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High End Luxury Cars

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  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Mercedes vs. BMW — Competing Visions of the Future.

    Mercedes-Benz and BMW have competing visions for the future of the car. Inside Line asks both manufacturers to state their case.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Thanks Pat. I suppose the thing that caught my attention was Multhaupt’s (Mercedes) focus on technology as it applies to safety, accident avoidance in particular. The comment “a bird doesn’t have armor” was very eloquent. It is also ironic. There aren’t many cars with more armor than Mercedes. I wonder if such technology can get them to the point where the cars will go on the Atkins diet.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Yep, the writing was on the wall with that situation. However, by the time your toy ship comes in I think you may be in something a little more exciting than an IS.
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    I would never trust the electronics that Germans put out. Look at the current electronic problems they have on their cars. Even if they work, they are not even close to the Japanese in terms of function. Navigation system is one example. Forget about MB vs. BMW in the future, give me Japanese any day. Do German make computers?
  • rl81rl81 Posts: 53
    Actually, they do: I am not sure if they are sold in the US, but Siemens cooperates with Fujitsu on computers. Not like making a computer these days is so complicated. Come on, even a child can put together a computer these days. If you would talk about software, then you might have a point! Computers are no magic any more these days! Grow up, man...
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Computers are no magic any more these days!

    Perhaps so, but electronics and their integration seem to be a trouble spot for certain car manufacturers.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Making computer electronics and slapping some off the shelf parts together are two entirely different things. Most computer parts come from Taiwan. Germany is very involved in CPU making though. AMD just opened a new 300mm plant (fab 36) in Dresden.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    Are you buying an entertainment system or a high-performance vehicle to transport you in style, comfort, safety and with high performance? Don't need a $2000 navigation system to do what a simple $5 map and cell phone can do. Don't underestimate the competition so blatantly!

    By the way, yes they do... making computers these days is more of an assembly operation anyway, as components are outsourced.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Computers are no magic any more these days!

    They may not be magic to kids who are born today, but I like many others have put some serious time in the trenches before the computer epoch. Because of this and remembering what my field went through in the transition period between 1984 and 1994, computers never cease to amaze me. I have up to 10 apps open simultaneously throughout the course of my workday and often think of what it what it would have taken in the old days with sheer manpower and money to produce what we can get done in one day today.

    When I think of yesterday and the tons of magic markers, rapidograph pens, airbrushes, 35mm slides, photo labs (we could go on forever describing horse-and-buggy implements), programs like Photoshop are pure magic to me and will be magic forever. They are magic because they enable incredible productivity.

    If car manufacturers can use digital power and ingenuity to enhance safety, performance and reliability, this will be magic to me also. The problem as I see it is that cars are too grounded in the mechanical world and those who design them have to distinguish between which technologies are truly useful vs. truly fashionable. As we often discuss, some auto companies are too smitten with tech as fashion.

    When you look at the lead Toyota has taken with hybrid and alternate energy, which has a ton of digital tech behind it, my inclination is to say yes, this is magic and is one of the ways it should be going. When Mercedes talks about using digital tech to develop accident avoidance, yep, I can sense the magic. Again, this is the way it should be going.

    Digital tech as fashion in the mechanical world? Not productive, not magic.
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    You missed my point entirely. If computer is so easy to make, why can't those Germans make better auto electronics? Aren't they just a variants of computer since all are computer-controlled? You are the one that needs to grow up, man.
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    It is the Germans that underestimate the competition. Look at how Lexus beats their behinds. BTW, if they can't make a $2000 navigation system work, how can I trust the Germans to make a $100k car that will work?
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    Let's see... I suppose there is no difference between an electrical component with circuit boards and LCD displays and a complex mechanical vehicle. Without diving into a pointless holy war on this matter, my 2003 530SP has been as faultless as any Lexus could hope to be, not to mention more enjoyable to drive!

    Also, I do believe Lexus and Infiniti have taught the Germans a few things that they have found hard to swallow on the quality production (i.e. Lean) front due to cultural reasons as much as anything.

    Maybe a wise idea would be to curb the generalizations, as most true enthusiasts here recognize the Japanese marques for both their faults AND strengths. Upon due diligence, you may find that the underlying electronics in a German Nav system may not be of German origin at all... maybe so. Does anybody know who the major supplier is?
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    If Germans can get the same underlying electronics from the same place as the Japanese, why is it that they can't put them together and make it work like the Japanese? This make the Germans look even worse. How then can they put a $100K car together and make it work?
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Without diving into a pointless holy war on this matter, my 2003 530SP has been as faultless as any Lexus could hope to be, not to mention more enjoyable to drive!

    I often wonder if the rest of the world drivers with cars and trucks do not enjoy driving them ? How is your 2003 530SP more enjoyable to drive than say my 2003 Matrix XR? That car is small, nimble, and tight; about the only negative is its puny 130HP motor. But when you get it going to the 3000rpm range, it sure moves... like every other car out there. It remains a myth of mythical (pun intended) proportions that those with SPs enjoy their driving more than any of us with our luxury cruisers... What if my ideal ride is a luxury cruiser ???

    As to your other point: How about BMW or VW getting an in-dash multi-CD changer ? That ain't that much of a technological marvel to do these days, or is it ???
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "One thing I would like to see Lexus do is provide better chairs. They need to rip apart a Volvo seat and copy it to the letter."

    AMEN to that, guy...... Very flat and unsupportive....
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    This make the Germans look even worse. How then can they put a $100K car together and make it work?

    Simply because they want their cars to be equipped with more sophistication than competitors. Unfortunately greater sophistication and complexity involves more bugs and a longer learning curve for the driver!

    BMW is attempting to dumb down and simplify idrive to the same level as their competitors. I believe I read that MB is trying to reduce the complexity of their Command system. If these endeavors do happen then there should be little distinction between a hardware/software bug attired in a Kimono or in Lederhosen ;) .
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    As to your other point: How about BMW or VW getting an in-dash multi-CD changer ?

    Oh man that is just so passe! IToday ipod is essential while a a CD changer should be an option for those geriatric folks!
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    What if my ideal ride is a luxury cruiser

    A Luxury Cruiser: In my case give me a chauffeur and wake me up when the ride is over!
  • rl81rl81 Posts: 53
    When BMW started (in 1994) they used VDO, which is part of Siemens. By the way, they were the first ones in Europe.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    " IToday ipod is essential while a a CD changer should be an option for those geriatric folks!"

    Call me geriatric, my dear Dewey.... But I still want my multi-CD changer cos all my music so far are on CDs. Only this past week my daughters bought me my first iPod, a Nano, from their baby sitting money, so I am now keeping up with the Joneses !! So, yes I will like an iPod plug in my next luxury cruiser in addition to my multi-CD changer, pls. Thank you, Lexus...
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