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High End Luxury Cars



  • footiefootie Posts: 636

    I don't know what the '.035 spread' you refer to means.

    Here's my math on a hypothetical example.

    The residual % is applied to the MSRP in most leases.

    In the case of a 65K Lexus LS430 (well equipped but not maxed) that 56% would be $36.4K. Depreciation would be $28.6.

    A comparable S430 would be MSRP'd around $78K (I think)

    So it would have a residual of $42,120 and depreciation of $35,880.

    Independent of money factors, depreciation on the Benz would be $208 / month higher over 36 months.

    If you do the math on the money factors and assume cap cost at MSRP deals for both cars ( not likely, particularly in the case of the Lex ), the net lease difference favors the Lex by $316 / month pre tax - about $11.3K lower than the Benz.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I see we still have some counting Mercedes' 4th place in the sales race as one of the many problems they have, despite them having the most expensive cars out of all the "mainstream" luxury car makers. But no, this doesn't make a difference, people will do whatever they can to get the cash to buy more Benzes to make then #1 in sales because of prestige, nevermind they'll have to sleep in their brand new shiny S-Class because they truly couldn't afford it in the first place. I guess it will take a JDP or CR report of some type for reality to be more understandable.


    You do realize that Lexus cars never, ever have any type of problems and to suggest such is ridiculous.


    I'm not sure where or who you got that from, about price being the ONLY factor, I stated that it is one of many, probably a leading one, not the only one. I see no one here suggesting that it is.

  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    In an in-depth news story in yesterday's NY Times Jergen Schremp stated the reasons for the merger/acquisition (let the courts decide what it was) with Chrys;er. He pretty much said the MB business model was not sustainable long-term. The cost to deploy new technologies, and the quickening pace of new model development for both established lines and new lines were too costly for MB to maintain its profit margins because it sold only 800,000-1,000,000 cars a year. Thus he needed to spread these costs across many millions of cars the way the larger mass producers do. He mentioned the entrance of Toyota, Honda and Nissan into the space as cause for concern. Interestingly he didn't mention BMW (at least not that I saw - it was a long story and I didn't read all of it) and talked about Audi as if they were only about to enter the luxury space. Translation - more and more cross sharing of platforms and parts and luxury equipment is a must. I've always said it was pure business common sense to understand this deal. The success of the Japanese transcended the lux cars across the whole spectrum and resulted in a lower unit production cost for luxury vehicles that has forever changed the luxury landscape. It's not a cast system anymore. The brands need to spread costs amongst non-luxury models to maintain profits and higher margins. This is not me talking but the CEO of Mercedes stating why the Chrysler deal was a necessity.

    I do think BMW has to make a move soon. It seems logical that they do something with GM but GM also has a deep relationshio with Toyota. We'll see.

    Hey - we've been at this another year. I enjoy it despite our difference of opinions. Have a great (and safe) holiday.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Well, MBA logic in hand, unless you show a path to double digit growth you shouldn't be in business. Germany on the other hand is full of semi-private companies that don't grow all that much and yet still manage to be international benchmarks. BMW has grown through its spurts and stumbles, and will continue to do so as long as the Quandt family hold the majority. Porsche is another example of a company that doesn't necessarily have to produce millions of cars to be a player (albeit even they can't afford to be merely a sports-coupe play to be "viable").

    I think being a slave to growth is a disease. Some companies cna be managed to be extremely healthy without much growth.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    The feeling I got reading this story was that it wasn't a deal done for growth. It was about maintaining current margins long-term and about survival. Clearly he sees Cadillac and GM coming back and Ford has revitalized Jaguar. Nissan is on an upswing and Honda has gotten stronger. Toyota is super-strong and probably one he fears greatly. He is playing a master game of chess and you don't win or stay competitive if you play too conservative. The man said his profit margins were not sustainable without this merger. That is saying alot.

    But having my own business with two other partners - which I am spending more and more time with - I know exactly what you mean. I don't have to make our financials public and we have a well positioned business with a great niche and excellent profits. If they decline 5-10% I don't have to explain it to anyone and we are still very healthy. But Im also playing under the radar screen of the big guys in our industry. I don't think BMW is anymore whereas Porsche and others still are.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well I don't doubt that Mercedes needed to spread costs out over a broader base, after all Mercedes has been at the forefront of new technology and innovation since, well since forever, so I agree with that. Toyota and GM are the ones that should be feared, they have the biggest pockets, though GM is still years behind in overall luxury car execution compared to Toyota. I guess I'm not as worried about GM because while they are selling a lot of cars and trucks they still have to use a pile of incentives to do so, Toyota doesn't. Cadillac's comeback will have run it's course in a 2-3 more years, and then what will be the question.

    My problem Daimler-Benz is that they picked one of the weakest companies around to merge with or takeover (let the court decide which). Daimler-Benz was in great shape before 1998. I still want to believe they could have made it with Smart and maybe one other brand to spread costs out over, not needing the entire Chrysler group of troubled brands. I just don't see this merger working. It's going to kill Mercedes-Benz the day they attempt to sell a co-engineered platform under a Mercedes-Benz product.

    Now BMW and Porsche are the just about the last two remaining "independent" smaller car companies on earth, along with Honda. I'm wondering how BMW stays in such great shape yet their "business model" is very similar to Mercedes'. Porsche saved themselves for a while longer with the Cayenne. I don't see BMW ever doing anything with GM, it will surely be the passing of BMW if that ever happens. GM is about the most clueless company around when it comes to managing their foreign brands. They're already using Chevys and Subarus for future Saab products. Better to let BMW die before something like that happens, and Saab too for that matter. Yes I believe in protecting brand uniqueness just that strongly. I see Porsche being bought up by DCX, but under the control of their across-the-street neighbor, Mercedes-Benz, now that would be some union. I want Chrysler to be spun off before its too late. Something tells me that this will happen if the next big round of new Chrysler doesn't change things. Mercedes-Benz can't continue to support all of DCX.

    Audi's model is so similar to the Japanese one so they're probably in the best postion. The have all of VW, which sells millions of cars, to spread costs around. Not to mention Skoda, Bentley, Seat, and Lamborghini.

    Jaguar will never be a threat to MB or BMW overall because Jaguar was never designed to be a volume brand, and Ford surely isn't going to spend the money to do that. Plus I seriously doubt people will ever buy Jaguars on the scale they do MB and BMWs, their style is not for everyone. Though they are gorgeous cars to me.

    "Hey - we've been at this another year. I enjoy it despite our difference of opinions. Have a great (and safe) holiday. "

    I know! Isn't it wonderful!!! You buy that SL500 and I promise I'll take a look at the next IS300 when it comes As always I enjoy every minute of our conversations on this board, it's been about 4 years now, I think. Happy Holidays to you also.

  • Help! Before we go and buy this car (today), the dealer is quoting "invoice" of 90K for the following S500 (new): Sport package,parktronic, keyless go, rear-side blinds, wood trims, navigation, e-trunk closer, tire-pressure monitoring! Does that sound right to any of you experts? The color is Black opal/stone interior -it's a beautiful looking car (& my husband will not buy a Lexus...)but the cost, for a 2003, still seems high to me. Any suggestions greatly appreciated!! Jamie
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Try going to the blue New Cars tab at the top of the page and following the links to get Edmunds TMV and other info.
  • If the car is for you...You need to let your husband know who is boss (like my wife does)

    You can get a fully loaded 04 Lexus LS430 with all that S500 equipment and More for $70,000 a $20,000 savings (would buy a nice diamond)

    You'll have more Luxury, the quietest car on the planet, A tremendous sound system, self closing doors as well as trunk, a much better Nav. system
    and lots of other goodies.

    Not only that but you will get the most dependable car made, a car you can count on.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    michael_mattox, she's not asking about a Lexus.

    Can anyone help her with her specific question?

    Jamie, you might also post in our dedicated Mercedes-Benz S-Class discussion. Someone who might miss your message here may see it there.

    Good luck!
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    I agree with the perception that, whatever Chrysler brought to the union, MB could have done by themselves or get a better fit. It's a bit like the BMW and Rover union. Seems a product of megalomania, perhaps combined with some valid business mandates. Perhaps over time the vision is to enhance a sanitized Chrysler brand and retreat the Mercedes brand back into more of a luxury territory? Then again, Crrysler is such a non-entity internationally. Oh well, what's done is done.

    Also agree with the fact that Volkswagen seems to actually have set an excellent basis for brand management going forward. Volkswagen itself is another company that (still) has a reputation for German engineering and a premium image, and yet they have staggered the other brands nicely. Of course, Skoda and Seat etc are irrelvantin North America.
  • Hi Jamie, I just did a quick little thing on Edmunds, and according to Edmunds True Market Value, I got $87,981. It is a 2003 also, so I would think you would be able to negotiate with the dealer. It sounds like a beautiful color combo though! I love the Black Opal over Stone or Grey. Good Luck!

    Happy Holidays to all.
  • Thanks for the input - we didn't buy the S500 b/c we looked at a S600, then BMW 745 - then BMW 760..The S500 just didn't seem right for the $90K pricetag. We also looked at Lexus, Jag, Audi today (instead of XMAS shopping). We are loyal BMW fans, but the i-drive/new design just makes the BMW decision a tough one. We still don't know what to do - its between the BMW and MB. The car is my husband's, I have a 2003 Range Rover and we have one of the last 750il's (special order) ever shipped to the US (beautiful car we'll keep - he doesn't want to put miles on it...) Still thinking!! Jamie
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    I have to comment on the post [much] earlier about the Rear Parking Aides being unnecessary. I totally disagree. I am on my 3rd vehicle with it and it is the best thing to be added to vehicles since intermittent windshield wipers.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    The 750 is indeed a great car, but does it make sense to keep it a low mileage collectionist car? I doubt so, since sedans in general and any sedan since the 70s have not made a collectionist car. But to each their own!
  • If anyone could offer any insight it would be appreciated! We didn't go with the S500 or S600 -I suppose we are die hard BMW fans. We are thinking of trading our 2001 750iL for a 2004 760Li! I haven't seen too many posts with info (problems etc) with the 760's - if anyone knows anything that would help with the decision, please let us know or e-mail at: The price here in Raleigh, NC (black on black - 10miles: $116,555.00 w/o taxes/tags). Thanks!
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Nice story in today's NY Times detailing the SL history and values of the older cars today. Some of the originals can be worth $350k+ if they are in top codition. Apparently MB only made 1600 SL's in the first three years. Original cost was about $6500.
  • i_drivei_drive Posts: 35
    mercedes should stop producing soooooo many new models. jesus! it seems as though every week, poop! out comes a new mb model out of Germany. Has anyone seen the "MST" Rumor on They say MB is planning on rolling out a new "sport" crossover, which is more SUV than the GST. It seriously looks like a Nissan Murano.

    Lately, I've been disapointed with the direction MB, not BMW, is heading towards. Have any of you been to the LA Auto Show? Stop by the new 2005 CLS-Vision on display. I could have sworn it wasy designed by Honda or another Japanese company. The front: looks like a Q45 (which isn't repsectable at all in my opinion), and the rear: not typical of a german car. I really don't understand why so many people find the CLS to be more gorgeous than the new 645Ci (according to autospies, and other websites).

    I think Mercedes-Benz should spend more time on what they already have, and try to beef up quality and design, rather than build so many new designs, and have them suffer from quality issues and complaints.

    contrary to Audi, which in my opinion, has one of the best quality and design (even compared to Lexus). I was really impressed with the whole, intire line, partic. the new A8L. That baby is drop-dead gorgeous.

    As usual, the LS430 ultra-lux brought a lot of people around it, and i overheard a couple of people who said the LS430 had better value than the S430/S500. But i don't want to get into that issue...

    I'm really starting to get disapointed with Mercedes-Benz lately. They better shape up, because if they don't, i'm shipping out.


    2002 S430
    approx. $15,000 worth of repairs and damages since 2002
    gives me grief every day

    1999 ML320
    "Check-Engine" light for the past year; MB can't fix it
    Rattling noises everywhere in the cabin
    Both bumpers "fell" off during machine-car wash.

    1998 ML320 "original batch"
    too many to list; MB replaced it with new '99 ML320
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    One would think the '02 S is under warranty. $15k in repairs is lemon law material. Sounds rather strange.

    And while the ML has an awful reputation, my wife's '99 ML320 (she gave up her BMW 3 series for it, which still amazes me) has not ever had one single issue. Just plain scheduled maintenance. It's been a darling. Knock on wood.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Thats just part of the lure of Mercedes, a lot of the older cars are priceless. The SL arguably being the most significant one. There are some that find the years-earlier 540K/SS models more collectable.
    I've been on vacation for almost 2 weeks, I didn't even look at a computer or the net during that time (what a relief), so there is lots for me to catch up on. I'll be off to Detroit either this weekend or next, and from the internet buzz this year's show has topped the one last year, didn't think that would be possible.

    From what I've seen so far, Ford's new 500 Sedan looks like a few of the cars we've discussed here, namely the LS430 (front end) and any Audi product (roofline). I guess the latter detail shouldn't be a shock, one of the car's designers used to work for Audi.


    This union might just work, if and only if the public takes to Chrysler's new products over the next year, if all these new models (something like 10-15) don't fly then the whole thing is done, and I expect DCX to become Daimler-Benz once again.

  • i_drivei_drive Posts: 35
    all the repairs on the '02 S430 are under warrantee (airmatic, brake-booster, oxygen sensor, COMMAND...). Most didn't cost me a dime, but it took lot's of effort to get stuff like a decent loaner car. i felt compelled many many times to write a letter to MB demanding "what can you do for me" basically. i kept my temper many times (ask the dealership where i service/bought my cars).

    The '99 ML320 didn't have much problems until late last year. then the bugs came up. what amazed me the most was when the front and rear bumpers fell off during a normal wash at the gas station. that was really pathetic (not to mention when there was a driver of a black X5, along with about 10 other people laughing at me.)

    The '98 ML? Don't even ask about it.

    I really think the S-Class is getting long in the tooth, particularily after seeing the Audi, BMW, and lexus at the autoshow. i don't mind the interior so much, but i think mb could have done a little bit more for the '03 "refresh", like lexus did with the '04 LS430. the '05/'06 S-Class better look "radical" or else.
  • carnaughtcarnaught 'zonaPosts: 2,341
    It's still the "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" idea regarding the LS Lexus vs. the S class, at least in the looks dept. At my local auto show I was disappointed by the freshening up of the '04 LS. Although a great car overall, it doesn't offer that much more than my '01. The S class Mercedes has always been beautiful from day one and still is. The Lexus though is the one I think that "better look radical or else" as you put it, when the upcoming major redesign occurs.
  • Still two more months of winter...The last few days here in S. C were just a tease . Nevertheless I got out and washed the cars, and appreciated how much easier my wife`s white mercedes cleaned up and didn`t show dirt..My purple Lexus cleaned up nicely, but it looked dirty almost immediately.

    I had occasion to see a new S , and to me it looked much nicer with the small chrome stripes on the tail light. I thought of our own Merc 1, but feel Mercedes is overpriced on the S model.

  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Enjoy the show - and check out that new GS.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I take it you will be attending the New York Autoshow in April? There is usually some pretty decent debuts there too.

    Ahh..the S-Class...a timeless classic.

  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    The April show seems so far away but yes I'll go - if not for me then for my 13 year old son who is becoming a car nut.

    By the way those posts on the 7 board are disturbing. Seems BMW really blew it with this 7 series. A bad after market, heavy depreciation and now quickly falling new sales. In NJ a 78K 7 series leases for almost the same as a $62k LS430. Wish I could figure out how. Either they are pushing losses to the future through the residuals or they've made a special expense reserve. i don't see any zero financing - a big NO-NO for any lux make so they aren't doing it that way.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
  • carnaughtcarnaught 'zonaPosts: 2,341
    Not sure I like the new GS. I'm sure that the interior, ergonomics and features are top notch, knowing Lexus. Looks like a Prius mated with a Maxima, kind of bulbous.

    Well, I reserve my ultimate opinion until I see one in person.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    If that is the next GS then Lexus may have blown it. The LF-S design is a knockout. This thing leaves a lot to be desired - at least based on the pictures. What exactly is going on here. Is the LF-S really the next LS? If not what is it and why did they bother to show it in Tokyo?
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