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High End Luxury Cars

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  • Taking an innovation that Mercedes first used ...Lexus perfecting it and making it reliable ...Is innovation in it itself.

    Mercedes/Chrysler is a fine car. The Chinese built Mercedes at the Chrysler plant will probable help Mercedes dependability...A step in the right direction.

    Bottom line...Mercedes is a fine car with a great tradition, it will eventually work out it's quality problems and become an even a greater car.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,593
    According to post #3191 I'm NOT a car enthusiast because I own an LS430. Hmmm, and I always thought of myself as such.

    (Maybe because I also have an E Mercedes I'm half an enthusiast.)
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    No - It works like a toggle switch. You buy a Lexus and you toggle off. You sell one and you toggle back on. If you buy MB instead of a different car you toggle to the maximum enthusiast level. Maybe you are a semi-enthusiast or maybe you are a confused one. But don't feel bad as I have 3 vehicles and they are all Lexus so I'm as far removed from being an enthusiast as is reasonably possible. But I'll improve next year as all leases are up and I'm going back to an LS430 and an LX470 and withdrawing from having a third car. But after that I may lay my hands on an SL as a third car in 2005 (I guess I'll have to order pretty soon though because that likelihood is 15 months away which is less than the waiting list) so I'll end up being as confused as you in this enthusiast realm. I must say I do read some real comical theories around this place.
  • tasillotasillo Posts: 51
    This debate really cracks me up. The interesting thing is, very few "enthusiasists" will show much interest in the Lexus, but many "prestige" or "luxury" buyers will buy BMW or Mercedes. As for me, with both 740 and LS400's in the family, I feel qualified to comment.

    Simply put, the BMW is more rewarding to drive, the Lexus more rewarding to own. A few things about the BMW after 3 years and 57k. Why can't the Europeans get electronics right? Both the NAV display and the dot matrix driver info center on the BMW have been and still are on the blink. If you don't think that's a big deal, try driving 500 miles in a day looking at a display with missing letters/numbers in the display. Of course BMW says, "Couldn't duplicate the condition". The 18" staggered wheels and performance tires look fantastic and ride well, but... cup very easily and get quite noisy as early as 9k miles. I've tried Continental, Michelin and Pirelli, all do the same. BMW's MacPherson strut front suspension is harder on tires than unequal A-arms on Mercedes and Lexus. BMW resale is also quite suspect. A 72k car, now 3 years old with 57k miles is worth 25k at trade. The 50k Lexus is worth the same.

    The LS is simply the worlds best built Lincoln Town Car, with better shock and tires. Not at all rewarding to drive, but bulletproof and simply not an aggravating ownership experience. Everything works, always! Can't say that about the Bimmer.

    Now that my 740 is out of warranty and closing in on 60k miles, ownership may get real interesting. Stay tuned...
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    Question for both Lexus owners and the "real enthusiasts" in the group: What will be the more likely scenario over the next 5 years,

    A. For Lexus, making their LS more rewarding (fun)to drive, or

    B. For BMW and Mercedes, making their 7 and S series more rewarding (reliable) to own?
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Both Merc and BMW are mature companies, and it is inexcusable that the ownership experience would be regarded as less rewarding by owners! They should be put by Tom Peters' seminars to value and deliver on customer-focused excellence, no excuses. Any other approach will compromise their success mid-term - they are in a very competitive market, and customers are notoriously fickle after *one* bad ownership experience.

    The market will speak, it just typically takes a few years before doing so. My prediction: the Japanese brands will continue to gain, the Euorpean prestige brands will have to fight harder to defend their remaining market share. At this point, the Japanese brands' trendy offerings are gaining ground in Euopren at a very fast pace...

    I was driven around Boston in a '03 Honda Accord today, and couldn't help but marvel at the fantastic price-performance-value that car delivers on. Really: S-class quiet and composed, C-class economy. I have to yet repeat on my Japanese ownership experience, but I do believe they're one to something...
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You've said that before and like before you couldn't name a single thing that Mercedes invented or came out with first, etc. that Lexus later perfected. Keep believing that if you like, but its pure fantasy. Lexus uses the basic building blocks laid down by Mercedes over 100 years ago just like everyone else does, they've done nothing special or different with them. Mercedes' more complex "stuff" like SBC, ABC etc, Lexus has no answer for. Yes, Lexus is showing true innovation with their Hyrbrid plans. Even I will be impressed if they pull it off in a vehicle like a RX or LS, as the Toyota Prius doesn't appeal to me.

    sv7887,

    That is the most level post I think I've ever seen from you, and I really can't take issue with any of it. Lexus is smart, no doubt. Ferrari did the same thing back in the day when Porsche switched to rear and mid-engined cars....Ferrari waited until Porsche perfected the concept before adopting it. Somewhat similar to MBs and Lexus' relationship, both are great companies, but one just carries more weight with the enthusiast crowd.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    So you're still saying that the IS300 isn't a just a Toyota with a "L" slapped on it for the purpose of selling it here? There is no such relationship in the DCX union. Yes, Mercedes sells cheaper cars elsewhere in the world, but they at no time started out as being Chryslers. All "Lexuses" are Toyotas in their own homeland, and in other countries. Mercedes' are Mercedes' everywhere.

    M
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    JBaumgart:

    Interesting question. Unfortunately, "none of the above" seem to apply right now. As a driving "enthusiast", I have yet to drive anything from the Japanese marques that impresses me. (Sedan-wise, since I'm not going to include the little Honda S2000 which I do hold in high regard compared to a nearly twice as expensive Boxster S). The Q45 clearly has the LS430 beat in this area, but it still isn't a 7 series, and nowhere near the AMG or Motorsport level. On the reliability front, I have been extremely pleased with the BMW 5-series (540i 6-speed and M5), but I know far too many friends and associates who have not had good experience recently with the E-class, S-class or 7-series.

    merc1, boo20, pablo, et al.

    You don't have to convince me of the value of heritage and automotive engineering excellence. Over the last 25 years, I've gone from an original BMW M1 to a 2002 M5 and in between had, amoung others, a 930 Turbo, 300SEL 6.3, and several other "heritage" cars.

    That said, I am not willing to overlook the basic reliability factor, especially when it comes to an everyday driver like the E, S or 7. These are not AMG or M supercars. I hope your consistent cheerleading for Mercedes and against Lexus is not to suggest satisfaction with mediocraty in this area. It clearly needs to be improved, if not for the next quarterly report to Wall Street, for longer term strategic competitiveness.

    I feel strongly about this. I took over controlling interest in a company several years ago at a time when most in the industry thought that we were "doing all right" in the area of customer satisfaction. After firing the senior managers who though we were "doing all right" and promoting those who had a desire to do better, we have gone from a market value of under $100 million to over $1 billion.

    I, for one, sincerely hope that Mercedes in particular does not waste away its heritage with delivering less than acceptable levels of customer satisfaction. The notion that, because Mercedes has lowered it's relative price points, a $50k+ E-class is allowed to be less relaible than a $20k Honda Accord, is completely unacceptable to me. And I hope to every Mercedes enthusiast and Daimler Chrysler executive out there.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    "All "Lexuses" are Toyotas in their own homeland, and in other countries."

    This statement is so misleading (and incorrect) that it warrants clarification.

    First of all, Lexus models have been sold in Europe for several years now. In fact, the SC 430 had a waiting list for quite a while in England.

    Second, and most important, Lexus models are not simply sold as Toyotas in Japan. Yes, they have "Toyota" spelled out on the trunk but that is a very misleading comment. You see, in Japan their culture is different than in the US. Toyota has such a powerful brand equity that Toyotas are not sold under different division names - it's not needed. It would be as if all GM cars were badged "GM." You would have a GM Cavalier on up to a GM STS.

    Knowing that there are different price points, Toyota has grouped certain cars together and sells them in one of many sales channels. So, go into the "upper" showroom and you'll find cars like the Celsior (LS 430), Aristo (GS) and Soarer (SC 430) - cars that are every bit as expensive as their Lexus counterparts in the US. These cars were developed as premium cars and are not marked up in the US. Go into another channel and you'll find the RAV 4 and Celica. These cars do not share the same channels and showrooms because they cater to different markets.

    All world markets are not the same. That is why Toyota needed to come up with a different brand name in the US, Europe and elsewhere. It's no different than Mercedes labeling its upper cars Maybach. Now that the Lexus name is established it will be incorporated into the upper sales channels in Japan. Lexus models here will be Lexus models there in just a few short years.
  • You can't have it both ways...Are you now saying that Lexus has NOT copied any of Mercedes Innovations? because if Lexus has they have made it better as evidenced by their dependability ratings.

    Surely you are not saying that Mercedes has never invented anything worth copying.

    Have I ever mentioned the Lexus LS430 engine It's emissions are so low that it passes all emissions standards in the world without the modifications that other cars require in the strict juristictions.... like California.
  • Mercedes are always $5-6k to $20-30k more expensive than a Lexus. It's not like Lexus CAN'T have an ABC or SBD system in their cars. At their price point in the market, it is not feasible. For $25k more, I better get a few more doodads in the Benz!
       NOT that a few doodads justify the HUGE price difference (though the Heritage does, to an extent). RadioShack-level Stereos/NAV, cheap cupholders, poor Manuals trannys, rough 4-cylinders, ugly hatchbacks definitely hurt the value quite a bit. With Benz it's six of one, half-dozen of the other.

      drfill
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    You wrote to Michael Mattox “you couldn't name a single thing that Mercedes invented or came out with first, etc. that Lexus later perfected” to which he has answered twice (including once before your post) but I’d like to rephrase:

    Suppose that EVERYTHING that Lexus has done was done first by MB. You have already admitted that Lexus is more reliable that MB. Why doesn’t that increase in reliability constitute the “improvement” or movement towards “perfection” that you asked about?
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    You wrote, “Mercedes' more complex "stuff" like SBC, ABC etc, Lexus has no answer for.”

    Are you still claiming ABC as a MB innovation? Back here (2nd paragraph) syswei "Lexus vs. Mercedes" May 27, 2003 10:16pm I pointed that Citroen was first (and perhaps did it better), to which you replied “every gearhead knows Citroen was first”.

    So, is Lexus a lesser brand because MB copied Citroen before Lexus got around to it?
  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    BMW year to date leads all luxury makes followed by mercedes, lexus, acura, volvo, infiniti, audi, jaguar, cadillac and saab. In that order. Also, BMW leads in Certified Pre-Owned Sales.
  • Would you mind posting your source with a link please.

    You have a reputation for being less then totally accurate on occasion.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Are you talking cars or total light vehicle sales (cars plus SUVs)?

    BTW, do you think leading in used sales is good or bad? Maybe it implies that people aren't that happy with their BMWs, and don't keep them for long?
  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    http://www.caranddriver.com/article.asp?section_id=30&article- _id=7247

    Here's one, but you can get this information all over the place. I'm surprised I haven't seen a post refuting this. Maybe, I'm right. I get sales figures for the entire industry every month. I'm in the business. Of course, I'm not right about everything so if anyone can correct me, I'm listening.
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    Geez, I go way for a few days and this place goes crazy. Many of the same old debates.

    Having a BMW salesman here is a nice touch. You can trust his "objectivity"....Yeah, right! I really love his gender characterization of cars. It should be noted that most of the M5's that I see here in L.A are driven by women. By contrast, most of the FX45's that I see are driven by men. The FX45 is also quicker and faster. That makes the M5 a sissy car. Yes, my tongue is a bit in my cheek, but this gender characterization of the RX330 by a guy who sells BMW cars for a living is a big laugh.

    Trying to decide who is an enthusiast by the marque that they drive. That is a good one! So, I have noted that most of the S class Mercedes at my club are driven by men in my father's age bracket (70's to mid 80's) These are auto enthusiasts? Yeah right. Some of them have a hard time finding their car in the parking lot.

    Certainly this board is filled by lots of auto enthusiasts. It seems that anybody who takes the time to participate here is very interested and enthusiastic about cars. So explain to me, why is the owner of a Lexus less of an enthusiast than a guy who has never owned any of these cars, but still bleeds Mercedes Benz blood? ... This fanaticism for MB, and dissing of Lexus, is going a bit overboard. This is getting really old. Maybe Merc and Boo need to find a Mercedes lap-dance some place.

    By the way, I really try to be objective. All of these cars have strong virtues and characteristics. I like BMW's (except for I drive, and some of their new styling trends). I also appreciate many of the fine cars of Mercedes Benz, and always have. And, I also appreciate the virtues of a Lexus. Meanwhile, I enjoy my XJR.

    Why do certain folks have to always try to be right?
  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    I'll be out in Irvine next month for the X3 ride and drive event and I'd love to hook up with one of these gals in a sissy M5. I do have a female M5 client. She traded a Z06 in on it and also drives a Harley. That's a little unusual here, but this is Peoria.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Couldn't agree with you more. It's also quite logical that the more expensive the car the older the demographic is likely to be in any car denomination that sells 10k cars or more a year. Many SL drivers I see are in their 50's and 60's who are now most probably empty nesters.

    BMWseller - tried to tell you the other day that people here would be hard pressed to take you seriously with that profile. Your put-down words serve to make it worse not better. Sales figures at this juncture are like the score of a tight baseball game in the 6th inning. They are not worthless but they are not worth much.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    The BMW #1 sales ranking you mention is artificially manufactured by lumping Mini into the BMW mix. Given that Mini is a separate brand/nameplate and runs only $17-20k, to be fair we would have to lump every Chrysler selling for $17k+ into the MB mix, and every Toyota selling for $17k+ into the Lexus mix, etc., etc. I rather doubt BMW would look so good then.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    "It's also quite logical that the more expensive the car the older the demographic is likely to be in any car denomination"...agreed...a little annecdote: my wife once remarked that the Ferrari drivers in town (and there are quite alot of them) seemed to all be balding.
  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    You like me, don't you? I can tell.

    Through sept. BMW has retailed 178,463 vehicles (NOT including mini). By the way, would you say that a mini is the equivalent of a neon? Most wouldn't. Mercedes 159,447 for the year.

    In addition, my e-mail address is posted so if you want to insult me, contact me directly as this forum is not make personal comments about the posters. Or, stop by some lot in the neighborhood and abuse some salesperson there. We all have thick skin. Maybe, the host should/could clarify this. I wouldn't get into any of my personal opinions about big fancy corporate types that arrange multi billion dollar buyouts.
  • Once again you are true to form...

    You ranked the top year to date sellers AS BMW, MERCEDES AND LEXUS.

    Using YOUR link here is the TRUTH of the matter.

    1) there is no Year to date figure given for Lexus
    2) TOTAL September sales for each are reported as follows:

       A) Lexus 18,944
       B) BMW 18,828
       c) Mercedes 17,234
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I didn't say anything negative about you. I said your profile in conjunction with negative put-down comments about your competing brands would not serve you well. I also said a few days back an Infiniti sales guy was so much more objective when he was on the board and as a result he was taken seriously. I made no comment about the mini or the neon as I have no interest whatsoever in either car. Sales figures are not final as yet so who cares at this point. More importantly - how are you going to sell your stats against that upcoming RX330 hybrid. 35mpg+ in an AWD suv with V-8 power. Sounds awesome to me. I hope Lexus production can meet the huge order demand that will surely exist for that vehicle.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    YTD Lexus has sold 186,009 units, the link is here: http://pressroom.toyota.com/photo_library/display_release.html?id- =20031001

    Lexus 186,009 YTD
    BMW 178,463 (per your post)
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Folks, that is enough with all of the personal comments.

    If you can't find a way to make your point without making snide comments at other posters, then you need to not post at all.

    Insulting others doesn't do anything to make your message more persuasive; the effect is just the opposite.

    I know that most of you are far better communicators than I'm seeing here lately.

    Let's all calm down, please.
  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    me wrong. You guys love it. I stand by my figures for the year to date and you would show contrary numbers if you could.

    My point here with the year to date figures is that even though the Bangle bashers, 5 haters and Z4 detractors are rampant on these boards the sales figures reflect a strong retail performance for the company across the board. Guys, I was the used car sales manager at a toyota-lexus franchise for a long time. I appreciate all sorts of vehicles. In fact, I can't get my wife to part with her RAV4 and I, personnaly prefer the performance and ride/drive experience of a BMW to a MB. I also think that MB has hurt their brand image on a corporate level.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Sales figures do not matter to what we are discussing here - we are here to talk about the things we admire about the marques, and the things we wish were different.

    Let's move on, please.
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