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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • Saw an article sitting in my dentists office Tuesday that had Mecedes rated number 1 of 35 based on "Perceived Prestige" of ownership versus being 32nd out of 35 for "customer satisfaction". Those charts had it behind Daewoos and Isuzus and Chevys etc. Some of those cars don't cost $15k IN TOTAL!!!

    #32nd worst out of 35 for Mercedes. Three more spots to plummet and they can "grab the magic ring".
    The article should be posted on the desk of every person in that company to see if maybe they could get anybody to care and to treat a customer right.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I do believe I would have to argue with you on categorizing BMW owners as "generally younger."
  • karmikankarmikan Posts: 116
    My one experience with Mercedes was when I was in the market for my current car. I shopped the E320, A6 & 530i.

    The Mercedes dealership didn't give me a positive feeling - arrogance reigned, product knowledge was not impressive and when I discussed "dealing" the salesman looked at me as if I was a chimp reciting Shakespeare. I had a negative opinion before I drove the car.
    The Audi dealership was much more knowledgeable but there was a slight sense of "take it or leave it"
    The BMW dealership represented THE best car-buying experience I've ever had (much to my surprise). A "car person" sales lady who drove me to an empty parking lot to put the car through its paces as a demonstration before my test drive (man, could she drive!). They were willing to deal and gave me fair value for my trade first attempt. No silly stuff at all.

    I owned a Passat at the time and mentioned my experience on the VW board. The responses from others with similar stories suggested that the issues are more corporate than dealer-specific. This seems to confirm many of the previous posts on this board.
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    Lexus projected they would sell 33,000 (2,750 per month) GSs per year.

    Infiniti projected they would sell 24,000 (2,000 per month) Ms per year.

    So far both are exceeding their projections. If you follow my posts in the Infiniti M forum then you know that I think Infiniti could sell more Ms if they shipped some more over - inventories are lean. If you are looking for a particular color and options you are likely waiting for (or ordering) the car. Don't know about Lexus' inventory.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Perhaps there has been a bit of a shift in the way BMW dealerships operate? Mark also mentioned a very positive experience buying the X3. I remember them being more like the Mercedes experience you were talking about.
  • cmybimmergocmybimmergo Posts: 265
    I think it's a complete crapshoot. I don't patronize the BMW dealer five miles down the road because they treated me like dirt--actually told me to take my business elsewhere if I didn't like their lousy treatment--and in fact, their lousy reputation is well known around here, but I have several acquaintances who have had only positive experiences with them. I take my car to the dealer on the other side of the county because they treat me with respect. But they don't wash or vacuum my car after service, and they charged me to flash my car because I didn't buy it from them and there "wasn't anything wrong with it." Oh, and loaners are obtained from Enterprise, which means Corollas or Grand Ams or something equivalent. Lexus they ain't.
  • bw45sportbw45sport Posts: 151
    and when I discussed "dealing" the salesman looked at me as if I was a chimp reciting Shakespeare

    Because they've never really had to deal. Back in the good ole days some dealers had a preset portion of what was a much larger markup that they would offer as a discount. If you didn't like it you could leave because they had no problems selling their inventories. Until about five years ago, most dealership's allocations were far smaller than what they could have sold. They will deal now but don't expect the normal haggling process you find with other makes.

    Although it always seemed as if you were being "held up" by their pricing, they actually protected their customers to a degree because no heavily discounted cars were getting out to cause fallout on the resale side. Combined with longish product cycles Mercedes was always a resale leader.
  • bw45sportbw45sport Posts: 151
    Saw an article sitting in my dentists office Tuesday that had Mercedes rated number 1 of 35 based on "Perceived Prestige" of ownership versus being 32nd out of 35 for "customer satisfaction".

    Not terribly surprising Mercedesstinks.

    While Mercedes reputation for quality has deservedly taken a tremendous hit I believe that most people still perceive it to be a very prestigious brand. I would venture to guess that in random surveys taken today the most frequently mentioned brand would still be Mercedes if asked "name a prestigious luxury automobile". The interesting angle would be to see what would happen if you surveyed only those who were able to afford the cars.

    There was a day Mercedesstinks where they were not only considered prestigious but were actually great cars too.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Interesting. I havent been by BMW lately, mostly because I dont like any of their post Bangle cars. I've always been happy with the service at my Lexus dealer, but they definitely arent even in league with Infiniti (let alone the germans) when it comes to being "car people". I think thats partly why Lexus had trouble with the original IS300, they didnt know quite what to do with it or how to sell it.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I think it is way too broad of a generalzation to judge a whole auto company by an experience at a particular dealer. Obviously they aren't treating everyone the same, otherwise they wouldn't sell anything. There are many who don't seem to have a problem with an MB dealership or a BMW one. All luxury car dealers have a snob factor, the only difference being where they think you fit in once you enter the showroom.

    M
  • cmybimmergocmybimmergo Posts: 265
    I agree. When I bought my ES, it was all about the ride and safety; nothing about driving experience. But at the time, that's what I needed: a safe car with a real back seat for the two car seats. And a hint of sportiness (my previous cars were a '68 Mustang [289...I still miss it] and '77 and '82 Celica hatchbacks [I don't miss the 82]). Back then, the ES was billed as a sports sedan, but I would more accurately call it a sporty sedan. I don't think anyone still makes the mistake of labeling the ES sporty.

    Coming up with (and selling) a 3 series wannabe had to be a foreign concept to a company that is all about luxury and customer satisfaction. (Remember the Lexus commercial where the car is negotiating a curvy two lane road while the narrator says something about the nice quiet ride, and if you want to feel the road...and the car stops, the door opens, and the driver's hand reaches down to touch the pavement?)
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I'm afraid I dont remember that one specifically. The farthest back Lexus TV ad I can recall is the '98 GS400 commercial "something wicked". Lexus' strengths have always been top rated reliability, luxury, and comfort, and thats what still defines the brand. The ES and RX are their core models, and they are still as reliably boring and comfortable as ever. Their newer commercials prior to the '06 GS were about the SC's trick roof and the LS's quietness. No mention of actually driving the car in either.

    The IS300 really wasnt even a 3 series wannable, I think thats what the new 250 and 350 are. The original was an extry sports sedan with a luxury badge on it, but there was really very little in the way of luxury about it. Creature comforts were no where close to what was in a 330i, A4 2.8, or C320 sport. Lexus wanted to create the "anti-Lexus" with the IS300, and they did, but thats not what they need to succeed. You want to keep people coming back to your brand as they move up the corporate ladder and want bigger cars. Most of the IS300 owners on Edmunds cant stand anything else the company makes, so they would most likely move on to a 5 series once they out grow the IS. The new IS at least looks the part of a proper Lexus, but it remains to be seen if the actual driving will be a letdown like the GS.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I am a BMW owner who drove the GS 430. It handled great. Excellent steering. Took the curves very well. Please elaborate on the actual driving of the GS being a "letdown."
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    I can only speak with authority on the 2 BMW dealerships I've used (Westchester BMW in NY and Westmont BMW here in IL), and both were very good from a customer service standpoint. My most recent experience was about 2 weeks ago at Westmont BMW, and my salesperson was great. Low pressure, very knowlegeable. He either remembered or took notes when I bought my 545 a year ago that I got married on New Year's Eve last year, what kind of dogs we have, where I moved to IL from, and what both my wife and I do for a living. It was pretty impressive. My salesperson at Westchester BMW was great as well. I don't think that all BMW dealerships could possibly be good, but obviously a lot are good. I will say that Westmont BMW is better than their partner company Westmont Mercedes. All the salesperson there could seem to manage about the new ML is "We're all wondering where this great car came from!" and similar salesy tag lines. Plus they were out of brochures for the car which is pretty lame. I wouldn't say they are a bad dealership, but not as good as the BMW branch of the company. The Audi branch (all three are owned by AutoNation) was pretty good though. If I had to rank the three in terms of how I felt in the dealerships it would be BMW, Audi, Mercedes.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    I remember that commercial of the guy touching the road. :P I have no idea what the "something wicked" commercial is. I have seen it referenced countless times, as lexusguy just did, but no one has ever described what the heck the commercial is about. :confuse:

    Does anyone care to enlighten me on what that commercial was? The only GS commercial I remember is the one with the guy driving down the road and they are showing an Xray type image of his body, and he hits the gas and his eyes fall back against his brain. That one was pretty clever. :shades:
  • cmybimmergocmybimmergo Posts: 265
    I vaguely remember something...wasn't it a play on the phrase "something wicked this way comes" (Stephen King)? Wicked, in this case, meaning very good (wicked good). Or maybe I'm delerious.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    "Something Wicked This Way Comes" is a classic Ray Bradbury. I heartily recommend it. I believe the ad was a take-off of the not-up-to-the-book movie. The story is about a travelling circus with very sinister undertones (Wicked with a capital "W"). If I remember correctly, the ad was almost film-noir-like with very dark sets and an approaching storm. Picture a desolate landscape with a winding road, mountains and stormclouds in the background, and approaching headlights.
  • cmybimmergocmybimmergo Posts: 265
    Wow. My bad. I read that book, too. You'd think I could remember the author, especially since I read everything Ray Bradbury wrote. (Of course, that was back in high school, when dinosaurs still ruled the earth.)
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,048
    You mean they don't still rule the earth?
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    The original source of the line is act IV, scene 1 of Macbeth:

    By the pricking of my thumbs,
    Something wicked this way comes.
    Open, locks,
    Whoever knocks!


    Only later was it adopted as the title of the Bradbury book.
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