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High End Luxury Cars



  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Points well taken.

    But I am amenable to this SHORT-TERM strategy! Let the 450h establish itself, build market share/awareness for awhile, let the LS460 tout the Next-gen Lexus V8, THEN bring back the GS460 for Fall 2007.

    Protecting the LS Launch, with the new V8, is the key part of this short-term plan. The new V8 can trickle down to the GS next year. Sound like a plan?

    The 450h has similar power to the M45, is FASTER than the GS430, yet gets considerably better mileage than both! So I think it should cover 6000 sales.

    And the new GS350 will see a nice sales spike, so between 'em, I'm not worried. Not worried in the least!

    Lexus can sell BOTH the 350 and 450h as having the power of V8's , but the economy of a six. Can you think of a better hot button these days than that?

    Let's say Lexus drops the ball here! The New LS' sales spike will more than cover any collateral damage! I see how Lexus has covered themselves on the top and bottom of the GS lineup.

    I believe that is the plan, and it's a pretty good one.

  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Even if they plan to majorly ramp up production of the 450h, that still doesn't account for people who might be willing to trade a few mpg for actual trunk space.

    While trunk space is indeed important to some, I have never considered it to be a major factor, so long as there is ample room for golf clubs or typical luggage. Once that threshhold is met, the rest is just extra room ,IMO.

    The bigger factor, IMO, is that there are still plenty of folks who simply don't want to go hybrid, and they perceive it as a wasted "premium". That's the way consumer reports and the media have painted it . . . as a waste of money. I personally think that, overall, it does make economical, environmental and performance sense in the case of the 450h, but try to convince the general public.

    Toyota didn't just make the new Camry in hybrid format only, and I just can't imagine that the 450 would only be a hybrid. But then again . . . we'll see. I generally trust Lexus marketing, but I do not yet see the wisdom of this, if true. The doc's last explanation is plausible, however.

  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Welcome back, stranger. I've said from day one that the Sonata is recalling of the '98-'04 A6, particularly the rear quarter area. It's overall shadow is reminding of that car, which was a very elegant and intriguing car to mimic.

    The E-Class quite naturally will pull the grunt for MB, but shockingly to see it's sales this good as the freshened E350/new E550 on the horizon. The R-Class will remain a thorn in the side of DCX NA until they either abandon it State side or lower the price of admission to give it at least a chance, much in the same way Chrysler did the Pacifica. Speaking of, why not invest all of the R-Class' incredible architecture and design into Chrysler. It just seems more plausible to give this type of car to a more American company. Do you think that the 300 will be at home on a Mercedes lot with it's bold design? Probably not.

    And to hoot, a fully laden R500 will empty the bank to the tune of $70k, which is a lot of dough for a crossover. And with the GL and M hanging over it's head, it doesn't stand a chance here. Interestingly enough, the GL outsold the M for the month and is still pulling strong.

    As for Toyota/Lexus, Lexus' new/future car product is nothing short of applausible, but we're still in America, the home of the truck. Toyota will at some point have to revamp the luvable but quite old and expensive LX 470/Land Cruiser's as the competition is steadily improving, but those two are still with the status-quo. But they do remain some of the most comfortable to drive ladder-frame SUV's(save for RR and Escalade) around.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Hopefully.....HOPEFULLY, Lexus will offer the HPX concept as a replacement at some point, just a shade under $60k. A super-crossover that I loved in the 2003 NYIAS!

    Diggin' the Merc GL! Very nice! hard to believe it shares genes with the R-Class, but you can even see it in the rear-quarter view. Good job!

    Only problem is isn't this thing 5 years too late to the Full-size SUV party? If they built this when Caddy built the 2nd-gen Escalade, maybe Mercedes would have cornered that market? Not exactly Toyota-esque in reading the U.S. market, are they?

  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Diggin' the Merc GL!

    I took a very close look at the new GL last week. This is a PERFECT vehicle for the upcoming diesel. I will seriously consider it at that time.

  • bfeng7bfeng7 Posts: 47
    Sorry for the very late response. It's probably just clutter for most of you folks.

    I couldn't resist having a look at:
    The author appears to me to be pretty ignorant of relevant concepts of acoustics, audio, material science, and ... well physics in general. I'd be happy to elucidate on the fallacies in that url, upon request.

    John Feng
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    This dissertation has been "out there" for quite a while.
    Perhaps others will find it revealing as it exposes BOSE for what it is- the biggest over-priced rip-off in home audio.

    Very happy with my Denon system which for $1000 runs rings around an equivalent Bose for $2500.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Exactly right. If they would've brought out the vehicle at least close to the time of the bold and unique '02 Escalade, it probably would've been more of a tug-a-war than a single man's game, which the Escalade still arguably dominates.

    I too was diggin' on the HPX crossover concept at NY in '03. I thought it to be a huge step foward for the company but came away thinking that they'll never build it.

    Side note: I hear that BMW is going the route of MB and producing a full-sizer off of it's next-gen, car-like X5 platform in SC for a possible '08/'09 release. As the X5 abandon it's trucky character, the full size (likely to be called the X7 sources say) is said to measure up quite nicely with the GL/RR but a smidge smaller than the brawny 'Slade and QX56. And they also say that BMW will finally offer a 3rd row seat for both the X5/7. The powerplant choice will kick off the joint hybrid engine development with GM in this car to be trickled down to the next gen 7 and current 5 Series.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Disaggregating car sales into old vs. new models and zeroing in on sales of existing models ("same store sales") is a nice piece of analysis. Slight (and only a slight) problem: retail stores don't usually have a relationship between the years open for sale and total sales figures as cars models do. I think that sales decline over time for a model. Not necessarily so for retail stores. So there will be always a dialectic between new sales for new models (new stores) and slowing sales for old models (existing stores).
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    No question that cyclical model changes of existing cars/SUV's play a major role in sinking of one model and rising of another and keeping the checks and balances in place. But when you need new models altogether to keep raising the bar it is a costly approach. In this case MB needed to balance out that line-up with a bigger SUV/AWD offensive. But the R-class may have been a move that went too far and that investment may have been better suited to bringing the E and C new models in sooner. Naturally it is easy to Monday morning quarterback here. Personally I always thought the Lexus HPX would be a homerun so I can hardly fault MB for thinking the R investment would be a good one.

    Big issue for Lexus with the next gen SUV's is how do you play the hybrid game. Their desire is to go for power and I see that working better with cars than SUV's. If I'm Lexus I don't play the HP war on hybrid SUV's and go big time for luxury and MPG. That will quickly re-ignite their SUV sales to strong growth and push them toward 400K annual unit sales.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Diesel is the key to a big SUV.

    The upcoming diesel GL will be a big hit, IMO. I expect to see Acura use a honda diesel in its MDX in the future and I would not be surprised to see Audi use a diesel soon in their new Q. I do not expect BMW would use a diesel as soon because they might be first offering their new hybrid sytem in their X5/X7 SUV's.

    I think that the diesel makes more sense, however, because the SUV is so often used off-road and for towing, and a diesel with its power, torque, and fuel economy is well suited for these applications.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    If Mercedes' gains aren't "as impressive as they seem" then neither are Lexus'. This is why I don't get into sales too much here because Mercedes' sales are analyzed to death and there is always some type of implied problem no matter what they do, yet Lexus is in the same exact boat yet there isn't any implication of a problem there, only with MB.

    Lexus' SUV sales are dead in the water as is the LS and the GS is also declining vs. last year which leaves the new ES and IS as the only bright spots. Saying that old IS was a extreme dud really doesn't make much difference. At least Mercedes got a boost last month from two existing models, the SL and SLK. The latter of which hasn't been face lifted or anything showed a big increase for May 06'. The E-Class which posted a healthy gain last month hasn't even seen the 07's hit the ground yet. So expect a big increase there also.

    Question is does Lexus have any model that hasn't been replaced or updated posting any sales gains like Mercedes does??

    It *seems* you're basically knocking (however subtly) MB for posting a gain based on new models being largely successful (except the R) which is what is supposed to happen when new models are introduced. What was that a while back about "replenish mode"? Just like Lexus' SUVs are declining while they concentrate on their cars, Mercedes cars will now start getting the attention because all of the SUV models are in place now. The new S is obvious, the updated E arrives next month and the new C is less than a year away. What more can they do?

    Lexus is more or less, probably more so in the same boat my friend. Fact is that neither MB or Lexus would be posting gains this year without new or facelifted (in the case of MB) models.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Friday the 13th and its 6/6/06 in a few hours! Too much!

  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Uh....SL & SLK sales are down, YTD, from last year....

    Maybe you meant CLK? Up 8%.

    But I agree with you, Merc. Mercedes sales are doing fine. And they have a couple of fine products in the ML and GL.

    They will always play second-fiddle to Lexus SUV sales, but that's nothing to be ashamed of.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I expect sales to only get better as the year goes on. I think they'll do about 265K+ this year compared to 224K last year. The new engines in nearly everything and of course the diesel versions of the ML,R,GL,E and S should really put some oomph in the numbers. Of course the E is spiking because dealers are literally giving away the 06's to clear them out. You should see the discounts some on MBworld are getting, like 7-9K off MSRP which is to be expected.

    I'm probably the only person here that half-way likes the R-Class. However I did write a hard look post about it here which I think sums up its problems. The concept is viable I think, but the execution and most think as of late, the marketing was off as to who would buy such a vehicle.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Oh, I didn't notice that the CLK had posted a YTD gain, thanks Doc. Another model that got attention (face lift) for 2006 and gets more motor (CLK550 & CLK63) for 2007.

    I did mean to say the SL and SLK. I based that statement on the fact that they are not brand new models and they managed to post a gain last month something no existing Lexus model was able to do last month. A counter to LJ's point about only "new" models contributing to the stellar sales last month.

  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Just as one would expect a sales spurt when a new model is introduced, one should expect the opposite effect for the LS at this time because it is an out-going model.
    People who would normally be in the market for an LS have probably been holding off in anticipation of the new model.
  • cyclone4cyclone4 Posts: 2,255
    I know that I certainly am holding off for the new model. In fact, I am holding off for the LS600hl.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    I am not knocking anything. I'm saying they needed two new car models, NOT a replenishment of an existing model, for 85% of their growth. It's a pure business viewpoint that even the worst analyst on Wall Stree will take notice of, and it clearly diminishes the headline growth story. The facts are crystal clear in that table, and my point about Lexus was that it's growth is overstated because some of it is based on growth in a model that was left dead in the water for years. Sheesh!
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    As for Toyota/Lexus, Lexus' new/future car product is nothing short of applausible, but we're still in America, the home of the truck. Toyota will at some point have to revamp the luvable but quite old and expensive LX 470/Land Cruiser's as the competition is steadily improving, but those two are still with the status-quo.

    I think its going to be curtains for the LC\LX. A new Sequoia based on the new Tundra will probably replace the LC, and a Lexus version will probably replace the LX. For whatever its worth, Lexus did change the name of the HPX concept to "Lexus Future Vehicle-X", so we may end up seeing something like it down the line.
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