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High End Luxury Cars

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Comments

  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Improvements in MB sales are likely to happen next year when:

    The E class gets a face lift next year
    The new S class arrives

    The SL last year sold in high numbers last year since it was a relatively new car.

    Bottom Line: Picking specific car stats and predicting the demise of MB is not sufficient in itself. You got to look at overall sales and MB sales have not done too badly up to now.
  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    Mercedes is not in "demise", but they just aren't as strong as they use to be in the United States from the 70's to 90's.

    I think the product line has been watered down from poor styling choices and spotty reliablity over the last 5 years. MB resale is no where near as high as it use to be.

    And cutting out things like free maintenace is costing them business as well in the competitive high line market.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Schremp's "Mercedes in every garage" idea was a disasterous one. Thats not what Benz should be all about. BMW and Audi have their "A" game on, there just isn't room in this market for mistakes like that.
  • martianmartian Posts: 220
    Face it, if FORD hadn't bought Jaguar, they would be long out of business. It is true, Sir William Lyons built great cars in the 50's and 60's-but a small company like Jaguar cannot survive today. Plus, even in their heydey, Jags were a nightmare to maintain-and those ancient 3-SU carb setups were impossible. So, what will Ford do with the line? I'd say drop the low-priced models and stick with the >80K line. This is their best course
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    The reasons behind the acquisition are not a secret. Jaguar needed help. However, the whole Ford group is struggling, as is Jaguar. They have already re-aligned Jaguar production numbers and seem to be re-focusing Jaguar's marketing strategy.

    The reliability reports from JD Power and others are much improved since Ford took over, but the brand has not seemingly built much recognition of this. I still hear folks who assume that all Jags are service problems....that is very old news.

    They have revised production numbers downward and seem to be headed towards a more exclusive group of Jaguar buyers in the future rather than building the line with cars like the X Type. If they can build a few good cars for the Jag lovers this may be the best approach. Make it a focused smaller luxury brand, and stop trying to sell what is basically a $32,000 Ford ---with Jaguar styling cues.

    Ford has seemingly missed the boat in the overall luxury class...They sort of blew it with Jaguar as a growth platform too. The problem seems to be that Ford had hopes of using the Jaguar marque to compete in a broad luxury class. They are now retrenching. At the same time, in the U.S. Lincoln seems to be a struggling brand and has no enthusiast interest. Ford has not found the formula to build a luxury class car line that gets much market share.

    By the way, they really have something good with the aluminum chassis and body. My own XJR is quick, feels lively, and gets good gas mileage for a 400 hp car. The new XK replacement is based on this same basic aluminum construction, so we will see what happens with it.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Ford has handled Volvo very well, but they have made mistake after mistake with Jaguar. Volvo was out of money, and Ford gave them the financial backing to stay in business, but otherwise kept a safe distance. Just look at the difference between Volvo and Saab to see how much better Ford's approach has been.

    With Jaguar though, Ford seemed to have this "we know what's best for you" ideal. Makes sense, after all, just look at the luxury powerhouse that is Lincoln. They blindly followed Benz down the "Jaguar for everyone" path, the only problems being that Ford had no decent platforms or engines to give, and that weak V6s, FWD, and cost cutting is the last thing Jaguar should be about. Could any other automaker have done any worse with Jag (other than perhaps GM)?

    Is shutting down production at Browns Lane an example of the "excellent" job Ford has done with Jag?
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    I've long maintained Ford handled the takeover of Jaguar poorly. I read Jaguar World Monthly fairly regularly and was appalled with their new Operations Head Bennie Fowler. The guy is from Detroit, what does he know about the Jaguar mystique? He seemed to be offended when the interviewer asked him about the X-Type. He doesn't seem to understand when you badge a Ford Contour as a Jaguar people are going to have issues with it. In a nutshell I don't think Ford understands the "Essence of Jaguar." Jaguar is not supposed to be in the reach of the common person, that's what Lincoln is for!

    I was not impressed with the new XJ. It doesn't even look like a Jaguar. Even worse, it strongly resembles the X-Type. Jaguar, despite having the highest Satisfaction rates in the industry, has only a 37.1% Retention (Loyalty)rate...Mercedes has a 52% Retention rate despite all of their current quality issues.

    Has anyone seen the new S Class preview up on Mercedes Website? The car looks much better in the darker colors. I still don't like the rear at all, but the front looks quite bold. It seems more "substantial" than the current model. Maybe I'll have a look when it comes out in the showrooms. My only worry is that it will suffer from the same electrical maladies that the current generation has.

    I wish you all a Merry Christmas,
    SV
  • Folks:

    Please give me some advice as to how to deal with Car Jockies who wants to toy with cars. I have a bland new car and I had to park in Manhattan of New York City Often.

    There 'park and lock' places are hard to find. And I often have to park underneath the building where I have to carry out a task.

    Twice now, since I got this bland new car, I found a lot of the electronic gadgetry settings are changed when I get my car back.

    I tip these guys often too, and they are familiar faces to me. I thought of complaining to management.

    To be perfectly honest, my car cost nothing close to $50,000. But I figure that people who have cars of that price range probably have more of these experiences, and might have learn how to deal with them.

    Thanks, Manny
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Ford injects $2 bn for Jaguar loss

    Ford still has confidence in the future of Jaguar.

    link title
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Ford has handled Volvo very well, but they have made mistake after mistake with Jaguar.

    Volvos are sharing and will be sharing future platforms with Mazda.

    Why is it ok for Volvo to share platforms with Mazda but somehow a disgrace for the Jaguar X type to share its platform with a Ford.

    The Saabaru term is quite a derogatory term for Saabs. It amazes me that the term Volzda has not been used yet for the Volvo S40 and V50. (I have trademarked the name Volvzda since the term is my invention)
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    There's a big difference between the two. First of all, the only Volvo that currently shares anything with Mazda is the S40. The S40 was never a "true" Volvo product, it was originally co-developed with Mitsubishi, and was generally lousy. Second, the Mazda3 is a benchmark for the compact car segment, so that's hardly a bad place to start with. Third, while the S40 and Mazda3 are technically platform makes, they have very little in common. The interiors are totally different, and the Volvo has Volvo built engine, not the Mazda 4cyl. The Saab and WRX have an identical interior, identical engine and share probably 60%+ of their sheetmetal. They are the exact same car, basically with a different badge on them, especially now that you can get an Impreza with leather.

    Its also ok for Mazda and Volvo to share just like it is for Ford and Mazda. No one is complaining about the Fusion. The problem with the X-type is the Mondeo was a barely adequate platform that had no place in a $35K+ luxury car. Dont you think people would be very upset if Mercedes decided to build the next C-class using a Chrysler Sebring platform, and tacked on an AWD system to disguise the fact that the Sebring is FWD?
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Having owned 2 Jaguars and then abandoned the brand, here my impressions: They stretched themselves too far with the X class. The level of personalized service suffered enormously, their infrastructure was not ready to take that on. That was why I sold my XJR and turned my back on Jaguar. They tried to screw me one time too many. It's a shame, because my XJS convertible was my favorite car, ever, and to this day regret having sold it. But Jaguar shot themselves in the foot.

    What was the point in going for *2* middle-of-the-road cars in the S and X class? They should have just gone for one additional lower end model, and do that well. In fact, it looks like their financials have become worse since the S and X class came out. An indication they were banking way too optimistically on widespread success, and that they overbuild production capacity. It would have made more sense to keep the brand smaller, the offering more differentiated, instead of dilluting the Jaguar image with 2 relatively boring cars. The S and X class have a contrived design, trying to squeeze too much Jaguar heritage too artificaly into too small a footprint. And I much preferred the old XJ to the new one design wise, it was not as practical, but it looked far more elegant and represented a different value proposition.

    Jaguar needs uniqueness. Look at Mini for a brand that shows how a unique identity is managed.

    As well as Ford has done with Aston Martin, as great as Volvo is doing within Ford, Jaguar is the brand that they saved at first and has been now floundering with less and less of a unique position. The new Jaguar XK simply looks like it wants to be an Aston Martin, but didn't quite make it. Everything Jaguar has done for 10 years now is a ripoff of something perceived as a "tradition" or something else. No wonder the market is paying less and less notice.

    A shame.
  • I'm surprised that you and Pablo_1 (in a later post) don't like the current XJ and find that "It doesn't look like a Jaguar." All the car buff books that I read say the exact opposite. They feel that the current XJ looks too much like the old one and hasn't broken new ground.

    With regard to the issue of rebadging a Ford Contour (or is it the Mondeo?), I don't think that even 1% of the likely X Type prospects have any idea about this. I do think that the AWD X Type has become a good car after inital teething problems. Unfortunately, the Jag DNA is more RWD. I don't think the traditional AWD, winter car buyer (eg., Saab, Volvo, Suburu, Audi, etc.) is a Jag buyer especially after the estate version arrived so late in the game.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi everyone,
    I wish someone would post a picture of the two models side by side. The new X350 looks like your old friend from college who has put on 30 lbs. Sure it looks like him, but the "Lines" aren't as well defined. (Apologies to those I may offend with that comment!) The rear of the new car is quite boring. It looks like a semi rear ended an older XJ8. It doesn't have the flair of Jaguars past.

    You're right the average person doesn't have a clue about the rebadging. But the auto-rags do. It's all about perception, once it gets out people will automatically think it poorly of it. It's just like the Toyota platform sharing arguments we have here.

    Anyone else seen the new S Class preview on the MB Usa page?

    SV
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    Wow. But I have to say, what the heck was Piech thinking in spending the money to develop this car? Makes the Phaeton look like a wise business decision.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    The man was out of touch with reality. It's as if he was trying to prove he's the only one that could build a car like that when in fact any auto mfr could do it if they wanted to. But the rest have a much better grip on reality.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    prime valet parking at Peter Lugers Steakhouse.
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    Yeah, sure, and leave the keys with the 19 yr old valet? By the time you got back, the gas tank would be empty (which means he drove it for about 12 minutes?). :P
  • OK, the car may not be as trim as you might prefer.

    But why aren't these sleds selling? They weigh less, are quicker, far more reliable and cost less. In fact an XJ is about 25% or so less expensive than an S Class. If you want a blown, 400 HP version (the XJR) you can get it for about the same price as a naturally aspirated S or 7 Series. Finally, for those of us still in manufacturing and distribution, a Jag rather than an S Class may have less emotional "baggage" when you park it in front of your troops tomorrow morning. ("Gee, look what happened to OUR Christmas bonus!")

    With respect to the differences in retention rates, it might be that the M/B buyer is just a slave to his status fix. Incidentally, how do the retention rates of the cars we discuss here stack up?
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