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High End Luxury Cars



  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Thanks, it's good to see more detailed rankings. And I agree that "design quality" should have been a separate study, not lumped into IQS.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I've talked to S-Class owners at MBWorld and some of the APPEAL questions are like: how does the car smell, or how do the seats feel after hours of driving and various styling questions. I can't link you to forum per Edmunds rules, but some of the 07' S-Class owners posted some of the questions from the APPEAL study. Interesting stuff.

  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Ford is launching a strategic review of its Jaguar brand and other ailing operations. The review, spearheaded by newly hired adviser Kenneth Leet, could lead to the sale of assets or broader alliances with other companies.

    source WSJ
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Couldn't find it, but interesting.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I wonder how a difficult to use navigation system is classified as a design defect if it is performing perfectly as originally intended?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I guess the "problem" is that owners feel it should be easier to use in the first place. Clearly BMW got knocked for those types of things vs actual mechanical defects because they scored in the top 4 on "quality".

  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    We could debate whether "design defect" is the appropriate terminology, or what survey that sort of issue really belongs in, but the bottom line to me is that a well-designed/easy-to-use NAV, working perfectly, is better than a poorly-designed/hard-to-use NAV, working perfectly. So these things do matter.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    but the bottom line to me is that a well-designed/easy-to-use NAV, working perfectly, is better than a poorly-designed/hard-to-use NAV, working perfectly. So these things do matter.

    Definitely agree there. Unfortunately, despite the mags (and apparently consumers) complaining about iDrive, most of the luxury automakers think its the greatest thing since sliced bread, and have made their own similar system. Acura's in particular is a mess. In the RDX, the control knob takes up so much space on the center stack that the stereo controls are literally buried beneath it. The volume knob looks about as large as a thumb tack.

  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Well, as these cars become more and more technologically sophisticated, iDrive-type gizmos are becoming the norm.
    I can't see Lexus holdng out much longer in this respect.
    Would love to see what they do with an iDrive-like interface.
    No doubt, it would be the most user-friendly.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Wow! That control knob is located where the radio should be.
    Progress? :sick:
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    SOURCE: Wall Street Journal dated Aug. 2 , 2006 ( First and foremost I, Dewey hereby disclaim any responsibility of the content from or non-drivel)

    1)For well over a decade, BMW has focused its marketing almost exclusively on its cars' German engineering and technical sophistication, and targeted its message to one very specific customer group -- upscale auto enthusiasts.

    And that is exactly the way it should be.

    2)In a break with that formula, the company is promoting a corporate culture of independence and innovation. One advertisement in a new campaign that has turned heads in the auto industry highlights the design by architect Zaha Hadid that BMW chose for a striking glass-walled factory in Leipzig, Germany.

    Did I not see a similar Phaeton Ad from VW promoting their state of the art glass factory in Dresden, Germany? This is definitely an ominous signal for BMW.

    3)BMW's shift in direction began last year, after an internal study revealed 1.9 million consumers bought luxury cars in 2004, and 1.4 million of them didn't even consider BMW. Of those, about 600,000 said they were looking for cars that are fun to drive -- which should be BMW's forte. "That is low hanging fruit," says Jack Pitney, BMW's head of marketing in the U.S.

    Huhhh??? So people are unaware that BMWs are fun to drive? The handling dynamics of BMWs are unknown in this market? What a load of bunk!!

    Most luxury buyers know that BMW cars are fun to drive, it's just that they have other priorities like higher reliability or they may seek a more luxurious softer ride.

    4)GSD&M suggested BMW target the wealthy group of high-achievers author Richard Florida described in his recent book, "The Creative Class."This "idea class" is made up of self-motivated architects, professionals, innovators and entrepreneurs, and numbers about 1.5 million people. They typically are not car nuts although they buy luxury automobiles. They prize innovation, authenticity and, above all, independent thinking.

    So the creative classes would not be interested in the older BMW ads emphasizing engineering, performance and handling? I dont think so. Independent thinkers are dependent on ads telling them repetitively how independent BMW is? What kind of independent thinker would depend on such ads for a car purchase?? Sounds to me that BMW is being misguided by picking a flavor of the month theory (compliments from Professor Florida) to base their marketing plan on.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Thanks again dewey. Good thing you added your disclaimer up front. ;)

    Regarding BMW, in the earlier part of this year I spent a lot of time posting my concerns about BMW's vulnerability regarding their market demographics, vehicle models, and what I would characterize as standing on their preceeding success instead of looking forward enough. I also expressed my major concern that Lexus was targeting BMW more directly than in the past.

    I remember referring to Lexus as "snipers with powerful scopes that had BMW in their crosshairs". Few agreed with me, and I was the lonely poster for the most part on this point of view, but I still maintain my position.

    Yes . . . I still maintain my position and believe that Lexus will continue its assault on BMW which is in its earliest stages (as well as Mercedes, of course) and BMW will clumsily react from wounds that it does not even perceive correctly. Just watch.

  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,665
    Youn know - whenever you go against your own business model you end up having problems and retrench back a very high percentage of the time. There aren't many success stories out there about companies that alter course. One can argue that Lexus is an example about a successful buiness model variance but to me Lexus didn't reorient Toyota's business model. It was more like creating a new branch of the tree. BMW has a great niche and IMO has to screw up to blow their position. Why risk that niche? Also it sounds like that nonsense about 2/3rd or 3/4's of luxury customers not considering BMW is an overstatement for the purpose of justification.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    BMW has a great niche and IMO has to screw up to blow their position. Why risk that niche?

    That's the million dollar question, isn't it?

    The Lexus IS is one reason. Imagine ANY real threat to the bread and butter 3-series, and a reaction is inevitable . . . quite possibly one that "screws up". Also, with the new upcoming LS and the new S, what does BMW have in that class to be competitive?

    Again, as the market and competition evolve, there ARE some areas of concern at BMW, and to rely soley on the "niche" as though it is not vulnerable is foolish, IMO.

    I see interesting (and quite challenging) times ahead for BMW.

  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    "I don't doubt that and have no figures to prove otherwise, but still...leasing doesn't apply to every single buyer and for those whom it doesn't is where price makes at least some type of difference."

    Makes no sense. I'm not positive on the number but do know over 50% LEASE luxury cars, and if they are paying similar monthly payments for a less expensive sticker priced car, that kind blows your time and time again argument that the LS sells better because of it's cheaper price. I've said it before and I'll say it again, that argument is lame and just plain wrong. And then when you add in the simple facts that: 1) Lexus builds ONE LS model vs. about MB building 7-8 maybe more(who can keep track?) models. 2) the business premise that offering more variations of a product should get you more sales. your argument of the LS outselling S-class because of price is mute at best.

    And when all those people who cross shop a more expensive S-class and the cheaper LS and end up paying about the same for leasing the LS, what does that say about the Lexus LS???

  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    boy, when you grab a tiger by the tail, you really reach down it's throat and grab it from the inside out. Now back to sitting back and enjoying the fireworks.... :shades:
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Hey maxhonda99,

    Not a good idea to use the "M" sig. It's potentially confusing on the forum and garyh may end up representing merc as you are in violation of merc's unregistered but widely accepted trademark. ;)

    Regarding your post, however, it has long been established that the Lexus advantage is primarily based upon "value" as it relates to

    1)the price/content ratio

    If Mercedes and Lexus had the SAME reliability ratings, believe me things would be different. And even MORE equalizing would be if the prices were equivalent.

    Just for the sake of isolating those two primary Lexus purchase factors, consider that if a Mercedes S-class and a Lexus LS were the same price with the same reliability, I have little doubt that the Lexus world would be turned upside down.

    So do not forget what defines the Lexus success story.

    It's all about reliability and PRICE (value) and the marketing to back it up. To even SUGGEST that price is not relevant is ridiculous.


  • reality2reality2 Posts: 303
    Your comment is very interesting and relatively true as Lexus seeks to develop somekind of "image" or "soul" to its existence in the marketplace around the globe. Yet, Lexus is a bit player world-wide compared to BMW and does not hae the models to take on the serious machinery from BMW. However, the real luxury carmaker that should worry BMW is Audi. This is quite obvious considering the asencion of Audi not only in Europe but globally as well. Audi is moving in a very "stealth" fashion in terms of marketing, culture, profitability(up 36% in the first quarter of 06' so far), and other various aspects of brand building that are not always visible, but doing wonders across the globe. Plus, building some badass automobiles that easily top BMW and the rest in many ways...not to mention one ultra successful and heritage laden motorsport program causing some serious concern down the autobahn in Munich. Who is the true "sport luxury" brand now? Actually, if you look at various vehicle comparisions from the many auto rags over the last couple of years, Audi has easily won the majority against BMW in the various classes of direct comparisions. This is what BMW centers its existence on, isn't it?

    And only in the US would the Lexus IS be seen as a possible competitor to the 3-Series. BMW worrys more about the A4 and the C-Class as true competitors to the 3-Series. The A4 continues to do extremely well considering it has been around for a very long time in its current form waiting for a serious replacement next year. The A4 continues to be one the best in its class.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Interesting that you would say this. I agree 100% about the Audi factor. It's just another reason for BMW to watch its back.

    I'm clearly on record in this forum as one who is keenly watching what I have referred to as "Audi's ascension".

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