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High End Luxury Cars

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  • stevekilburnstevekilburn Posts: 359
    I completely agree! Its a revolution and therefore it should start at may be 1-2K$ lower than 7-series. Anything less than this for the most technologically advanced car (and this is not me, its a third party) would be a great trajedy.

    link title
  • stevekilburnstevekilburn Posts: 359
    You are saying such sweet words for California that I am tempted to relocate there! ;)

    I just tend to agree with what Dr. Fill says. As he put it so succinctly, its a revolution with LS 460 and pricing it $1-2K below 7-series will still enable Lexus to

    HOLD THE VALUE CARD


    Anyway, I am having a ball with this discussion, you guys are so dedicated, we are having a regular firework display here! :P
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Keep up the good work Steve!
    I find you posts quite Scweppervescent, that is, "curiously refreshing."
    I eagerly await your next posts with your new Lexus' price points coming from your most unusual business research.
    You may just become the Bob Prechter of pricing analysis.
  • drfillldrfilll Posts: 9
    Lexus really can't lose.

    Cars like the ES and RX combined can outsell other COMPANIES LINEUPS! So Lexus will always have nice sales numbers.

    The only battle is vertical growth vs. vertical ambition. Lexus knows there is six-figure money waiting for them, it's just how to go about getting it without seeming greedy, and throwing the Baby out with the bathwater.

    I just don't want Lexus to become another Acura, or really Infiniti for that matter, which really has a glass ceiling of $50k, despite good sales of the M35, which is a $45k car.

    Lexus should have no limits, and should move confidently, and fairly aggressively, upward.

    But if the LS moves north, the GS needs to be improved noticably. Maybe the engine swap will be enough, but I'm not thrilled with the offering, unlike how I felt in 98.

    DrFill
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The LS430's *free fall* in sales is nothing to do with its competition but more to do with its pending model change over. You should know that, Merc1... Lexus has one of the highest owner retention in the industry... Many owners are simply waiting on their hands to buy the LS460 and its other variants... When you see the new LS, why would you not wait another 5 months ???

    Oac read the post I was replying to, specifically the Doc's rant about C-Class sales. What you're telling me I already know and stated that in the same post Oac!

    I personally don't see how anyone could buy a LS430 at this point with the 1000 times improved LS460 pending.

    The right adjective here would be IMO... A car as successful as the ES clearly has a lot of things going for it. It is the clear and undisputed leader in its sector... Its not even close... You don't have to like it, but to categorically diss it like you do smacks of hate and lack of objectivity. You simply have a one-track mentality of cars... they should drive like they are on a track otherwise condemn them to the scrap yard... Get real !

    Ok, IMO its one of the ugliest cars on the road. Is that better? You're right the ES is the clear leader in its segment, problem is its the ONLY car in its segment. There are no other fwd imports playing the same game anymore so you really aren't saying much to say its the leader in its segment. If I have a one-track mentality about how a car should drive then you clearly have one about cars when it comes sales. With you all that matters if the car sells or not, not how it looks, drives or anything else. If the car doesn't sell or doesn't have the stamp of approval from CR or JDP then it isn't worthy. That is as one-tracked/sided as it gets.

    For the record I don't think cars should all drive the same way. Again, if you had read my post to DrFill you would have seen why I pointed out the dynamic differences of the ES vs. the other cars in its price range.

    As far as "getting real" I think you'd be wise to follow your own advice there especially when it comes to your hyping up and preaching about the Lexus brand so when called into question you won't have to go back on your iffy claims about the competition.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The C-Class usually sells in the 40k range, while the others are around 70k, consistently. The C-Class is still on it's usual pace, but the others are down in sales, most probably due to the product cycles of the G35, ES, and CTS coming to an end this year. So I wouldn't puff out my chest too far, Merc. Unless you are proud of the consistency of the C-Class mediocrity.

    I can't believe what I'm reading here! You mean to tell me you see that the ES and G35 sales are down because of a pending replacement, but you're still going to rag on the C-Class which has been around since 2001 (before any of the other cars you mention) all the while knowing that a new C is around the corner? How hypocritical is that Doc? Again, the C-Class does not typically sell in the 40K range. Do you need some more numbers to prove this? It usually sells in the 50-60K range Doc. Just last year it sold 60,658 units and in 2004 it was 69,251 units, so you're wrong again Doc. Source.

    Your case against the C-Class has fallen apart badly (actually it was never made!) because the statements you've posted about the C's sales haven't been true in the least. Secondly you're able to see the obvious reason why the others like the ES and G35 have declined in sales, but you can't see that the C is in the same situation. Profound bias detected! No facts included!

    Maybe CLK is really a C-Class, but I'm not buying it as a C-Class. It's evolution does seem to come from the slab-sided E-Class coupes of the 1980's, not a entry-level 190E derivative. And it's precious pricing, and optional V8 engine are also E-Class, not C-Class, based. So if that's what you're sellin', I ain't buyin!

    Well I'm not trying to sell to you that a CLK is a C-Class. One thing it is not though is an evolution of the E-Class coupes of the 1980's. That car (the W124 300CE/E320 Coupe) was based on the E-Class chassis, while the CLK is based on the C-Class chassis, has been since 1998. The pricing of the today's CLK is way cheaper than the 300CE was back in the day. In 1995 a E320 Cabriolet was nearly 80K, today that will get you a CLK55 AMG Cabriolet, big difference. Your reference to the 190E is out of date. Things were way different then.

    You are quick to rag on the GS, but the last gen did VERY WELL in direct comparisons to the 540 and E420 in competitive comparisons, just not in sales. I guess when it serves your purposes, sales are of PARAMOUNT importance, no?

    Yep I am. You using comparos while I use sales when talking about the GS is no different than when you turned to sales to defend the perennial comparo losing SC430! I pointed out how that car has been trounced by its competition and your response was sales, sales and more sales. Seems to me you're willing to switch out the criteria to make a point to Doc!

    M
  • drfillldrfilll Posts: 9
    The E320 coupe (not Cabriolet) was around $60k, the price of the current CLK430! I knew it, I knew it!

    You're just mad because I caught YOU bragging on how the C-Class IS NOT one of the 5 best sellers in the class. Maybe you should check YOUR boasts with a little research!

    And thank you for admitting that sales success is more important than dynamics when it comes to evaluating the relative value of a model, Merc. I'll offer you some cheese with your whine when the ES' sales accelerate again.

    DrFill
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    You are quick to rag on the GS, but the last gen did VERY WELL in direct comparisons to the 540 and E420 in competitive comparisons, just not in sales.

    I dont really remember that. The GS picked up an Import of the year in MT for '98 (which doesnt mean all that much, MT has given plenty of "of the year's" to some terrible cars), and it was a 10-best winner once, maybe twice. Once the A6 actually got more than 200hp though, the GS would always lose to it and the 5. The 540i was a beloved car that dominated comparison tests like the 3 series still does. I don't recall the 98-05 GS ever getting an outright 1st place in any comparo vs the Germans. It really wasn't that great of a car. The V8 was very fast in a straight line, but handling was just average, and it had the all-time worst Lexus interior.

    I wouldnt expect anything for the GS any time soon other than an engine swap, and possibly a VDIM off button. If sales were like the RL's it would be getting emergency treatment, but I think as long as it maintains 2K+ a month, they will stay the course.

    I dont think the new ES looks bad. It certainly is better looking than the ES330. The one thing I think they messed up is that in order to fit with the "L-finesse" interior design theme of the other new sedans, they took out almost all of the wood from the last car. The interior is a lot more modern, but it also seems somewhat less luxurious.
  • stevekilburnstevekilburn Posts: 359
    I agree with you 100% Doc, we dont want Lexus to become another Acura or Infiniti with a glass ceiling of $50K pricing. Look at what cut-rate pricing and absence of flagship products did to Acura and Infiniti. It will take a mammoth effort for them to recover now.

    Cutting RSX loose is a step in the right direction, but this stupid stubborn attitude to not make a V8 confounds me. Instead of confidently going after the gold, Acura and Infiniti are happy with bronze medal.

    I also agree on GS, they should give that 380 hp V8 to GS next year.

    Lexus should not commit this grave mistake or it will regret for all eternity.

    Your post should be enshrined as the constitution of the HELM discussion thread.
  • stevekilburnstevekilburn Posts: 359
    Thanks dude, Bob was and still is a maverick. Expect more fireworks and straight no-nonsense posts from me after a few weeks.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Are you guys the same person??
  • stevekilburnstevekilburn Posts: 359
    Hell No! But actually I am shocked Doc has almost exactly the same opinions on Lexus as I have. I guess we are both visionaries who are forward looking rather than follow the
    "TRIED AND PROVEN BUSINESS FORMULA AND KEEP DOING THE SAME OLD VALUE, CUT-RATE MANTRA". Though I still love and respect your opinions lj.
    But I am really very upset with some of his C-class related remarks since I drive a C230. :mad: I bought the C230 because it was sporty and I did not like the BMW styling that much. On most other issues I am in agreement with Doc. Keep it up Doc, we are brothers in arms.
  • stevekilburnstevekilburn Posts: 359
    QUATTROPORTE ROYALE: The name conjures fascination. Almost all of us would agree that Maserati is performing well-BELOW its true potential and is capable of flying much higher.

    The question is shouldn't quattroporte introduce a higher-end variant of quattroporte.

    Give quattroporte a long wheel base (6 inches or more than regular quattroporte), a detuned engine from enzo, a 600 hp something and price it head-to-head with flying Spurt at $180K to $190K.

    What do you guys think? Besides, its time for a break from Lexus LS value versus head-to-head debate.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Is there really any demand for a car like that? What sets the Quattroporte apart is its performance. You don't buy a Q to sit in the back. I dont think a LWB version is necessary.

    What Maserati seems more interested in is going after the Continental GT, as apparently a coupe and possibly even a convertible version of the Q are in development.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Love your fighting spirit to Steve. But it's you and doc against the world here nonetheless.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Steve, you've got some reading to catch up on. Not only the buff books but also the trade bible, the weekly Automotive News. The reason why Maser isn't selling isn't wheel base. It's the tranny. The auto trans (there is no stick) is awful with mucho slamming and banging. So much so that there are warranty problems and in general much anger. People think they are getting the equivalent of the Continental for a lot less money but this coarseness upsets them.

    Moreover, the engine IS from Enzo but it is too peaky with no low end torque. So you have to buzz around at four grand. Did you ever drive home from work after a stressful day at the dental practice at a minimum of 4000 rpms?

    Having said all of the above, I wonder what I could pick up a used 2005 Maser for in a couple of years? 60K? Maybe less if interest rates go up a little more and home equity loans dry up.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    They definitely have to come up with a conventional autobox before they do anything else. No one wants a $150K LWB super-lux sedan with a SMG.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The E320 coupe (not Cabriolet) was around $60k, the price of the current CLK430! I knew it, I knew it!

    I'm lost here Doc, where was the debate about what a E320 used to cost back in the day? You mentioning something so totally irrelevant is called a "my points have been blown out of the water" switch of subject.

    Now if you're making this claim about the price of the old E320 Coupe as to say that the current CLK500 (the CLK430 went out in 2002 Doc, gotta stay current!) is an evolution of that model then you're way off because the last E320 Coupe was in 1995. Surely the current CLK500 would cost a lot more today if were based on the E-Class chassis and not the C-Class chassis as it currently is. You missed the point by a country mile because the CLK is NOT an evolution of the old W124 E-Class Coupe. That car started out in 1988 as a 300CE and the price was 55-60K in 1988 Doc.

    You're just mad because I caught YOU bragging on how the C-Class IS NOT one of the 5 best sellers in the class. Maybe you should check YOUR boasts with a little research!

    A little review:

    1. You stated that C-Class sells in the 40K range per year and I proved that was wrong with the latest figures from 2004 and 2005.

    2. You also stated that the G35, CTS, ES, and TL all double the C-Class' sales. Again you were proven wrong with actual sales numbers YTD.

    What I see here now is that your reply has gotten a whole lot shorter because your rag on the C's sales has been proven wrong (with actual facts) at every turn. What would I be "mad" about when I proved you wrong quite easily with the actual sales numbers? Oh and about that top 5 claim I made I said "usually" as in maybe some years, not always Doc. Big difference from your claim about the competition doubling the C-Class sales and then not being able to admit you were wrong about that statement.

    And thank you for admitting that sales success is more important than dynamics when it comes to evaluating the relative value of a model, Merc. I'll offer you some cheese with your whine when the ES' sales accelerate again.

    Again, another spin. Where in any post did I admit anything. Again this is another twist of the debate.

    I mentioned that the current GS' sales are dropping and how it has never sold well and then you mention comparos.

    I mentioned that the SC430 sucked in comparos, losing every single one of them usually placing last or next to last and then you mention sales numbers.

    See the twist and spin there. You simply use sales or comparos where possible to defend whichever Lexus is being talked about. Now tell me where in that does that prove which standard is more important than the other?

    Give it up Doc you've been outdone. Just admit you didn't have a clue as to what the C's actual sales numbers were before you threw out the "double" and "40K per year" assumpitions.

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I recently read a Sports Car International comparo of the 330i, C350, IS350, and G35. The cars placed in that order. C&D did also mention in their review of the C350 that if it had been available for their entry-lux comparo, it would've been in the top 3. Pretty impressive considering that the C is a grandpa compared to the 3 and IS.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    The reason why Maser isn't selling isn't wheel base. It's the tranny. The auto trans (there is no stick) is awful with mucho slamming and banging. So much so that there are warranty problems and in general much anger.

    I am under the impression that the '07 model year (or in '07 calendar year) will correct this tranny issue . . . finally. Can you confirm this?

    This will improve an already amazing vehicle, IMO, if true.

    TagMan
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