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High End Luxury Cars

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  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Now, everybody makes powerful, almost TOO powerful, luxury cars, even NON-luxury cars, like 300C. Where is the niche for a new luxury marque? Audi, Acura and Infiniti still haven't found it, and have been on the trail for 15 years!

    Thats exactly what I said the last time the "Hyundai is going to crush the world with their BMW\Lexus\Mercedes killer" argument came up. The HELM market in 1989 and the HELM market in 2006 are completely different, so it's impossible to make a comparison of what Hyundai can do now vs. what Lexus did 17 years ago.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    It's Lexus they'll go after, not MB or BMW or Audi. LEXUS!

    TagMan
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT???? Did I read that you think the 300C is "too" powerful? And that Acura(maybe), Audi, and Infiniti are still in the dark after 15 years?

    No, maybe you've been in the dark as all three makers are on the cutting edge of technology, especially Audi with their second to none engine/trans/AWD/interiors/design/safety/aluminum construction/elegance/etc.etc.etc. Need I say more?

    You may as well jump on the bang wagon(which isn't all to hard to do on this thread), but to mention Audi as a non-player is like saying you nothing about the car bix at all. Do I even need to get into all of the racing ends of Audi, particularly LeMans, GP?? Probably not

    BTW: You may want to walk a Caddy showroom now as they're no longer the laughing stock of the biz.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    merc - The July Road and Track pits the GS450h against the 550i. Just the fact that the headline reads " Lexus GS 450H challenges BMW 550i" is a boost for Lexus as it places the GS in the same ball field . . . even if it loses . . . which it does. The upside to the GS is that the article is SO flattering to the GS. At one point the article says "The GS 450h offers tremendous upside and virtually no downside."

    Yeah I saw this, but they didn't really compare the two with scoring like they usually do, but it was an interestin comparo. I think that if they used their usual criteria the GS450h would have been even further behind the 550i, IMO.

    I do see your point about Lexus slowly "encroaching" on BMW's traditional turf, but there is only so far they can go there I think.

    I suspect that the long rumored follow up to the SLR will indeed be the car to answer the Z6 and whatever Lexus' LFA turns out to be, these will be real sports cars not GTs. We're in total sync there!

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    So in short it seems that Mercedes and particularly BMW (this time around) got killed due to complicated driver-control interfaces. Why not have two different surveys then? One for reliability and another for design. Lumping them together is dumb IMO. MB and BMW are going to be wiped out on these surveys unless every single owner understands every aspect of the car. Because an owner doesn't understand something it is now called a design flaw? That reaches in to the highest echelon of rediculum, IMO.

    Porsche owners are a passionate bunch and once the posers (i.e. the Cayenne buyers) are not the main focus I expect Porsche to excel because the 911/Boxster/Cayman buyers likely on average couldn't care any less about how the nav system works. All they care about is the "drive" which leads to a extremely high feel good factor, or at least enough of one to not ding Porsche come survey time. BMW has a group of buyers like that too, but apparently not enough of them to matter this year, especially if the 3-Series is the car causing the problems. Likely a lot more posers with 325i squawking more than any other group of BMW owners, again IMO. Mercedes I'm betting got really pulled down due to the new for 2006 ML/R/CLS combo??

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I've said this before....I predict that 10 years from now, oldtime Lexus fans will be defending their favorite brand on these boards from an onslaught of Korean HELM fans, just as guys like merc1 might sometimes feel under seige from Lexus fans now.

    Yes I agree that one day this will likely happen, but I think it will be a little longer than 10 years. Korean cars still haven't proven to be the equal of Japan's best over the long haul IMO. That and the luxury market being way different now compared to 1989.

    M
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    2008 Crown Majesta: This car was styled in the mold of the MB CLS. And I tell you, its a darn close match to the CLS, but looks quite nice, once you get past the copy thingy. The rear is not as droopy as the CLS, nor does it make rear passengers claustophobic. A nicer-looking variant of the CLS, IMO. Very nicely done by Toyota... Even spots the motor in the LS, and is similar to the LS460 in size. But priced real well at Y6Million - Y8Million, almost half the price of the 600hL. A steal, if you ask me. I'd even consider buying this car over the LS460 at this price.

    2008 Crown Royal: Has the V6 3.5L 315HP DOHC motor, and is priced at Y3.5Million - Y6Million. This is the baby-LS looking car from front, but does not have the integrated exhaust into bumper rear, as in the LS and Majesta. Not a bad looking car, but don't expect to see one in the US, like forever... so my Japanese friends tell me. Sorry, Garyh.


    Thanks, oac, for all this info. From what I had read previously, I thought the Crown Majesta and the Crown Royal were just different setups of the same car body (like GS300/GS430). From what you are saying, apparently they are actually totally different cars?

    All I want for my wife's next car (replacing her aging E320, a very nice car) is something slightly smaller than the LS430 (but better space utilization than the GS), RWD or preferably AWD (unlike the ES), with lots of wood and luxury. Why won't Toy/Lex bring at least one of these Crowns here, and take the MB E head on and win. Couldn't they easily sell more than a couple thousand a month, which is all they are getting out of the GS? I don't get it.

    At this point, I'm still thinking of another E for her. Or maybe we'll move to Japan so I can get her a Crown. :confuse:
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    THE END OF THE WORLD APPROACHES: LJFLX AND MERC1 BOTH ARE IN COMPLETE AGREEMENT ON SOMETHING!!!!

    It's so obvious as to be totally inexplicable how JD Powers could have made such a major mistake in so many ways. I am certainly interested in how well a car is built and inspected, which can be learned from statistical info from owners. But I am perfectly willing to make my own assessment of how well a NAV system works, or whether a touchscreen is easier for me to use than a push and twist knob. That I can learn from a test drive.

    Combining subjective opinions on features with specific factual information on defects into one ranking is about the dumbest thing I have ever heard. JDP now gets my "worst automotive industry study" award formerly held by ALG on their "predicted residual value" studies.

    We can only hope that they don't mess up the Vehicle Dependability Study (3 year old cars). That's where we'll see if MB has really turned around its reliability issues. It usually comes out at the end of June.
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    so you disagree with my PE data which shows 17.49?

    I would so love to get into these investment sidebars, but unfortunately as the General Counsel for my own securities broker-dealer, I'd have to fire myself if I started touting stocks on a public bulletin board! But you folks probably have observed that I typically share Len's tastes in many things (except I am not a big oenophile these days). ;)

    But Tagman, I can say that the P/E ratio you cite is based on historical TTM (Trailing Twelve Months) earnings, divided into a price which effectively includes the cash on hand that Len is adjusting out. I believe he was also looking out at projected future earnings. Using Thomson's projected earnings through 6/07, the Projected P/E is 15.8 (without any adjustment for the cash on hand).

    Hope this helps to clarify.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yeah I don't see why they couldn't have just come out with a "new" survey along with the traditional IQS. Mercedes and BMW are in deep chips under this new format. They'll have to really get with JDP (give $$$$) to get the details on this one.

    I don't look for Mercedes to improve in the VDS until like 2008-09.

    M
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Let's face it, the only reasons the BMW 5 series lost all those comparos to the Infiniti M were the dislike of iDrive and the Bangle design.

    if you read the numbers, the 5 was always on top with the performance stats.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    No, technically it's the proper way. But when a stock gets to such a low attractive point I apply the cash/debt adjustment to get to a more accurate value based PE. As syswei noted you should also calculate (tax adjusted) interest income/expense but usually that's not much of an effect. Think about it - if you bought Microsoft for $224bln you are also buying $47 bln in cash so net net the real market cap of Microsoft is only $177bln right now. Would'nt you love to buy a $95K S550 with $25K of cash stored in the glove box?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    By the time Hyundai is ready for this the real troubled cars will be Acura nad Infiniti - assuming they even get a leg off the ground. By the time they are ready - IF they are ready - Lexus will have moved much further up market. I don't see Hyundai happening, and I think you guys are all badly underestimating what it takes. Mazda tried to crack into this area and failed completely and abandoned it immediately because of the steep losses that lay ahead. Infiniti took 12 years to get real traction. Acura didn't have the horses and it had first dibs. You have a lot more to this than building cars. There's a dealer network distribution issue, a few years of losses (probably huge ones at that), market acceptance etc etc etc. I see no attempt at all or a feeble attempt and a quick pull back at best.
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    Let's face it, the only reasons the BMW 5 series lost all those comparos to the Infiniti M were the dislike of iDrive and the Bangle design.

    if you read the numbers, the 5 was always on top with the performance stats.


    If you reread the comparos it was a bit more than the dislike for the iDrive and Bangle design that led to the Infiniti's win. The 5 was not always on top with the peformance stats. The Infiniti actually WON the comparo, you're suggestion that the only reason Infiniti won was because BMW lost due to two characteristics isn't supported by the actual comparos.

    I read where your next car may be a Lexus!? I don't know which will happen first - hpowders actually buying a non-BMW luxury car or hell freezing over. I'll ask my good buddy Al Gore. He'll give me the time table on the second event occurring : )

    See you over in the boring LPS forum...
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I'm not happy with the latest version of the BMW brakes.
    Seems to be a problem across the line.
    Same in the 330i as the 545. (As well as the GS 430).
    Cannot modulate them to a smooth stop. Always a disconcerting "jerk" at the end- although the stopping power is very good.
    Something's wrong when I prefer the $20k Sonata's brakes to the $60k 545's.

    I will not lease another vehicle from BMW with these brakes.

    Munich. You have been warned!
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    "The boring LPS forum"

    Well, the action right now is in the HELM arena, what with the new S-Class and LS and valuation measures for stocks (?)

    My thought on the latter. When a bear market ensues, it doesn't matter how good a stock's fundamentals are. It's price is going one way. SOUTH!

    About 18 months ago, the action was at the LPS thread with the new 5-series, GS and M35/45 stimulating a lot of debate.
    Nothing much new over there. Hence, all the talk about Bose speakers.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Let's leave the stock market conversation for message boards where it's more appropriate ... thanks.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I'm not happy with the latest version of the BMW brakes.

    Might I suggest a M45? Excellent and very natural brakes :)
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I tested the M's brakes and they were best in the LPS class.
    I will drive one in early 2008. My lease is up at the end of July, 2008.
    I hear leasing deals on Infinitis are pretty good.
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