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High End Luxury Cars

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  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    continues to produce great vehicles and offers them through leases with incredibly high residuals to keep monthly payments down and Lexus provides very little lease support, I'm not worried about any potential threat from Lexus.

    The origin of this thread was when I suggested (as I have in the past) that Lexus is taking a shot at BMW with the IS, and that BMW is becoming more vulnerable in the marketplace.


    Howard and Tagman,

    this is not about vulnerability or high residual values.

    The success of BMW and Lexus are independent of each others. That does sound a bit confusing so please let me explain with the following example:

    A Lexus that is as spartan and drives like a BMW will be a DISASTER!

    A BMW that is as luxurious and drives like a Lexus will be a DISASTER!

    Both marques cannot afford to be more like each others or else they will both alienate their customers. Lexus will remain more popular in the USA (BMWs are more popular in Canada) because its attributes are more closer to US mainstream expectations. BMW will remain more popular outside the USA because its attributes reflects mainstream expectations outside USA.

    So the only way Lexus will remain a threat to BMW is when Lexus cars become like BMWs and that is just not going to happen(assuming Lexus knows what is in their long term interests)!
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    I fully agree with your previous post.

    Lexus' latest assault on BMW in regards to the IS is nothing short of amazing. Never in the company's history have they produced anything remotely close to tearing down the 3. The IS is the car that should've been here with the '00 3-Series. I have absolute repect for the car as it embodies what it takes (to some degree) to be a successful sport sedan. Some tweaking of the chassis, better steering feel, higher grip tires, a more reclined rear seat and BMW may have something to worry about. This is something Lexus may correct with the second year of production

    Now, if Lexus does green light the IS500, then the M3/RS4/CTS-v/C55 AMG crowd will get some serious comp.

    But all is not peachy at Lexus. They still don't know what to do about the GS. First they were to give the V6 more oomph but where would that leave the V8(for now)? Then they were to kill off the V8 model completely for the GS450h? Just install the new 4.6 and call it a day to stay competitive. A complete overhaul(excluding the RX- kill the RX400h tho) of their SUV's is well overdue. The GX remains unimpressive, and the LX, altho very capable and comfortable, is dated in it's category. The HPX would serve Lexus proud.

    BMW on the other hand: This company knows what it's customer wants and it delivers. The i-Drive confusion(altho I don't see how it was so confusing) did little to sway it's loyalist away from the brand. With a new 3-Series Coupe, the new X5, the newly introduced X7(a Escalade/RR rival), and a slew of M cars, the company has plenty to keep it's customer base happy. A refreshed 5-Series in '08 should keep it inline with the E-Class and A6. And let's not forget the long-awaited 7-Series for '08(on sale late fall '07). This is the car that is supposed to correct all shortcoming of the current model. With a projected first ever diesel-hybrid, a direct injected 420-hp V8, a first ever M model(finally), and a MB-beating 612hp V12 with a DCX-esque cylinder shutoff, the 7 may longer be the laughing stock in it's class.....
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Makes sense.

    We need both BMW and Lexus as is, to appeal to the living and the dead, respectively.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    You seem awfully worried about our 1st place Lexus team, but fret not.

    The IS is clearly gaining traction in the marketplace, as it's sales vs comparable BMW models indicates (6000 to 4800). VDIM is defeatable for 2007, improving road feel and ability, and I would wager a manual will appear for 2008 in the 350, around the time the 500 will arrive. I am very confident that the New IS is the 3's greatest challenge yet!

    The GS will get 303HP this year, and the new V8 sometime next year, and it is able to sell with the more potent M to this point, so it is doing fine, and the future also looks bright! In that class, the M is too heavy-handed in style for me, and the GS is too soft. I would quickly take the 5.

    The LX will be replaced by the end of next year, and I too hope the HPX breaks into the US.

    You seem disappointed in the GX, but the people, and C&D, are much more impressed. Pure trucks like the GX are taking a hit these days. Maybe the HPX will replace it, but not because of any great failings on it's part.

    And we all admit the LS will rule this country when it graces us with it's presence. :)

    You also seem to imply that BMW knows what it's customers want. And Lexus doesn't?

    BMW knows what sporting drivers want (except for iDrive). And Lexus knows what luxury car/truck buyers want.

    Granted, Lexus seems conflicted when it comes to producing a vehicle more entertaining. It seems they're listening to their older clientele, and are not focused on getting 25-40 year-olds, more interested in BMWs.

    The New IS is several steps in the right direction, but dropping the manual on the stud 350 does count as a fumble. :cry:

    But, Hemi, the sky is not falling.

    The future is, indeed, so bright, I gotta wear :shades:

    DrFill
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Good post . . . lots more than rhetoric . . . you provided meaningful content. Thank you.

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Yes indeed, I'm actually going to the Lotus dealer tomorrow to look at and test drive the Lotus Elise. I'm still interested in that car for some reason. A street legal race car . . . something for the soul I guess.

    The practical side of me says to get the Cayman, but I've had the Boxster and previously a Carrera, and, frankly, while I love the Porsches, they all do look a little similar at this point, with the current look now reaching ten years!

    The Elise is also eye candy, no doubt. And its performance specs are nothing short of spectacular.

    I'm supposed to meet with the general manager at about 1PM tomorrow afternoon. We've had nice chats on the phone so far.

    There's no telling what I'll do. I'll keep you all posted, as I promised.

    If anyone here wants to offer any feedback or suggestions, please feel free to, as I am now officially in Lotus mode.

    TagMan
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    I had a choice last year between a 545 for $721 and a GS430 for $755, the latter quote making me the envy of everybody on the GS board because they were getting lease quotes of $850 for the GS430.

    And Lexus still couldn't come down to the BMW quote.


    There is some twisted logic here. On one hand, many of you say Lexus doesn't have the clout of the Germans, and Lexus is lower priced to its German competition. OTOH, you see the GS430 priced HIGHER than your precious 545i. How so ? And Lexus won't deal much... They must have something good, and they know it. The LS may be lower priced, but its leasing rates are often HIGHER than the higher priced S430. Go figure... The argument of price falls flat on its face. Enjoy your 545i... God knows we've heard enough about it already...
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    So the only way Lexus will remain a threat to BMW is when Lexus cars become like BMWs and that is just not going to happen(assuming Lexus knows what is in their long term interests)!

    My o my ! Are we living in rose-colored houses or what ! Lexus cars to be like BMWs ??? Gotta be kidding... Since when did BMW become the sales benchmark for Lexus to emulate ? BMW lives and dies on sales of the 3-series... Way too dependent on a single model line, don't you think ? OTOH, Lexus makes its hay on the GX, RX, ES, LS, and increasingly the IS.... Far more successful lines than BMW. It may hurt your Germancarfan pride to see how Lexus continues to cream most BMW in sales, must be that most buyers prefer Lexus to BMW, isn't it ? Maybe those buyers don't know/care squat about the drivability of a BMW, eh ?
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Say what you will, but the LS goes after the S and the IS goes after the 3. What's so wrong with that?

    TM
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Saw an Elise the other day, in mustard yellow... For the life of me that car is no beauty ! I'll take a Porsche anyday... Of course you've had your fill of Porsches, so maybe an edgy car like a Lotus will be the elixir... I am not sure you can take the daily pounding on the back and knees that car will give you as a daily driver. Why not just get a Bimmer M3/5 or something similar ? Maybe even an R4/6... These cars have the driveability of an Elise, with good looks and driving pleasure. I shouldn't praise a BMW to you... But if its an Elise, good luck...
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    For the life of me that car is no beauty !

    For the life of me it sure is!!!!! And, the good news is that the touring package now available in '06, smooths the ride out a TON, compared to '05. Some reviews now say it's good enough to be a daily driver, but I'll determine that for myself. I don't need it to be a daily driver anyway . . . just an occasional driver for the excitement, thrill and fun that it eagerly provides in large doses.

    Here's a shot from top gear's gallery.

    image

    Enjoy,

    TagMan
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Wasn't counting the R or GL class, as they are brand new. The ML and G are down.

    Well you didn't say that, you have to be more specific, you know that!

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well when you frame it that way...lol! Nothing but a slight blip in the BMW sales machine, well at least so far.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    can definitely see it winning some comparison tests, especially now that C&D seems more concerned with MSRPs than they have been in the past.

    I can't stand it when they do that! It it hasn't been just recently either. That same type of lame thinking is what put an Allante over a 300SL back in the day while they had a story off to the side about how the 500SL would kill the Allante. Sometimes C&D is so smart to the point where they're just plain stupid! This last test in which the SL550 and XLR-V were at or over 100K while the BMW and Jag were in the 85-87K range they called it the 100K question, yet way back when the Allante and 500SL were only like 20K apart and yet....well you get my point. They are so darn fickle.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    My o my ! Are we living in rose-colored houses or what ! Lexus cars to be like BMWs ??? Gotta be kidding... Since when did BMW become the sales benchmark for Lexus to emulate ? BMW lives and dies on sales of the 3-series... Way too dependent on a single model line, don't you think ? OTOH, Lexus makes its hay on the GX, RX, ES, LS, and increasingly the IS.... Far more successful lines than BMW. It may hurt your Germancarfan pride to see how Lexus continues to cream most BMW in sales, must be that most buyers prefer Lexus to BMW, isn't it ? Maybe those buyers don't know/care squat about the drivability of a BMW, eh ?

    See more of the same. Dewey said nothing of the sort about Lexus cars having to be like BMWs. The line of discussion was about Lexus being a threat to BMW in the context of getting more die-hard/long time BMW drivers into a Lexus, not the usual cheerleading about sales and who is going to destroy who. What Dewey is saying is that BMW and Lexus are different types of cars and that neither would gain anything by moving too far in the other's direction. This has nothing to do with sales, it has to do with what Lexus and BMW think a luxury car should be in terms of design/dynamics etc and how different those views are.

    M
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    "You see the GS430 priced HIGHER than your precious 545. How so?"

    I have no idea. Given the professional reviews overwhelmingly picking the 545 over the GS430, this remains one of lifes' unexplained mysteries.

    Given the cramped cabin, uncomfortable seats, gated shifter, gimmicky brakes and steering, electronic nannies and laughably small trunk of the GS430, I am content that I not only got the better vehicle, but a terrific value as well. :P
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    This has nothing to do with sales, it has to do with what Lexus and BMW think a luxury car should be in terms of design/dynamics etc and how different those views are.

    Exactly!
    Imagine what would happen to MB's reputation if they produced a fwd ES? Imagine the threat to the BMW marque if the 3 and 5 series is offered with no stick and equipped with a electronic nanny like the vdim? Unlike these two German marques, Lexus can sell a lot of fwd ES models. Lexus can sell many vdim IS models that are not even offered with a manual tranny.

    I dont think you and I would cheerlead MB and BMW if both these companies ovetook Lexus in terms of US sales at the expense of softer handling Benzes and Bimmers. IMO that would be a nightmare.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    It would be foolish for any of us to try and influence your choice. I'm sure you researched it thoroughly.

    Personally, I would go with the Cayman S.

    But if the Lotus makes you happy, go for it, enjoy it and let us know how it rides.

    Best of luck with your purchase. :)
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The practical side of me says to get the Cayman, but I've had the Boxster and previously a Carrera, and, frankly, while I love the Porsches, they all do look a little similar at this point, with the current look now reaching ten years!

    Did you see TG's review of the Cayman? Clarkson was somewhat disappointed with it. "You get the sense that the engineers could've made the Cayman (I wont say ****ster) faster, and better, but they weren't allowed to, because then it would be faster and better than a 911. I couldn't live with that. I think a car should be engineered to be as good as it can be, not engineered to fill a gap in the marketplace".

    One other point, TG mentioned that Lotus normally fits Elises with skinny front tires to make the car prone to understeer for unskilled drivers. They said if you get the dealer to fit proper tires in the front, the handling improves greatly. Please let us know what you think of the Lotus.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    If I was an empty nester or if I had a garage of more than a few cars(my house has a small garage which in itself is a great luxury in midtown/downtown Toronto) then my top choice would be a Carrera S. Unfortunately my choice is highly hypothetical and I wont be visiting a Porsche dealer today. :(
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