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High End Luxury Cars

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  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    for the money paid and given status of the Lexus brand, its customers would want more distinctive styling and less resemblance to Toyota vehicles.
    If Lexus can do it with the interiors, why not the exteriors?
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    LOL, imagine the money I could of saved by buying a more reliable Civic versus BMWs. Darned if only I knew

    Your point?

    Was BMW sweating and struggling with their Acousitic engineering and soft leather engineering. Imagine that?

    Actually yes. BMW charges extra for the privillages of have real leather (not even all that soft) and higher end accoustics (not even all that good by compeition standards). They are on the option list along with bigger engine and sport suspension.

    Space ship? I thought BMW's primary design goal is sticking to the ground. Levitation or partial levitation is a bad thing for automobiles.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Actually yes. BMW charges extra for the privillages of have real leather (not even all that soft) and higher end accoustics (not even all that good by compeition standards). They are on the option list along with bigger engine and sport suspension

    Just as you had said in a previous post: BMW is a firm of marketing geniuses.

    Why not charge more when you can charge more? Why give it away for free when your customers are most willing to pay extra for leather seats, metallic paint, a auto tranny and an improved audio system that is not even considered as good as the standard stereos of its competitors? BMW is certainly not in the business of giving away things. At least not as good in giving away things like their competitiors.
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    It also goes to show that even BMW marketting thinks leather seating, good accoustics are items of value, just like bigger engine and sport suspension. And customers tend to agree.
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    You flipped flopped continuously on these two things about the SC430 a while back, saying one wasn't as important as the other, yet with the LS both sales and comparos are equally important.

    LS and S class are the main volume seller of the respective platforms, whereas SC and SL are more of a spin-off. It's a bit like the 5 vs. M5 or E/S vs AMG variants. One is for volume sales, whereas the other is a bit of a marketing tool. I always wondered if M5 or E/S AMG ever made money for either of the car makers. For a first attempt, SC has not done too badly for Lexus. On the other hand, Lexus probably has realized by now that a car like Z4 makes far more money for the company than something like the SL. The key is how to sell a not too expensive model in a lot of copies without diluting brand identity. BMW has shown the way in the past couple decades.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    For all its shortcomings in the U.S., Audi performs strongly elsewhere. Its brand is strong in Europe, where Audi's are seen as equals in image and performance to its better-known competitors and command similar prices. Audi has also moved aggressively overseas and has become the most popular luxury car in China. Overall, the company expects to sell 890,000 cars this year and is aiming for 1.4 million by 2015 - a position from which it might be able to claim luxury car leadership.

    Overseas the Audi brand is as strong as BMW or MB. But not necessarily in terms of luxury. The one reason Audis have a strong image overseas is based on their understated designs , their renowned top notch "fit and finish interiors", unique technologies, perfromance and last but not least their understated image .

    No the last words on the above paragraph are not there in error. In the past Audi has never tried to out-Bling their more ostentatious and conventional competitors like BMW, MB and Lexus. In fact Audi's understated image is one reason why I think Audis are far more successful overseas. People living beyond our shores are less concerned about image than us North Americans. (MB sold luxury for decades in Europe while every street there is covered with MB taxis). Just imagine what would happen to MB and Lexus sales if every other taxi is a Benz or Lexus in North America?

    The image of Audi is strong overseas mainly because they are considered a maker of good performaing cars for people who do not seek security and acceptance with establish luxury marques like BMW or MB.

    Although I am not denying there are image seekers overseas, they're just not as prevalent there as they are here in North America. And that is the reason why Audis sell better overseas.

    I prefer BMW cars over Audis but at the same time I prefer the low profile marketing of Audis.

    In fact an Audi is an anti-Lexus. An Audi is all substance with little image. While Lexus is all-image with little substance.

    To prove my point have you seen or heard the latest ads from Lexus. The Moments ads and in Canada there are ads "About the Most Important Things in your Life". Unfortantely both those ads have nothing to do with Lexus cars. As I said Lexus is all about image and little substance (and what little substance there is I still cant find ) :confuse:

    SOURCE:FORTUNE

    link title
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    In fact an Audi is an anti-Lexus. An Audi is all substance with little image. While Lexus is all-image with little substance.

    Very big statement, dewey.

    If you are going to go down that path . . . here's another way to put it . . .

    Lexus is all sizzle without the steak, while Audi is all steak without the sizzle. :shades:

    Good luck.

    TagMan
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,925
    Tag, what a wonderful line! Did you just make that up? This forum has been taken to an entirely new level.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    The M35/45 has put a nice string together, and can't outsell the beleaugered GS!

    One, Lexus had much higher expections of GS than Infiniti of M, I think, about 3 to 2. M exceeded expectations, GS fell short.

    Two, initially, GS outsold M by quite a lot. Now, they're even.

    Three, GS is doing its customary sales nosedive right on schedule, but still has a way to go. It did it twice before!
  • reality2reality2 Posts: 303
    Sorry Dewey, but I cannot see the "luxury" in BMW or Lexus for that matter. It is more than just how much leather is in a car, though I see BMW more "luxury" than Lexus. When I see Audi, I see one hundred years of car building, grand motorsport tradition, luxurious vehicles to this day stemming from the beautiful Horches, innovative technology, high performance, immaculate build quality, design language and flow that is historical to the brand,global growth, rabid loyal following globally by huge number of enthusiasts and owners, global leadership and financial strength, and stealth luxury. All true luxury to me. Please do not deny that Audi does not have prestige because that doesn't make any logical sense.

    Internal errors and missteps on AoAs part in the US, does not represent the core of Audi substance or culture in terms of its premier status on a world scale.

    Plenty of "sizzle" in an R8, S6, S8, RS4, upcoming RS6 (now being tested in Germany -debut Geneva 2007 with 530-550 bhp), and the list goes on....
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Somehow I'm guessing I've gotten under your skin lately. You want to give me a right jab or a left uppercut?

    When Johnny Carson was still host of the Tonight Show, he was teasing actor Paul Newman (one of my all-time favorites) about fooling around with some of the beautiful women co-stars.

    Newman replied "Why would I fool around with hamburger when I've got steak at home?"

    TagMan
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,925
    Not at all Tag. I just enjoy sparring (verbally!) with you. This forum would not be very interesting if there wasn't some of us to stir the pot a little. While I don't always agree with you, I do enjoy reading your opinions. Please keep 'em coming.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    "Well, it took quite a long while, but you finally got the point!

    I was starting to get concerned about you! Are you usually this slow?"

    Actually I think it's the opposite!
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    About the tail lights:
    You don't have to be a design genius to see the rear resemblances among the Camry, Avalon ES and LS."

    Attention please: Get off of it.

    If anything the Avalon lights resemble more of a Infiniti's lights. See the L-shaped design in the Avalon and Infiniti's??? Probably not. oh well.

    And if you turned the Camry lights 180 degrees, they would look totally the opposite of the ES's talights. Any genius would notice the ES's tailights taper down as they curve and meet in the center of the trunklid. If you decided, for some stupid reason, to turn the Camry's tailights 180 degrees, the tailights would curve up as the tailights flowed towards the center of the rear decklid. Yeah, I know, that to you guys looks the same. oh well, I tried!! ! And the new LS's tailights look like the Camry's, or Avalon's, or for that matter, the ES's? Please tell, which way you would have to turn each cars lights to make it resemble a LS's tailights!!

    About the tail lights:
    You don't have to be a design genius to see the rear resemblances among the Camry, Avalon ES and LS.

    "IMO,Lexus must break away once and for all from all this obvious Toyota-sharing and come up with their own unique innovative designs, drive trains, etc."

    Sort of like DaimlerChrysler is doing with soo much of their products? Ever notice the rear most pillar on the R-class and Pacifica? Looks almost identical that one would think both are based off the same platform. How about the S-class side profile and rear end looking like a Maybach's? Wow! What innovation! Let's not forget the S-class's dashboard being a rip-off of the 7-series interior. Wow! more innovation. Hey, did you read the recent articles that more Mercedes-Benz's and Chrysler products will share engines & transmissions. You know what? that's just the beginning, after that here comes.......platform sharing! Pretty soon you might see a Grand Cherokee and M-class sharing common underpinnings! A E-class and the Chrysler 300 sharing underpinnings.

    Oh wait, let's not forget about Audi & VW. Talk about how unique they are from each other. Let's see, TT based loosely on some VW architecture, either the A6 or A4 based loosely off the Passat platform, or vice versa(does it really matter), or the Q7 being based off the Toureg platform.

    And you say Lexus brand will earn more respect and people will pay a bit more if they differentiate from Toyota.

    Have you been living under a rock? A RX is priced right on top of a ML, the IS is priced right on top of a 3-series, the ES is priced just like a C-class, the LX470 costs $70K, and the LS460 now can cost upwards of $80K.
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    MB's were/are common as taxis in Europe for three reasons:

    (1) In a society where buses and subways go everywhere people would normally go, taking taxi is the up-scale way of getting around without having to drive yourself. In many parts of Europe, a Benz taxi is not something you wave to stop by the side of the road like in the US; it's something you set appointment for, or have the conciege get one for you in front of the fancy hotel.

    (2) There was a time when all VW and BMW offered were either too small or too unreliable as taxis. MB cornered the taxi market in Germany (see above, people did not need taxi to get around; they wanted taxi to get around in style)

    (3) MB sell models there intended for fleet sales; they don't do that for the US market, for obvious reasons.

    Americans are about average for image consciousness. Far more Rolls-Royces and S class are sold overseas than in the US.

    Audi was the Lexus in marketing (minus the reliability reputation) before there was Lexus. It's a brand for selling VW parts bin for more money. Audi has a decent reputation for some parts of the world because it is the perennial forerunner in exploring new markets in the developing world. Compared to what had been available domesticly in those markets, Audi was the best brand available in many developing world markets before the likes of MB, BMW, Toyota and Honda get into those markets.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,925
    One of the most intelligent posts I have seen here in weeks. Go get 'em Max!! That'll teach 'em to troll!!

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Let me start of by saying, the Europeans make great cars. In fact, if I were looking for a luxury car to replace my Acura, it would be either a BMW or Lexus. But the only BMW it would be would be the 3-series. This cars IS BMW! There is not one Benz I would want to own, or one Audi, except maybe a S8.

    That leads me to another point. Some talk about the sales disparity between the european products from Benz, etc. in Europe vs. Lexus. Let's get to the reality. A Benz in Europe covers the ground that a Camry and Lexus cover in the US. You can get a C-class with a 1.8L or so 4-banger, hubcaps, and cloth seats. In the not to distant past you could even get a 190 or C-class with roll up windows in Europe. In Europe these cars cover as taxi cabs, livery service, as well as police vehicles. As is the case with cars like the Ford Taurus' sales being inflated by fleet sales, the same is soo for especially Audi and Benz in Europe. Not to mention the earlier fact that one can buy a stripper C-class for a lot less than anyone can buy a IS for in Europe. This is one of the major factors why Lexus gets slaughtered in Europe. The other big factor is the European market demands loads of variations such as probably a half dozen plus different engines in the C-class, Toyota hasn't learned this yet. For Lexus to succeed they need broad engine varieties as well as broad price variations in Europe and a Diesel for every car line is a must. Something they seem to refuse to do as Hybrids just aren't going to cut it in Europe.
    But the other fact is who cares if they don't cut it in Europe? Europeans are the total opposite of Americans. We'll buy anything from any country. Europeans are alot more protectionist and prefer to buy only cars from their own Country. A Chinese car will probably take a long time to gain traction in Europe, but it will take less than a decade for one to gain sales traction in the US.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Toyota hasn't learned this yet. For Lexus to succeed they need broad engine varieties as well as broad price variations in Europe and a Diesel for every car line is a must. Something they seem to refuse to do as Hybrids just aren't going to cut it in Europe.

    Imagine that! Europeans appreciate diesel engines. Tell us more we don't know. :P

    TagMan
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The other big factor is the European market demands loads of variations such as probably a half dozen plus different engines in the C-class, Toyota hasn't learned this yet. For Lexus to succeed they need broad engine varieties as well as broad price variations in Europe and a Diesel for every car line is a must.

    I think they are working on it, but that kind of thing is going to take at least 10 years to implement. 10 years ago, the only Lexus that offered any kind of variety was the SC coupe, which had two engine choices and offered a 5-speed manual for a few years.

    Today there is a lot more choice (especially if you include the '07 LS), but they still have a long way to go to match the kind of variety that BMW, Mercedes and Audi have.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Umm....I never said anything about turning any tail lights 180 degrees. Go back and read post #19915. Please don't launch a diatribe addressed to me about stuff I didn't post. Save the sarcastic "genius" and "stupid reason" for him. However, I do enthusiastically agree with that poster's words and whole-heartedly endorse them. Just didn't say 'em.
    Guess that makes me a stupid genius in-training! :P

    What I did say is there is a little too much resemblance among the rears of the Camry, Avalon, ES and LS.
    Lexus should make its designs more distinctive from Toyotas. Whether you happen to like it or not, it is a valid complaint, and it puzzles me that anyone would disagree with that.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Your observations of Europe are interesting. They remind me of my childhood days when I used to visit my family there.

    But now when I visit many family members they live in the outskirts, shop in far away big box stores and have to travel on the highways to get to work. In otherwords their European lifestyle is beginning to resemble the lifestyle of many North Americans.

    Ironically my European relatives view my lifestyle in midtown/downtown Toronto with nostalgia since I walk both to work and to nearby shops, theatres and restaurants.

    Regarding your Audi views I beg to differ. Today's Audi is not like yesterday's Audi. Today there is only the A3 that shares a platform with VW. All other Audis are distinct and unique in their chassises and in most cases their drivetrains.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Umm....I never said anything about turning any tail lights 180 degrees. Go back and read post #19915. Please don't launch a diatribe addressed to me about stuff I didn't post. Save the sarcastic "genius" and "stupid reason" for him. However, I do enthusiastically agree with that poster's words and whole-heartedly endorse them. Just didn't say 'em.
    Guess that makes me a stupid genius in-training!

    What I did say is there is a little too much resemblance among the rears of the Camry, Avalon, ES and LS.
    Lexus should make its designs more distinctive from Toyotas. Whether you happen to like it or not, it is a valid complaint, and it puzzles me that anyone would disagree with that.


    Well, it's a good morning. The first thing I see is that you and I are on the same page with this. Good post. And it's good to see you stick to your guns.

    TagMan
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Tagman,

    overall the resemblance of the ES and LS to the Camry is undeniable.

    It is not a question of being an Einstein or being a village idiot to figure that one out.

    I agree one hundred percent with your observations.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Regarding your Audi views I beg to differ. Today's Audi is not yesterday's Audi. Today there is only the A3 that shares a platform with VW. All other Audis are distinct and unique in their chassises and in most cases their drivetrains.

    I think you are right about this, but the recent "Audi" grill being used by VW seems to have caused a perception that there is more in common between Audi and VW than there actually is.

    BTW, interesting stuff about your lifestyle. :)

    TagMan
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Sorry Dewey, but I cannot see the "luxury" in BMW

    Personally I wish I could not see the luxury in BMW myself. I would prefer BMW just to focus on performance cars without entertainment electronic gizmos and without an interior that resembles my grandfather's library.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Good point. The dilemma here is that Lexus is now so overflowing with luxurious appointments, that it has essentially become a Vegas car. Overstuffed with glitzy, plush, bells & whistles to the point that some don't even see the luxury in other cars that are in fact luxurious, but thankfully not to the point of such overkill.

    TagMan
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    this morning and about 150 feet away saw a vehicle from the front and thought to myself, here is the new ES which I saw photos of and plan on driving at the Taste of Lexus.
    As I approached, I noticed the Toyota emblem. It was a Camry!

    This may be great for Toyota, not so good for Lexus.
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    Audi lacks focus. When you're third outta 3 German luxury makers, you need a calling card to escape the cellar. That used to be 4wd, but now everyone has that, and Audi can't seem to find another. S6 is great, but it's still behind M5 and E63. TT is great, but it's ... A lot of it is Audi's fault, because it stretches itself thin. It wants to do too much, everything BMW and MB do, and then some. Take the R8, why would you want it when you already have the Gallardo and Murcilago in the family? I bet we can say this: R8 is great, but it's still behind 575 and 911 Turbo!

    The Japanese are much more disciplined and focused. Lexus's priority is to build the best built luxury cars, and it does it. Infiniti's priority is to build the best performance sedans that it can. They don't let themselves be distracted from their priorities, such as matching BMW M or producing outlandish expensive sports cars that find very few buyers.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    The new Blutec MB E320 does seems to be quite a different car from the 83 MB300D currently sitting in my garage.

    You associate 38 miles a gallon with squirrel-driven subcompacts, not a powerful midsize luxury sedan. But that is the mileage the Mercedes test car delivered in 250 miles of highway cruising. The Bluetec also posted a thrifty 28 m.p.g. in the city. Both numbers exceeded the car’s federal rating of 37 on the highway, 27 in town.

    Now, 208 horsepower may not sound that forceful. But take a look at the 400 pound-feet of torque, which exceeds that of the 500-horsepower BMW M5 sedan. Commanding torque — the thrust you feel when racing away from a stoplight — is the secret weapon of diesel engines. Abetted by a turbocharger in the E320 Bluetec, this results in swift 0-to-60 acceleration of 6.6 seconds.

    For luxury buyers who have suddenly awakened to the imperatives of economy and conservation, this is a no-brainer bargain. With a base price of $52,325, Mercedes is charging just $1,000 extra for the frugal engine and Bluetec emissions system, compared with the gasoline V-6. Contrast that with the big premiums for luxury hybrids: the Lexus GS 450h costs $8,000 more than the gasoline V-6 version, yet its overall E.P.A. rating is just 1 m.p.g. higher, at 25.

    In the real world, this means that in about two years you break-even with the Mercedes. In contrast, the owner of a Lexus GS 450h might as well be Rip Van Winkle: he will have to drive the car more than 130 years to get back the premium.


    SOURCE:New York Times
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    In my case a hybrid is more advanatageous for me than a diesel since I drive mainly in city traffic.

    One of the cars that got me most excited is an upcoming super gas efficient plug-in-hybrid Lexus or Toyota that can be powered solely by battery for the first 20 miles or so.

    The above scenario was based on the use of lithium ion batteries instead of nickel carbide batteries. Unfortunatley that may happen later than sooner due to the lithium battery problems associated with burning/overheated laptops.

    If you are worried that a laptop powered by a dozen lithium ion cells may burst into flames, how do you feel about cruising down the highway at 70 mph in a car powered by 6,000 of them?

    Lithium ion batteries wont be overheated if they are 45 to 75 percent charged like the current nickel carbide batteries in the GS or Prius hybrids. But unfortunately a super efficient plug-in hybrid needs to be 100 percent fully charged in order to be solely powered by battery for longer range driving. And 100 percent charging could lead to overheated lithium ion batteries in cars. In otherwords dont expect to find many plug-in hybrids in a few years or so unless you are willing to spend a $12K premium:

    A handful of companies, like A123 Systems and Valence Technology, are rushing to come up with safe lithium ion batteries specifically engineered for use in these vehicles. The big automakers won't be selling plug-in hybrids or all-electric vehicles soon, but tinkerer EnergyCS is developing a kit it hopes to sell for $12,000 or so that will replace the nickel metal hydride battery in Priuses with a plug-in lithium ion pack

    SOURCE:FORBES
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