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High End Luxury Cars

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  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Of course, you are right in everything you posted about Mercedes, as usual.
    If MB execs. lose 5 seconds of sleep over the new LS, it will be a lot.
    MB is making a HUGE comeback right now. I cannot believe how quickly their sales of the E-Class have improved and the new S-Class is getting absolute raves!!
    I would think it's the Lexus execs. who are going to be very frustrated.

    You have to laugh at that dumb commercial Lexus used to run where the German car exec. (MB?, BMW?) looks like he will be shot behind closed doors for not keeping up with Lexus' incredible "advancements."
    That was one of the funniest commercials I have ever seen, totally pathetic and an outright lie! They almost topped it though with the hapless GS going down an ice-covered Lombard Street!
    Give me a break!! They must think we are all idiots.

    Lexus thought they would finally overtake MB, and it looks like they will be slipping down the mountain, just before they thought they were finally reaching the top.
    Those guys are legends in their own minds.

    I'm still driving the new LS in the Fall. Want to see if the driving dynamics have improved.
    I don't hate Lexus but come on folks, get real!!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    And the GS is NOT in any trouble as you imply. This is like you accuse us about the LS v S-class... The M outselling the GS is only in recent sales, so why would you use a few months trendline to pass judgement ? Not quite a trend as you make it. Could it be you really despise the GS that much ?

    Well doesn't a downturn in sales for a car in its second model year mean trouble? If this were a brand new Mercedes model it would be called some sort of crisis.

    BTW, the execution of the GS was biased to Lexus' strength - luxury. However, the performance side is there, just *hidden* behind all that VDIM junk... If I were Lexus, I'd put a kill switch for VDIM, stiffen the suspension a lot more, upsize the wheels to std 18" (w/19" option), and add in a 6-MT to the GS350 AWD trim... I bet that'd put the GS in a position to compete with Howard's 545i a lot better, eh ?

    Uh....if the performance is there and you can't get to it then the execution is off! There is no amount of spin possible to get around that, besides VDIM has nothing to do with the suspenion and other things that the GS needs to fully compete with a 5-Series in the sport competition. A 6-speed manual in a GS? Keep wishing.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You're so desparate to find fault with Lexus that if one of their models shows down yty numbers in the second year, you make it out to be a failure.

    I love it, this is exactly what Lexus fans love to do. Look at a MB's sales and cry crisis. It happens every year (usually in the first few months of the new year) when Mercedes' sales are the ones in question. Just returning the favor. When MB had that many negative numbers in their sales reports it was a huge crisis and a desperate situation. Now we have a new catch phrase for what Lexus is going through, "replenish mode" to explain it all. I remember saying the same thing at some point, but no it was dismissed then as excuse and MB was in a 'crisis' then.

    BTW, didn't call the GS an outright failure, only that the it hasn't lived to all the sales hype that was so preached this time last year. The car has been a failure as a true BMW competitor like Lexus promised it would be, but certainly not a failure in general.

    Tell us, why don't you, how often is it that an MB model is growing yty when it reaches the 13th month or so after a redesign? Are you going to claim that it happens all the time?

    Tell us why is that when sales of a Lexus don't put everyone else on the trailer as predicted an example of a Mercedes-Benz needs to be found in order to prove a point that no one here ever made about Mercedes' sales?

    To actually answer your question of course it doesn't happen all the type, but the E-Class did just that in its 13th or so month down the line. In fact its best year was 2004, and having been introduced at the end of 2002 for the 2003 model year it easily passes the 12-13 month timeframe you're talking about with better sales happen in its 13th-18th months!

    Are you going to call your beloved S-Class a failure if it is showing down yty numbers in months 13 and 14? That seems to be what you are saying for the GS.

    Of course not, but then again I'm not predicting the second coming of the automobile in every sentence about the new S-Class either.

    Let us not talk about desperate because the things I'm reading here from Lexusfans reek of it. Mention sales downturn and the GS in the same sentence and you get a revolving door of spins about how Lexus buyers are so astute as to not buy a GS now because of a pending model change, yet the GS300 has increased its sales YTD! Makes sense to me that only GS430 buyers are the smart ones that know about the pending GS460 while the GS300 buyers don't know about the GS350.

    What a revelation!

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Now who is taking things out of context? I said that the average Lexus buyer doesn't know about the GS350/460, not all Lexus buyers.

    Your theory about Lexus GS buyers knowing about a new model and holding off doesn't hold water because why all of sudden would these buyers realize this now as opposed to a few months ago. If they're so smart wouldn't they have realized that from the moment the LS460 was shown that a GS460 was right around the corner? Ditto for the IS350 and upcoming GS350? The truth of the matter is that the GS has always been a weak seller once the initial hype is over. What will be the excuse when the GS350 and GS460 start to slip while the E-Class and 5-Series remain more constant over their production run?

    If Lexus buyers were so tuned into coming model year changes why would any of them buy a GS300 at this point? We here in the internet community know about these type of things, but the average person doesn't and you know this. If they did the GS300 wouldn't be up YTD. Unless you're saying that GS430 buyers are the only smart ones because it is the GS430 that is pulling the GS line down YTD, not the GS300. The real kicker is that the GS300 is the model that stands to be the most transformed by its new engine, not the GS430 because it isn't eactly slow relative to its V8 competition compared to the GS300 and its 6-cylinder competition (at least on paper with "only" 245hp). Point is that the GS300 buyers are the ones that should be holding off buying one. Guess they really don't know much about the GS350.

    M
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Trouble is, you are just trying to rouse people unnecessarily. That act used to belong to someone else here I won't name (Pat is watching). Stick to talking HELM and not GS and everything will be OK.

    BTW, every car manufacturer has their *dogs* and their *stars*. In the HELM space, Lexus strategy was to dominate in certain factoids (reliability, quality, customer service, price) and these will translate to sales for the LS. Mission Accomplished... Within 15 yrs, the LS made it to the top of the heap in total sales = most loved HELM mainstream sedan.

    Like I said, Lexus' will not overtake MB in 20 years, but have put enough dent in the 3-star mystique. The response from MB has been more models, more power, and a return to its past history of quality and reliability. Both the Germans and the Japanese worries about each other, for to ignore your competition is committing corporate suicide. All of these should translate to better products for us. The new LS series is already better styled, and laden with gadgets. Ditto the new S550... And now a new battle begins, and we'll see how it shapes out. We are witnessing history in the making, folks...
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    But no matter how crappy, snotty, poorly MB assembles there cars, and I'm not saying they are, people will continue to buy them in droves. Some of the same people who're buying the W221 in it's first year are some of the ones who got pinched on the inception of the W220 with all of it's quality problems.

    Now, after reading this and the rest of this latest post, I generally agree with your perspective.

    I have always indicated that Mercedes "fans" and buyers are very forgiving at times. This forgiveness applies to Eurocar fans in general. We've had to be. Reliability hasn't always been what it should.

    The Mercedes were historically die hard vehicles until recently when all sorts of issues literally plagued the vehicles across the board.

    Look what Jaguar went through, until recently. Same with Audi. Remember the little Audi "Fox" model. That horrible car battered Audi's reputation. But look at Audi today.

    It's been ups and downs with the Eurocars, but many of us have kept coming back for more because there is truly something special about them. This is not to say that all have come back for more. There are limits, and many buyers have given up and gone Japanese. This is true.

    But, I think it is fair to say that there are those of us that truly admire and love the Eurocars for their "nature" and while reliability does matter, it is is simply not everything. Besides, I'm willing to bet that the reliability of this new S-Class will be better than previous generations. Certainly Jaguar has undergone what is nothing short of a a miracle in reliability improvements, and I expect Audi is on the upswing. But regardless, the true Eurocar fans will generally stay loyal, and that is my main point here. Our forgiveness is due to our true admiration for the special qualities of the vehicles.

    TagMan
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    If you think that was bad you should see the IS250/350 brochure. You would think the IS is a German car. The whole thing was shot in Germany and it talks about Germany constantly.

    What I never got about their commercials was the relevance of having British and Italian engineers appear to be in awe or worried about the RX330 when hardly anyting from England and certainly nothing from Italy competes with the RX. It reeks of a wannabe mentality.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Trouble is, you are just trying to rouse people unnecessarily. That act used to belong to someone else here I won't name (Pat is watching). Stick to talking HELM and not GS and everything will be OK.

    Nah, not trying to rouse anyone "unnecessarily", just exposing some of the fallacies and hype often given here when it comes to Lexus.

    Within 15 yrs, the LS made it to the top of the heap in total sales = most loved HELM mainstream sedan.

    Most loved and best seller due in part to being much cheaper than its main competition, don't forget the price part. You mentioned price as one of the things Lexus set out to "dominate" as in being a value relative to the competition so it isn't right to leave it out when praising the LS' sales performance.

    M
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    "You are trying to rouse people "unnecessarily." "

    Looks like I passed the mantle onto you.

    I guess "unnecessarily" is defined as any news a Lexus fanatic doesn't want to hear.

    Who knows? I may become one myself after driving the new LS.

    Can you imagine the effect on LS sales if MB decided the prices of the S-Class were inflated and brought them down to match the price structure of the new LS vehicles?
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    I guess "unnecessarily" is defined as any news a Lexus fanatic doesn't want to hear.

    Fighting words from our resident agent provocateur... But we need to get the focus back on the cars, pls.

    Can you imagine the effect on LS sales if MB decided the prices of the S-Class were inflated and brought them down to match the price structure of the new LS vehicles?

    What would be the key selling point for owning an MB ? - that it is priced as a Lexus ??? Huh ! Lexus would DARE MB to try it... Make that double-dare MB to do it... Lexus would laugh all the way to the bank; MB's already sagging profit line will sag even further, and the S would lose its luster and prestige. Lexus would win that battle in a heartbeat, PLUS, Lexus produces their cars far cheaper than MB could ever do in this lifetime. Not gonna happen.. rather, Lexus' pricing would creep oh so slowly but surely to match MB... And that is the pattern you should expect to see. It is Lexus that needs to catch MB's brand name, not the other way around, for now....
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I had only seen just a few S550's up until this past week. Maybe it's the beautiful weather or something, but suddenly they are showing up all over the place. The S is absolutely stunning in black (when waxed), and the profile view of the silver car is quite distinctive. I'm FINALLY warming back up on the trunk a little more . . . didn't think I would. The new S is truly a beautiful car.

    TagMan
  • andy82471andy82471 Posts: 120
    Yup I agree with your post. The hollow prestige factor is what is keeping the Euro cars like RR, Bentleys, MBs, Audis, and Bmws in business. If they lower their price to match Lexus they lose that prestige and hence will lose even more sales.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp. said on Monday it has no plans to build a factory in Europe to produce its high-end Lexus models, denying an Automotive News Europe report that the budget for a German or French plant had been approved.
  • stevekilburnstevekilburn Posts: 359
    Hi Guys,

    I am very very busy for the next few weeks and so wont be able to play with you guys and show you fireworks. But dont loose your smiles as I will be back soon. ;)

    Ljflx, watch out, your doom is imminent! :P
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    I don't think it's necessarily Lexus alone that will be trouncing Mercedes-Benz in coming years... there are three main companies that have really upped their ante, and one is supposedly going to be as high of a seller as BMW and Mercedes-Benz by 2010:

    Audi- strongest MB/BMW competitor, because it has luxury and German engineering

    Infiniti- very sporty; closer to BMW than Mercedes-Benz

    Lexus- the complement to Infiniti, Lexus is to Mercedes-Benz as Infiniti and Audi are to BMW. Their cars are about plush rides and (recently) high speeds, not necessarily award-winning handling.

    However, Mercedes-Benz and BMW won't be standing still, people! The new S-Class proves how hard M-B is trying, I just don't think they're trying hard enough in the crucial-for-U.S. SUV market. The new GL is a pathetic attempt to dethrone the LX470 and Range Rover, for it has no road presence and no mystical "identity" like the Range Rover. The ML is okay, but it's no X5 on the road, and the interior isn't even close to Lexus's GX and Audi's new Q7, even VW"s Toureg. The only thing it has going for it is a relatively low price.

    However, in the sedan market, all these manufacturers are stalwarts. Mercedes and Lexus are the powerhouses in the huge luxo-sedan market, with their new 380hp V8s. BMW isn't far behind with a 360hp V8, which is most likely going to gain more power in the next 7 Series. Audi isn't far behind, because they're going to adapt the Q7's 350hp FSI V8, which is supposed to be a significantly better performer than the current 4.2, in the 2007 A6 and A8 models. Infiniti's engine used to be the strongest, but is now mid-pack with its 340hp 4.5L. Jaguar isn't worth mentioning... 300hp just isn't enough any more...

    As you can see, everyone's moving in a fast-paced market- and I believe that the three aforementioned manufacturers, especially Audi and Lexus, will be playing a huge role in the future. Just to let you know: the Audi A6 is officially the world's best selling premium sedan- that's a big surprise to me, but I'm sure most of the sales are coming from the hugely influential Chinese and German markets, each where Audi is the best-selling luxury brand.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Hey come back soon and bring your refreshing business models with you.
    I hope you enjoyed your well-earned mini-sabbatical.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Pretty strong fighting words supporting a brand with such limited appeal.
    Talk to me after Lexus has become a successful international brand.
    Right now, they are pretty minor league when compared to the universal appeal of the MB and BMW brands in terms of prestige. One day they may get there. Perhaps my great-great-grandchildren will be able to hold a seance and reveal the news to me at that time.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Glad the harsh words from people here didn't drive you away permanently. I disagree with some of your views but the forum is better off with more people not fewer.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    I have to for once agree with your entire post. MB stands to gain some fierce American(market) competition. Lexus is on a upswing with it's halo LS. Audi will be on a warpath over the next 5 years with highly anticipated release of the discount-Lambo R8 coupe, with it's 3 different powertrains. Then they'll attack the compact segment by giving the upcoming A4 a more RWD-biased drive, altho it will remain AWD, which will be standard now.

    Then with the release of the cool Q7, comes a X3-fightin' Q5. But the real whopper will be the new for '09 A8. We're said to get both standard and L wheelbases to compete with Lexus(as in current cars). And the V-8 engine will remain 4.2L, BUT, will get a rocketship of a boost to the tune of over "450hp" standard, with the W-12 going to 550-hp, and a S8 with reportedly over "600hp"(surely a direct hit to AMG and the much-rumored M7 of the next-gen 7-Series) in a V-10 that is to grow to 5.4L from the next-gen Gallardo. But we do know that there will be a V-10 TDI that'll be 50-state compliant by then also, with possibly a hybrid-diesel in cahoots with partner Porsche in exchange for freebies on DSG.

    Yes Audi(specifically A8) is a premiere brand in it's homeland and abroad. It's accepted globally, except in the USA. But Audi is long tired of not having enough presence in the HELM market of America. Sure it sells like crazy elsewhere(some markets the top seller, including Germany and now Jordan of all places), but there is no other country(besides Dubai of course) that has a cachet of customers that are willing to buy cars at extraordinary prices. We also don't have the "duties" or outrageous "rich taxes" tacked on to the bottom line of our cars. Sales and luxury taxes are quite enough.

    Audi will reportedly spend over 1 billion dollars in US advertising and marketing to ensure that slow selling-good cars like the A8 won't sit idle this go'round. We'll see.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Nice post, blkhemi.

    Speaking of excessive taxes, I've been spending about a weekend a month in Montreal for the last year and I've noticed a remarkable absence of HELMs. The Bentley dealer doesn't even have a new Bentley of any series in stock. As I recall from Sunday's paper, there is only one BMW dealer for all of Montreal. Not only are HELMs scarce but so are E Class, 5 Series, LR etc. Only the Korean and second tier (e.g., Mazda) Japanese makes do well.

    I couldn't explain why so few HELMs in this very stylish city. Stagnant economy? A Quebecois inborn lack of pretension? Then I asked what things cost. A mere Volvo S40 is more than 40K! (Incidentally, the CDN and US dollars are now about equal). I can't imagine what a S550 would cost. I guess someone's got to pay for the 55 weeks of paid maternity leave and other social programs that effectively choke busineses. (Can you imagine starting a company in Montreal thinking that you were going to live the good life but the minute your receptionist had a baby she was out for a year on paid leave? When you wanted to fire Claude out in the shop for non performance, the government would step in and make it impossible?)
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