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High End Luxury Cars

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Comments

  • bernard1bernard1 Posts: 58
    Merc1 - Funny you should mention Audi. We are serioulsly considering the S8 but will probably wait another year for the body style to update and see what new innovations they release to compare with the 745i.

    IJFX - You make some good points as well. Lexus has performed their business plan well. I know that for awhile Lexus offered a European sport ride for their LS430, but have discontinued it as their customers didn't perfer that ride on a Lexus. I know we perfer that type of ride on our BMW and P-car, not our Lexus.

    The first to introduce a technical innovation or a safety innovation, I would have to give to MB and BMW. But not a day goes by that I wouldn't love to see MB, P-car and BMW have a stereo and a DVD nav system like Lexus.

    All of these marques have their good and bad points but have you ever asked someone who owns both a BMW /Lexus or a MB/Lexus which one they would give up? I believe most will say, neither one. I know, we wouldn't.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    I see you have the LX470. How do you like it? I have an 01 and I'm still amazed that a truck as massive as that rides like a luxury sedan. I also didn't hear that they stopped production on the euro sport package. Are you sure they did?

    By the way anyone reading the GS board where there is a discussion that just about all Lexus models are on the verge of redesign. My Lexus sales guy had told me the LS430 may get a complete redesign for 2004 but someone there is saying it will actually happen for 2003.
  • bernard1bernard1 Posts: 58
    Love our LX. Purchased new in 99 and haven't had any problems. Rides like a luxury sedan and makes it hard to go after a sedan. I looked at the LS430 but could not give up the LX for the LS. According to my Lexus dealer, demand was low for the European option so they discontinued it. He may be wrong, but I haven't seen it offered of late.

    It's Ok with me because when it comes to the sport ride, BMW wins hands down. I use the Lexus when comfort in paramount and the BMW for a large sporty vehicle and the Porsche is the sports car of the bunch.

    I haven't heard about the redsign for Lexus although I have heard about the new larger SUV. I have a feeling with the 745i taking the first major leap, MBZ, Audi and Lexus will be scrambling for something to compete with it.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well there probably won't be another S8 next year. The regular "A8" will debut first with the "S8" being a year or two down the line.

    The LS430 will NOT be redesigned for 2003. I think what's being confused here is the difference between a facelift and a redesign. The LS430 may get a facelift for 2003, more power, equipment, new front and rear ends, but no car of this class (or cars period) gets a total redesign in just 2 years, thats way too expensive even for Toyota.

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    I agree with you but I wouldn't rule out 2004 as a major change. I would think 2003 is a facelift possibility and 04 could be a follow through to 2003. Remember also Lexus needs to get some momentum in Europe. I also think that time periods for these re-designs will be shortening up. It's too competitive, too lucrative, and too profitable for it to be any other way with 3-5 players in the game - if VW is to be taken seriously. Audi is definitely in the group but not taken seriously in the US. I'll never understand what VW is doing, given it's position with Audi. If Infiniti ever hits it they could be added but I don't count them in as yet as they are a step below in buyer profiles.

    I think shortening the time frames is a natural business phenomena as only the strongest capital rich companies survive so you weed out the weaker players. They either go away or get acquired. I also think that the time period to re-design is more tied to units sold in such an enviroment. Lexus did sell 8,000 cars (33%) over what they projected in that first year.
  • bobbyknightbobbyknight Posts: 121
    When you sink 1.2 billion on the cost of a redesign like MB did with the E-class then it seems foolish to redesign a model every 3 or 4 years. Where is the return on investment?

    BTW, ABC is debuting on the next E-class, so tecnology does trickle down.
  • bernard1bernard1 Posts: 58
    You're probably right. Most buyers of high end cars don't expect them to change much over a 6 to 7 yr period of time.

    Merc1 - If the S8 will be 2 to 3 yrs away before a new body style, too bad. Audi's all wheel drive system, aluminum body/frame, and sport package with a new shell might finally give MB & BMW a run for there money in America. I know we are still considering one, but the 745i at this point is so far ahead, it's hard to wait for Audi to catch up.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    That's true....*somewhat*, but trust me I know that the LS430 won't be full redesigned until at least 2006. Not even Toyota could re-do the entire car from the ground up in just 2 years of being on the market, it simply doesn't make business sense. My postion on redo is that if a car is a great design it can last 5-7 years, look at the previous 7-Series and S-Class. To me it takes something away from the brand if they keep redoing their cars ever 3-4 years, like Honda used to do the Accord. To me that says the design wasn't any good in the first place if its out-done in just 4 years. I swear I could tell my life events by Honda Accords. I think Mercedes is replacing the CLK too soon. The E-Class (though I hate to see it go) is getting it's redo right in time, I always get watery eyed when an E is replaced, I really had trouble letting the W124 E-Class (1986-1995) go.

    Audi. They are taken very seriously in Europe, but you're right about the their U.S. situation. Part of this is Audi's own fault because they always hesitate when bringing their best cars here. The A8 didn't get here until 1997, though it came out in 1994. They wasted time with the A8L and S8. That may be changing because they're bringing the giant-killer RS6(!) here right after the Euro introduction.

    Infiniti. They're just seemingly lost. The Q45 doesn't fit, it's bigger and more powerful than anyone's mid-level cars, but can't match most bigger luxury cars. They touted the Q45 as a sports sedan, but it's really too large for that, then it's styling is not right to me. Now they have another car coming that will slot in between the I35 and the Q45, more confusion. They make some good cars, but not "great" ones. The only Infiniti I see that will be truly "hot" will be the FX45 crossover.

    bernard1,

    Well there will be a new A8 soon. I predict it will be introduced at the Paris show this fall and go on sale in the U.S. next spring as a 2004 model, with a new S8 a year later. I say if you like the style of the 745i go for it, nothing in this segment (right now) is more advanced, and the 745i reeks of quality and still delivers that BMW driving feel.

    M
  • jaijayjaijay Posts: 162
    Trussman, I was just visiting the diesel page and they had some discussion on the down shift problem that you have faced when towing your truck. Apparently someone fired off a tip that may solve your problem. I know this is out of topic but I know this the better way to reach you without starting another topic just for this purpose.

    Here is what they posted as a solution:

    "just a few comments I would like to add! at just about 2/3 of the way to full trottle is max power.the last 1/3 is to tell the trans to down shift.(APP)also if you turn on the cruise and set it to well below your driveing speed like 35 on the high way and drive with your foot at 75 it will almost never downshift!"

    Thanks to mark45678. Check out the topic "Allison shiftiness when towing" for the remainder of the discussion. However it seems that others have found this technique to work with success.

    Good luck.
  • v12powerv12power Posts: 174
    Would you mail me? brenth@wcta.net

    I would like to get in touch with Big Al.
  • wishnhigh1wishnhigh1 Posts: 363
    I never really aspire to drive a Mercedes, and really the only BMWs that float my boat are the M Coupe and the upcoming Z5. I do however love Audi, and would buy one(or two or three) in a second given the chance.

    I am calling you a troll because it is inpolite to go around to every single forum, even those that do not bring up mercedes, just so you can spout your drivel and meaningless opinion.

    Alfa Romeo, while making cars that are extremely fun to drive, have hardly been known for quality. In fact, I wouldnt be suprised if I saw Alfa Romeo down with Ford on JD Power surveys. I found it odd that you go and downplay Mercedes Benz for having "bad" quality(which is still in the top ten), yet you drive an Alfa.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    I've had a couple of tough days at work so maybe it's just me. But I don't have a clue as to what your last two posts mean. Which alfa owner knocked MB?
  • wishnhigh1wishnhigh1 Posts: 363
    it was just some guy who posted a dumb link about MB quality going downhill. It wasnt so much that he posted the link, but he did it about 15 times in different forums. I found it ironic that he was trashing MBs quality, but his profile said he drove an Alfa Romeo.
  • nealm1nealm1 Posts: 154
    Do you really think that a 440hp A6 is what Audi needs to compete more effectively with MB, BMW and Lexus? Seems to me that the great majority of buyers in this class wouldn't know or care about such a beast. Do you think AMG or S have anything more than a tiny incremental impact on sales at MB or Audi? BMW is another story, since the marque appeals predominantly to "enthusiasts" and therefore I suppose the existence of the M branding helps the image of BMW as a whole. But I would bet that if you interviewed 100 people visiting your local MB store, not more than one or two would even know what AMG is. If I were Audi, I would spend the time and money working on my atrocious dealer network and customer service. If they are to succeed in this market, THAT is what will do it.
  • bobbyknightbobbyknight Posts: 121
    The RS6 sure doesn't hurt matters. AMG, M, S-series go a long way towards their respective images. Would you rather MB just not bring the S55 or E55 overseas? What about the M5?

    P.S. Do you know anything about Audi's dealer network or customer service, or is it just an assumption? In the Chicagoland area at least, Audi has some of the most beautiful dealers I have ever seen. Much better than some of the local Acura, BMW, MB dealers
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    In my area of NJ the Audi dealership which also sells Range Rovers is as seedy as car dealerships can be. I couldn't wait to get out of it. The Lexus dealership's service garage is far superior and the Lexus dealership itself reeks of luxury and class. There are places you go into and the atmosphere almost dictates you buy something - the Lexus dealership here - and places you witdraw from ASAP - the Audi dealership here. Based on this and knowing other Lexus showrooms I've been in - I couldn't agree with you more.
  • bobbyknightbobbyknight Posts: 121
    You are basing your opinion on one Audi dealership. If I would do the same, I could say that the one of the local lexus dealers is seedy. The entire dealership attitude turned my mother away from buying an LS430.
  • bernard1bernard1 Posts: 58
    I think Audi needs to bring in the 440 hp A6 and an updated S8 if they are going to compete with BMW. These models are only up against the M's and AMG's. Technology will flow down to the standard A6's. Audi has to raise their image if they are going to compete with BMW, MB.

    Can't speak to their dealerships because my BMW dealer is also the Porsche and Audi Dealer.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    When I said, "based on this", I meant that Audi dealership. I've never seen a bad Lexus dealership so I also meant that. Several people in my office have Audi's and say very uncomplementary things about their dealerships as well. On the other hand, now that I think about it, there is a dealership in Manhattan, on Park ave. no less, that Audi took over from MB that is worldclass. But surburban dealerships I see in the NY area are not very inviting and I've heard the service departments are terrible. But in truth my only personal experience was the dealership I noted. On the day that I was there - a Saturday - I was one of two prospective buyers in a small very confining showroom. When I went to Lexus and MB that day the dealerships were teeming with people.
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