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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692
    Mark,

    Are there incentives on the STS? All I've seen is 5.9% financing.
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692
    If someone tried to predict real world sales from comments on this board, they would fail miserably. Big surprises, considering consensus opinion here:

    5, E, and STS are selling surprisingly well. Why is 5 selling so well??

    (I also think Lincoln LS sales are surprisingly high--jrock, do you have this?).

    More surprises: STS and GS selling better than M.

    No surprise: RL coming in last. Acura, however, must be shocked, shocked, especially after C&D included it in the 10 Best Cars in the World shortly after its introduction (but before the M and GS debuted).
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Is anyone really that surprised? If you ask around at most places of work, I would bet that only a small minority subscribe to any auto mag. I would bet that even fewer would know about web sites like Edmunds or the car connec...something.com.

    The average buyer has heard about Mercedes and Cadillacs all their life. During the 80's, BMW established such an image of being upwardly mobile that they are just as easily recognizable. I would bet that most people who buy a Jag like the look and the name, but don't care too much about performance (unless they shop for the R versions)--my wife is one; she loves the look of the S and I would have felt guilty not getting one if the rear seat had had more room.

    With Lexus being (relatively) much newer and Infiniti being just as new but out of the spotlight in recent years (until the G35, then the FX, and now the M). These are just below many people's radar.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,076
    Here in River City the newspapers are replete with $7,000 OFF of the new STS.

    Maybe that is a local incentive.
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    When I was in the Mercedes waiting room (fixing yet another problem with the car) I would chat with other customers (who had the same quality issues) and many wouldn't even consider looking at a Japanese car. Probably the same with BMW. Fact is that a BMW or MB owner will likely replace their car with another BMW or MB. Image is everything here.

    The M will do fine over time - it will probably increase sales just like the G which started out slowly but has increased in sales every year since. In order for Infiniti to compete with Lexus they need a winning Q45. The LS has been such a fine (and good selling) automobile - it carries the entire Lexus fleet. So even though many believe the G is superior to the ES and the M is superior to the GS - no one believes the Q is superior to the LS. Infiniti needs to win the flagship car competition and enjoy the spillover effect on their other models. Plus they need a catchy slogan. The "relentless pursuit of perfection" or the "ultimate driving machine" are ingrained in many minds here.

    The GS has a history of starting out strong and then fading away. There was such a pent up demand for the car (it was due last year) that sales will be strong for awhile. There was NO demand for the M so I'm pretty sure Infiniti is happy with their sales so far. Will be interesting to see how these sales figures change over the next year or two.
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    Incentives are not advertised on Cadillac's website for the STS.
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    Although obviously Honda would prefer to see RL sales higher, I'm not sure if they are shocked with their results so far. Compared to the previous model, RL sales are actually up nearly 200%. The fact that the previous RL was such a dog, and basically appealed to a very different customer base (retired, almost dead, or non-enthusiast), it will take a couple of years to regain their position alongside the elite.

    I think it's also more relevant to compare RL sales to the 6-cylinder versions of the M, GS, STS, and 5. That would still likely put the RL in last place (since something like 75% of luxury cars are sold with a 6-cylinder), but this car really doesn't compete with 8 cylinder models.

    Regardless, RL sales will likely end the model year somewhere between 15,000 and 16,000 sales, which I believe will be below their stated target of 20,000.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Oh I'm sure Infiniti is quite pleased. The new M sells more a month than the old M was doing in a year. If they can work the same magic with the FM platform into a new Q, and get the styling right, it will be like the spiritual successor to the original Q45, before Nissan started back pedaling and trying to compete with the LS400.

    While a majority of MB and BMW customers would probably thumb their noses at Japan, you can only punish your customers so much before they start leaving. I've known more than a few people who were stranded in Benz and BMW and traded them for reliable Acura and Lexus.

    Keep in mind that the G and ES are not really competitiors. The G competes with the IS300. Infiniti tried mostly in vain to compete with the ES with the '96 I30. Unfortunately they never realized that the ES is not a Camry with a fancy coat of paint, and thats always what the I was, which is what killed it. It most likely would've died anyway. The I30 was a product made during Infiniti's "lost years" where the company literally had no focus and couldnt decide what kind of cars to make, so they just put out barely modified Maximas and Pathfinders.

    Lexus is certainly well aware of the GS's tradition of being a flash in the pan. Thats why this time they are planning continual upgrades during several model years rather than leaving it alone for 8 years like last time.
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    Of the Asian imports, Infiniti is clearly the most pleasant surprise so far. Sales of the M are up big time over anything they previously sold in that segment, and combined with the ongoing success of the G, Nissan is definitely on a roll. Shows what you can do when you deliver the right goods, performance, and styling at a competitive price point.

    The M appears to be hitting the right niches, and most importantly, crossing over different segments. They are obviously appealing to younger customers who rate power and performance near the top, while also conquering older, more conservative customers with the non-sport versions of the M35 and M45. And delivering an AWD model that gives up little in terms of performance is allowing them to cover all the bases.

    The current issue of Motor Trend shows a rendering of the upcoming Infiniti CX35, which will go head-to-head with the RDX, Cadillac BRX, and Benz MLK in MY2008. Infiniti and Nissan are clearly on a roll.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    It looks like the luxury "cute-ute" market is exploding, then huh?
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    Acura Division sales rose 11.9% to a new April record of 19,102. April was the 2nd best month in Acura's 19-year history, and the 18th consecutive record-setting month of sales for the division as a whole.

    Acura year-to-date sales of 67,516 have risen 8.9% versus a year ago. Acura passenger car sales reached a new April record of 14,029 vehicles, up 15.8% for the month, and up 13.6% for the year.

    TSX marked its fifth consecutive record month with sales of 3,329 units, up 35.4% for the month and up 34.7% for year to date. TL sales reached 7,206, up 3.4%.

    April sales of the RL rose 153.2% (versus April 04) to 1,304 vehicles, while year-to-date sales of 5,463 are up 183.9%.

    MDX sales lifted Acura light truck sales to a new April record of 5,073 units, a rise of 2.4% versus year-ago results.

    Nonetheless, RL sales will likely fall short of the 20,000 target, even with sales likely picking up during the warmer summer months. It will be interesting to see if Acura rolls out an incentivized lease offer. You almost figure they have to.

    As an aside, American Honda sales (without Acura) are also up 13.9% over year-ago, and up 3.2% year-to-date.
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    I'm not so sure it will "explode," but clearly that is where the carmakers are putting many of their eggs. You almost have to wonder if the segment will end up getting too saturated, too soon.

    Many of these luxury "cute utes" and crossovers are mechanically related to more plebian versions (ex: RDX vs. CRV, RX vs. Highlander....), so you wonder if all of these marquees can sustain sales of luxury versions. But the R&D costs are minimal, so the downsides are probably not that great.

    The Infiniti CX35 is not supposed to bow until MY2008. That sounds like it will be 2 years behind the RDX?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I too am amazed at how well the 5-Series is doing. Those newly engined 525i and 530i models must be really doing their thing. The E-Class and 5-Series has swapped positions! Virtually unheard of.

    The RL has been caught out by its fellow Japanese competition and its 300hp V6 and awd isn't going to help it much.

    M
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,585
    Now back to our regularly scheduled program......

    "So between the S, the 7, the LS and the A8, where do the gang's best feelings reside? "

    Answer: A8 but shaken (leased), not stirred (bought).
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    None of this is really THAT surprising to me.

    5: The big seller is the 525i, accounting for 42% of 5 series sales. The new 3.0 215 hp engine is sufficient for most people. A well equipped 525i comes well under $50k, and with BMW's low lease rates, it's easy to see why this is popular. With the AWD versions just now being sold, I wouldn't be that surprised to see sales even increase.

    E: I suspect that the CLS and the GS is taking a bite out of its sales.

    STS: There are still quite a few people who want a big, roomy sedan in this segment that says "American luxury", and only the STS offers that. This is still the US, and still a lot of loyal Cadillac buyers out there.

    GS: For people who want luxury over sport, along with some prestige and reliability, this is the only choice. Plus the unparalleled dealer network.

    M: Doing pretty well in uncharted territory for Infiniti. The Infiniti name is its biggest drawback in this status conscious segment. Plus, it may be too sporty for a lot of the 40 and 50 year olds, who are the target buyers in this segment.

    RL: A very nice car, and at $45,000 street price, a good value. Its rather pedestrian look may turn off buyers who are looking for something that says "luxury". Just having one loaded V6 AWD variant is its biggest drawback in terms of sales.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I meant more in terms of compact luxury utes being the next big thing. The '98 RX300 started the midsize luxury x-over craze (I dont count the ML320 because even though it was out earlier, it wasn't unibody, and hence not an x-over), and this segment is still going strong, even with 9 or 10 players competing. Compact luxury utes though are relatively new. There's the X3, and nobody else really has anything yet. The B-class has been put on hiatus because of Mercedes money woes, but the three Japanese players at least will definitely respond.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Actually the B-Class isn't on hold because of money problem at Mercedes. It was put on hold for sale in the U.S. because of the Euro/Dollar situation. In other words they would have had to price it so high to make money that it wouldn't be competive. The B-Class itself isn't on any type of hold and will go on sale in Europe this summer. The Euro situation is the reason why the Audi A3 can run as much as 35K, pretty pricey for a hatch imo.

    Mercedes' actual entry in the compact luxury ute segment has been announced for prodution by 2008. The B-Class is like a crossover/hatch thing anyway.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    That is a very good perspective on sales.

    M
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    For the 2nd month in a row, GS sales increased by a lot, but the other Lexus sedans all had double digit increases. Lexus sedan sales barely budged, so many GS conquests were from within Lexus. You know how loyal Lexus customers are!

    Both M and G had solid increases, so their conquests had to come from outside.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,076
    April 2005 Sales (including Audi and noting increase or decrease from prior month)

    5 = 4,571 (increase)
    E = 3,731 (increase)
    STS = 3,541 (decrease)
    GS = 3,198 (decrease)
    M = 2,288 (increase)
    A6 = 1,635 (decrease)
    RL = 1,304 (decrease)

    March 2005 Sales

    5 = 3,949
    E = 3,608
    GS = 3,209
    STS = 2,954
    M = 2,253
    A6 = 1,681
    RL = 1,376
  • cohenfivecohenfive Posts: 85
    "Plus, it may be too sporty for a lot of the 40 and 50 year olds, who are the target buyers in this segment. "

    hey, i resemble that remark!!!! seriously i'm one of the guys in that age range who likes the feel and compromises that a real sports sedan brings. i drive an m5 currently but my wife and i went to see the new m's after they came out and was very impressed on all fronts. if i were in the market for a new car for myself the m45 sport would be at the top of my list. i've owned a bmw 5 series since 97 but just can't see the price premium any more...not with all the useful technology now being deployed by the japanese manufacturers...that being said, there's nothing to compare to the m5, but for me the new one will just be priced out of my range.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Thanks for the new info on the A6. Where did you find it?
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,076
    It was published by Audi of America. I just copied it and inserted it.

    I should add that Audi's overall YTD sales are down one half of one percent.

    The A6 sales are up, big time (year over year).

    Apr '04 - '05..........+38.7% (1,179 / 1,635 units)

    YTD '04 / YTD '05..+44.8% (3,998 / 5,789 units)

    I don't think I can post the URL, use dogpile or google. ;)
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Which website?

    BTW, I saw a polished black 2005 A6 sedan today pass by today. Gorgeous.
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    Do you know what the breakdown is for GS 300 vs. GS 430 and M35 vs. M45? Just wondering what percent of buyers are opting for the larger engine.

    Are these sales figures available on some web site or do you have to subscribe to some service?
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,076
    My Audi dealer has a fully tricked out A6 (BLACK) on their showroom floor -- front and rear spoiler, ground effects, tinted windows, special wheels, tail pipe extentions and fuzzy dice (oops, scratch the dice).

    I run hot and cold on it -- it looks striking at first, then it looks just a teeny weeny bit like a Pontiac Grand Am circa 1997 (plastic plastic everywhere and not a drop to drink?)
  • cheerioboy26cheerioboy26 Posts: 412
    Infiniti doesn't report sales breakouts within the model for the M and FX. Lexus does, however:

    GS300 2,657
    GS430 541
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Wow! It seems that the 5 series is one of the 2 big winners here, up almost 16%. Apparently CR couldn't talk the 5 series down.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Maybe CR isn't as influential in some respects as you believe it is.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,447
    I'm guessing that is mostly outgoing '05 models... No cash incentives, but great lease numbers on those last month.... I'm sure they were blowing them out..

    regards,
    kyfdx

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

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