. And it would be reaaally nice if we could talk about some of the really high end marques instead of just the two maufacturers we get so stuck on in here ...
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    I also really would like to read what those that had experience with really high end cars would have to say.....I am unfortunately afraid that there are so few of them that we won`t read much......I am in the process of possibly getting an Audi 8 that I will report on when I have something to contribute, but it is not that `high end`, although for me it is very high end... Just think the Lexus , BMW, Jaguar, and Mercedes really represent the vast majority of the luxury cars that individuals purchase. I would think that the people are pretty smart in that regard as the dealer network has to be in place for when things go wrong.....I am a bit concerned going the Audi route as the dealerships have been far and few between....I did think of Bentley but it would just be `brutal` when small pebbles , or blowing sand after a snow storm, marred such a beautiful car...Also the cost of fixing anything would be exorbitant... Many month ago on the Lexus discussion I related how our driving habits have changed so much that the really luxurious cars are not really adaptible to this modern world..It would be too expensive to drive a two hundred thousand dollar car on a long road trip, therefore on the road you rarely see one other than near the ``Large Expensive Cities` .Never the less I still thought about it....Tony
  • Tony,

    Interesting post. What is the number or reference to your earlier post on US driving habits on the Lexus board. I'd like to read it.

    One reason why you don't see many very high end cars on the road is that these are the couple's third or fourth car and they get driven only on weekends while at their country place. They just aren't taken on long road trips for a variety of reasons although I don't think cost is one. This summer I did though see a Maybach with NY plates parked in front of the Ritz in Montreal while the owners checked in. The four digit, low mileage on three and four year old very high end cars amazes me.

    I have a theory about the ownership of very high end cars that I'd like to try out. By the time someone can realistically shop for a very high end car (i.e., above 200K), that purchase is probably competing with a light twin plane, a sport fishing boat, or even the second vacation home. IMHO people with the means to buy an above 200K car are not the motorheads like us or that they perhaps once were. They have moved on to bigger and better toys. (The reason for the 200K cutoff is that it strikes me that a moderately successful working couple--maybe a JD/MD, DDS/CPA, anyone really who files a joint return north of 180K-- could scrape up the money to get into a Bentley Continental or a MB S and use it as a daily driver.)
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Block Island guy - I know several people worth $100mln+ and none have a high end car beyond the class we talk about here. The reason - in at least two of the people I know in that class is that it is a total waste and one more thing to take care of - in their opinion. As well a real high end car will depreciate rapidly whether driven or not. These people are much more into second and tirtiary lux homes and the travel to get them there - one has a gorgeous second home in Nantucket and a third in the Turk and Caicos for example. Thus the interest is greater in flying planes or more accurately into buying flight time on private jets - usually the highest class possible. The reason of course is the luxury of flying to and from their vacation homes and other vacations around the world as well as the luxury of flying on business without all the nuanaces of security checks on commercial flights. They also much rather buy an expensive yacht than a Rolls. You could argue that they can do all of this but they also have estate planning as well as wanting to maintain a large stockpile of cash for business opportunities. My opinion - the people that buy very expensive high end cars are the people that inherit money much more so than the people that earn the money.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I know one guy in my town with the money for the mega lux class. He would rather spend his money on sports cars than luxury limos. He has a 996 model 911 GT2, a BMW Z8, and a 360 Modena. I think "car guys" with money are not interested in Maybachs, RRs, or Bentleys (except maybe the Continental GT).
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Many years ago I had a summer job just out of high school working for someone with very high powered job. He had a 5th Avenue apartment, home in Bronxville and a full-time chauffeur. His car was a low-level Dodge, I forget the model. You would think the guy was a nasty skinflint but quite the contrary. He was a gentleman, compassionate, treating the employees quite well. He was just a shy frugal person who insisted on keeping a low profile. And in his position and level of fame he could have had a ton of limelight. I do however remember feeling cheated by that friggin’ Dodge.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    The chauffeur must have loved driving around that Dodge (Stratus/Neon?).... hehe...
  • Agreed.

    The people in Lambos are often trustfunders.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    Those Econo boxes sure can be fun to drive. I took delivery of my Corolla two days ago. It's a nice enough car. I sure can't complain about the gas mileage. Sure it lacks the power and comfort of my LS400 and 430 but hey, it's easier to drive around town.
    My Lexus dealer is really starting to get on my nerves. As some of you know, they billed me $2100 to repair the front suspension. They didn't fix the problem, (Creaking when manuvering at low speeds) and now I'm getting the royal run-around trying to get it back in and fixed at their expense. I refuse to be billed for taking the suspension apart again and realigning it. I think it would be fair to pay for parts. I told them I want a diagnostic approach taken...Without a doubt you'll find plenty of things to replace on an old car, but is it relevant to the problem?
    Replacing parts blindly isn't going to do it!
    I left the service manager a message today. If he doesn't get back to me, I'll have the credit card company halt the $2100 payment, and file a complaint with the Mass Attorney General's office. It isn't so much the bill (I told them to fix it properly no matter the cost the first time!) it's the shoddy service I've received that's making me angry..How has everyone else dealt with these sort of behavior from their dealers?

  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    We can state the name of dealerships in these forums, right? Just not salespeople? If so, SV, just wondering what dealership are you dealing with...
  • I would almost bet that guy is driving a Lexus today....
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    The dealer is Lexus of Watertown in MA...I just got off the phone with the Lexus Corporate Folks...As usual they want to "mediate.." I told them I plan on taking legal action if they don't resolve it on their own. Here's the whole history:
    The car was hit in an accident two years ago. The Insurance company paid over $6K to fix it..The majority of the damage was on the Left Front. They replaced the entire LF Suspension Assembly and Lower Ball joints on both sides. Ever since then it has been making this Creaking noise when you make turns at low speeds. (Say about 10-15 MPH) I took it back to Lexus and they replaced the front bushings. Then I took it back again and they said it needed Strut Rod Bushings. I declined the repair as I was heading to London, so I didn't need the car..

    So a few weeks ago, I sent it in to get this done...I get a call from the dealership saying it needed $4K in work, mainly suspension. Some of you may remember my very annoyed post at the time...So I went to the dealership and spoke to the mechanic. He also seemed to be at odds with the amount of work the Service Advisor said it needed...

    He denied the Strut Rod Bushings needed replacement and told me the RF Upper Control Arms were the issue. In fact he insisted, it was a safety issue. This time I even took him on a test drive and was able to duplicate the problem...Low and behold I pick it up four days later and it's STILL making the same noise. I was especially ticked off with the service consultant who seemed to take issue with my questioning her estimates. Today was the last straw..I called them on Friday telling them to pick up the car and diagnose it..The Asst Service Manager (Who is a great guy) told me it would be done on Monday. I call today and he's not there (Unavailable until Thursday) and no one seems to know what's going on...I've left messages with the Service Manager and General Manager of the Dealership...So far no returned calls...

    Can you believe this?!

  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    I`m sorry to say ``It is lost``....I did find out after trying to even search this board that Merc was the number three poster back in 1999, during the boom times....My what fun while it lasted.. Blockislandguy I do remember your thoughts about getting maybe a twoo thousand or two thousand one Bentley for around ninety thousand or so....In following that thought up it did become apparent to me that in that niche market the depreciation is really heavy...Some of those types of cars cost maybe three hundred thousand or more.....For me even if the car were to be down even alot more than ninety thousand I would not want to project that sort of thing...I guess I`m just oldfashoned in that way....I do love to think of things like that and also see other people enjoying themselves---And believe me when I am down in Miami---You see it all all the time and right up close...Up here in South Carolina, you see very little of anything (there is a Mayback parked a few blocks away on occasion)...As for the planes, the company has to own those, as they are mind boggeling so expensive....When I used it about a year ago, and only had to pay for fuel and pilots it cost twelve hundred to fly about three hundred miles and back..Now I bet it would cost fifteen hundred.....If you fill it up with people it is way cheaper per person, but just you and wife no way...Another thing about the plane is that it is most useful to go and come in one day..If you keep the pilots overnight that jumps the cost probably five to six hundred dollars...So say a person was going to their vacation home in the islands, a couple of thousand to get down and then a couple of more to come home....Now if you paid the deprecian and maintenance out of your pocket that may be one hundred thousand a quarter and no flying expense.....I`l leave the rest to your imagination..Tony
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    A reporter is looking to interview folks who recently bought, ordered, or are considering ordering an AWD BMW 5-Series, Cadillac STS4, Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic, Audi A6 Quattro or Lexus GS300 AWD and is getting the car to replace an SUV. Please respond to no later than Thursday, September 15, 2005 with your daytime contact information and the makes/models of the vehicles coming and going in your life at this time.
    Jeannine Fallon
    Corporate Communications
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Tony - I forget the actual rates but it does go by plane type. One of the guys I know would spend about $200K a year on flight time and for that he got something like 125 hours a year if I remember right. They only count actual time in the air and not ground delays. On layovers, it's like limo service - if you go somewhere and layover for many days - say NY-Miami - you end up being charged for 8 hours (assuming 4 hours per round trip), as the plane has to come back to its home airport. But if they can pick someone up nearby you get creditted back pro-rata - ie maybe they could pick up someone in Orlando or Atlanta on the return. I flew on one of the planes once roundtrip into Sarasota and it was great. Plenty of food, including ability to custom order and a real luxury cabin. As well the trip was much quicker as this particular plane flew at 47,000 feet - similar to the Concord. You can really see the curvature of Earth at that height and the flight is super smooth as you are above virtually all turbulence. The mags that you get that are proprietary to the flight provider are loaded with the ultimate in luxury advertising. Funny, but the one I flew on had ads from MB, Lexus and BMW but I never saw a Maybach, Rolls or Bentley ad and I scanned through about 4 months of mags onboard. I also brought one home for my wife and quickly regretted that poor decision. You can imagine the jewelry and fashion ads in these mags. It made Architectual Digest look like a shabby magazine.
  • SV, you didn't ask my advice, so forgive me. But go slow on stopping payment on the credit card. For the amount of money that is involved, the dealership will have to go after you and because it is over 2K in MA it won't be in small claims court where you could appear w/o a lawyer and informally present your case.

    As I think someone else has suggested, now is the time to either unload the beast or bring it to an independent to be fixed. It shouldn't be at a $95 +_ per hour big city dealer with service writers who, you guessed it, write.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    The last I heard on the time share jets or turbos is a one time payment of say three hundred thousand, and then a charge of eight hundred to sixteen hundred (for the faster palane) and you had to use say one hundred hours or something like that.....In my opinion those sort of charges can be used in a business, but if a person is earning a living it is hard to spend such an amount of money. I cant`e even spend the money for a first class ticket, so I`l see you all back in coach....It may be a poor experience back there but anyone can take it for a few hours...Then just take a nice shower and forget as soon as possible....I do think driving for eight hours is worse than coach, even in the highest luxury car... Those magazines can also make you feel extra poor., but the adds do let you dream for a little while Tony
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Tony - Just made roundtrip to South Carolina from New Jersey. I love to drive.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Thanks for the good advice...Here's another twist to the story..Last night I went over all of my service invoices..Last year I had the front stabilizer bar bushings replaced...Then I looked at my invoice/estimate from last week, which claims the same bushings are in need of replacement! These things have been replaced, and I'm 100% sure there is nothing wrong with them!

    This is fraud pure and simple...Also in the quote was a double billing of labor charges for the strut rod bushings and shocks..Both are included in 3 hrs of labor. The S/C charged me 3 hours for each. (I didn't have this done, but they've put it in writing). I'll consult with the MA Attorney General's office today..It's not an issue of money anymore, it's principle.

    It's not the car that's the issue. It's a simple creaking noise from the front end, which only started after it was in the accident..Seeing as Lexus of Watertown did all of the repairs, I'm going to hold them accountable to fix it. After spending $8,000 ($5K of insurance) I'm definitely not going to let them get away with it.

    I've given these fools 2 years to fix it. It's more of their incompetence than anything. I spoke with the service manager yesterday and they told me that they will have the shop foreman work on the car, and that I don't pay a dime in diagnosing costs. Sounds reasonably fair to me. But why should I trust them at this point? I'll have an independant such as Sears have a look and tell me what they think just to be sure.

    The reason for the Dealer Service is this: They know the car the best(Well they are supposed to..) and warranty their work for a year. When they mess up, I have plenty I can do about it..At a small independant what recourse do you have should they make a mistake? People at Sears will often say, "Dealer only" They don't even want to touch the car...Plus I had a great relationship with Lexus of Watertown for over 12 yrs..That's why I am so upset!

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    If it were me, I would've gotten rid of the car as soon as insurance took care of the initial repairs. Cosmetic stuff sure, but structural damage, no, the car is gone. I went through a somewhat similar situation a long time ago, (a supposedly "fixed" car post accident keeps having problems) and I definitely would not want to go through it again.
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