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High End Luxury Cars

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  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well lets go back to the beginning of the Maybach issue. The car was originally intended and labeled "The Maybach by Mercedes-Benz". The original concept car shown at the 1997 Tokyo auto show as a grand Mercedes really close to the spirit of old "600" MBs from years ago. Then.....

    BMW and VW got a hold of Rolls and Bentley repsectively so Mercedes decided to switch up the program (i.e. make a mistake) and make "Maybach" a seperate brand. Since the car was originally designed as a Mercedes there was little time to change it into something truly unique so they were pretty much stuck with what we see today.

    Now I would guess you're looking at the 175-190K price range because of what Bentley has been able to do at that price right? The difference is that Bentley doesn't have to compete with anyone else from the VW empire at that price. As it stands with Maybach the 57S which is the sportiest Maybach is really rendered pointless on paper by the faster, betting handling, more techincally advanced S65 AMG. Part of the reason the current Maybachs don't sell is because the S-Class really puts them in the shade functionally. Sure you can get more space in a Maybach, but the S-Class holds all the cars in everything else, even in name recognition because lets face it Maybach doesn't really ring the bell nearly as loud as "Rolls-Royce" does or even "S-Class". You say either one of those and people know exactly what you're talking about.

    A cheaper Maybach in the 175-190K range would do one of two things; would make a car like the S65 pointless or the cheaper Maybach would render itself pointless if it isn't crushingly superior. Either way one of them loses, IMO. Maybach should never go below the price of an Arnage, around 235K or so below that and you risk making the pricest S-Class models a hard-sell.

    Now you did mention what I was thinking, maybe a S-Class shouldn't costs 190K in the first place, that is something to think about. Either way they can't overlap, even if it means getting rid of the S65 AMG or keeping Maybach more exclusive in the 225K+ realm.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Fact is purists and HELM are not synonymous.... no matter the sugar coat and negative spin you try to put on it. Here we discuss High End Luxury Marque, or call them FULL-SIZE LUXURY SEDANS... That's the lil fact that you fail to grasp. There are no cars in this forum that a purist cares about.... so spare me the sermon about purists and who knows/does not know squat about nothing... Yes I'll repeat myself... you are no purist, simply an idealist, IMO !

    You read so much into a discussion (no one called you anything!) for the sake of not having to deal with the points that were raised. Also, where did anyone say that HELM automatically means purist?

    You're right there is no sense in discussing this with you because you can't seem to get past this group of sedans when we're discussing entire brands and/or the companies that own them. All this babble about Mercedes and Dr. Z only applies to HEL sedans? One minute we're talking about Dr Z and and what he will do with Mercedes-Benz and how the purist will react and/of they will be please, and in the next purist don't care about HEL sedans. Makes a whole lot of sense except for the fact that "Dr Z" is in charge of much more than the S-Class!! He runs MB and that is where the "purist" angle came in. You got it confused with how you think a "purist" would want a S-Class or some other HELM sedan to drive. You're the one that got it confused.

    Another thing, I didn't say I was a "purist" your fellow Lexus fan did. You don't seem to know what a purist is when it comes to what we're talking about here.

    Let Lexus start doing cars like the original IS300, making a "Lexus" out of a mere "Toyota" and you'll grasp the meaning of the word and take the "purist" attitude really quick.

    M
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Now I would guess you're looking at the 175-190K price range because of what Bentley has been able to do at that price right?

    Absolutely correct.

    As you explain the problem, however, Maybach's competition becomes Mercedes itself, and frankly, that's unacceptable to me.

    Maybach needs to be considered a competitor to Bentley, RR, etc., and therefore manufactured, priced, and marketed as such.

    Otherwise, it just becomes a continuing dilemma.

    TagMan
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I agree, which I why I think they need to stay comfortably above any Mercedes models. About 225K is as low as I'd go with the Maybach brand and that car needs to be something the S-Class isn't. What that is I dunno, but a unique look would help.

    The part that gets me about the whole Maybach thing was that some at MB felt that "Mercedes-Benz" wasn't prestigious enough to compete with "Bentley" and "Rolls-Royce" anymore, but yet they elected to slap the "Mercedes-Benz" badge on the A-Class and B-Class vehicles, which do nothing positive image-wise for Mercedes. Someone at MB forgot that Mercedes-Benz back in the day had no trouble competing and in many cases surpassing the best Rolls and Bentley had to offer.

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "According to Auto Motor und Sport, the new Maybach 51 (with the model number indicating its 5.1 meter length) will not grace the marketplace before the 2009-2010 timeframe.

    The 51 is said to be targeted at a price point north of $250,000 at current exchange rates, positioning it against the Bentley Continental Flying Spur and the upcoming small Rolls-Royce.

    The magazine reports that the mini Maybach will be based on the Mercedes-Benz S-class platform, giving it access to a choice of V8 and V12 powerplants. Both sedan and coupe versions are planned."
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I dunno. I'm all for using the W221 platform, but it can't look like a warmed over S550. Secondly it needs to have something that the Mercedes doesn't have or can't offer beyond the looks. A totally different "bespoke" interior is a must also, no S-Class switchgear. Of course it needs to start with the S600's V12 and go from there, but with more hp in each application if they decided to use the S65's V12 also. The 250K price is right though, it will seperate the two cars nicely.

    M
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Sorry about my indiscretion. The E350 was there.

    Regarding the IS300, my point was to show that it was not Roadkill, as Team Europe likes to put over on these airwaves. The fact that it was a couple of points behind the vaunted 328i shows it had great driving dynamics, and deserves respect.

    I know you want to run out and buy a GS460 this fall, but let's start cutting the S-Class sales in half with a new LS before we get you your GS460 next Summer, K?

    YES, I SAID IT! The S-Class will not sell 3k a month in 2007. It'll fall to 1500-2000 a month when the new LS changes the market direction this October.

    There WILL be plenty of buyers who would rather pay $900-1000 a month for an LS, than $13-1400 a month for an S550.

    DrFill
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    I guess this was missed in my previous posts, so it bears repeating:

    Lexus could become Ford or VW for a year, and still be Quality Standard.

    With Lexus sales up 10% a year, for the last deacde or so, I'd say these are exceptions, not the rule.

    I thank NV and SV for their testimonials, but at the same point, neither will say they regret buying the LS, and they haven't beat a path to the trade-in lot either.

    Lexus is not perfect. Just closer than the competition, that's all. The Pursuit continues! ;)

    DrFill
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Lexus is not perfect. Just closer than the competition, that's all. The Pursuit continues!

    Until Lexus turns in JD scores of 0 PP 100, there will be the unlucky few with problems. That said, I've never heard of an SC430 with a broken top, and Ive never seen an LS being taken away on a flat bed. SL, S, care to comment? Didnt think so.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    how'd you like to set up a concession stand and make a business for the group of people (I'm guessing the count will be zero, maybe one person if I really stretch my imagination) that will exit the 2008 LS600HL line and enter the 2009 Prius line. Just don't expect any bank to loan you the money to start a business where no one will line up.

    It is not my habit to respond to such an ancient and dated post as above. But it just turns out that your above assertions are not witty at all but are actually quite serious. Your business proposal above sounds quite opportunistic based on the stats below:

    1)Only 19 % of CEOs in USA own a luxury car
    2)The Average Price in US$ of the Primary Vehicle driven by a CEO in the USA is $25,000.

    SOURCE: Cars.com and CareerBuilder.com

    Based on the stats above I would not be surprised at all if a CEO during 2008 trades in his hybrid Lexus for a significantly improved Prius.

    I hope you dont mind if I steal your business idea (I have no intention of sharing my profits with you)? I will be starting my concession stand during 2008 ;)
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    I already posted this in the LPS forum but I thought this may be of some interest to some of you who are obsessed with reliability:

    Here is a list of the least reliable luxury autos ?(there are no MBs, BMWs, Audis or Porsches on the list)

    link title
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Here is a list of the least reliable luxury autos ?(there are no MBs, BMWs, Audis or Porsches on the list)

    Here's a more world reliability view. Good results for Porsche, Jag, and BMW, and pretty good for Audi. Still very poor for Mercedes. Only the French cars and Fiat were worse. The M class came in an amazing 155th of 159 models.

    http://www.topgear.com/content/features/stories/2005/11/stories/01/3.html
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    My suspicion is that the "CEOs" in the survey might include the "CEOs"/owners of some very small businesses, i.e., drycleaning stores, etc.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Great link. A lot of data for a free site.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    The survey must be based on the existing clients of CareerBuilding.com. I highly doubt such clients would include a CEO of one drycleaning stand or a CEO of one corner store.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Dewey,

    How about the fact that they are leased by the company and driven by (or chafeurred for) the CEO's. Find me that stat. You think that is 25%??? Do you really think a CEO drives to (or is driven to) his $2-$20mln+ house in a Corolla like car?? It's easy to say you don't own a helm if it's a company car. It's the technically accurate answer and the morally inaccurate answer.

    Merc - I was really thinking the market share issue in the last 5 years. The post I was responding to used a 10 year time period.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Check this:

    Methodology
    Harris Interactive® conducted the online study between June 21 and June 23, 2006 among a nationwide sample of 2,344 U.S. adults (aged 21 to 65) who have a valid driver’s license and are employed or looking for work. Of the 2,344 qualified respondents who completed the survey, 340 respondents qualified as a CEO, Chairman, Executive Director, President or COO of the company in which they are employed. The other 2,004 respondents are categorized as the general public segment. No weighting was applied to this data and therefore the results cannot be projected to the U.S. adult or CEO populations.
    source

    Ask yourself this: When 15% of a "nationwide sample of U.S. adults" qualifies as "CEO, Chairman, Executive Director, President or COO", what size companies do you think we are talking about, on average, and what average compensation for the "CEO"?
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Ask yourself this: When 15% of a "nationwide sample of U.S. adults" qualifies as "CEO, Chairman, Executive Director, President or COO", what size companies do you think we are talking about, on average, and what average compensation for the "CEO"?

    I dont want to dwell on this too long. If this was a random sample then I agree. This apparently is not a random sample and is based on surveying clients and employment seekers in the businessworld. Executive Search is a big part of many employment agencies and may include a larger number of senior executives than what you would find in the general population.

    LJ the cars primarily driven by CEOs is on average a 25K$ car. This is not about leasing or owning.

    Although I must confess that I do find the results of this survey quite surprising and maybe even somewhat dubious myself. Eighty one percent of CEOs driving Impalas, Accords, Camrys, Windstars and Siennas? While only 19 percent of Corporate CEO parking places are occupied by a luxury car. Highly unlikely indeed.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Hey anyone out of work can create a consulting business and call himself President. My lawnmowers card says he's the president of his business.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Dewey,

    Terrific data, but with gaping holes. Stimulating topic, I might add.

    So . . . which is it? . . . to motivate our children to strive to be:
    a) sports superstar
    b) hollywood actor
    c) CEO
    d) none of the above!

    Thanks again Dewey.

    TagMan
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    To LI Gold Coast for 4 days.
    Saw three LS 400's all in pristine condition too!
    Nice to see some pride of ownership.
    Apparently a great investment for those folks.
    Haven't seen any in Florida.
    Saw my share of gorgeous 911's too. One in particular-a spanking new Carrera convertible in an ivory white which was really the cat's meow!

    Hey Oac-sometimes one's prayers do get answered! ;)

    Also, I really should re-think the term "moderate." Tagman has definite Team Europe leanings. You were away so long, I guess I forgot! No offense meant! Mea culpa! :blush:

    Very much enjoyed the well-done description of what makes Team Europe tick.
    Pure poetry. So artfully constructed by Blkhemi.
    After reading that, how can anybody not be intoxicated with BMW, Audi or MB? Certain aspects of human behavior are just a little beyond my powers of comprehension, I guess.
    Some of you folks should really take one of their fine vehicles out for a spin.
    Go ahead. Have some fun! You may never look back.

    I agree with Tagman-that photo of an apparent BMW was quite barfable.

    Lexusguy: You wounded me! :sick:
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Welcome back, Howard.

    The Carrera was nice, huh? White w/ a light interior I imagine.

    Sincerely,

    ModerateMan ;)
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Right back atcha! :)

    Yes-it was a stunning vehicle.
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    Not sure what your point is. All you have established is that the correlation between self-styled CEO's and luxury car ownership is pretty weak. ljflx never said anything about CEO's in your quoted text. The correlation between existing ownership of luxury car and the next purchase however tend to be pretty high. It's not as if all CEO's (self-claimed ones included) were tossed into a lotto and only 19% of them came out with a luxury car! What does self-appointed CEO's (my dog is one too, in her own mind) have to do with luxury car ownership? Your own statistic establishes that they have little to do with each other. Can we get back to talking about luxury cars? ;-)
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Please refer to the last paragraph and sentence of post 17372.

    Thanks!
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    While much of that CEO data is suspect, and of limited usefulness, I found the entire concept intriguing and interesting conceptually. I certainly don't find any adequate reason here to share brightness04's objection.

    Thanks for the contribution Dewey, and BTW, your disclaimer in the last paragraph of post 17372 was MORE than adequate.

    TagMan
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    TagMan:

    CEOs driving $25K cars in America, the land of corporate greed, and capitalism run amock, and you defend the person who posted such drivel !!! Let me ask you, do YOU know of a company CEO who drives a $25K car to work daily ? I am not talking of self-styled CEO gardeners, plumbers, electricians, and others like these (aka: small business owners) who drive beat up cars that would qualify for this survey...

    Talking of CEOs, my former CEO drives around in an XJR, while his SVP chooses b/w a Porsche and a Bimmer-5 for his daily ride. My neighbor, not a CEO, has 5 cars on his drive way, for a 2-person household (kids older and out of the nest). None of his cars are under $30K. And next to him is another with a jacked-up F250, and a lovely mustard-yellow Boxter. $25K car ? Puleaze !!!

    May I remind you what CEOs make in this country relative to the average employee ? Try more than 250-times see link title, and you'd expect to see these $Gadzillion-aires riding around in Kia/Hyundai/Corolla/Civics.... BTW, what would $25K buy you these days for a brand new car ? There, I rest my case !
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Until Lexus turns in JD scores of 0 PP 100, there will be the unlucky few with problems. That said, I've never heard of an SC430 with a broken top, and Ive never seen an LS being taken away on a flat bed. SL, S, care to comment? Didnt think so.

    Well said, LG. Isn't it simply funny to read of examples of less than stellar LS430s and the Germancarfans conclude LS must be unreliable ! Its called statistics, guys.... I didn't hear anyone grumble about my 8yo LS400 with 114K miles and narry a problem. Does that not qualify as a statistical sample ?

    And BlkHemi's very reliable MBs and Audis are statistically outside the realm... since he typically doesn't keep them long enough to break down much. At 10K miles, any car that doesn't hold up - be it $10K or $200K - is pure lemon ! Try 100K miles and then tell us how many cars you owned remained relatively trouble-free, then we got real statistics.
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    Although I must confess that I do find the results of this survey quite surprising and maybe even somewhat dubious myself. Eighty one percent of CEOs driving Impalas, Accords, Camrys, Windstars and Siennas? While only 19 percent of Corporate CEO parking places are occupied by a luxury car. Highly unlikely indeed.

    How does this in any way or shape relate to the likelihood of a buyer of Lexus LS600HL would consider a Prius as replacement? Your own data purported to establish that CEO's and luxury car buyers are _not_ correlated. So why bother bringing self-claimed CEO's in here at all? regardless bona fides or fraudsters or just someone eeking out a living like most of us?

    LS, S and 7 make up for less than 2% of the car market, that factoid does not however suggest that a current owner of LS, S or 7 would have 98% chance of buying an Accord/Camry or something like that as replacement; CEO or not is quite irrelevent.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Regarding the IS300, my point was to show that it was not Roadkill, as Team Europe likes to put over on these airwaves. The fact that it was a couple of points behind the vaunted 328i shows it had great driving dynamics, and deserves respect.

    Nah it doesn't because sales and more sales is part of the Lexus mantra and the IS300 never sold well relative to its competitors and it was a total outcast among traditional Lexus buyers. The car was a Toyota in drag, nothing more. You're still using sales one minute (SC430) to defend a comparo laggard, but you'll use comparos the next (IS300) to defend a sales laggard. Sales and more sales are what Lexus fans harp about more than anything else so if doesn't at least sell decently it ain't worth mentioning in Lexusland.

    YES, I SAID IT! The S-Class will not sell 3k a month in 2007. It'll fall to 1500-2000 a month when the new LS changes the market direction this October.

    Oh I don't doubt this at all, I wouldn't say 1500 units, but 2K yes. There are only so many buyers for a car that starts at 90K. Now MB will at least attempt to counter with the low-priced S450 at some point.

    There WILL be plenty of buyers who would rather pay $900-1000 a month for an LS, than $13-1400 a month for an S550.

    And there are plenty who can't (or won't) make that jump either which is what the LS depends on for a great many of it's sales, a cheaper price!

    M
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