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Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I think Mercedes is probably mad that VW, by way of Bugatti, has 1000hp and they don't. Mercedes doesn't like to be outdone in the crazy German hp wars.

    Lol...true!

    M
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    Obviously, the buying/leasing public thought otherwise, pretty much rejecting their "built to out-perform" champion, the Infiniti M. And it can't be because of BMW's good leasing deals, because the leasing deals are pretty good for the Infiniti M also.

    The public has actually embraced the Infiniti M. Starting from scratch Infiniti built a car that will probably be the best selling non-German LPS. Even better considering that a few years back Infiniti was on the brink as a car company.

    German cars define the LPS market and have exceedingly strong brands and loyal followings - to expect another car (whatever brand) to come close to their sales figures is not realistic. Yes the BMW 5-series is the #1 seller in this segment but the reasons for their sales success are complex. Just because BMW sells more than Infiniti doesn't necessarily mean their car is "superior". There are many more factors the general public considers when purchasing a car, I'm just not sure how many BMW buyers ever move past the old-prestige and badge level. How many realistically considered other brands?

    17 months ago I compared the 530 and M35 and choose the M35. I have never regretted my decision and when ever I pull up to a 5 at a stop light I feel even better about my decision. But I know you feel the same about your 545 - so we're both winners!
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I drove the M35 before I decided on my (or, should I say BMW's BMW). One of my neighbors has one and one of my doctors has one too, and I always admire them when I see them (the cars).

    In 2 years when my lease is almost up, I plan to drive it again.

    It will be on my short list.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    German cars define the LPS market and have exceedingly strong brands and loyal followings - to expect another car (whatever brand) to come close to their sales figures is not realistic. Yes the BMW 5-series is the #1 seller in this segment but the reasons for their sales success are complex. Just because BMW sells more than Infiniti doesn't necessarily mean their car is "superior".

    Agree. Infiniti doesn't have BMW's dealer network, advertising budget, or prestigious badge, and they don't even come close to the BMW Group in sales. There's just no way they could move 5K Ms a month. The M already represents 20-25% of Infiniti's sales per month. In contrast, the GS is less than 10% for Lexus, and the RL is a measily 5% for Acura. Its doing very well.
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    Business Week (Aug 7) ran a cover story on "Best Global Brands". The main point is that a percentage of a company's revenue can be credited to "brand." Toyota is ranked #7 (among all corporations, not just car companies) in terms of "brand value". Mercedes is next (among car companies) with a rank of #10, followed by BMW at #15, but it had the largest brand value rating jump from 2005 to 2006.

    I think this supports comments which argue that part of BMW's 5-series sales success is simply that "BMW" evokes "brand quality" in the collective consciousness of consumers. It would be hard to substantiate that good sales of the 5-series prove that auto-consumers (unlike professional car critics) love the new Bangle design. It could, however, be used to argue that something about BMW overrides any (if there is any) ambivalence people might have about the new design.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    From C&D: "For 2007, the Acura TL line will sprout a Type-S boasting a more powerful engine and a sport-tuned suspension. According to The Boston Globe, power output grows to 286, a gain of 28 hp, and torque rises 23 lb-ft. to 256. Previously, Acura offered a TL A-spec handling and appearance package, although it offered no bump in power. While the A-spec was a dealer-installed kit, the Type-S is a factory-produced regular model."

    Obviously Acura feels threatened by the significantly more powerful IS350 and G35, but I think they are forgetting that those cars are RWD. The last thing the TL needs is more power. This car will probably make the 9-3 Viggen look like a gentle puppy by comparison.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    And the power increase is hardly worth all the effort IMO. Acura seems to really be losing it. The IS350 and G35 are still going to be faster and like you point out their power is going to the correct wheels.

    Here is where Acura's dependence on V6s and fwd platforms hurts them the most. The TL-S couldn't be any more powerful without AWD and if they add AWD to a TL, the RL would be rendered even more pointless than it already is.

    One good RWD platform specific to Acura and a V8 to be shared with the next NSX and RL would "fix" all of this IMO. However knowning Honda and the current gas prices hoopla Honda likely couldn't even bring themselves to do a V8 for anything besides a sports car.

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    One good RWD platform specific to Acura and a V8 to be shared with the next NSX and RL would "fix" all of this IMO. However knowning Honda and the current gas prices hoopla Honda likely couldn't even bring themselves to do a V8 for anything besides a sports car.

    I agree. Its rather strange that Honda is willing to give the S2000 a dedicated, RWD platform, but they wont do one for the Legend\RL, which is a much higher volume car.

    I think with the next TL, they should follow Audi's lead. Give the car SH-AWD so it can actually deal with the power, and then push the engine behind the front axle to give it proper weight distribution. Couple that with Honda's slick six-speed manual, and they could have a real 3 fighter on their hands.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Its rather strange that Honda is willing to give the S2000 a dedicated, RWD platform, but they wont do one for the Legend\RL, which is a much higher volume car.

    I've often wondered why they never built a small sports sedan and coupe from the S2000's platform. The TSX could have been such a car.

    M
  • bookedupbookedup Posts: 17
    I want to add a CD Changer to my 03 530i (Manual). The cheapest I can find it from a BMW dealer is $587 plus 5% state sales tax. This vehicle is pre-wired for an OEM changer and I have seen adds on the net to acquire it cheaper but am hesitant buying it on-line. The price looks more attractive but can I trust them? I worry about putting my money in a dark hole and never seeing it again. Additionally, I don't know who is on the other end of that phone line. I have concerns about credit card fraud. Any one able to advise?

    Thanx in advance,

    Rob
  • As one who spends thousands per year at a variety of sites, and have been doing so for years, I don't know where to begin.

    You do have to be careful -- but, you have to be careful when you hand your card to a server to pay for your dinner. You have to worry about so many areas in life these days -- you may get phished, you could have someone spy on your computer and on and on.

    All these concerns are real.

    Yet, it was only a couple of years ago that it was super simple to get your credit card number when the self-serve gas pumps printed out the whole CC number on the receipt.

    Web sites, generally, can be vetted -- you can set up an "e-wallet" with specific companies or with your credit card vendor for purchased you will make.

    The majors do have protection and financial fail safe's for you (Fraud Divisions) -- they are on your side and are usually 100% forgiving without question. Amex is very strong in being your advocate and your shield from fraud.

    If you buy "X" on line with most credit cards and you are in some way defrauded, your Credit Card company will don their Super Anti-fraud Suit and stand up for truth, justice, your credit card and the 'merican way, etc.

    This is not really the place for much more of this discussion, but billions of transactions happen via "e" commerce every year. Only a very tiny % of them go sour.

    This may not be sufficient assurance for you. I can understand that. My mother in law won't shop on line. My cousin won't even use an ATM.

    Takes all kinds.
  • bookedupbookedup Posts: 17
    Thanx Mark. I appreciate the prompt ant thorough response. I'll certainly consider it in making this call. Does anyone have any experience buying after market CD changers from other than a dealer? I don't want to pay an extra $200 dollars for something with an "official" BMW badge on it just to sit inside a closed compartment in my trunk,

    All responses appreciated,

    Rob
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    To Mark's good advice I'd like to add my recommendation that you avoid using debit cards for online or phone purchases. The consumer protection built into Federal law is more robust for credit card transactions than it is for debit card transactions. FWIW, I've been doing business online since the pre-Web GEnie, Prodigy & CompuServe days, & I've never had a problem.

    Please keep us posted on what you turn up. I'm interested because the trunk-mounted CD changer in my '01 330i died a couple of months ago. The head unit display reads "NO CD" when I try to play a disc, & I can't eject the cartridge from the player. After charging me $50 to look at it, my dealer asked me for another $285 to cover off-site repairs. I declined this offer, thinking that I could find a new unit for less money. I'd be even more interested in a solution that would let me play MP3-encoded CDs or allow me to jack my iPod directly into the car's sound system. (Right now, I'm using a cassette adapter to connect my iPod, but I'm not thrilled about the sound quality.) BMW offers an Apple-designed iPod interface, but only for cars built after 2001.

    Any ideas, folks?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I'd be even more interested in a solution that would let me play MP3-encoded CDs or allow me to jack my iPod directly into the car's sound system. (Right now, I'm using a cassette adapter to connect my iPod, but I'm not thrilled about the sound quality.) BMW offers an Apple-designed iPod interface, but only for cars built after 2001.

    One possibility is an FM modulated universal add-on CD changer. Sony has a 10-disc MP3 CD capable model that retails for $200. You could also try an FM modulator for your iPod, rather than the cassette. I don't recommend replacing your headunit. It would be cheaper to just have the dealer fix your CD player.

    http://www.crutchfield.com/S-dQy5skx4wun/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?g=610&I=158CDX565M-
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    I've always believed that brand plays a BIG part in consumer's buying decisions - this applies to all luxury goods not just LPS's. Many are very status conscious, so yes they will buy a BMW or MB over a non-German LPS purely because of the brand. In fact, many BMW or MB buyers never even considered the alternatives or acknowledge their existence. How could any other car possibly compete with their beloved brand?

    I was always amazed that when I was at the BMW and MB service departments (yes I've owned both) and talked to other owners (who were less than satisfied with their German engineering) about their future buying plans, that many of these same disgruntled customers were only considering replacing their vehicle with another BMW and/or MB. When I mentioned other alternatives, many didn't even know of their existence but even now they still were not going to actually consider any of them. And these were all very intelligent people.

    I don't have a problem with consumers choosing luxury products based primarily on their brand. Hell I plead guilty also. We are all making life style choices and what we drive makes a statement about who we are and how we want others to perceive us. I do have a problem with some who deny that brand was a factor. A majority of BMW owners choose the smaller engines with (god please don't strike me down) an automatic transmission. They really are not driving enthusiasts and their driving needs would probably be better served by an Accord or Camry - except for that German status thing. Are they really buying the ultimate driving machine or it's status?

    Curious about Toyota's brand. Of course they are marketing quality of design, MPG and reliability. They are not in the status realm. Because a majority of buyers can't afford luxury makes, Toyota's marketing is perfect for a company that may one day be the best selling brand in the world.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    Thanks for the suggestion, but I've tried FM modulators & found them wanting. Here in the NYC metro area, we have so many FM stations that it's impossible to find an unused frequency. Cassette adapters actually yield better sound.
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    For that amount of money, you can buy an iPod that will hold many thousands of songs more than a CD changer and purchase and have installed a little device that connects the iPod so that it plays through the Bimmer's radio. The connection can be installed in the glove box, if you wish to keep the iPod out of sight, or have the wire emerge from the center console (no drilling required) and keep the iPod handy. I use this solution and it works great.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Curious about Toyota's brand. Of course they are marketing quality of design, MPG and reliability. They are not in the status realm. Because a majority of buyers can't afford luxury makes, Toyota's marketing is perfect for a company that may one day be the best selling brand in the world.

    Exactly. Toyota knows that the vast majority of the auto buying public, at least in the US, are not driving enthusiasts. They have no idea how a car works, they just want things like simple controls, comfort, and reliability, which are all things Toyota does very well. Thats why the Camry managed to outsell the Dodge Ram last year. Things will only get better for Toyota as people who don't really need a big F-150 or Silverado stop buying them, and start going back to cars. Toyota will say, how 'bout a Camry?
  • I closed in on a new BMW 5 series, shiny black, but, hmmmm, something looked a little outta place on its rump.

    Holy cow, Batman!

    It was a new Camry.

    Now, don't go thinkin' this boy's never seen the new Camry and not at least had the inkling that it was a shameless copy of the BMW bustle-hind-end. But, as I was some distance away and it was on the exit ramp I was about to take, I didn't at first note the "T" on its bum.

    As if Toyota needs to sell more of these things, I would assume its shameless flattery division will certainly get some credit for the darn near rip off styling.

    Toyota MAY build great, wonderful, "I'm not worthy" cars for all I know -- but they are certainly unoriginal.

    I remember when I saw the 1986 Taurus and it was being advertised here in Cincinnapolis as the "American Audi 5000S."

    Sheeeeesh!
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Toyota MAY build great, wonderful, "I'm not worthy" cars for all I know -- but they are certainly unoriginal.

    I don't think anyone has ever praised Toyota for styling. The Calty studio did a great job with the SC400 back in '91, and since then.. well..
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