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High End Luxury Cars

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  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I remember earlier you were questioning why Mercedes, Rolls, and others would put so much effort into such a small market. That same issue of Automobile has an article on that very question. In short all the big dogs are in a peeing contest. Like any other competitive outbreak the consumer wins, but now insert the word >rich< in front of consumer. Between Maybach, BMW's New RR01 Rolls-Royce, Bugatti, and VW's new Bentley's the super rich are going to loose their minds trying to decide on which one.

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    Yeah - I saw that and it was a good story. But apparently automobile felt the same way as me. In the case of MB it puts a cap on them and eventually the Maybachs and that group of cars will lower price to grow. Give it 5 years or so before that happens. What I really question is why introduce a loss leader when you already have a successful brand. Loss leaders pave the way, they don't trail success that's already happened. Anyway that's just a business case. I think what really happened is MB couldn't resist the concept once someone proposed it. By the way even though the article said the sector would double or triple in 5 years, that type of growth in such a tiny sector would have minimal impact on the financials of the company even if it were highly profitable.

    I disagree with you on the Phaeton - I doubt it will cut it in Europe or have sustaining power.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    Got my Motor Trend in the mail and on page 27 is a pix of 2006 S-class. Move is away from stately rich looking car to more sporty look. I prefer the current style to this, but being in my late 40's I've reached a stately age. Maybe people like v-12 power will like it better than I do or maybe you just have to see it in the flesh. But, unlike the 7, it's certainly not going to turn people off. It's still a great looking car, but until I really see it my first impression is I like today's model better. On the next page is a pix of a Ford Five Hundred that will debut in 2 years, and I must tell you it is quite similar looking to this 2006 S design.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well I guess we'll have to agree to disagree about the super VW. I think it will do well in Europe, but will do just "ok" in the U.S. About it not looking like a luxury car, I don't see how you could say that.

    The next S-Class is years off, the current S is just about to get it's first face lift this fall. I'd wait until the actual car is shown before drawing styling conclusions on it. You always seem to find some resemblance between some Ford product and the S-Class. Do you think the LS430 looks like the Avalon?

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    On another note, AMG is having an all day gulp(!) $850.00 event in the Chicago area this summer. Talk about finding out whether or not I'm a true Benz fan or not, this will do it.

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    For $850 you can buy a hell of a digital camera or camcorder or even a decent computer these days. It's a lot of cash for that but if it gives you a lot of enjoyment, don't hesitate to spend it.

    As for the comparisons on cars I can see why you would think the Avalon and LS430 have similar looks but the Avalon lacks the grace and stately looks of the LS. Inside there is no comparison. I also wouldn't say the Avalon looks like the old S which is what the LS430 is accused of copying by yourself and others.

    As for that 2006 (assuming that sketch is a good one) and even the current S, I simply think that as a car tends to a more sporty look, and away from a stately look, they are going into a class of design concepts where it will look like designs of other cars or vice-versa. It's just natural. That Ford five hundred and that S sketch look alike in the pictures to me though I'm sure the S will have a more massive look in person. I also think MB has to be careful here because the older richer buyer prefers a stately look to a sporty look. Some of these design concepts are aimed toward the younger rich crowd but with the Wall street boom over and the easy money days past that buyer may not be plentiful.

    Lastly - the post Ejerod made on the S-class board is exactly what I feared would happen to me if I chose the S over the LS430. He's a lot more forgiving than I would have been. They definitely have to correct these problems. Did you also see the article on the 7 on that board. Scary - if you're a BMW fan.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I just might take that advice. That 850 bucks will be probably my only chance to drive a SL55 AMG or a C32.

    On the next S-Class. I don't think getting sportier/sleeker will hurt the S-Class. The current car already broke away from years and years of upright, stodgy design and it's the best seller in the class worldwide, and still sells well in the U.S. The 2003 face-lift will only enhance it's following. The current car is to me the best looking large sedan on the road, especially in AMG guise.

    Yes I read Ejerod's post. But he did buy another S-Class. I find that most interesting.

    Yes I am BMW fan (German car nut period), but it pains me to say that I just can't bring myself to like the 7-Series. Remember the styling test I told you about? Well the BMW 7 failed it categorically. The car is extremely well made, brings new stunning engine and suspension technology to the table, but is as ugly as all getout. BMW was oh so close to having true category buster as everyone likes to say they have nowadays. One ugly car is almost unexcusable, but man if the copy this look to the 5 and 3 Series cars BMW is done.

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    So why are they planning on copying the 7 knowing the heavy criticism they are getting? From what I've read the 7 isn't selling well at all. The pix os the new 5 I've seen look awful. In that design they chose you need to lengthen the car for it to have a chance to look decent. The Li does look a tad (just a tad) better then the i. But as you go to the smaller 5 and 3 the car will look uglier still. This design does not grow on you at all, and in fact looks worse to me the more I see it, which is not very often.

    Jaguar must be one very happy camper because I'm sure that's where many 7 buyers will head.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well thats the problem. The car IS selling very well, much better than the previous car. So BMW may not see the design as a problem. I'm thinking that once all the people who just want the latest and greatest all get one then sales will slide. BMW's regular 7-Series folk are not buying this car, but somebody is....for the moment.

    I went to look at the Mini Cooper yesterday (cutest little thing on the road, btw), so I had to look at the 7 one more time. The saleman I talked to advised that they are back ordered for 4 months, and he may have been telling the truth, there wasn't a 7-Series to be found.

    M
  • nealm1nealm1 Posts: 154
    The comment in the BMW 7 article that really got me was this: "A BMW spokesman, Wieland Bruch, says the initial quality of the new 7 Series is comparable to its predecessors as well as competitors a few months after launch." He doesn't really believe that, does he?

    This article is really disappointing (if not exactly surprising). I was (am) rooting for the 7 to be a success, and I want them to (a) fix the car's hideous tush and (b) drop i-drive as a standard feature. If they do that, and get their quality straightened out, they should be alright and I will consider a 7 when I trade in my LS. If they don't, BMW may not be there to consider (at least as a realistic competitor) by that point.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well I doubt if they'll do those things, drop Idrive and change the rear end. The quality will improve, no doubt. The other two things are here to stay. Hopefully the 5 and 3 Series canrs won't get this new look.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Been on vacation the last week. I don't know if you've every been to Dallas TX, or more specifically the far north end of Dallas, right where it borders Plano TX. I've visted some friends there before and was always wowed by the sheer number of high end cars running around, but the two most popular cars in the area this year were the SC430 and the Boxster. If I told you I'd seen 8 of them (SC430s) in just one day I'd be understating it. You made a statment about what people can afford in the this country and you were right. Even where I live you don't see Ferraris all the time, but where I vacationed I was seeing 360 Modenas every single day, even saw the hard to get 360 Spider. I have never seen one Ferrari in traffic only to see another one a 1/2 mile up the same road. Needless the S-Class, 7-Series, and LS430s are so popular to the point of not being noticeable in that area. "Money in America"

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Some other cars that were present in what seemed to be present in almost disgustingly high numbers were the new SL500, BMW Z8 (sitting in a Tom Thumb parking lot, red and topless), any version of the 911 you can think of, and the big Benz CL coupes. The only cars I didn't see are arguably the rarest cars in America, the Aston Martin Vanquish, Lambo Murcielago, and Maserati Spider...though I'm sure they're in some of the garages there. I guess the BMW Z8 should have been in that list, but I've already seen 2 on the road so far, both in Texas..

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    If you want to see cars you have to see the parking lot of the Peninsula hotel in LA. Last time I was there I saw one or two everyday cars. Everything else was Lexus, MB, BMW, Bentley and Rolls plus a Lotus and a Ferrari. The SC430 was super hot at the time and it was getting a lot of looks by people waiting for their cars.

    You may have seen my post on the LS board but if not I'll tell you that I saw a lot of SC430's in London last week (business not pleasure) and I was surprised at how popular they are over there. London is really a money town and it's got to be a MB bread and butter place also given the incredible amount of S-class cars you see on the road. I even came across the first and only Range Rover cab I've ever seen. But in general you see relatively few suv's on the road there given gas is quadruple our prices. By the way I saw a 7 on the road and the driver I had, who was quite an enthusiast, winced when he saw it. His only response to my question of why did he wince was that "it's quite an eyesore, isn't it". It was in silver also and that has to be it's worst color.

    I know Dallas well and i know the area you mean. But it's awfully hot at this time of year. Hope you had some fun.
  • Were there any Bentleys and Rolls there also?

    J "CaddyLac"
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yep, yep...had lots of fun, and yes it was very hot, but strangely enough I'm told Chicagoland was just as hot during the same stretch of days.

    Yes Lexus has a hit I guess, not only in the U.S. but on a worldwide basis. I have to admit the SC430 in black with the black interior/dark wood is a very *interesting* car to me. I think it's so popular because of styling, for some it's downright gorgeous and secondly the price...well below it's chief rivials from England and Germany. Speaking of Range Rovers, my first sighting of the new one was also in Texas, it looks a lot better on the road than it did at the autoshows this past season.

    sweetjeldorado,

    Conspicuous by their absence were the high-end British cars. I didn't see one Bentley, just one truly old Rolls-Royce. No Aston Martins either. Only Britian's "regular" car was there in good numbers....Jaguar. This area of Dallas seems to be German/Japanese/Italian country.

    M
  • magnetophonemagnetophone Posts: 605
    Dallas is one of the most unabashedly rich cities I've ever seen. And since it's a city of highways, and relatively low cost of living, you will see lots of ultra-rich cars hanging around.

    And "exotic" ones too - I saw an Audi A3 1.8T there as well as a VW Bora and a Peugeot 406 station wagon. It was also the place i first saw a CTS and an 02 Altima.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    Had lunch today with a business buddy of mine who has a 2000 740il and has been a BMW fanatic for as long as he has been able to afford them. He's had several problems with the car but they were mainly minor ones. He would ordinarily be an auto roll-over for the 7 when his lease ends next year. But he's besides himself on the new design. Somehow he looks at it and sees an elongated Lexus GS. I always saw an elongated Passat but what the heck. He's so upset about it that he wrote BMW and he also told me he probably buys out his existing car next year. He's simply not an S or LS430 fan. I told him to go to the S-8 but he dooesn't trust Audi workmanship. Given the fact he's a new car freak and usually takes 30-36 month leases it's a shocker to me he may buy out his leased car. I think you are right in your opinoion that the "real" BMW people will avoid the car and are wondering what to do right now. Btw - he won't even think about the VW Phaeton.

    Do you really think they will roll that design out to the 5 and 3 series?

    Haven't seen the new Range Rover but on paper it looks pretty awesome. I never did care for the old one and in my town all you seem to see is LX470's and TLC's in the bigger suv's and various ML's and the RX300 (those things are everywhere it seems) in the smaller ones. The X-5 is also getting a good foothold.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Funny you should mention that. I saw some type of VW that isn't sold here. I'll have to find out what it was.

    ljflx,

    Well I'd tell him to at least try an S55 or S8 out. He just might like them.

    From what I've read, especially in the foreign mags this new design is being passed down to the 5-Series in somewhat diluted form. There are several articles in mags like CAR that say even BMW management is worried about the new 5 Series. Thats not good. Better days are ahead for MB and Audi I guess.

    M
  • magnetophonemagnetophone Posts: 605
    In Austin, it's pretty common to see Chevrolet "Chevys", or VW Pointers, which are Mexican cars up here on vacation.
  • bcs443bcs443 Posts: 1
    I am a long time BMW owner currently owning a 2001 325i and 2001 740i and a new 745Li. All of this talk about the new style of the 745 and the quality of the vehicle is just not fair! Yes the design is controversial but the quality, fit and finish on my new 745 is outstanding (so far). The iDrive takes some getting used to but after my 14 year old son helped understand and load the iDrive memory it has been fun to use and very efficient. The car has power and a whisper quite ride and every possible feature one could want! Test drive one and then you will see that it is a world class machine that sets a new standard for the old "fuddy duddy" car makers to emulate!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Oh I've always said that new 7-Series would have turned this segment on it's ear if it weren't for the styling. The car simply breaks too much new ground to wear such unattractive styling. I'm most impressed with it's build, and engine technology. But I have to say after seeing a few of the old 740's today in "Sport" trim (especially in the lighter colors) I'm even more distanced from the "new" 7.

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    What do you think of the Morgan Aero 8?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well I haven't seen it in the metal. I have seen it on Auto, Motor und Sport TV. It's very impressive from the front, especially coming straight at you. I'm not so crazy about the back end of it though. It's a highly prestigious car in England, and the Morgan family are on the British's press "watch" list. I also hear that it's sold out for 3+ years! Interesting car, but not something I'd have to have if I were rich. What made you ask about that car?

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    Saw it in Motor Trend and overall I liked it and was surprised at the price. Interesting design.

    Ever since I first saw the SC430 and than the new SL I've decided I've got to get back into a sports car or in reality, a sports lux car. Plus this guy in my parking garage is always raving about his SC430 (black on black by the way) and one of my buddies just picked up the Jag XK8. I'm just about there with Lexus on swapping out my midnight pine LS430 for an SC430 when I switch jobs in September. My wife, who thought I was nuts at first, now can't wait till we do it. Which means this car may not be mine when all is said and done. Lexus is my most likely route because of the current lease situation and I do love the SC430. But I must admit I also love the Jag in that reddish brown color with the wheat roof. One of the best looking cars on the road. And I love the SL but its pricey. So many fabulous cars in this arena these days.

    Have a great 4th and stay cool.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yep, yep...cars like the SL (GT cars) are my favorite type of car. Truth be told I really don't like 4-door cars and I'll always opt for a coupe if possible. What do you think of the Maserati Spider? Yes the Jaguar XK is a classic, Jaguars are seemingly born with classic tendencies anyway.

    You have a good 4th also.

    M
  • I like the looks of the Maserati coupe a lot better than the convertible. The coupe is beautiful whileas the convertible is, well so and so.

    I don't know but coupes that are convertibles never hit the nail with me but in hard top form, it always hit the nail with me.

    The only coupes that are convertible that is beautiful to me is the 330ci Convertible and aftermarket hardboot top Eldorado.

    J "CaddyLac"
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Has anyone seen the Maserati on the street yet. The dealer here has about 5 on the lot, not really a good sign for such a high-end car.

    M
  • magnetophonemagnetophone Posts: 605
    I saw one a few days before the 4th.

    I am curious as to what the new Maserati Quattroporte looks like.
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