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High End Luxury Cars



  • rayngrayng Posts: 70
    Raising MSRP will certainly raise residuals on leased cars and protect the dealer network by ensuring some sort of resale value on their return lease cars. By radically discounting, MB will lower the demand for their used cars and reduce the value of their new car purchasers. I feel sorry for those who bought their 2005 s500 only to find $17k discount on a similiar '06.

    I urge all on this board to refrain from personal attacks. I enjoy this board for the thoughtful discussion about cars. Let's not fight about taste, design preference, style, or other personal preferences. We're all car guys here, not political pundits.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Rode the big satellite radio waves, but wondering about the future, since they both severely overspent in their lust for new subscribers. Watcha think?

    Why Microsoft now? The new upcoming OS is delayed.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I urge all on this board to refrain from personal attacks.

    I must have missed out on that latest battle, but I sure do agree with you that it's better when everyone is level headed. Definately.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Just wish they would have left the tail lights alone.

    You prefer some of the pre-Bangle looks of the Bimmers?
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I think we all see the pros and cons of raising and lowering the MSRP. Additionally, it seems that there are cycles. You know, what goes up must come down, and I think that there is some truth to that as far as the MSRP goes. At some point, it really can get too lofty and the next smart move is to reverse direction. Sometimes a model change can be the best timing excuse for a larger than typical directional shift in the MSRP.

    The market will often supply enough feedback to the manufacturers to know what the market will bear. It just makes good sense to adjust accordingly, when appropriate, which ever direction that might need to be.

    I imagine the preferred direction is up, but that is not always the smartest thing to do, as we all know.

  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,662

    Minor delay on Vista shouldn't effect anything. But they have all that product rollout coming, are growing in the internet space and Xbox is taking off. Plus I like what they are doing in the media space and they are seriously undervalued right now given their incredible earnings. With MSFT deduct the huge cash hoard on the balance sheet from their market cap and then divide it by earnings to get the real PE. I always do that and it's paid off well for me. I calc PE by market cap - cash or plus debt divided by earnings. Remember MSFT has been expensing stock options and also their cash flow always (and I check this at every quarter) exceeds their earnings. Anyway we'll see. I have been in and out of this stock for years but I still have some ancient low priced shares and I think it's time to go long on any new purchases.

    Sat Radio - I've got out of it and Google in December.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Reality is BMW trounces everyone else in the ELLPS and LPS segments.

    ELLPS, yes, but LPS not for long. Your 5-Series got lucky last year, it won't happen again this year. Bet on it.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Regarding comparing the XLR to the SC, if you want to call the SC "a loser", go right ahead, but I'd like one fact to back up that assertion. Please.

    How about the fact that it has come in dead last or next to last in every comparo it has ever been in. It doesn't have the performance or looks of the European cars in the segment, heck even the old CLK430 Cabrio beat the SC430 twice. For a Lexus that makes it a loser for sure.

  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Camry has never been a comparo winner (until recently).
    Probably went 10 years without coming in 1st or 2nd.

    And it outsells ever other car, rather easily. Is it a loser?

    There is more than one way to skin a cat.

    I think of the Mazda3 as a winner, but it struggles to sell 100k units, can't even sell with a Sentra, no heartthrob itself. Same with the previous Passat.

    Dominance is relative. Sales, brand equity, dynamics. There are many ways to exhibit greatness.

    The previous Escalade was a huge sales success. Was it a great luxury SUV?

    Toyota Supra Turbo was the greatest sports car of it's day. I guess you can only be so great to some car buyers.

    Comparisons are great, for us. Makers would rather have great sales.

    The SC was (is) greater than the XLR. If it exceeds sales targets for two years, owners must be putting it over. That's "great enough" for me.

    Merc, you said if Lexus loses to a Mercedes, it's a loser! :surprise:

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Easy to change the criteria to hide the truth isn't it? Aren't you the one that touted comparos about the LS430 and LS400 as one way to prove that they were superior?

    In the realm of GT cars the SC430 is a loser, it can't even get a victory over the XLR you love to hate. The XLR's problem is pricing, not that it sucks in general.

    Dominance is relative. Sales, brand equity, dynamics. There are many ways to exhibit greatness.

    True, and outside of the normal Lexus traits, which you could buy a Lexus sedan for, the SC430 fails miserably on other things people would buy a GT car for. The SC does the Lexus brand no favors, so "brand equity" is out and its "dynamics" are worst in class.

    Touting that the SC430 outsells the XLR pretty much goes back to what tagman said earlier. Isn't Lexus supposed to be the one that takes on the established leaders in any class and outsell them? That would be the SL or XK, and the SL has never had anything to worry about with the SC and starting this month neither does the XK. Forget talking about a 911. Outselling the XLR is non-accomplishment.

    Merc, you said if Lexus loses to a Mercedes, it's a loser!

    No, what I said was that even the mid-level, previous generation CLK430 Cabrio beat the SC430, meaning it wouldn't stand a chance against the current CLK500, or the upcoming CLK550 Cabrio much less the SL500->550. The SC430 update/replacement or whatever is next for it couldn't come soon enough.

    If sales are so important that means the previous generation Escalade was "great" too right along with the Camry. Can't point to sales one minute and comparos the next to put different models over. Its either a combination of the two (and many other factors) or nothing at all. You can't exclude one just because it doesn't help your case.

  • lexus_jnlexus_jn Posts: 102
    "Lexus will be the Mercedes of the 21st Century! Build it slow and steady."

    I think records speak the volume. While I still consider Mercedes as #1 luxury brand (not by sale figures or quality), it seems losing ground to Lexus in recent years (espcially among the elite buyers)and the gap will be widen if Mercedes does not improve its quality program or keep their customers happy.

    January 2006

    According to the Luxury Customer Experience Index survey from New York-based Luxury Institute, Lexus "trounced" the competition as the luxury brand that delivers the best customer experience coming in ahead of the competition by five percentage points. Lexus also posted the highest ratings in the critical Customer Retention and Customer Referral indices. Second place went to Porsche and Acura came in a close third. Mercedes-Benz and BMW failed to rank in the top four.

    Survey officials said Lexus won every category of Customer Experience Drivers, including brand effectiveness, brand attitude and top scores in most enthusiastic, most polite and most trustworthy representatives. They said Lexus also outshone its competition in dealerships.

    For the survey, wealthy customers rated the top 11 luxury brands based on their direct individual experiences. The brands rated included Acura, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Infiniti, Jaguar, Lexus, Lincoln, Mercedes, Porsche and Volvo. The Luxury Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of some 2,100 households with a minimum of $200,000 gross annual income and net worth of $750,000, including home equity
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I prefer the Bangle 5 to its previous incarnation.
    The E39 always reminded me of a stretched 3 series and was in serious need of a re-design,
    You will get no argument from me that the pre-Bangle 3's have all been handsomer than the E90.
    A disappointment.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Yes. I notice the E climbing up the sales ladder into second place.
    Plenty of room at the top. Should give a jolt to BMW to try and do even better.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I suspect it will do more than climb into second place, it will be back at #1 by year's end, #1 being its traditional place prior to 2005. ;)

  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Let's see if MB can get its quality control house in order.
    BMW has made a significant improvement in this area over the last several years.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I have to go with drfill on this one. You are the one that turned the talk of the SC430's "loserness" from sales to magazine comparison tests, not him.

    I didnt like the SC430 when it hit in 2001, and I still dont like it. From a pure business stand point though, it HAS been an overall success for Lexus. The XLR overall has not been a success. The SC300\400 combined struggled to get 4-digit sales in their last few years on the market.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    No actually Tagman called it a loser and Dr.Fill asked for something to back up that claim, hence my post about its dubious distinction of being a laggard when compared to the competition - something a Lexus isn't usually guilty of.

    A GT car, more than a sedan is supposed to be about more than touting sales and if that (and the other usual Lexus traits like reliability) are the only things the SC offers instead of an actual driving experience and some style then that makes it a loser in my book, don't care how many of them they sell. For some sales make a Lexus superior, then a minute later it is a mag comparo wherever it fits best.

  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,662
    LG - This is the exact attitude of all the Lexus owners I know. They are constant repeat buyers and are as satisfied as it gets. It's only on this board where performance rules as greatness (or in auto rags) that I can even find a negative comment on Lexus. The auto rags are getting more and more guarded about those comments lately because they see the popularity, sales success and future rollout which begets ad dollars. From a business pov you'd have to be suicidal to turn off Toyota and it's huge vault of money given all the ads that will pour in from retooling of the Lexus brand and the added promotions of all the coming hybrids Toyota is planning. In the real world of auto buyers Lexus rules, not only on quality and reliability but on customer satisfaction - even besting Porsche. Now when you add in the spice of added sport and added choices of cars (including cars that will start to run $150K+ prices) that is coming in the next 5 years this consumer satisfaction differential is going to widen further. If you notice it has been widening all along even while sport luxury has been the envy focus in the niche enthusiast world. That world is what it is - just a niche and not a representative of buyer choice. Others keep wnning the duels in the artificial world of car mags but on the real playing field Lexus is running away with race. I think some of the posters on this board are going to be shocked at the re-ranking of lux leaders 5 years from now. Like you I still vote MB No.1 in the space but it's days are numbered.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The only problem with this fantasy is that it bascially assumes that Mercedes and others will stand still. For Lexus to attain the status of a Mercedes or BMW they have to appeal to that "artificial" world (as you call it) in some way that they don't now.

    This pending date for Lexus' toppling Mercedes and BMW at the top of the image pile keeps getting pushed back. I seem to remember this same prediction at least 3 years ago.

    Lexus will never replace BMW in the hearts and minds of driving enthusiasts and all Mercedes has to do is get their reliability/quality back because design wise Lexus still can't make them look or drive as good as a Benz, or BMW.

  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Let's not fight about taste, design preference, style, or other personal preferences.

    Indeed, no fighting. Be nice. NICE!

    But aren’t luxury and performance personal preferences? If people didn’t debate styling and design preferences I’d be out of a job. If I couldn’t adapt to other people’s design preferences, again, I’d be out of a job. And lastly, if I couldn’t apply my own personal preferences … you got it… I’d be out of a job.

    Designing and discussing styling is one of my jobs. Please don’t try to put me out of work :cry:

    While we’re on the subject of jobs, I’m wondering what happened to Monday Mornings with Merc. Heavens, it’s Wednesday morning and Merc is coming alive… he’s ALIVE! Merc, you are throwing my whole daily routine out of whack, kind of like when there is a solar eclipse and the birds go nuts. What’s with it, man! I guess I’ll have to adapt.

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