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High End Luxury Cars

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  • Yup. Merc got you there. There would be ABSOLUTELY no way Caddy could sell 3000 XLRs in a day. Do you accualy think they could sell 3000 of those cars that quickly? And besides its just a nicer Corvette. If you want a good car save your money and buy a Benz
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    We dont even know how much the XLR is going to cost and people are already saying that the car will have trouble selling because it's too expensive. I will say this again, you have to consider what a car offers when you look at the price. Just because the XLR is a cadillac doesn't mean it costs too much. If the car cost too little everyone would criticize it for being too cheap to be equal to the SL or XKR. If it costs 70K then it is considered too expensive to be a cadillac. I want to know what price would be appropriate for this car? I dont understand how Cadillac isnt allowed to charge $70K for a car when they have cars going up to $60K right now. This is not acura, VW or infiniti we are talking about. They know that to be seen as competitive they have to offer models that are in the same bracket as top MB and BMW models and that is what they are doing. There is no reason for this car to be cheaper if MB and Jaguar are going to charge 90K and 80K, respectively, for their two doors. I really wish the SC430 would drop out of this discussion. I dont think anyone really considers that car to be on the same level as the expensive euro convetibles. It's performance, handling and technology are all lacking compared to the Sl500 and even the revised XK8. You guys have to realize that almost everything GM comes out with (and this really applies to cadillacs) is predicted to fail or is met with skepticism. The first Escalade was predicted to be a failure,the '02 escalade was faintly praised but still called nothing more than a Tahoe with a caddy badge, the EXT was criticized, the CTS was supposed to be a slow seller because of its styling, the H2 was called a waste of time and now the XLR is being doubted. If we use previous models as an example I think we see that the doubts are always there but the sales follow anyway.

    If people were trying to put down deposits on the Cien (which wasnt even approed for production) at the auto show last year why wouldn't there be a demand for the Xlr once it arrives?

    merc1,

    please define the "ownership experience" that makes the Sl500 worth $90K. That is a joke. Putting up with arrogant dealers and making too many trips to the service department counts as a great ownership experience?? Spare me.

    honda99,

    If badge sets price why are lexus vehicles so much cheaper, model-to-model, than BMW and MB vehicles? I have already established that most caddy models are more expensive than Lexus models. We both know that Lexus has a better rep than cadillac but I want to know why they cant price their models like BMW and MB if their image is supposedly just as prestigous. Also, why would the XLR have to a "much better" car than the Sc430 if its going to cost the same or slightly more? The XLR will be faster, it looks much better and it has far more technology than the SC430 so it sure as hell should cost more.
  • Seems like to me the Escalade variants and the recently introduced Hummer H2 has more prestige than the higher end luxury imports. I am beginning to see H2s on music videos now and several of them on the streets.

    "I really wish the SC430 would drop out of this discussion. I dont think anyone really considers that car to be on the same level as the expensive euro convetibles. It's performance, handling and technology are all lacking compared to the Sl500 and even the revised XK8."

    Exactly agreed through and through.

    J "CaddyLac"
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    1487, As always, your posts always have issues.

    "I will say this again, you have to consider what a car offers when you look at the price."

    What you say or think doesn't really matter in the marketplace, now does it? I will say this again also, car pricing is based on MORE than just what it has physically. Car prices also include what people are willing to pay for intangibles. In the case of a Mercedes, people pay thousand of dollars for the 3-pointed star. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't pay more for a car with the 3-pointed star, I really do think people who pay thousands more for the prestige factor of a Mercedes are insane, but I don't set the market price neither do you. The marketplace as a whole sets the price and that basically means a car will cost more just because it has a 3-pointed star on the hood. And frankly let's face it, a Cadillac is no Mercedes. Therefore, even if the XLR had the same equipment, the same performance, the same build quality, the price in the marketplace would be lower for the XLR because it lacks 1 thing: The 3-pointed star(Prestige & heritage).

    "I dont understand how Cadillac isnt allowed to charge $70K for a car when they have cars going up to $60K right now."

    Let's get realistic. On paper Cadillac has cars that cost near $60K. Again I'll go through this, the price is really much less because of a few reasons: 1) Cadillac's are discounted deeply. 2)GM is always throwing out incentives to sell cars. This is in either of 3 ways, one is thru subvented leasing, two is thru factory or dealer rebates and three is thru subsidized financing(0%). 3) Cadillac sells very few cars fully loaded. Cadillac charging $60K for cars is like stating the LS430 goes for $70K or the S-class goes for $100K. Why is this thinking false? It is false because we all know the average LS430 costs nowhere near $70K MSRP. The Majority of LS430s sold are somewhere in the low $60K range. Same with the S-class, the most popular S-class is the S430, which doesn't cost $100K. And therefore, saying the Cadillac's cost $60K us just a wee bit(actually much more)misleading.

    "They know that to be seen as competitive they have to offer models that are in the same bracket as top MB and BMW models and that is what they are doing."

    I remember proving this statement wrong previously also. Where is Cadillac offering models in the same brackets as MB & BMW?
    As of know, Cadillac has no competition for the ML320 or X5. Don't forget the SRX isn't out yet.
    Cadillac has nothing that competes with the SLK, Z4 at the lower end of the roadster spectrum. Cadillac has no coupe or station wagon version of the CTS. Cadillac has nothing to compete with the 5-series or E-class. Cadillac has nothing to compete with the 745i or S430, and Cadillac has nothing at the high end of the spectrum such as a Z8, SL55, S600. Where is the model for model competition?

    "I really wish the SC430 would drop out of this discussion. I dont think anyone really considers that car to be on the same level as the expensive euro convetibles."

    If really nobody considers the SC430 to be a competitor with the euro convertibles, let me tell you, nobody is going to even consider a $70K Cadillac convertible against anything European or Japanese.

    "The first Escalade was predicted to be a failure,the '02 escalade was faintly praised but still called nothing more than a Tahoe with a caddy badge, the EXT was criticized"

    The first escalade wasn't predicted to be a sales failure, it just predicted that it would be a POS, which it was. After all, it wasn't a Cadillac in any sense of the word. It was merely a chromed up Denali. I don't ever remember the '02 Escalade being called a failure. In fact ever since it has come out, it's been pretty well regarded. The EXT is merely a Avalance. That's reason enough for it to be criticized.

    "the CTS was supposed to be a slow seller because of its styling" Who said anything about slow seller? I just said it was ugly and it can't hold a candle to cars such as the G35, IS300, 330i or C320.

    "If badge sets price why are lexus vehicles so much cheaper, model-to-model, than BMW and MB vehicles?" Refer back to the beginning of the post about prestige. Lexus doesn't have the prestige of a Mercedes, Lexus has only been around 12 years.

    "I have already established that most caddy models are more expensive than Lexus models."

    Key word "I". The only thing you have established is that YOU think they are more expensive. But really quite the contrary.

    RX300s cost about $40K
    ES300s cost about $35-$40K
    GS300/430s cost about $45K-$55K
    LS430s cost about $55K to $70K
    IS300s cost about $35K
    LX470s cost about $65K
    SC430 cost about $62K i think

    CTS runs about $35K
    Seville about $48K to $55K
    Deville about the same.

    Let's not forget what I went over earlier in this post: Cadillacs are heavily discounted and they have heavy incentives. Let's not forget how skewed the Deville sales figures are because of fleet sales. You have established something that only you yourself believe.

    "Also, why would the XLR have to a "much better" car than the Sc430 if its going to cost the same or slightly more? The XLR will be faster, it looks much better and it has far more technology than the SC430 so it sure as hell should cost more."

    One answer can explain it all: Prestige. Lexus has it over Cadillac, by a long shot. Really? how much faster is it going to be? by a few-tenths of a second, and that's not much. More technology? I haven't seen much on it's soo superior technology. Is it going to have the build quality of a Lexus or the reliability? I doubt that.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Why doesn't Lexus price their cars as high as BMW and MB?

    Because it costs them much less to produce them. They have better automation, less manpower per auto and cheaper labor costs. Though they have joined the club at the top the company still acts like they haven't which is just fine with me. They are also cohesively integrated with Toyota in spreading the technology around. How else do you explain a Camry having a better navigation system than Mercedes.

    SC430 - say whatever you want about the car but it is spectacular by my standards. Lexus doesn't care about the enthusiasts - it cares about its target market.
  • It's entirely statistically possible, and to a certain degree, probable, that 3,000 XLRs would be ordered/sold in one day. Just as it is statistically probable, and fairly much dictated by the law of conservation of energy and quatum mechanics, that as I clap my hands right now, someone in some place in this universe or otherwise is "unclapping" their hands.

    Moreover, the greater point was that, ultimately, the XLRs price will be determined by what is a "best-fit" for production, price, profit, productivity, efficiency, labor, parts, etc., etc. There's an infinitesimal ammount of variables, but nonetheless, linear programming or some other form of computer modeling handles the job well...
  • Most of your post, baron, could have been summed up in 2 sentences. The law of conservation of energy is misapplied in this case.

    It doesn't matter if it's statistically possible, what matter is what actually happens. Here's an example: The Audi A4 Cabriolet has already sold out for the year worldwide. So you could technically say, in the few weeks it's been 'out' that it has sold 30,000 units. But that's a misleading number - people have known about the car for many months and have placed deposits and have anticipation.

    The real judge of success is not Neiman's or whether it can sell 3,000 orders. I think the real judge of success is whether the XLR sells consistently for decades, raises the standard by which all other cars in its category are judged, and commands a premium, like the SL has. People obviously feel the car is worth $100,000 - doesn't mean it's worth that to you or me, but it's worth that to more people than for any other giant luxo convertible out there.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You've somehow let the others confuse you. Where did I use "ownership experience" in any of MY posts? Though since you bring up the concept, why don't you take a look at the SL500 board and see what the owners have to say. Are you saying that every SL has to go back to the dealer and that all MB dealers are arrogant? If that is the case all of Cadillac's cars are junk. Period. Now do you want to get oriented or continue down the path of vast incorrectness?

    Secondly, I'm not sure why you can't understand that NOBODY is paying 60K for a Cadillac. Do you even read the Cadillac boards here? Cadillacs sell with huge discounts. Now before you say it I know the XLR isn't going to be discounted like the Deville, but if you think the market is already primed for a 75K Cadillac based on the sales prices of their current cars you're wrong at best, and simply ingnoring reality at worst. Mercedes, depending on the model either go for a few thousand off sticker: any left over 2002 (S and CL models especially), and the 2003 C and E class cars...or they go for sticker: 2003 SL and CL. Even if I'm not covering every single MB market in the country you can bet nobody is getting 5-7K off a new 2003 Benz, like you can readily get off of that new DTS. I know you know this.

    We do agree on the SC430 I see, though I honestly still want to "like" the car. It's hard for me to dismiss a GT car, even one made by Lexus. It's priced right and truthfully has very little competition at it's price point and Lexus knew this. Very smart.

    However I think you have my position wrong on the XLR. I would very much like the car to be a hit. I just don't want to see the car flop simply because it was overpriced. The XLR should be no more than 65-70K with every available option, that way it sits in between the SL and the SC and more or less eye-level with the Jaguar. I think a starting price of 75K and possibly over 80K with options is too much...the attitude will be "may as well get the Benz or XKR". That will ensure failure for the XLR. Price the car right intially and raise it if demand is high...thats what everyone else does (lol). Nobody is saying there won't be ANY demand for the XLR. How much demand is the question. Simply put, if Cadillac doesn't bite off more than it can chew by overpricing the XLR it will be a hit.

    I'm not sure who said the Hummer H2 was a waste of time. I personally think it's a great vehicle. Having seen just about every TV program, reading every article (including the one in CAR magazine, usually very harsh on American products) and lastly having gone to see it in the metal I think it's the best engineered vehicle GM has done in years. The thing is purpose built, every GM engineering unit should be as motivated.

    My only problem with the Cadillac trucks is that there is no where enough seperation from the Chevys they are based on. I mean honestly what did Cadillac do other than add some leather, wood, crests, and a few other small options to make a Denali worth 60K? A new and totally sperate interior would go a long way towards justifying the price difference.

    Why can't Lexus price their vehicles like MB and BMW? Easy, Lexus has three maing things going for them Price/Reliablity/Quality. Take away one of those by pricing the LS430 or SC430 the same as their MB/BMW competition and they'd sell a lot less....a whole lot less. The Japanese as a whole make the highest quality cars in the world, and they have gained the right in the market to price their cars higher than Americans or Koreans, but when it comes to German cars they still have to play the price card. Ask Acura about NSX sales when a 911 can be had for less.

    Lastly, you say that everything GM does is met with skepticism. Its not hard to see why. The CTS is a prime example. While it's head and shoulders above the Catera, we still have to wait until next year for the proper interior and base engine. And you can't say it's just me and GM bashers, Lutz himself has said that car isn't up to snuff. GM simply has a history of putting out half-baked cars, so naturally the press and foreign car enthusiasts are "skeptical". This isn't as big a problem with "regular" cars, but when it comes to Luxury cars, reputation is everything. Cadillac is going to have to do a string of cars "right" before their image turns around. Audi did it with one hit after another, 1996 A4, 1997 A8, 1998 A6, and back again with the 2002 A4. None of Audi's cars were "works in progress" upon their release like the CTS is. GM simply has to stop it.

    ljflx,

    "Lexus doesn't care about the enthusiasts - it cares about its target market. "

    Wow, you said a mouthful my friend. I guess thats why the IS300 hasn't been a hit huh. Your statement is exactly why Lexus didn't put the Europeans out of business like everyone said they would and thats also why I can't hardly ever see myself buying one. That said, I've come to really respect your opinion/slant on this whole luxury car thing.

    Baron,

    Come on now, you're starting to sould like a GM exec.

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    If the target market for the car is the enthusiast then they will certainly care about the enthusiast for that particular model. But in general they have made it obvious that they don't care about the opinion of the enthusiasts.

    I am very curious to see where they go with the new GS design that is due out in the spring. I haven't seen any good stories on this.

    Never say never!

    By the way who, in their right mind ever said Lexus would put the Germans out of business. Personally I think Lexus increased the buying interest in luxury cars among a greater percentage of the population which is actually good for everyone.
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    The current Audi lineup has not been in production for decades. All of their current models are relativily new names. This is because of the fiasco that occurred with the Audi 100? or perhaps the 5000. I don't quite remember what their model names were with the runaway acceleration problem.

    You have made some valid points - consistent sales over a period of time is a good measure. However, the Cimmarron sold quite consistently over the time period (7 years) that it was in production. Yet, everyone considers it a failure. Is Rolls Royce a complete failure? The company is now split up and owned by two german automakers.
  • I never said that the current Audi lineup had been in production for decades. I was using the Audi A4 cabrio only as an example of advance sales causing a waiting list of a year. I was not indicating that this is any kind of sales success or longetivity, just an example of why "3,000 sales in one day" means almost nothing.

    The reason the Cimmaron was a failure was because it didn't redefine the class or do anything to advance small car luxury. For Cadillac's terms, it sold poorly - they were the #1 luxury car maker at the time and 50,000 units or less a year is infitesimal.
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    What you said in general is that for a car to be successful, a model has to be in production for decades and sell consistently. I think that is nonsense. Cadillac has been in production for a hundred years and has had great influence on the luxury car market over that time period.
  • Cadillac's also had almost 25 years of mediocre cars, which to me indicates a consistently subpar reputation. Let's agree to disagree.
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    I agree that Cadillac has not built the kind of cars in the last 25 years that it built in the first 75. I hope that things will improve in the next few years. However, I do not view cars that sell for $60,000+ to be a desirable goal for Cadillac. They need to make some good medium priced luxury cars (in the $40,000+ range). I now own a Seville that I paid $40,000 for and I would say that at that price the car is not badly priced. (list was over $50,000)
  • I think Cadillac should concentrate on making their current cars better in every way possible before venturing out into a market where it is dominated by brands like Mercedes and Jaguar. The Seville and DeVille are essentially in the same class which doesn't make sense. The CTS, well to sum it up.. why so square?? Make sure that you have a good line of at least modestly successful models and then maybe, just maybe you can back a $75+ roadster.
  • a 75k flagship isnt that big of a jump.
  • I saw a CTS today with an atrocious gold package and some kind of mini-carriage roof. The car looked absolutely hideous. It's owners like this that continue to make Cadillac second-rate.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "By the way who, in their right mind ever said Lexus would put the Germans out of business."

    Read any early 90's Car & Driver, Automobile and the like. They all said that MB and BMW would have to partner just to stay in business.

    "But in general they have made it obvious that they don't care about the opinion of the enthusiasts. "

    Well it's pretty hard to cater to both, hence the IS300's failure in the marketplace.

    M
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    "Well it's pretty hard to cater to both, hence the IS300's failure in the marketplace."

    No, it's really not hart to cater to both the enthusiast market and the target market. And I would hardly call the IS300 a failure. Sure, the IS300 hasn't sold as well as Lexus expected in the states, but elsewhere in the world the IS-series is selling well. It's main downside is that it's simply not designed for the American driver. Lexus made a boo-boo when it came to bringing the car to the US as basically a carryover from Europe.
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    I agree with zach and fjk. Caddy & Lincoln will have to prove they can build a consistent quality 30+ car before they jump into the 70+ range. That means at least the next two generations of cts and ls will have to keep getting better. And no more than six years between generations. If more than that, customers lose interest and shop something else. It doesn't look good, Ford just axed the scheduled development of the next ls platform.

    bmw, mb, lexus build trust because their models keep improving every five, six years. Their reputation isn't built in a day.

    My advice is Caddy & Lincoln: go slow
  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    Was away for a while in the mountains. Had to get away to refresh my brain. Anyway, to answer your question 1487, no I'm not feeling sorry for you my friend. I think you're smart enough that one day you'll find your niche and achieve whatever it is in life you were created for. I'm a private banker with my own firm. That allows me to live a full and wonderful life. I'm not one that worships at the alter of the almighty dollar, but I do believe in hard work and planning.. Thanks for responding, and happy motoring everyone..
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    Both models are based on the 1995 Aurora platform. The Deville has a longer wheelbase ( about 3 inches) and a longer body (about 6 inches). The STS has larger antiroll bars, so handling may be better.

    The Seville will become a rear wheel drive model based on the CTS's sigma platform for the 2004 model year or perhaps the 2005 model year. Probably an early 2005 model. The Seville is whats left of Cadillacs Fleetwood models. This implys a better grade of interior refinement, but I'm not sure that you actually get much.
  • "I saw a CTS today with an atrocious gold package and some kind of mini-carriage roof. The car looked absolutely hideous. It's owners like this that continue to make Cadillac second-rate."

    Gee, I have seen a few S and E-class Mercedes-Benz models with full carraige roofs...does that mean MB is second rate too?

    "I agree with zach and fjk. Caddy & Lincoln will have to prove they can build a consistent quality 30+ car before they jump into the 70+ range. That means at least the next two generations of cts and ls will have to keep getting better."

    I agree. Mercedes Benz should stop production of the S class until they build a car with consistent quality.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    S-class and E-class with full carriage roofs? Huh. Where have you seen those? I've never come across one of those.
  • I have seen two E class sedans with full carraige roofs, one in Santa Barbara, one in Sacramento, and an S class in the east bay somewhere.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,596
    I think you've seen the only Mercedes' with carriage roofs that exist....
  • Yeah, i see dozens of Mercedes a day and never have seen one of those.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    " It's main downside is that it's simply not designed for the American driver."

    Then why bother? The car has been a comercial failure here, the place that matters to me. I still say it's hard to cater to both the enthusiast and the pure luxury folks all in the same brand. Lexus hasn't been able to do it so far. Both of their "sporty" cars simply don't sell, the IS300 and especially the GS430. Think about it, BMW is all about sport first, Mercedes usually tries to sit in the middle and Lexus (except for one model) is all about Luxury. Audi probably does both the best, if you discount Mercedes having AMG. Wishnhigh1, what you think?

    _______

    I've seen at least one of every luxury brand's cars with a cloth top or some other silly add-on, but the difference between Lexus/MB and Cadillac is that Cadillac dealers still stock these cars on their lots. The Caddy dealer here (Town and Country Cadillac of Naperville) regularly has DeVilles done up in this way. You'd practially have to tell an MB dealer that you're not going to buy the car in order to get them to do such a thing to a Benz.

    M
  • Its a trend that started on the west coast, and will probably die on the west coast. Im not saying that they arent rare, Im saying that owners personal preferences should not determine the worth of the brand, like magneto implied.
  • nealm1nealm1 Posts: 154
    "I still say it's hard to cater to both the enthusiast and the pure luxury folks all in the same brand."

    If these are mutually exclusive, to which does MB cater?
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