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High End Luxury Cars

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  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    That's not entirely true. The S60, V70, and XC90 are "true Volvos", but they are legacy cars. The S40\V50\C70 are based on the same global Ford small car platform as the Mazda3 and the new Euro Focus (but not our Focus.) The I5 engine in those cars though is of course Volvo's own.

    Well I have to disagree there because these Volvos aren't just better spec'd Fords, the platform they share had Volvo's input from the start and more importantly you can't tell that they share anything with Fords. I mean this is a far better arrangement than what Jaguar has and especially Saab don't you think?

    I do agree about Jaguar's engines. Another example of how Land Rover and Volvo seem to be getting all the $$$.

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I agree, the S40 is an example of the right way to platform share, and cars like the X-type and 9-3 are the wrong way.

    Handing Jaguar the Mondeo and saying "see what you can do with this" was never going to work. The X-type needed a high tech, compact RWD platform if they really wanted to compete with the C class and 3 series, and Ford simply didn't (and still doesn't) have one. It would've been a better idea to chop the DEW98 platform under the S-type and LS, at least that is RWD.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Everytime we discuss Jaguar on this board there is a just released article on them:

    Jaguar

    I guess we're not the only ones waiting to see what happens.

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Some very interesting tidbits in this sentence:

    "Later this year there will be a cheaper 3.5 litre model, and by the end of the year, a hot XKR. In 2007, expect a V-8 diesel-powered XK."

    That means no Volvo I6 for Jag, although I suppose a Jagified Duratec 3.5 would be good for at least 265hp, which is competitive enough. I'm surprised that Jaguar will be using a V6 at all in the XK, as the SC, 6, and SL are all V8 only. I suppose Jaguar wants to additional volume anywhere they can get it.

    I have to assume that a diesel will never come to the states, though it would be interesting for them to try.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I have to assume that a diesel will never come to the states, though it would be interesting for them to try.

    A diesel XK? Interesting indeed.

    I think we are about to see more diesels in general, whether or not it includes the XK . . . which I, for one, look forward to. Don't you?

    TagMan
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Once the "new" diesel is available everywhere, and diesel cars are available in all 50 states, I'd say yes, there will probably be a lot more diesels. California is the big market for alternative fuel, and they cant even get a toehold until they've got clean diesel cars to sell.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    We are about to receive the low sulphur, cleaner diesel fuel here in California. That will likely lift all the restrictions. I wouldn't be surprised to see diesel fuel get even more expensive than it already is.

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to the diesels.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Jag used to be the envy in it's class at one point. Cars like the XKE, E-type, and XJS(sans reliability) were all the rave in their day. Now, the company has been reduced to all but doom. In today's auto market, there is no more of the "band-aid" patching to fix a problem, as witnessed by Chrysler(DCX), Nissan(Renault), and as of late GM and Ford. The new-era customer won't accept anything less than perfection, or something darn close to it.

    For Jaguar, the upcoming XK is a great start. Reportedly, Ford dumped a bundle of cash to improve quality at Jaguar facilities, when Browns Lane closed for good. So this can only aide the crippled company. And until they get a legit 3/5 Series, CTS/STS, E/CLS, A4/A6 fighter, they'll continue to run back of the pack.

    It has to be said, yes the current XJ is a great looking car, but it doesn't have the emotion or character to be a competitive car amongst it's direct competitors.

    The S/X-Types are almost laughable attempts at being true competitors. They're both long-in-the-tooth and way due for replacements. I give the Germans and Japanese credit, they know when a model has run it's course. Yes they do refreshments and the usual power increases, but they also know when to take a car out of it's misery.

    In order to stay competitive and survive, Ford and PAG must come up with a legit modular RWD platform. This platform must be versatile enough for the ever growing demand for AWD. It must also be able to support various cars from lux-compact to an all out midsize.

    Ford is the only automaker that doesn't see a trend back to RWD. They're even making the legendary Town Car replacement FWD/AWD. The upcoming S-80 replacement continues to be FWD/optional AWD. Yet all of it's direct competitors(save for Audi) have standard RWD.

    READ: Ford, you can't survive solely on the Mustang popularity and the F-150's all-out sales. Witness the recently introduced Five-Hundred/Montego. The sales have been very sluggish, so bad in fact that Ford says there is already a freshening on the way for both, along with the dismisal of the tired 3.0L Duratec in favor of another Duratec, the 3.5L 250-hp V-6. Thanks Ford, for putting that engine out of it's misery after 15 years of usage. And the hilarious Freestyle was headed for doom before it even reached the assembly line.

    As posted earlier, the Yamaha-designed engines are near bullet proof and Japanese-grade smooth. MY '93 SHO probably was the best Taurus ever built. Ford has the resources, why not use them??
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Nice post. Of course Ford also relied on the Explorer SUV sales. They had a close call on the Explorer, with the recent tire issue.

    The whole picture has become so global. Add in the major costs of fuel in certain markets, as well as different safety regulations in various markets, and different interpretations of what is good style, and it becomes a larger challenge for all the manufacturers to have to keep hitting home runs or pay the penalty. Jaguar needs a couple of grand slams and its batting average has been weak of late.

    For Jaguar, it's time to put-up or shut-up. The other expression is quite timely: Ford needs to ----, or get off the pot. It's down to a make-it or break-it scenario.

    TagMan
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    I neglected to state the venerable Explorer's sales, which at one point topped 500,000 in 2000 despite the Firestone "pandemic":P.

    With all these best-sellers, where is the $$$ going? The once profitable Ford put money back in the pot to create vehicles such as the Explorer and to bail out suffering automakers(ie: Jaguar(1989) and Mazda). With it's colossal force in both mainstream and upscale cars, one would think that the company would be at the top of it's heap.

    Example: Everyone was laughing at little old Toyota 20 years ago. Now they're set to overtake GM as the leader. I learned by reading a recent article on the head NA Toyota guy Jim Press that Toyota execs earn less than half of that of comparible giant automakers, yet their quality continues to be at the top of the heap. Add to that Hyundai approaching Toyota-like quality and long term reliability, there's a problem with the way GM and Ford's top-management is conducting business. Were talking about the same companies that started it all, what with GM over 100 years ago and Ford with one of the top 20 inventions of all time, the good ole' Model T.

    And you're right. It is globalization. I spend time out of the country often, and it seems like we American's are getting the short end of the stick. Look how GM has took every ounce of characterization from Saab(save for the floor-mounted ignition and "night panel"). Even the Sweedes are horrified that they're beloved quirky machine rides on a Chevy Malibu platform. They gave these people a freaggin Trailblazer as a "performance" SUV for crying out loud. I do give GM credit for resucitating life back into America's luxury car, Cadillac. But even here they short-balled. The Escalade and SRX are going to sell, no matter what. The CTS/STS are great 3/5 Series alternatives. The XLR has made a great place in the steel roof HELM market. BUT.. The beautiful and magnificent Six-Teen among other concepts of a few years back are the way to go. They need to invent a true S/7/A8/LS/XJ/Quattroporte-fighter. The DTS, while nice, ain't gonna cut it.

    Back to globalization. Am I the only one that find it quite strange that Ford won't import it's great Euro Focus into the U.S.? We have the great Mazda 3, but Ford needs to stay competive along with Jetta, Civic, even the upcoming Dodge Caliber(which will be sold in over 100 markets) to keep some sort validity in the small car market.

    In conclusion, my final thought is this: GM and Ford both need a smash hit like the LX-platformed DCX 300,Charger,Magnum and upcoming Challenger(can't wait). We Americans will continue to buy non-American brands until we get the quality,reliability,perfection,precision,dedication,consistancy,devotion,and loyalty that our hard earned money deserves.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    At one time there was a forum about the American auto manufacturers, and what they need to do. Some of your ideas would fit right in there. I don't know if it is still available. I'm sure it would be easy to check. Anyway, you have some great ideas, no doubt.

    TagMan
  • denaliinpadenaliinpa Posts: 169
    beautiful car. good luck and enjoy!
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Tagman, whaddya mean by "if well equipped"? The standard XJ is fantastically well equipped. Sure the V-P has those picnic tables but when was the last time you pulled of the road and climbed in the back for a little pate? I think that color is very important in all HELM resale discussions. I don't think that a white, green (except maybe for a Jag), gold, etc. have a chance. Yet white and green pickups I think do OK.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Hey, blckislandguy, you are very right that XJ's are fantastically equipped even in the standard mode. I was merely referring to some of the extras that recent HELM buyers look for. For example, beyond the picnic tables which are icons for the the Vanden Plas, Jaguar offers some desireable options . . . such as gorgeous upgrades to the wheels and tires (which are popular nowadays), bluetooth, satellite radio, rear multi-media entertainment, rear climate control / window shades package, and other options and accessories. That's what I was referring to. Those very cool features just make a good thing even better.
    :)
    TagMan
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    ... And the hilarious Freestyle was headed for doom before it even reached the assembly line. ...

    That comment disturbed me a little. Have you been in or driven a Freestyle? My experience with one was quite positive. It's a fairly good looking vehicle in comparison to other SUVs on the market and appears to be fairly well put together. The interior is top notch. On first contact, I couldn't believe it was a Ford. Then again, I hadn't "driven a Ford lately. :P " It's very practical, comfortable, and feature-filled. I tried to get the other half to buy one, but she's a diehard Hondaphile and went with a Pilot instead. But anyway, I don't think you or anybody else is giving the Freestyle a fair shake.

    Now about Cadillac having a competitor to the S-class, 7-series, et al. Those cars would be well beneath the Sixteen. The Sixteen is a car that would go directly at the jugular of Maybach, Bentley, and Rolls. (sounds like a lawfirm. :P ) I think they should push the STS up to be the S-class/7-series competitor, put the CTS up to be the E-class/5-series competitor, and put some drive wheels on the rear of the BLS and bring that over to be the 3-series competitor.

    I'm just sayin', is all...
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    Newport Engineering in Placentia, California has built HELM convertibles for many years. They are now building open versions of the Maybach 62 and RR Phantom.

    These are massive convertible sedans! First link is for the Maybach, second for the Phantom.

    http://www.newportconvertible.com/Detail.tpl?rnd=2182&cart=11431389263745587&sku- =107592474313380200

    http://www.newportconvertible.com/Detail.tpl?rnd=3397&cart=11431389263745587&sku- =1063920620712947
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    BMW never stops amazing me. Here's a little blurb about the hydrogen-powered 7-series to come within only two years.

    http://www.autospies.com/article/index.asp?articleId=6872&categoryId=21

    I also noticed that the short article mentioned that BMW intends to have ALL it's cars available with hydrogen motors as a long term goal.

    TagMan
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    Eww! Those cars are horrendous. That Rolls is okay since they (used to) make a convertible Rolls, anyway. Everything else is just awful looking.
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    IMO both the RR Phantom and Maybach 62 look very stately as convertibles.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I think the biggest problem with the Freestyle is that ol' duratec trying desperately to move its 4111lbs. with just 203hp. It might have a CVT, but its still a very old dog. If you want one, you better grab one while they're still here. Despite being launched for '05, its already curtains for the Freestyle.
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