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High End Luxury Cars

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  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    This car is the most interesting of the lot. First, they have to do something about that pricing in the US market, or no one will buy it. Its got to be on the same price level as the E63 and M5.

    LG, I am not sure I agree with the comparisons you make here. The M5/E63 are 2-door coupes, while the GT450 is a real sports car. The GT450 goes up against cars like the SL, Carrera, etc... and hence priced within that range. Besides, these may be Japanese prices, and the US price may differ.

    Second, whoever the magicians are that can get the GS platform to actually perform at that level, get them to work on the regular versions of the car, and the IS! I want to see "GT sport packages" for the regular lineup.

    You may get your wish cos this "GT" may be the tuning arm Lexus promised for all these new L-Finesse releases. One sentiment that came across while I was out here and chatting with several people was echoed by a poster yesterday - that Toyota/Lexus has to thread carefully not to get a huge anti-Toyota backlash of their success, at a time most other auto companies are hurting. Recall the history of the Japan/US auto relationships of the early 70s ? Toyota/Lexus can do anything they want, but won't do anything they want...
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Oh I see, the GT450 is the production name for the LF-A sports car. When I read your report, I was thinking of the "GT" tuning arm rumors from a few years ago, so I thought you were talking about a V10 powered GS going after the M5 and S6. Oops!
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Toyota/Lexus has to thread carefully not to get a huge anti-Toyota backlash of their success

    To the extent that they do this, imho it would not be by producing products that weren't as good as they could make them; that wouldn't be helpful to longterm brand building. Rather, it would be by pricing higher than they could, so as to not take too much share too fast and be accused of taking US jobs.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Maybe that's the reason they are doing so well.
    Call it the Ken Lay effect.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    I read in this week's Autocar, a European mag. I'm not sure if we'll get the diesel or the new 3.5L V-6 going into the '07 Non-American-spec XJ's. Either one should give the line some sort of boost.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I agree, except that I think you guys will be under siege within 5 years, not 10.
    Hyundai seems to be aiming its sights squarely at Toyota's Camry and Avalon with the Sonata and Azera, respectively.
    Can an LS challenge be far behind?
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    I agree, except that I think you guys will be under siege within 5 years, not 10.
    Hyundai seems to be aiming its sights squarely at Toyota's Camry and Avalon with the Sonata and Azera, respectively.
    Can an LS challenge be far behind?


    Sorry, this is wishful thinking in a 5-yr time frame. You don't get to a HELM just that quickly. And Hyundai, for all its success still remains a notch below the CamCords, in price and perception. It gotta go way over the top to even remotely challenge any Lex brand, certainly NOT an LS. Not by a long shot. For now, it can mount a serious competition to the Camry and Avalon, but its still not a huge dent, considering the new styles of the Toyotas and their continued success in the market. The Elantra made attempts at the Corolla and Civic, and got its hinny handed to it. The Azerra and Sonata are fine products, for a Hyundai, but still not yet up there, at least in the general market perception.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I think they could introduce something withing a few years, but would they truly be impactful in the HELM space in a 5 year timeframe? Possible, but a challenge, imho.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    For the first time in a long time, I have to sharply disagree with you:

    "Sorry, this is wishful thinking in a 5yr time frame. You don't get to a HELM just that quickly.."

    HMM? Wasn't it in 1989 when Toyota had not ONE HELM in NA and deciding to come up with Lexus, with LS400 and ES250? And this was all supposed to be done in a timeframe of 2 years?

    Hyundai has a high-luxury in it's homeland, called the Dynasty. It is RWD and has 300-hp+ V-8. If I were you, I wouldn't short change this company so fast.

    BTW: Since the Elantra got canned, then why does it rate higher than the Civic, Jetta, and Mazda 3?">link title And they sell a boatload of these things, and it's platform mate the Kia Spectra. It may not be as polished as the benchmark cars(IMO, the car outright chokes the long-in-the-tooth Corolla), but it sure does stack up well.

    And with Hyundai getting into the major's(big family car market with the Azera, and next with the premium market midsize next year with RWD/280+hp V-6), the company definetely has earned respect from me, particularly since it was just a short 10 years ago(maybe shorter) when the Hyundai was akin to the Yugo.

    So will it take them more than 5yrs to build an American acceptable HELM? At the rate they're going, I don't think so.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    For the first time in a long time, I have to sharply disagree with you:

    Gotta happen sometime :)

    HMM? Wasn't it in 1989 when Toyota had not ONE HELM in NA and deciding to come up with Lexus, with LS400 and ES250? And this was all supposed to be done in a timeframe of 2 years?

    Blkhemi: I do respect your posts and knowledge, so permit me to disagree with you, somewhat, as well.

    When Toyota introduced Lexus in 1989, it was leveraging on a history and reputation of Toyota's solid build quality and reliability. The Corolla was a staunch staple of low-end compact buyers, the LC was legendary for its solid build and off-road prowress, and the Camry was inching up the steep curve of family sedan leadership. OTOH, what does Hyundai have that could shoot them through the warp space of acceptability: The Sonata - a blatant copy of an Accord, tho' solid build, quality of materials still look dated and subpar, but acceptable at its price point. The SUVs are all copy-cats, no originality whatsoever. The Azerra is too new to make a dent in anything for now. That market is owned by the Avalon, Buick, and Ford.

    So Hyundai needs to be fighting on many fronts:

    Small-midsized SUV - against Rav4/Highlander/RX/4Runner, etc.
    Minivan - against T&C, Sienna, Oddy, etc
    Family sedan - against Camry, Accord, the perennial leaders, new Fusion, etc
    Full-size sedan - against Avalon, Lucerne, Ford 500, Chrysler 300, etc..

    And this does not include starting a luxury arm... Honda and Nissan, despite their reputations, have not found Toyota/Lexus' level of success in the HELM space, what's gonna make Hyundai overcome the huge challenges of the likes of Lexus, BMW, MB, Audi, Jag, etc...? Does Hyundai even have the deep pockets required to battle the big boys ? And what reputation does it have beyond SKorea and the US ? At least Toyota is everywhere in the world, more or less - Africa, Asia, Europe, America, Australia, Middle East.

    Hyundai challenging in HELM in 5 years ???? I don't see this happening in a 5-yr time frame. Not that it cannot happen, just the timeline is where I disagree with.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    Tagman - One of the ways I look at value stocks is to net cash against market cap or to add debt to market cap - whatever the case may be. So just deduct $47bln in cash from microsofts market cap. On an Adjusted Market Cap basis (my term) the PE is way too low - particularly when you look at forward looking PE.

    JD Powers - Too bad they don't summarize comps in the sole areas where last years cars were rated. At least that way we'd get an apples to apples vs. last year.

    Al zarqawi - I didn't catch the exact time of death, particularly given the time zone differences. Is it possible he died on June 6, 2006? If so that would be something.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    If you take cash out of the market cap you also should deduct after-tax net interest from earnings before calculating PE.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Sorry, this is wishful thinking in a 5-yr time frame. You don't get to a HELM just that quickly. And Hyundai, for all its success still remains a notch below the CamCords, in price and perception. It gotta go way over the top to even remotely challenge any Lex brand, certainly NOT an LS.

    I agree. Hyundai is still trying to properly place itself and Kia in the market. A new badge in 5 years? Foggetaboutit. Just as with the total faiure that was the Mazda\Amati project, its way too early for Hyundai to be thinking about starting a luxury brand.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I agree. Hyundai is still trying to properly place itself and Kia in the market. A new badge in 5 years? Foggetaboutit. Just as with the total faiure that was the Mazda\Amati project, its way too early for Hyundai to be thinking about starting a luxury brand.

    I also agree.

    Given that the Azera is now the fastest Korean car, I would expect that more luxury and even more performance will come from Hyundai over the next few years. And, of course, they can milk that twisted JDP IQ study with some aggressive advertising. If everything goes according to plan, they can introduce a premium vehicle, but not a HELM, and see how it does. Assuming it does well . . . a HELM in about 7 to 8 years, IMO.

    Remember, though, the CHINESE are coming! That will also potentially shift the "Asian equation". Kinda has a ring to it, doesn't it?

    TagMan
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    check back with you guys in 5 years time.
    I already marked it down on my calendar.
    By then the siege should be well-under way as JD Power overwhelmingly picks the $85,000 Hyundai Crown-Prince as its best tested vehicle ever.
    It will have so much trunk room, it will become the vehicle of choice for smuggling illegals across from Tijuana to San Diego.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Isn't the JD Power "APEAL" study supposed to judge things gone right, subjectively, in a car evaluation?

    Sounds, at best, redundant to factor such subjective criteria into a statistical study based on vehicle quality.

    DrFill
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Doc,

    "First time I'm right?" Gee, thanks for nothing. :P

    or . . .

    First time you agree with me? Which makes you right for the FIRST time! ;)

    TagMan
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    Taxes go down 40-50% on that interest too. One way or another that is a very low PE for a company that powerful that has been growing the top line a consistant 10-15% every year.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    so you disagree with my PE data which shows 17.49?
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    LOL. Very funny Hp.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Now, everybody makes powerful, almost TOO powerful, luxury cars, even NON-luxury cars, like 300C. Where is the niche for a new luxury marque? Audi, Acura and Infiniti still haven't found it, and have been on the trail for 15 years!

    Thats exactly what I said the last time the "Hyundai is going to crush the world with their BMW\Lexus\Mercedes killer" argument came up. The HELM market in 1989 and the HELM market in 2006 are completely different, so it's impossible to make a comparison of what Hyundai can do now vs. what Lexus did 17 years ago.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    It's Lexus they'll go after, not MB or BMW or Audi. LEXUS!

    TagMan
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT???? Did I read that you think the 300C is "too" powerful? And that Acura(maybe), Audi, and Infiniti are still in the dark after 15 years?

    No, maybe you've been in the dark as all three makers are on the cutting edge of technology, especially Audi with their second to none engine/trans/AWD/interiors/design/safety/aluminum construction/elegance/etc.etc.etc. Need I say more?

    You may as well jump on the bang wagon(which isn't all to hard to do on this thread), but to mention Audi as a non-player is like saying you nothing about the car bix at all. Do I even need to get into all of the racing ends of Audi, particularly LeMans, GP?? Probably not

    BTW: You may want to walk a Caddy showroom now as they're no longer the laughing stock of the biz.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    merc - The July Road and Track pits the GS450h against the 550i. Just the fact that the headline reads " Lexus GS 450H challenges BMW 550i" is a boost for Lexus as it places the GS in the same ball field . . . even if it loses . . . which it does. The upside to the GS is that the article is SO flattering to the GS. At one point the article says "The GS 450h offers tremendous upside and virtually no downside."

    Yeah I saw this, but they didn't really compare the two with scoring like they usually do, but it was an interestin comparo. I think that if they used their usual criteria the GS450h would have been even further behind the 550i, IMO.

    I do see your point about Lexus slowly "encroaching" on BMW's traditional turf, but there is only so far they can go there I think.

    I suspect that the long rumored follow up to the SLR will indeed be the car to answer the Z6 and whatever Lexus' LFA turns out to be, these will be real sports cars not GTs. We're in total sync there!

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    So in short it seems that Mercedes and particularly BMW (this time around) got killed due to complicated driver-control interfaces. Why not have two different surveys then? One for reliability and another for design. Lumping them together is dumb IMO. MB and BMW are going to be wiped out on these surveys unless every single owner understands every aspect of the car. Because an owner doesn't understand something it is now called a design flaw? That reaches in to the highest echelon of rediculum, IMO.

    Porsche owners are a passionate bunch and once the posers (i.e. the Cayenne buyers) are not the main focus I expect Porsche to excel because the 911/Boxster/Cayman buyers likely on average couldn't care any less about how the nav system works. All they care about is the "drive" which leads to a extremely high feel good factor, or at least enough of one to not ding Porsche come survey time. BMW has a group of buyers like that too, but apparently not enough of them to matter this year, especially if the 3-Series is the car causing the problems. Likely a lot more posers with 325i squawking more than any other group of BMW owners, again IMO. Mercedes I'm betting got really pulled down due to the new for 2006 ML/R/CLS combo??

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I've said this before....I predict that 10 years from now, oldtime Lexus fans will be defending their favorite brand on these boards from an onslaught of Korean HELM fans, just as guys like merc1 might sometimes feel under seige from Lexus fans now.

    Yes I agree that one day this will likely happen, but I think it will be a little longer than 10 years. Korean cars still haven't proven to be the equal of Japan's best over the long haul IMO. That and the luxury market being way different now compared to 1989.

    M
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    2008 Crown Majesta: This car was styled in the mold of the MB CLS. And I tell you, its a darn close match to the CLS, but looks quite nice, once you get past the copy thingy. The rear is not as droopy as the CLS, nor does it make rear passengers claustophobic. A nicer-looking variant of the CLS, IMO. Very nicely done by Toyota... Even spots the motor in the LS, and is similar to the LS460 in size. But priced real well at Y6Million - Y8Million, almost half the price of the 600hL. A steal, if you ask me. I'd even consider buying this car over the LS460 at this price.

    2008 Crown Royal: Has the V6 3.5L 315HP DOHC motor, and is priced at Y3.5Million - Y6Million. This is the baby-LS looking car from front, but does not have the integrated exhaust into bumper rear, as in the LS and Majesta. Not a bad looking car, but don't expect to see one in the US, like forever... so my Japanese friends tell me. Sorry, Garyh.


    Thanks, oac, for all this info. From what I had read previously, I thought the Crown Majesta and the Crown Royal were just different setups of the same car body (like GS300/GS430). From what you are saying, apparently they are actually totally different cars?

    All I want for my wife's next car (replacing her aging E320, a very nice car) is something slightly smaller than the LS430 (but better space utilization than the GS), RWD or preferably AWD (unlike the ES), with lots of wood and luxury. Why won't Toy/Lex bring at least one of these Crowns here, and take the MB E head on and win. Couldn't they easily sell more than a couple thousand a month, which is all they are getting out of the GS? I don't get it.

    At this point, I'm still thinking of another E for her. Or maybe we'll move to Japan so I can get her a Crown. :confuse:
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    THE END OF THE WORLD APPROACHES: LJFLX AND MERC1 BOTH ARE IN COMPLETE AGREEMENT ON SOMETHING!!!!

    It's so obvious as to be totally inexplicable how JD Powers could have made such a major mistake in so many ways. I am certainly interested in how well a car is built and inspected, which can be learned from statistical info from owners. But I am perfectly willing to make my own assessment of how well a NAV system works, or whether a touchscreen is easier for me to use than a push and twist knob. That I can learn from a test drive.

    Combining subjective opinions on features with specific factual information on defects into one ranking is about the dumbest thing I have ever heard. JDP now gets my "worst automotive industry study" award formerly held by ALG on their "predicted residual value" studies.

    We can only hope that they don't mess up the Vehicle Dependability Study (3 year old cars). That's where we'll see if MB has really turned around its reliability issues. It usually comes out at the end of June.
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    so you disagree with my PE data which shows 17.49?

    I would so love to get into these investment sidebars, but unfortunately as the General Counsel for my own securities broker-dealer, I'd have to fire myself if I started touting stocks on a public bulletin board! But you folks probably have observed that I typically share Len's tastes in many things (except I am not a big oenophile these days). ;)

    But Tagman, I can say that the P/E ratio you cite is based on historical TTM (Trailing Twelve Months) earnings, divided into a price which effectively includes the cash on hand that Len is adjusting out. I believe he was also looking out at projected future earnings. Using Thomson's projected earnings through 6/07, the Projected P/E is 15.8 (without any adjustment for the cash on hand).

    Hope this helps to clarify.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yeah I don't see why they couldn't have just come out with a "new" survey along with the traditional IQS. Mercedes and BMW are in deep chips under this new format. They'll have to really get with JDP (give $$$$) to get the details on this one.

    I don't look for Mercedes to improve in the VDS until like 2008-09.

    M
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