Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Luxury Performance Sedans

1276277279281282335

Comments

  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    "The GS and M still get hammered by the 5 and E though."

    Infiniti car sales in the U.S. were down 12.4% through Sept, compared to first nine months of 2005. The only model with sales higher in 2006 is the M. However, third quarter (July+August+September) 2006 sales of the M ( 2,293+ 2120+1933=6346) were down 22% from third quarter 2005 ( 2,755+2623+2351=7729).

    Lexus passenger car sales in the U.S. were up 22.2% compared to the first nine months of 2005 (131,595 versus 107,246). Most of the increase, however, was the IS 250/350: (41,666 versus 4,261) an increase of 873.6%. GS 350 was down to 18,219 from 20,332 (a decrease of 10.8%). And the GS 430/450h was also down to 3,026 from 4,430 (a decrease of 32%).

    At the end of September, Mercedes-Benz USA reported its highest September on record with sales of 19,873 new vehicles, an increase of 13.2 percent over last September. This brought MBUSA's year-to-date sales to 177,001, a 13.3 percent increase over the same period in 2005. Sales volume September was led by the C-Class with 4,238 units and the E-Class with 4,112 units. Nonetheless, this represented a 9.5% decrease (September to September comparison) for the E-class, which has been down 6.3 compared to first nine months of 2005. And, during the third quarter of 2006, the E-Class sales have been down 16.7% as compared with third quarter 2005 (15,061 versus 12,546).

    People appear to be buying fewer LPS category cars as the year unfolds.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,294
    Interesting stuff.

    I analyze data for a living. It's nice to not have to gather & parse it myself.

    It appears that the great unwashed care not a whit for the abysmal Mercedes electric/electronic reliability stories. Or, maybe they've gotten better.

    Thanks
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    While 5-series sales were up for the first three-quarters from 36,261 in 2005 to 38,944 in 2006, nonetheless in the recent third quarter, even 5-Series sales were down 14% to 11,109 from 12,877 in the third quarter of 2005.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Infiniti car sales in the U.S. were down 12.4% through Sept, compared to first nine months of 2005. The only model with sales higher in 2006 is the M. However, third quarter (July+August+September) 2006 sales of the M ( 2,293+ 2120+1933=6346) were down 22% from third quarter 2005 ( 2,755+2623+2351=7729).

    Just about all of Infiniti's sales come from G, M, FX. The '06 G is EOL, and the FX is starting to showing its age. Infiniti should get a healthy boost for the '07 G35. The additional showroom traffic may also boost M sales.

    The IS is doing pretty well, it will be interesting to see if it can maintain these kinds of sales numbers and avoid the curse that has killed all of Lexus' previous performance cars after a few years on the market. It looks like the GS may be falling into the same trap for the 3rd time.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    How do you think the twinturbo of the 335i will fare in the 535i? In talking to my dealer, he was mentioning Spring for this option. I dunno how true that is, but the idea of a 535i appeals to me. It has more oomph than the 530, but without having to jump up in price to the 550.

    -Paul
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I absolutely think that a "lightly lifted" (from a sheet metal perspective) 535i 6-Speed Manual with the SP will be too good to pass up. I also suspect that others are thinking the same thing which, to me at least, explains the recent drop off in E60 sales. After all, why buy/lease a very competent 2007 530i now when as soon as next spring an ultra competent 535i can be had?

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    Audi of America sold 8,004 vehicles in September, a 1.9 percent increase compared to the same period a year ago. Audi sales are up 4.9 percent for the year.

    Audi was one of the luxury brands to improve its sales during the third quarter totaling 22,124 vehicles sold, one of the strongest quarters in the brand's U.S. history, with new markets on the rise in metropolitan markets such as Miami, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Dallas, where Audi hadn't sold much before. The brand appears to be, in general, slowly opening new markets outside the snowbelt, where most of its sales have traditionally been made.

    The A6 sold the same number (13,000) so far this year as it did in 2005, but, as with the other LPS cars, was down 18% in the third quarter, compared to third quarter 2005.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,294
    Thanks for the update.

    The bigger question in my mind is how you like your Audi, given the angst from your previous choice.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    I too would like to hear how things are going on...The Audi has a huge following in Miami , and has so for a fairly long time, as you personally see old and new all over the place....Here in Charleston S.C the brand is catching on, but it take time for a new dealership to get some traction...Tony
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    Audi (used to be?) one of the few companies that offered a warm-weather option package. It was neat in that it included laminated, heat reflecting side glass and front and back windshields, the (fairly common) motorized shades, and one kind of unique feature I'd not seen elsewhere - solar cells in the glass sunroof wired to activate the car's circulation fan to ventilate the vehicle. In the winter, it switched to trickle charging the battery. This could be a big plus in the hot parts of the country. Don't know if it is still available...haven't looked.
  • kgarykgary Posts: 180
    My 2005 has the solar sunroof and the motorized shades. I don't know about the glass in that I live in the northeast and the dealer did not mention it.
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    Just returned from a 2-week trip to Japan revolving around the annual meeting for the Research Council for Automotive Repairs. Spent a day with engineers and managers from Toyota, Nissan, Honda, and Mazda. Had a chance to discuss a wide range of topics. (Interestingly, Mitsubishi declined to attend, citing other priorities and challenges...perhaps deciding whether to stay in the US market.) Some quick takeaways....

    1. Toyota is on the way to world domination. Extremely impressive company, with a deep commitment to performance, safety, and innovation. They so outclassed the others that everyone was deferring to them on all the tough questions.

    2. Nissan a close 2nd, but they are more skewed toward performance. They showed some slides of the upcoming Skyline, but were also very guarded and declined to answer questions about that car. The focus of the meeting was on improving auto repair and safety, so we did discuss the safety innovations and repair enhancements that are coming on the next GT-R. From what I could see on the slides, the Skyline will look pretty much like the car shown in Tokyo. Not positive, but it looks like the car will have a blend of aluminum and high strength steel.

    3. Honda is doing well, but the RL (Legend) is also selling poorly in Japan. "Too high price" is what they said, but its also clear that in Japan, the Nissan Fuga (or Infiniti M) is easily outselling the RL. The domestic Fuga is a different car from the M....V6 only, with a 2.5GT leading the pack. You can also get it with fabric. The RL and Legend are identical worldwide, with the same SH-AWD and V6 drivetrain. Nissan has chosen to differentiate, and are winning, while Honda is offering the same car with similar slow results. I asked them if the next TL (which is not sold in Japan) will have SH-AWD. The guy smiled, but wouldn't answer. "Depends on price point" was what he said. Infiniti is coming to Japan by 2010, but I sense they're watching Lexus and Acura in 2008.

    4. Lexus is selling very slowly in Japan. Only the LS/GS/IS/convertible are sold there. The LS is very impressive. No SUVs, except what's sold under Toyota nameplate. Seems the truck-based SUV will fade away.

    5. The safety innovations in Japan are very impressive. They are building an entire infrastructure of on-road monitors and cameras to hard-wire integrated safety systems to reduce accidents. They seem serious about "eliminating accidents/casualties within 10 years." Since average speeds are much lower in Japan, it's doable over there. Many Japanese also install aftermarket navi and telematics, so that will help them mainline telematic safety systems.

    6. They are testing a variety of alternative fuels. Honda talked about their hydrogen cars, and how they will be available in 2-4 years on a mass market basis. They do NOT believe in ethanol. They are committed to developing fuels that are "not food-based." It makes sense that fuels should not compete with food production since that will inject volatility in food prices. All 4 companies will expand diesel options, so that should bode well for the US market. All are working on alternatives to fossil fuel and are acting like it's a matter of time/cost. I'd be concerned if I were Saudi Arabia.

    7. Reducing whiplash injuries will be a major focus in the next generation of cars. Active head restraints combined with increasingly sophisticated (active/passive)mitigation systems can be expected. Toyota is several steps ahead, perhaps witnessed by what's already available on the current Lexus lineup. Seems we can expect more of this, at least in the Japanese market. Some of this will trickle into US and European markets.

    8. The manual transmission is undergoing a slow death in Japan also. Very sad to see this, but it's inevitable. Even their smallest cars are almost all slushboxes now. They're more efficient and deliver better fuel economy.

    9. Finally, the sushi is incredible over there. And the beers rival what I had in Germany. But the steaks still rule in Chicago. =)
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    "The bigger question in my mind is how you like your Audi, given the angst from your previous choice."

    cdpinhead, thanks for asking about that. I like the A6 3.2 Quattro S-Line very much. Two months and 2500 miles post-purchase, I find it a pleasure to look at, and engaging and enlivening to drive. The road-hugging ability of quattro still astonishes me.

    The interior was my favorite when I was trying out different cars and still feels like being in a personal room you might have in a home and which you always feel is just right.

    The engine (to which the transmission keeps the driver in intimate relationship) is a delightful piece of engineering. The drivetrain and suspension provide a tight, confidence-enhancing drive, quiet without being insulating from the road, and very smooth.

    All that, and, even with engine still breaking itself in, I've averaged 21-22 mpg in commuting and city driving, up to 24 mpg when I've driven a long stretch on open highway.

    Happy ending to story that, as you are recalling, started out like a Lemony Snicket novel.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Nissan a close 2nd, but they are more skewed toward performance.

    Close 3rd, actually. They just lost their number 2 spot to Honda. Other than the Legend, Honda is seeing healthy gains while Nissan is in for more declines, both here and in Japan. The GT-R is great, but what else do they have?

    Reducing whiplash injuries will be a major focus in the next generation of cars. Active head restraints combined with increasingly sophisticated (active/passive)mitigation systems can be expected. Toyota is several steps ahead, perhaps witnessed by what's already available on the current Lexus lineup. Seems we can expect more of this, at least in the Japanese market. Some of this will trickle into US and European markets.

    Its nice to see Japan finally get serious about this issue. Japanese cars usually get less than impressive scores in IIHS and Euro-NCAP head restraint tests. Better than the domestics, but thats not saying much. Its certainly taken them long enough.
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    Based on the time of this email, I suppose you can conclude that I'm not yet adjusted to the time change. Brutal.

    Nissan and Honda are different companies, philosophically. The former relies much more on cars/trucks, while a large part of Honda's presentation dealt with active and passive motorcycle safety, developing a new "family" of robots and dummies resembling humans, and comprehensive safety systems in ALL of their models. It's fascinating how different these companies are, yet they also work together and cooperate toward truly joint solutions. So different from US society and how we run our companies.

    Honda's focus is on smaller powerplants with fewer cylinders/higher RPM, with cars like the Fit being a huge success. Nissan has larger displacement models (Crown, Laurel, Gloria, etc.) with higher HP/torque. You're right that the GT-R is their halo car, but they have more models with large powerplants (I assume off the VQ architecture). Hence, my shaky description that they skew to a performance philosophy.

    Mazda talked about rotaries and innovative designs (RX7, 8, and Miata), and they showed some interesting small cars not sold in the U.S. They see themselves as more of a boutique brand. They are also concerned about the state of Ford, given their significant alliance.

    The Japanese engineers spent a lot of time defending themselves on the head restraints by suggesting that their solutions are more integrated with a "geek" factor--laser guided collision avoidance (front and rear), different versions of head-up displays and night vision technology, computer-controlled warning systems and stability control, in-car monitoring of the driver, creating ambience that keeps drivers awake, external traffic control/pedestrian identification monitoring (little bit Big Brother, but it all makes sense), real time in-car messaging about accident avoidance, better tires (ie: no inflation?), designing safety while reducing front/rear overhangs, etc. Just a grab bag of cool stuff. But at the end, they also conceded that head restraints will improve, and that the ultimate safety solutions will have to be balanced with what consumers are willing to pay, along with recognizing styling considerations.

    I asked them if Mitsubishi and Suzuki will remain in the US mkt, and they were uncomfortable answering it. But the big 4 clearly understand that the smaller 2 are in a precarious position, especially Mitsubishi Motors.

    And acceptance that the Koreans and Chinese will have a major impact in the next 2 decades. Likely at the expense of US and European companies.

    They also had a bunch of older cars on display. I had not seen a Toyota 2000GT up close and in person before. Just like the one in "You Only Live Twice." I even got to sit in it, although I didn't fit. Very cool.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I asked them if Mitsubishi and Suzuki will remain in the US mkt, and they were uncomfortable answering it. But the big 4 clearly understand that the smaller 2 are in a precarious position, especially Mitsubishi Motors.

    I didn't think Suzuki was in bad shape, at least not enough for them to consider leaving the US market. I don't know anything about how profitable (or unprofitable) they are, but I'm pretty sure Suzuki sales are up, unlike Mitsubishi's. Isuzu is the one whose place in this market is literally hanging by a thread. Were they even mentioned?

    And acceptance that the Koreans and Chinese will have a major impact in the next 2 decades. Likely at the expense of US and European companies.

    Korean and Chinese cars will most likely be much more of a threat to Japan in Europe, where they have a much smaller market share, than here in the US. Europe already has multiple Korean companies competing rather than just one, and they are supposed to get Chinese cars much earlier than we are.

    They also had a bunch of older cars on display. I had not seen a Toyota 2000GT up close and in person before. Just like the one in "You Only Live Twice." I even got to sit in it, although I didn't fit. Very cool.

    Now I'm jealous! :) The 2000GT is a very cool car, arguably the only Japanese "collector car" there is and may ever be.
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    Oops, the Crown is a Toyota, not a Nissan. I think I meant to say Cima, but the names are all different over there anyway. Nissan has comparatively more V6 "muscle" cars than Honda...that much was clear. Somewhere in this mix is a Q45 replacement, but Nissan didn't talk about it. (They sure could have, since Toyota spent much time showcasing the LS.)

    They did talk about the Fairlady/350Z/Infiniti G coupe. No pictures of unreleased iterations, but this platform is a global success and may be more of a performance halo car than the expensive GT-R.
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    I think Suzuki does okay because they sell a lot of motorcycles. I don't know how profitable they are either, and decided to ask it as a shot in the dark. Mitsubishi is a global conglomerate, so they're likely in decent shape overall, but their car line is weak even in Japan. Good thing they have insurance, banking, shipping, heavy industries, etc.

    Isuzu wasn't discussed at all. To be honest, I saw very few Isuzu's in Japan, other than commercial trucks. Aren't they a partner with Subaru/Fuji Industries? There were lots of Subarus in Japan, with more focus on high performance and less on LL Bean. They seem to have carved out a "Japanese Audi" niche with lots of cool wagons.

    I was shocked they even let me touch the 2000GT. White with black interior. But it was tiny inside.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Nissan has comparatively more V6 "muscle" cars than Honda...that much was clear. Somewhere in this mix is a Q45 replacement, but Nissan didn't talk about it. (They sure could have, since Toyota spent much time showcasing the LS.)

    That does make sense, Nissan's signature engine is a V6 and they've had a 3.5L 250hp+ version of it since 2002. The old Legend\RL 3.5L dates back much further than that, but it never had much power considering its size. Honda has only just recently pushed into the 280hp+ level with their V6s, other than in the NSX of course.

    I'm not really surprised there was no information about the next Q. The Japanese auto companies are very good at keeping secrets, I get the feeling that "leaked" info gets out because they've let it out on purpose. The redesigned Lexus SC and the new JX are due around the same time, but you'll notice there's pretty much zero info on them as well.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Isuzu wasn't discussed at all. To be honest, I saw very few Isuzu's in Japan, other than commercial trucks. Aren't they a partner with Subaru/Fuji Industries? There were lots of Subarus in Japan, with more focus on high performance and less on LL Bean. They seem to have carved out a "Japanese Audi" niche with lots of cool wagons.

    Some sort of cooperation may have been happening when Isuzu and Subaru were both under the GM umbrella. They never shared any platforms or engines that I know of. The only thing Isuzu has left in the US market is a rebadge of the Colorado\Canyon.

    Its annoying that Subaru still refuses to bring most of their performance models to the US market. Our Legacy "Spec.B" is a very watered down version of what they have there, same thing with the WRX STi. The new Evo IX FQ360 is capable of chasing a 911 Turbo on a track, but we get none of the hot versions of that car as well.
  • reality2reality2 Posts: 303
    Yes, the solar sunroof (or solar cells located in the sunroof) is a great option that Audi has. I have it on my two Audis here in California and it makes a nice difference in the summer especially. I am not sure anyone else offers this option. I order it specifically when I get a new Audi because I like the "coolness" of the feature.
  • reality2reality2 Posts: 303
    Same in LA. Penske is openning a new Audi dealersip, a new Audi Forum is planned for West Los Angeles, and majority of Audi dealerships now have the new hanger look with more on the way including two mega-store Audi dealerships to be built in Pasadena and the San Fernando Valley similar to the one just openned in London with the airport termninal two-story look (includes Santa Monica). Look forward to all the toys coming.
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    Acura RL - 987
    Audi A6 - 844
    BMW 5-Series - 4,398
    Infiniti M - 1,986
    Lexus GS - 1,997

    Don't know MB or Caddy
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Audi A6 - 844

    Ouch! What happened to Audi this last month? I thought they were done losing to the RL.
  • Audi A6 Year-to-date sales = 14,149 (sold 14,682 in 2005)
    Acura RL Year-to-date sales = 10,068 (down 33% from 2005)

    A6 appears to be done losing to the RL.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Don't know MB or Caddy

    E-Class - 4,895
    STS - (couldn't find this one yet)
    S-Type - 314

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Found it, the STS sold 1,573 for October 2006, a 10 percent drop from Oct 2005.

    Source

    A little off topic, but GM really does give a lot of information on their corporate site. I didn't know the Corvette sold as well as it does, they're on track to sell like 36K of them this year! Not sure what is going on with Saab, but their sales were up 98 percent(!) for Oct 06' compared to Oct 05'. It looks there are no Oldsmobiles anywhere in a America at this point, they're finally dead! The old-school Caddy DTS is still Cadillac's best selling model.

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Not sure what is going on with Saab, but their sales were up 98 percent(!) for Oct 06' compared to Oct 05'.

    Must be that new 2.8L turbo V6 for the 9-3. I can't imagine that the facelift they gave to the geriatric 9-5 is fooling anybody, at least not the kind of people who buy Saabs. The 9-2X was a dud, and if the 9-7X had any initial success, the party must surely be over by now.
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    The RL and Legend are identical worldwide, with the same SH-AWD and V6 drivetrain. Nissan has chosen to differentiate, and are winning, while Honda is offering the same car with similar slow results.

    Because of SH-AWD weight, RL is already sluggish with the big 3.5 engine. A smaller engine for Japan wouldn't do, plus Honda's engines tend to be low on torque. Lack of torque and excess weight is not good combination. Those are two of the problems RL has.

    What Audi does is offer FWD/AWD on all its cars. I think A6's in USA are all AWD, but can be FWD in other countries. Acura might consider doing the same thing.
Sign In or Register to comment.