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High End Luxury Cars

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  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Two Tings:

    #1: If you are talking about sales globally, say so! K?

    #2: No, I didn't say the current LS is superior to the new S, that was someone else.

    I DID say the LS will outsell the S in 2007.

    And I DID say the Next LS is better looking than "My HumpS550". ;)

    Oh, and I said the LS460 will be the dynamic match of the S550, and could successfully sell for 7-series money. I'm am against pricing the car at $60k.

    I think the LS460L could be sold for $70-75k, to start, with no real impact on sales numbers. It would still be a awesome value vs. the S550, and the 7-series wouldn't affect LS sales, as they go after different clientele, IMHO.

    The LS460 will sell 35-40k units in 2007.

    DrFill
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Conversely, Chrysler sales have slumped sharply. The 300 can't carry the weight all it's own. The Ram is holding up it's side of the table with 289,000 units sold this quarter-a pickup truck record. But with the '07/'08 revisions to the LX-platform, a new from scratch '08 Dodge Caravan/Chrysler TC with a reported minivan-first 3.6L direct-injected 300hp AWD full-hybrid(co-developed with VW/Audi- no doubt)(the Chrysler 3.5L 250hp engine to serve as the base engine), diesel SUV's(possibly a 300 CDI) the company should pick-up steam. One solution: Please lose the dialect-bound Zietche for more formidible ads.

    This weeks Autoextremist.com column is all about the trouble with Chrysler. "Caught in a classic Twilight Zone of "Our new stuff coming is kick-[non-permissible content removed], and it won't be long now!" and the reality of a mounting inventory that's just not selling - even with massive incentives, the Chrysler Group is barely treading water. The words "not good" come to mind."

    Another very interesting point was this: "And on the other hand, the homogenization and gradual decline of the Mercedes image and raison d'etre continues, with word that an upcoming DCX "Phoenix" V-6 corporate engine program will see identical engines shared in Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz products.

    Just how much will Zetsche allow the once-hallowed Mercedes-Benz brand to be "blended" into the vast vagueness and marked inconsistency that defines the Chrysler Group product lineup - before it all comes unraveled?"
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    LG: Did Dr Z not come from "turning around" Chrysler that earned him the nod for the DCX job over Cordes ? That is, Chrysler was saving MB's bacon not that long ago to give the DCX CEO job to the guy at the Chrysler helm - the now famous Dr Z !!! Hmmmm... How times change....

    DCX's archilles heel will be Chrysler, and I don't see anything they offer, save for the Ram and some of the SRT8 stuff, that has any modicum of lusting for. Hey, maybe MB can save Chrysler afterall.... Wasn't that one of the reasons for the "merger" ??? I wonder what Schrempf and Eckard Cordes are thinking these days ???
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Sure. It's called playing catch-up.
    Bet they wouldn't have treated you so well 10 years ago.
    Amazing what falling sales will do.


    Sort of a low-blow and an incorrect one at that. If that comment about dealer treatment which suggest they were never any good at that sort of thing before Lexus applies to Mercedes (which it does not) then it also applies to BMW and all other luxury car makes, post Lexus.

    Falling sales at Mercedes-Benz? The last 10 years say otherwise and this year really says NOT! to that assumption.

    M
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Some nice posts while I was absent, and I'm feeling very slow getting up to speed here. I've only got a couple of things at this point.

    So excuse me if this was already mentioned here, but I've reviewed many, but not all, of the posts since I left. I noticed on my return plane trip that on page 20 of the September Road & Track magazine that there is more information about the upcoming Lexus super sedan. We all talked about this somewhat before I left for the summer. I think that it might have been lj that first mentioned it, but I'm not sure.

    Anyway, it seems that if the vehicle is produced it will be likely slated for the 2009 model year and will be a V-12 hybrid, possibly called the L 650h (not LS). The word is that the V-12 will be a 5.0 liter, with power of about 400 hp, mated with two electric motors, and the next-generation CVT, for a total of about 500 hp. The sedan will be larger than the LS, but possibly on the same flatform, and the price is expected to be about . . . drumroll please . . . $150,000.

    This might explain the latest information on the LS600hL, which seems to have somewhat more conservative hp ratings than first projected, and possibly a lower price point than expected by many.

    For example, according to the September Motor Trend, the projected base price range for the upcoming LS600hL is $75,000 to $85,000. While this is still early here to know with assurance, it appears to be possibly lower than many of our earlier predictions. Also the upcoming '07 LS is shown to have a projected base price range of $58,500 to $62,500.

    This tier structure is developing in advance in order to accommodate the potential L model super sedan, IMO, and might explain a slightly lower LS600hL base price. All to be seen, of course.

    BTW, I also liked the pics of the new CL class that were posted here earlier in the month. Admittedly and gladly, it looks much better than I had thought it would.

    I noticed that there were some discussions about the purchasing power of LS buyers, and what I found to be interesting was that if they are truly an affluent group, why then do the Lexus buyers seem to have an obsession with resale? Would they actually NOT buy a car they otherwise like because of the mathematics of resale?

    After all, I realize that resale is important, but would someone actually choose to NOT buy the car they want, and take second or third choice because of resale? It seems a shame to me, and perhaps an exercise in self-deprivation.

    Anyway, hope the Lexus info is helpful and not overly redundant.

    TagMan
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    That ultra-Lexus in this month's MT looks like some type of cross between a Maybach and a seal, god I hope it looks better than that if it goes to production.

    I can see something like that coming to market from Lexus, if and only if the LS600hL is a hit.

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    LG - Dieter's a business guy out to make money. He has to undo the merger or blend the businesses. The first is impossible right now as neither business is performing well and the direction in the auto industry is consolidation not divestiture. Thus the blending model is the right business model. That's why he's put the German imprint on the ads as he wants noone to be mistaken about his strategy. MB was sinking when he inherited it and had turned red and he's a cost cutter synergy type of guy. Who do you please - the purists like Merc1 or the investors? The answer is obvious and what I'd do if I were him is re-invent the Maybach at a much lower level and let it be the MB purist brand. Maybach is bleeding and going nowhere in its current state.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Mercedes has fallen quite a bit in market share but not in actual sales number. The market has shot way up in the last 10 years but MB has'nt gotten much of the growth. They've been flat to down in sales the last few years with either an upturn on the way or a temporary spike this year. Time will tell.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    That ultra-Lexus in this month's MT looks like some type of cross between a Maybach and a seal, god I hope it looks better than that if it goes to production.

    I can see something like that coming to market from Lexus, if and only if the LS600hL is a hit.


    Yes, I reserved any comment on its appearance in my first post about it, but since you bring it up, it is definately not the good-looker its price range would demand. I imagine there are those that would buy a Lexus regardless of its appearance . . . you know, for all those "other" reasons, but hopefully the production vehicle would look better. I think some of the problem is that horrible two-tone red & silver paint job.

    Regarding the LS600hL, I have little doubt that it will be a hit.

    BTW, I noticed a lot of previous chatter about hybrids and gas prices and the "payback" equation . . . you know, the usual stuff, but I was surprised to see that the reference for gas prices is so low. IMO, people should start projecting a much higher price per gallon for gas than they are. $2.50/gallon is NOT realistic, IMO. I think at least $3.50 to $4.00 or even much higher is very reaistic very soon. In fact, I would not be surprised to see those prices by next summer or even the end of this summer, and I easily see gas between $4.00 and $5.00 within three to five years thereafter.

    Also, the talk about the Camry styling and the LS styling was nothing new. Certainly all the Toyota and Lexus vehicles are not as identical as some were indicating, but they do, however, all seem to share a very close design theme. Personally, I think that is OK and somewhat typical to have design similarities within a marque itself, but I do wish there were less similarities that cross the lines between Toyota and Lexus. After all, they really should be more clearly different marques, IMO.

    It begs the question . . . is a Toyota a cheaper Lexus, or is a Lexus an upscale Toyota?

    TagMan
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Who do you please - the purists like Merc1 or the investors? The answer is obvious and what I'd do if I were him is re-invent the Maybach at a much lower level and let it be the MB purist brand.

    So are you saying you can't have it both ways? It's a sad day when pleasing investors is synonymous with stripping the soul from products. At one point Merck pleased investors with Vioxx.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    The answer is obvious and what I'd do if I were him is re-invent the Maybach at a much lower level and let it be the MB purist brand.

    I totally agree here, and I think Designman's idea of having it both ways is actually very possible and a great idea. If Mercedes can build and sell the new S at it's price, then certainly they can build and sell the next tier without a price that is in the stratosphere, and still provide the purist with a LOT of car for less money and satisfy the investor as well.

    TagMan
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    DCX is definitely on the right path.

    SOURCE: Reuters

    DCX saw its operating profit in the second quarter rise 11 percent to $2.37 billion USD. The profits were made on the backs of the Mercedes Car Group, which saw its operating profit skyrocket from just $15.3 million a year ago to $1.03 billion in 2Q 2006

    And what about the USA?

    SOURCE: link title

    Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) today reported its highest June on record with sales of 20,802 new vehicles, an increase of 14 percent over last June. This brings MBUSA's year-to-date total to 114,935 new vehicles sold for the best half- year sales in the company's history.

    Ofcourse MB sales did not grow as fast in the last few years as other luxury marqes. But the whole point is their turnaround is gaining momentum as I had successfully predicted about a year ago . And I would like to humbly point out that every prediction I have made so far in this forum has been 100 percent correct. :shades:

    Chrysler too is on the right track. Let us not forget Chrysler's sexy product pipeline: a new Chrysler Imperial (with those alluring suicide doors), a Sebring that actually sounds like it will be able to sell at dealers' lots and the upcoming Challenger. More fuel efficient models combined with a a greater selection of diesel offerings will help Chyrsler from its dependence on gas guzzling vehicles.

    Every turnaround has bumps. But at least DCX is moving in the right direction.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Who do you please - the purists like Merc1 or the investors?

    Merc1 is not a purist, he's just an idealist ! I don't care how anyone is tuned into the "driving" aspect of a car. No one lives on left-hand turn race tracks, neither do people live on autobahns.... or motor speedways. The real purists don't drive mainstream cars like many of us here do... They drive STi, WRX, M/RS/S, Porsches, Ferraris, Lambos, etc...all with a stick... Those AT AMGs don't count either (except for my fav MB, the E55). Now we are talking purists cos these cars are simply meant to be driven, no pretensions of luxury or fluff about these cars...They have only one purpose in their genre.. However, to use the word "purist" on a HELM board just don't work together... HELM refers to LUXURY MARQUES not sport-tuned sedans which you'd find in the LPS forum... To hear the so-called *purists* on HELM, you'd think that they live on speedways/race tracks... See, reality is that your car drives you from point A to point B, with some comfort, some speed, some handling, some pleasure, thrown in. No single car on this planet gives you EVERYTHING you'd need/want in a car.... Its all about business which provides such driving xteristics. Dr Z is a business man and he understands that lil' reality which I am afraid some Germancarfans struggle with... Its not that hard to grasp, is it ?
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    The real purists don't drive mainstream cars like many of us here do... They drive STi, WRX, M/RS/S, Porsches, Ferraris, Lambos, etc...all with a stick... Those AT AMGs don't count either (except for my fav MB, the E55). Now we are talking purists cos these cars are simply meant to be driven, no pretensions of luxury or fluff about these cars...They have only one purpose in their genre.. However, to use the word "purist" on a HELM board just don't work together...

    hey oac, good to see you've been very busy while I've been away. I'm a little confused about this post, however. Are you saying that there is no such thing as pure luxury? Only pure performance? Why?

    TagMan
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    noticed that there were some discussions about the purchasing power of LS buyers, and what I found to be interesting was that if they are truly an affluent group, why then do the Lexus buyers seem to have an obsession with resale? Would they actually NOT buy a car they otherwise like because of the mathematics of resale?

    BINGO!

    Your observations are dead on. The reason is the LS up to now is not priced like German HELMs but more like German LPS like the 5/E/A6 models. Therefore the LS attracts a different segment of the market . A market that consists of buyers that are more conscious about resale values than in the market for HELMs. Although the future LWB and Hybrid LS models will sell at real HELM prices.

    I include myself in the above category. I did buy my BMW 530xi Touring because it is IMO the most driveable family wagon out there. But another consideration was BMW resale values (I was quite impressed with the the price I sold my 99 BMW323i).

    The only HELM auto I would ever consider buying is a Porshce 911 Carrera S. Unfortunately the Carrera S MSRP in Canada is at a 40 percent premium (adjusted for foreign exchange) over over the MSRP in USA.

    RIP OFF! Pride refuses me to be lured into such a transaction. Nor do I want to go through the hassle of buying a Porsche in USA and confronting duties and warranty issues here in Canada.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Are you saying that there is no such thing as pure luxury? Only pure performance? Why?

    Of course there are LOTS of cars designed solely for pure luxury... Maybach comes to mind. Ergo, others designed purely for performance, and I listed a few already... And there are the abridged ones... call them a "hybrid" and thats what you get mostly on the LPS forum, and to a lower extent here on HELM... That's one of the problems we have on this forum. The cars are designed for LUXURY yet we get all these talk about performance... If you want performance, why are you buying an S-class ? How many S-class buyers/leasee drives the car bcos of its "performance" ? We can talk about attributes of a HELM, but not brow-beat one car for not being a performance leader... These are luxury full-size (family) sedans first !

    Welcome back ! You are already lifting the quality of the debate within your first 2 posts. I guess "moderation" is a good thing (Howard), eh ?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Well do you consider $250K and up affluent? And based on these posts people don't care what happens to their money?? How'd they get it in the first place? People who buy homes care about future money but people who buy cars don't? Now maybe what you are guys are saying is that more German cars are bought by inherited money. Then I can see some validity to your post. If you don't earn it you don't respect and if you do earn it then you do respect it.

    Now here's what else confuses me - the biggest piece of pride I heard from MB owners (until the past 5 years or so) was how fabulous the resale value of MB's were, in some cases holding 75+% of value after 4 years and 50k miles. Suddenly those same people don't give a hoot? Tag - you've beeen on vacation so I'll give you a break but rethink your post and think about all the MB buyers of the past. On this point, if you really believe it, we are worlds apart, or maybe 90% of the cas are leased so who cares about resale if you are leasing and the lease price is often not much more than an LS or comparable Lexus.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Welcome back ! You are already lifting the quality of the debate within your first 2 posts. I guess "moderation" is a good thing (Howard), eh ?

    Thank you. Yes, I saw Howard's reference to my "moderate" posting style. No comment here.

    Let's take it a step further then . . . are you saying that performance and luxury do not co-exist well enough in the HELM category? At least for a purist, as you define it?

    TagMan
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    ..... are you saying that performance and luxury do not co-exist well enough in the HELM category? At least for a purist, as you define it?

    Performance AND luxury surely can and do co-exist, that's what I mean by "hybrid" for HELM cars. When these co-exist, there are compromises made by the manufacturer. You can get an upgraded handling over, say a Buick, in an S-class or LS, but not the type of performance you'd get in an M. So we just need to put our debate in perspective and remember that the bias in HELM is to LUXURY not performance. The latter is simply an icing on the cake....

    Hey, were you not supposed to be out of action until after Labor Day ? Get back to work, and catch up on those gadzillion e-mails awaiting your attention... :)
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    People who buy homes care about future money but people who buy cars don't? Now maybe what you are guys are saying is that more German cars are bought by inherited money. Then I can see some validity to your post. If you don't earn it you don't respect and if you do earn it then you do respect it.

    My business is catered solely to high net worth clients. Most earn their own money (although there are some heirs among them). It is easy to make the generalization you made above but I can assure you there are quite a few high earning non-heirs who drive expensive German cars.
    At the same time many of my clients dont even own a HELM. In other words what I am trying to say is that the fine art of pigeon-holing HELM buyers is an endeavor that involves more subjectivity than objectivity. Especially when there are no statistics that show what cars the "old rich" versus the "nouveau rich" own.

    A house is quite different from a car. Among my clients I dont know anybody who is motivated by resale values before buying a car(luxury or non-luxury). Except certain individuals in this forum (including myself) :)
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