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High End Luxury Cars

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Comments

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Hopefully so!

    M
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    I wonder how that compares to the first month sales of the outgoing S, when it was brand new?

    The 2000 S-Class was released (the 1st year of the previous body) in March 1999. The total MB units sold for that month was about 16k+, which is pretty close to the month of the 2007 S-Class release (Feb 2006) of 17k+. The 2000 S-Class sold 2403 units in its first month, while the 2007 sold 3360.

    Here's the link for reference: Autoworld.com
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Remember you are looking at sales/shipments to dealers not sales to Consumers. Same thing with Lexus on the nearly 4K IS sales and the huge November figures they had. The latter was just sales to dealers in anticipation of the December to Remember sale. It's not yet actually purchased by consumers though I'm sure some of these shipments stated are spoken for. How great the next two months of sales/shipments to dealers turn out to be is the real telling point of whether the February unit sales are really moving to consumers or are getting stockpiled into dealer inventory. I think many people read mfr. sales stats as thinking those are units sold to the public when in fact you are looking at wholessale stats.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Can you substantiate that post, LJ?

    Why would anyone publicly post wholesale shipments, and release that to the news as sales/registrations? That's beyond deceptive, and shouldn't be hard to be caught on.

    Could be quite a public relations nightmare, plus impunes the credibility of the reporting medias involved.

    DrFill
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Well - just think about it. Sales are reported on the first business day of the new month for the prior month. There is no way that each individual sale to a consumer - from every dealer in the US - is tabulated by an auto manufacturer, let alone verified for public release in real time or in such fast turn around time. Since this is public data that affects stock price there is no way anyone is releasing that type of data in this age of SEC scrutiny unless it comes from there own hardcore systems that they are 100% in control of. Just the infrastructure needed to support a real-time sales system at the dealer network would be a big undertaking. It would also be costly and error prone and hardly be trusted for reporting public data that is closely watched. It would only happen if it was reported on by a third party auditor and such a party would never release it that quickly. Clearly the figures are entirely based on each manufacturers production/delivery system of cars shipped from their factories to dealers and fleets. That is 100% verifiable by the mfr. Lastly was the S-class even available for sale on February 1st? Wouldn't Lexus December sales be a lot bigger than November if we were really seeing consumer sales given the big December promotion and all the holidays taken by businesses after December 15-20th. Pretty clear to me that you can always bank on Novemmber being a huge sales month for Lexus in advance of the December pronotion. BTW - I'm sick of the jingle but what a great marketing move that was. With all the days off people have after December 15th it's like Saturdays in Lexus dealerships almost every day in the latter half of December.

    The closest thing we have to real time public sales is the RL Polk registration data which is obtained from MV data of the states. I'm not sure they even get it from every state. We all know full well that government systems never report that quickly and most permanent registrations are delayed 1-2 weeks anyway. So at best that consumer data for February won't even be known until later in March. The Polk data is bought heavily by the auto mfs as that data enables them to make factory planning and production decisions as it shows what dealer inventory is moving and in what zipcodes.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I'm confused, are you the same "callmedrfill" from before?

    M
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I like your logic . . . I like it a lot . . . but I would still like to know definatively the process for obtaining and reporting the sales data.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Actually he is right. There is no way every carmaker can get these numbers from all their dealers, process them and have them ready for their press releases the day after the month ends. This is the same reason why Ford is protesting that Chevy was the bestselling brand last year. Chevy made their claims based on cars they delivered to their dealers, but Ford went back and requested the actual number of cars registered and found out that they "sold" more cars to people than Chevy delivered to their dealers, or something like that.

    In an article about Chrylser the clarification on the sales reporting process is given. A quote:

    "Chrysler and other automakers record sales and revenues after vehicles are shipped to dealers rather than when they are purchased by a customer."

    M
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    ljflx is also right about watching the next months to see whether or not the vehicles have actually been selling or whether or not the vehicles are merely building up in dealer's inventories.

    BTW, the link was informative. Thanks.

    TagMan
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well if various mesg boards (besides edmunds) are any indication, the S-Class isn't sitting in many dealers's inventories anywhere. The are quite a vew posts on other boards about people getting angry about having to wait for the new S. The dealers around here certainly don't have any, not sure about the larger New York area, Florida and Cali markets.

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Tagman - I'd expect the S to do well in the next 6 months. It's pretty standalone out there as the newest and greatest thing. The big issue vs the last re-design is that it has a lot less lead-time (7.5 months vs 18 months) on the LS which is aiming higher and higher into its range. Does the LS crimp its sales or do the two go off and hide from everyone else like two horses running away from the field. I'd expect the latter.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    If I'm MB and have what I think is a hot car and another hot car is on my tail I'd ship a lot of units in the first 6 months. The strategy should be to sell a lot of cars at the highest price while they can and then loosen the pricing in the months before the competitive car is released. Max out pricing while you have the thunder and then loosen it up as the competition causes you to share that thunder. It would lessen some of the pent up demand for the LS if they play it right. There's no time to play the supply and demand games to drive prices sky high this time around. So the normal games that allow dealers to max out profits with over-sticker charges on low supply for any lengthly time just isn't there this go round. MB has to play the game for itself completely this time. Move big volumes to the dealers, pressure them to sell the volume and keep big shipments coming. That's the way I'd play it if I were them. What do you think Tagman?
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    First, this is the one, and only DrFill! Version 2.0!

    New and improved for 2006, with better graphics, faster download times, and 20% fewer calories than Splenda!

    Now, this thing with the sale figures. It may be true. Sales are figured based on dealer purchases, not customer purchases. All I know is most loans, in 2006, are actually bought, or approved, by banks before the customer leaves with the car, making it relatively simple to count sales for a dealership per day, per week, and so on, with dealer-connecting computer programs, of which, regional offices and bookkeepers can download sales information from dealers on a daily basis, then factor in any percentage of buybacks or false sales for any given period.

    Let's say not all of your 3000 dealers (for Ford, for example) aren't on the same computer system. Let's say 500 are off the system, don't have computers, write all their daily sales on cocktail napkins. Is it that hard to have the bookkeeper report their sales for the month to the regional office by Noon on the first? Is that difficult? My dealership knows how many cars they sold last month on the 1st. If you can count cars sold, daily, you can certainly add those days together for a monthly total, right?

    Then the six regional offices report to the national office their findings, then you add the figures from the six offices, write the press release, proofread it, and release it for the afternoon of the 1st. Far from brain surgery!

    I don't see it as that difficult, provided a dealerships bookkeeper can count 15-20-30 sales a day, consistently, and load that into computer software, or call it in to another bookkeeper.

    If the automakers can't do that, I can show them how.

    For a small fee,of course. ;)

    DrFill
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    So I guess the real question is how do we know which method each automaker uses to report sales?

    M
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Can I pat myself on the back now?

    Maybe it's all distributor-to-dealer, but I wouldn't do it that way. It's at best misleading, and couldn't be less accurate.

    What happens when you have a 2005 that just doesn't sell? It sits on the lot all year? How do you count that? You haven't seen an add for a new car that one model year old? Wouldn't that screw up your books?

    My problem is, I'm too simple-mided! :mad:

    Life is as easy as you make it. :)

    DrFill
  • 610looper610looper Posts: 18
    How do I answer this??? I am happy that your engagement with the Jag Super V8 is blissfull. Congradulations...

    You compared your 2001 LS430 w/a European Sport Package to a 2006 A8 and found it ponderous, slow and to have an unacceptable cabin noise level.

    The 2007 S550 was heavy and uninvolving and the CLS55 which is supercharged btw, always felt as if it were working hard, this compared to a 2001 LS430?

    The Maserati, which is 100g's straight out the gate, you're worried about it's "reliability, fuel costs, insurance costs, repair costs and availability of qualified mechanics. And it is pricy."

    So you ended up with a Jag Super V8, but you don't tell us how it compares to the 2001 LS430...

    Why didn't you just buy another LS 430? GS430? When it comes to handling, speed, high performance luxury sedans, nobody mentions Lexus, even with the new IS350 automatic or even Jag for that matter, heck not even Cadillac with the V series... It's the 3 Germans that are the high performance luxury kings still...
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    ... When it comes to handling, speed, high performance luxury sedans, nobody mentions Lexus, even with the new IS350 automatic or even Jag for that matter, heck not even Cadillac with the V series... It's the 3 Germans that are the high performance luxury kings still...

    It's the Germans that get all the good press. That doesn't mean that the other cars aren't good. Cadillac's V-series performs quite well. And Lexus is Lexus...
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Your system will neer happen. There's no financial need at the auto mfr level and they're not about to put in a system that tracks real-time retail sales data for the knowledge of a bunch of auto enthusiasts. In fact what you want done opens up a system for mfrs to overpay dealers who would "purposely" overstate their retail sales so that they get added incentive monies from the mfrs. As it is the RL Polk data is badly needed by auto mfrs for many reasons and one of them is to audit dealers real sales with checks of the Vins to the registratin data that Polk reports on. That same data is bought by auto analysts everywhere at the brokerage houses to track the health of the industry.

    Trust me on this - I know the information industry inside out.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    What do you think Tagman?

    lj, I think the S-Class selling price over the next months will be determined more by supply and demand than by any strategy. Sure MB will want to sell as many as possible. That's typically the case anyway.

    With regards to the margins, MB doesn't generally have massive margins to begin with any more, and any premiums OR discounts will be a matter of . . . once again . . . supply and demand. Once the new LS emerges onto the scene, the supply and demand for the S-Class is likely to be affected, but by how much is to be seen. If the new LS diminishes the demand for the S-Class then the prices on the S-Class will naturally have to ease.

    The flip side to this is that when the new LS first hits, pricing might be rather lofty in the beginning, also due to supply and demand, and those tight prices on the LS could potentially send a few folks over to the MB camp.

    lj, I continue to like and appreciate your intuitive business sense.

    Regards,
    TagMan
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    I saw the S Class in person yesterday. It looks much better in person than in pictures. They had a nice blue S550 in the showroom. The wheel fenders don't look so obvious in person. The inside was nice, but not breathtaking...I didn't like the iDrive knob in the center though..They had a bunch of leftover S Class from 2006 as well. Those cars were much better looking..

    This all has me wondering..Do you think I would be able to get a good deal on the leftover S Classes? Do you think the build quality of the last run would be better than what we've seen in the past?

    -Sam
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