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High End Luxury Cars

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  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The public isn't as forgiving as C&D is of the RL, which they were highly impressed by.

    Yeah, I dont really understand why C&D likes the RL so much. It's not particularly quick, or sporty, or luxurious, its too small, and the sticker is too high.

    This also struck me as funny: It's an exceedingly well-integrated vehicle, and when you add legendary Acura quality and resale value, second place sounds like a perfectly reasonable outcome.

    I dont think so, bub. First, Acura's "legendary quality" seems to be a thing of the past. The '04 TLs werent the greatest, and the '05 RLs were much worse than that. No better than any of the German cars. In fact, C&D's own long term tester was constantly in the shop (eight unscheduled service visits in less than 1 year!) with electrical problems.

    Second, since sales are so poor and dealers are forced to give the new ones away, lightly used '05s are $35-37K. So much for resale value.

    The Evo is pretty awesome, especially considering how much it costs. Unfortunately for Mitsubishi, the Lancer its based on, as well as every other Mitsubishi product, is lousy.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    It didn't sound like a joke, Tag. But ok! No hard feelings.

    LG

    If you check the Evo X forum, you'll see the Lancer and Evo are ready to become mainstream icons, if all goes as planned. The Lancer can be the next Mazda3!

    DrFill
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    The four luxury car makers in F1 (MB, BMW, Toyota, Honda) are having a tough year.

    After finishing last year in 2nd, MB isn't competitive with Renault and Ferrari, despite having 2 super drivers in Raikkonen and Montoya. MB has very few podium finishes and no sniff at victory.

    Honda dominated F1 for many years and then left. When it came back about six years ago, everyone expected it to eventually win again. Do you realize it hasn't won a single race since then, despite spending huge sums of money? Last year was encouraging, not this year, for Honda!

    Rumors had it that Toyota spent much more money than anyone else, it doesn't even have a sniff at a podium finish. Toyota wants to win at least once before the introduction of its LFA supercar. The way it's going, nobody can tell how long that will be. And BMW regularly runs in the rear of the pack.

    What is especially discouraging is the second drivers of Renault and Ferrari, Fisichella and Massa (a virtual rookie), are faster than anyone else! Ferrari is no surprise. But Renault is a surprise. It sells only econoboxes. The only passenger V6's it sells are Nissan VQ's. And yet its technology dominates companies with much better paper credentials. And it also operates on a tighter budget, that's why it's losing its leading driver, Alonso, to McLaren-MB next year.

    It's never easy for a luxury maker in F1. Maybe some of them will follow Jaguar and quit.
  • stevekilburnstevekilburn Posts: 359
    A very good post from you. Toyota has committed a major blunder of EPIC proportions by pouring in billions in F1, a club of greedy fraudsters. But this is a HELM board so lets stick to discussing HELM cars.

    Speaking of which you are right on the mark. Lexus has very sketchy history in motor sports and I believe the introduction of LF-A is a major blunder. They should have never started work on LF-A to begin with until they had a major championship like Le Mans 24, or F1 under their belt.

    Daytona 24 which they won this year is not good enough (unless they repeat it several times in the coming years).

    Instead Lexus should have gone ahead with a Super-Sedan, something above LS 600hL to compete with S65 AMG with a proper engine and cutting edge technology. Lexus has solid experience and expertise and credentials to make such a sedan.

    I am not sure how they will market LF-A if it comes to the market as they have little sporting history. Sounds like a major marketing problem to me.
  • stevekilburnstevekilburn Posts: 359
    Merc1 and Doc, your thermonuclear wars are taking a major toll on this board. last 20-25 posts have been on C-class and 3-series and IS, which is not the topic here.

    HELM board is for the top 1% of the market ONLY. Sorry to be ELITIST guys, but thats how it is.
  • stevekilburnstevekilburn Posts: 359
    You are right Doc, we must win these guys with love and respect. They have been brain washed by god knows who into "VALUE" hysteria.

    But we must take it upon ourselves to bring them to the right path of knowledge and wisdom. We must not let them suffer like this. We must not allow our friends to be clouded by communist propaganda.
  • stevekilburnstevekilburn Posts: 359
    Thanks for enlightenment and pearls of wisdom, but I never said Maserati is suffering poor sales BECAUSE they lack long wheel-base and V12 from Enzo.

    All I said was that Maser should compete HEAD-to-HEAD with bentley by introducing the ROYALE.

    Besides, the engine is NOT from Enzo. It is actually a soft version of engine from 360 modena.

    You are right on the mark on tranny. But I believe the bad F1 style tranny is not due to mechanicals or electrical elements but due to POOR SOFTWARE.

    Ferrari has recently hired a software Company called TATA Consultancy or something by that name from India to solve these issues.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Well, for what its worth, I've been driving the Maserati coupe and spyder cambiocorsa since they came back to the US, and their F1 box has gotten better every year. It is now at least on par with any other sports car with a single clutch SMG. Unfortunately DSG blows them all out of the water, and is the only one really civilized enough for the Q.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    So I guess when you were posting about the Bose speakers, that was a topic for the HELM board?

    Please don't establish yourself as the HELM traffic cop when you yourself have wandered off topic from time to time.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Please don't establish yourself as the HELM traffic cop when you yourself have wandered off topic from time to time.

    I agree . . . as we all have on occasion . . . and will from time to time. It is only natural. If it goes way off for too long, there is always the REAL cop, Pat, to get us back on track. Thank you Powders. Well said.

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    You are right Doc, we must win these guys with love and respect. They have been brain washed by god knows who into "VALUE" hysteria.

    No value hysteria at all. Your "premium helm" "Lexus price hike" hysteria and non-stop grinding was the catalyst for most all of those recent "value" posts.

    Now that you and the Doc are partners, I think you guys could easily alienate some of the more mainstream Lexus fans that don't relate to your extreme views, but nonetheless still appreciate Lexus vehicles. You guys are kinda like the extreme Lexus left-wing.

    BTW, in your remark . . . your reference to God should have been deserving of a capital "G", IMO, don't you agree? Watch out for more police. :P

    TagMan
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Friday's WSJ or the NYT Weekend Edition had a Maserati lease ad. For (roughly) 10K down, 10K miles a year for 4 years and $1300 a month they would lease you a Q. No other charges were listed.

    Lets view the total sum of the initial payment and the lease payments (i.e., 72K or so) as representing Maserati's expectation of the depreciation of the car over the next four years plus their profit plus a money factor. Lets assume that of the 72K that the lease will cost you, 12K of that is profit and money costs. This leaves 60K on the table for depreciation. It seems to me that Maserati is saying that they expect that their $112,000 car will be worth about 52K in four years. This figure seems reasonable to me but high. (I can't imagine anyone but the credit challenged really wanting a four year old Maser which would then be on its fourth clutch and pilot bearing.) This makes the S Class ownership and resale experience however boring a bargain.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Nice analysis.

    The question must be just how high those payments should go before they undermine the attractiveness of the lease itself.

    You are paying closer attention to the resale of the Q lately, aren't you?

    TagMan
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,680
    Hey Steve - You and I are in 100% agreement on that one buddy.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Aye, get back to the TV... your boys are on.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,680
    They've also been advertisong an $899 deal with $3K down on a $90K+ Q qnd for a car at that pricepoint that is cheap. Maybe demand is falling off for this car.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,680
    I always have to DVR them and watch in about 90 minutes. Now if mention what happens in the interim period my boys will be over to see you.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I'll let your last post slide, since I made a mistake.

    We'll hook up down the line. My beef is with Tag and LG.


    :D

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Actually Steve the board says High-End Luxury "Marques" not just sedans. I think a discussion about F1 fits in there since Mercedes and BMW do compete at that level. We should be able to talk about HEL brands in general also.

    M
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    I have said nothing "Extreme" or "Left-wing".

    The LS is at a crossroads in it's lifespan. Does it stand up and fight the Germans in the HELM class, or settle for a lower class.

    Lexus has built the New LS and promoted it as fully competitive with the S-Class, why continue to sit at the back of the bus?

    I believe Lexus can build a car as good as anything on the road, grow the brand, enhance prestige AND value, without making the car overpriced.

    Given the car's new size, powertrain, and ability, a new price point would be appropriate.

    Let the LS spread it's wings.

    You either want Lexus to stay the course, or "Move Forward". There really isn't a wrong answer, that I can see. I vote on them Moving Forward.

    DrFill
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Mr. Cho [Toyota vice chairman] also said Toyota is pushing to shrink major hybrid parts like batteries, inverters and electric motors to make them as small as one-quarter their current size....Toyota engineers involved in the Prius's redesign said they are trying to shrink not only the size of major hybrid components but also their weight and manufacturing costs.

    source WSJ
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I think they've become complacent. The LX470 hasn't had a major redesign since I think the 1998 model year. I have noticed lots and lots of Range Rovers where I live and checked the sales numbers: YTD through April, LX470 1,992 units, Range Rover 3,691, Range Rover Sport 5,877. (The supercharged Sport is about the same price as the LX.)
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I always have to DVR them and watch in about 90 minutes. Now if mention what happens in the interim period my boys will be over to see you.

    They'd better not catch me in the kitchen when I'm cooking scungilli ;-)

    I think the producers are setting them up to go out in a blaze of glory a la Barzini, Tataglia et al since it's getting close to curtain call for the show. Of course there will probably be an out for Tony.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Cayenne has 3918 YTD and have actually come back from the intial fuel price hit last year.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Mr. Cho [Toyota vice chairman] also said Toyota is pushing to shrink major hybrid parts like batteries, inverters and electric motors to make them as small as one-quarter their current size....Toyota engineers involved in the Prius's redesign said they are trying to shrink not only the size of major hybrid components but also their weight and manufacturing costs.

    source WSJ


    That's the intriguing part and major task. I think the success of hybrids in the near future is all contingent upon the goals stated here
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    The LS is at a crossroads in it's lifespan. Does it stand up and fight the Germans in the HELM class, or settle for a lower class.

    Doc, you said a mouthful here... tacit admission that German HELMs rule the roost.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Well, for what its worth, I've been driving the Maserati coupe and spyder cambiocorsa since they came back to the US...

    This is a surprise to me. Did I miss something? Please elaborate on your experience. Those engines sound fantastic. However, I don't like the Quattroporte interior. I think the design of the center stack is crude. E tu?
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    You either want Lexus to stay the course, or "Move Forward". There really isn't a wrong answer, that I can see. I vote on them Moving Forward.

    This is where you and I can't seem to agree. You (and Steve) keep suggesting that there is a need to make a change of some sort here or end up "staying the course". This implies that the current "course" is somehow a letdown for you, and is deficient in some way, or that it is not good enough, etc., etc. I totally disagree with that, and I'll explain in a moment.

    Your statement also clearly indicates that there are TWO different strategies here to choose from. . . to "stay the course" or "move forward".

    What is so ridiculous about this, IMO Doc, is that I see the current course as already moving forward . . . it is evolving very well, IMO, and you seem too anxious for an unnecessary leap ahead. There is no need to leap here.

    The Lexus campaign is already a fast-moving highly-successful strategy, as we have discussed many times. In just the last decade consider the sales and production progress and achievements. Nothing short of miraculous, IMO.

    Lexus is making very steady and confident steps forward already. Certainly Lexus needs to improve some areas, and I think that is the primary reason to move deliberately and not wildly.

    Sorry, Doc, I truly do believe that to move Lexus even faster than they are already moving would be "hazardous to their health".

    My vote is not the same as yours. I would vote to "stay the course" which is already quite brilliant and fast-paced enough, considering their ENTIRE picture, IMO. I believe that the Lexus revolution and evolution are on track.

    TagMan
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    Comparison (euphemism for fans bashing each other over the head :-) would be a lot easier if the carmakers were making identical products or at least products targetting exactly the same audience . . . except in reality they do not. E, 5 and GS are rough equivalents from the respective mfrs but no exact match-ups. E350 vs. 530i vs. GS300, and E550 vs. 550i vs. GS430/450h are roughly match-ups . . . there is nothing from MB or lexus that is even a close matchup for 525i, which accounts for close to 40% of 5 series sales.

    Also, there is no GS wagon like the 5 or E wagons, so a Lexus buyer of mid-size wagons would have to go for RX, which dwarfs the sales any other model from any of the three HELM marques. Buyers of E,5 and GS are essentially looking for a mid-sized family car, for the well-heeled. For someone stepping into the Lexus dealership, GS, especially the GS300, is way overshadowed by the ES350 and RX350 from a value perspective . . . performance buyer would pick IS350 or wait for the GS450H. Before you laugh, the subsidized lease cost for 525i at $500/mo is really closer to that of the ES and RX, at $450/mo and $500/mo respectively, than to the GS and E at $600/mo or higher (well, when E is heavily not subsidized depending on the calendar of the year).
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    Doc, you said a mouthful here... tacit admission that German HELMs rule the roost.

    Depending on one's definition of "roost." The defining characteristic of a dying business is gradually defining an ever shrinking roost for itself to "rule." Not saying MB or BMW necessarily are doing that. Both are actually trying to expand in the non-HEL segment of their Marques. A and C class sales are an order of magnitude greater than E and S. Back to HEL, LS outsells both S and 7, so a case of Germans rule the existing roost certainly can not be made. If S and 7 have to move upmarket to define a new "roost" like the Vandals being chased from their home turf by Huns, Lexus has the option of deciding whether it's worth the chase/hunt :-)
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