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High End Luxury Cars



  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Although improved emissions come with hybrid technology, less dependency on fossil fuel is the major consideration. Not that anyone said otherwise. It seems BMW is really dawdling with this. They have to get their butt going.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,720
    You are correct... I don't have any knowledge to refute any of those things. (Except that it is more expensive to repair.. I know aluminum is worth more than steel.. refer back to my aluminum can comment).

    But, I haven't heard anything from brightness04 that makes me think he knows much about it, either..

    Because, if he did know much... we'd hear something specifically about the aluminum body panels on an Audi vs. steel on a Lexus.. and not some irrelevant babble about lower ignition temperatures...

    So, I disagree that any of brightness04 claims have anything to do with the safety of the Audi A8.. Regardless if they are factual or not...

    If you want to discuss the properties of aluminum vs. steel, perhaps there is some sort of chemical/metallurgical website you could visit.. Because, nothing stated about it so far, has anything to do with cars...

    To sum up yours and brightness 04's arguments:

    Lexus... GOOD

    All others.. BAD

    That should just about wrap it up for you... what are you going to talk about now?



    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Ah, let them all shake the brand pom poms. My car is better than yours... round in circles... yaddy yadda.

    Ljflx... I always enjoy your marketing takes. What's your 5-year prognosis for all of the brands in question here?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Thanks designman, all this "my car/brand is better than yours" is headache-making and certainly not convincing anyone of anything.

    Let's move on with other conversation.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Absolutely, I agree the main point is fuel savings, the emissions reductions are primarily a byproduct of consuming less fuel.
  • rl81rl81 Posts: 53
    Please take it easy with your generalizations ala: "Europe is a very nationalistic society" From living in both continents, I can tell you that Europe is wayyyyy less nationalistic than the US for example.

    I think that everyone prefers to buy something that has been made in his own country, right? But the real reason, IMO, why for Lexus it's harder to compete in Europe is that transportation from Japan to Europe is longer than from Japan to the US. Are Lexus built in the US (I don't know that they are)?

    As for Marketing: what are the German carmakers offering in Europe? A completely customized product. They can do that because they can deliever a car in about a month, if there is no waiting list. They can't do that in the US because Transportation is about a month (or so???). The Japanese have done the only possible thing (I can think of), to offer an (almost) fully equiped vehicle. I give them credit for that. 'Z' Germans believe they can make more profit with their option 'book' (it's too long to be a list).

    The other factor we shouldn't forget here is that the US is pretty much a primary market for Lexus (if not more important than Japan). For 'Z' Germans it's a secondary market. You can just see that at the limited product lines.
  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 428
    These so-called luxury vehicles like "Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Jaguar XJ-Series, Lexus LS 430, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Volkswagen Phaeton"

    They dont even have a reclining / sliding rear seat which is available in many smaller Crossover Utility Vehicles like Escape, CRV, Equinox, etc. Such seat provides more comfort for the passenger.

    After all luxury vehicles are meant for maximum comfort. Any comments.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Available with the LS Ultra, and probably some versions of some of the other sedans you mentionned.
  • jvcnjvcn Posts: 50
    Having spent spring of 2004 working and doing research in France and Spain, I can tell you that the EU is more nationalistic than the US with respect to government protections of domestic industry. It's starting to relax now but protection of local industry has been very strong all through the 80s and 90s and to a lesser extent today. For all of Detroit's anti-japanese bluster, the US has been more open to Japanese car competition than any other Western nation.

    As for MB's reputation in Europe, it's rapidly going downhill even without Lexus and JD Power to pound on them.

    See for example: l

    Visitors travelling by taxi to the DaimlerChrysler headquarters in Stuttgart used to have one choice of vehicle: Mercedes. The same was true throughout Germany. But on visits in the recent wintry months, the taxi rank has usually been headed by a Volkswagen, Opel or - worst of all - a Mazda.

    Jürgen Geier, a Stuttgart taxi driver who used to drive a Mercedes before switching to Audi, explains: "Mercedes has really gone downhill in the last few years.

    Other choice quotes include:

    For Germany's taxi drivers, this comes as no surprise. "Opels [made by General Motors of the US] are half the price of Mercedes and the quality is now the same," says Anis Ahmad, a Frankfurt taxi driver with an Opel Zafira.

    And finally:

    However, secondhand sales of older, more reliable Mercedes models are booming in the German taxi market, says BZP - with the result that 70 per cent of all taxis still bear the famous star logo.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I thought the choicest part was "The German Taxi and Hire Car Association (BZP) says that Mercedes' proportion of new taxi sales has fallen since the turn of the century from 70 per cent to 50 per cent."
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    We have what, 7-8k Lexus units sold in the US being over $50k, estimated very conservatively, before even counting any GS model at all. MB only sells 12-13k cars in the US a month. There is simply no way more than half of them are over $50k. MB has a lot of models, but precious little unit sales among its high end models


    Thanks for this. You make my point better than I could make it myself, and backed up with some conservative estimates. Merc1's post is far more general and non-specific - more variants does not necessarily translate to more sales.

    It will appear that Lexus truly is the numero uno luxury car seller than MB or BMW ! Lexus sells more lux cars/trucks than their competition (they are #1 in sales in the US 3 years running), despite the higher macque/cache/brand recognition of MB or BMW over Lexus. What MB has are niche cars (S600/SL/CLS/AMGs) not necessarily luxury cars, since these sell in so low numbers. The mainstream luxury car seller, at least in the US, is Lexus. The numbers bear it out, and numbers don't lie, or do they ?

  • oacoac Posts: 1,594

    Hybrids will revolutionalize the auto industry within the next 5 years ! You know that already, right ? Just read an article where someone mentioned that the days of cheap gasoline are long over. Why ? Because of the HUGE demand from China and other fast growing markets due to their phenomenal growths. And Toyota has always been on the forefront of clairvoyance in the auto industry. They started the hybrids almost a decade ago, while the likes of Ford, GM, MB laughed and scoffed at hybrids. We'll see who'll be laughing in 5 years from now !!!

    Diesels in the US as an alternative ? Get real !
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Yes, Toyota is methodical, deliberate, pragmatic and patient. By comparison all of the others seem to live for today… instant profits. Toyota is also into researching and developing the other alternate-energy vehicles and will be ready to pounce on hydrogen when it’s ready years down the road. But this will require a monolithic effort among government and many industries. That said, they still gave us Quasimoto. I am going to try to get a test drive tomorrow.
  • carnaughtcarnaught 'zonaPosts: 2,339
    How 'bout the GMC Denali or Cadillac Escalade ....aka....Chevy Tahoe?

    More wannabes?
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    That said, they still gave us Quasimoto. I am going to try to get a test drive tomorrow.

    Quasimoto ? Would that not be the "Hunchback of Notre Dame" ? Are you refering to the GS ? (hehehehe... :))

    I will LOVE to hear/read of your test drive of the GS, if you can get one. So what am I doing wrong that my dealer hasn't called me yet ? I gotta find out and do my own test drive soon.
  • ok...i did some research on sales volume.
    these are figures for year to date 04 vs 03.

    04 03
    IS 9972 13559
    ES 79916 67762
    RX 106531 92366
    GX 35420 31376
    LX 9846 9193
    GS 1348 2078
    SC 9708 10298
    LS 32272 23895

    Mercedes 04 03
    C/sedan 60107 52382
    C/coupe 5584 9779
    C/wagon 3560 3821
    CLK 10120 9802
    CLK/conv. 12346 9428
    E 53886 53240
    E/wagon 5068 2443
    SLK 7360 6023
    SL 12885 13318
    CL 2683 3377
    S 20460 22940
    M 25681 30018
    G 1491 1980
    CLS -- ---

    just think....10 different models. 15 total variations...not one re badged Chrysler among the bunch. convertibles, high performance coupes and sedans, all wheel drive versions, short and long wheel base availability,
    and even wagons. this is a complete portfolio for the luxury car buyer. like i said badging Toyota's to create a so called luxury brand just doesn't cut in my opinion.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    That Criteria would make Ford as much as a Marque as MB...They sell Lincolns at all sorts of prices..Include Jaguar and Volvo and they are a bonafide luxury car maker..

    Using your logic Jaguar would not be considered a high end luxury car maker, given both the lack of variety and the fact two of its models (S-Type, X-Type) share platforms with Ford products..(Lincoln LS and Ford Mondeo) How about the XJ6 having a Ford derived V-6 in it? Does that diminish Jaguar in anyway?..

    Supermarket like variety isn't the basis for calling an automaker upscale..
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Folks, I really think it is time to move on. We have beaten this particular thread of conversation into the ground.

    We're all entitled to define a luxury brand in the way that we believe it should be defined. None of us are going to convince anyone else to change his viewpoint by saying the same things over and over again.

    Everyone here has made his opinion very clear - it's time to agree to disagree where that applies.

    Let's find something else to talk about now.

  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    I've been reading an older issue of Jaguar World in which it talks about the furor of Jaguar owners after the release of downmarket cars such as the X-Type and X-Type Wagon..Buyer loyalty has fallen and Jaguar isn't expected to make a profit until 2009..

    I've always maintained that Ford is making a huge mistake by taking Jaguar downmarket. It's better to focus on the high end. Why risk infuriating a potential buyer of a 80K car for a X Type sale? When I went to have a look at the new XJ I was bothered by the strong resemblance the X-Type had to it..Better yet, the XJ simply lacked the "look" of a Jaguar..It seemed like something that had come out of a Ford design committee..

    So the question begs..Is going downmarket the answer to the Euro luxury car woes? What I've said above applies to Mercedes as well...With all the downmarket models what was the point of buying Chrysler? It doesn't make any business sense to me..

    Your comments Please,
  • Actually my attitude is Lexus, S Class and Bmw 7 All very good in different ways...

    Audi A8 a tiny bit behind the top 3.
  • michael i agree.
    even though i just purchased an Audi A8...Audi's brand awareness in the USA is not equal to the other German automakers. hopefully this version of the A8 will bridge the gap that now exists.

    as for going down market with cheaper models.... i believe it to be a necessity of the auto manufacturing business in todays market. every automaker needs to take advantage of cost savings to be competitive. i believe that all of the brands we see today will eventually be cut by a third within 20 years. Honda and Bmw ...i believe are the only independents left. most brands have merged or been purchased by their competitors. debates like the one that has been raging this past week will even be harder in the future. brand loyalty will be harder to come by.
  • absolutely....but at least GM has the decency to give you a larger engine and a different drive train.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    michael i agree

    Oh my !!! We finally get an agreement !!!!! Who said we can't get along ???


    Is it just me, or is this little story perhaps getting a little bit more coverage because it involves Lexus?
  • Michael,

    You recapped what I was saying very succinctly. Thank you for stepping in here. I was getting a bit frustrated with Merc's insistence on accusing me of making a statement that I never made.
  • What does soft drink have to do with discussion here? Just a way to snipe at another poster, if you ask me.

    I have more than a passing knowledge of industrial metals. In case you did not know anything beyond your soft drink can (hey, your own choice of reference, it's only fair, right? ;-) I supplied a link in one of my earlier posts:

    It's quite an informative site.

    Obviously, the industrial insiders find it quite purposeful discussing the intrinsic metallurgical properties without referencing specific crash A/B tests; kinda makes sense, you don't need to build a full size cardboard A8 to prove cardboard is a bad choice.

    Now what's the relevence to Audi, you ask, well, one of the Audi fans brought up that Aluminum (space frame) was what differentiiats Audi from VW. I was merely pointing out that the actual benefit from Aluminum construction in a vehicle as heavy as A8 is very questionable. Apparently the industrial insiders at the site referenced above concur; if you follow the link for a few pages you will actually see an in-depth analysis of the 2002 Audi A8 Space Frame Aluminum Intensive structure and its disadvantages.

    I should also point out that aluminum construction only accounts for something like 3% of all Audis sold in 2004! That's hardly a marquee identity.

    Just because you are not knowledgeable on a specific subject, don't assume others are equally ignorant.
  • just think....10 different models. 15 total variations...not one re badged Chrysler among the bunch.

    No rebadged Chrysler necessary; Mercedes vehicles themselves are shoddy enough. I'd take a Toyota over any Mercedes, even at the same price point, much less Lexus. Look through your own list again. LS exceeds S by more than 50% in fleet representation. MB's volume leader is a sub-$30k compact (that's before the even more cheaply put together A/B class gets here; A/B class is the MB volume leader in practically every market that it has entered, at or below $20k base price), whereas Lexus' volume leader is a mid-sized vehicle close to $40k in base price. All the halo models only serve to spread the engineering resources extra thin. At about 35-40k units a year, Chevy sells more Corvettes than all the high performance models MB's combined, yet Chevy is not a high performance marquee due to its roster of low-end products. MB's claim to luxury marquee is likewise questionable when it has moved down market as fast as it has in the last decade.
  • IMHO, platform sharing has become a necessity in today's market. The last Civic platform revision cost $4 billion dollars to design and engineer. That's several boat loads of money ;-) Even at $400k per vehicle, it takes 10k vehicles to break even (assuming the car manufacturing itself cost negligible amount of money ;-). Either that or trim the engineering budget and let cars leave the factory with myriads of bugs due to a shoe-string engineering budget.

    One way to increase unit sales for a niche vehicle is prolonging the product cycle, but then the mfr ends up having an obsolete product line. MB seems to be trying some marketting trick with the Chrysler purchase: using the latter as some sort of life cycle extension program for obsolete MB platforms, so more unit sales can be generated. Exterior design is cheap, getting everything working together well inside takes real engineering budget, so it is a cheap trick to extend a platform's shelf life; every brand does that sort of thing with mid-cycle refreshes, but MB is trying to double the shelf life by giving Chrysler hand-me-downs. I wonder how quickly people are going to realize those hand-me-down "MB technology" on re-skinned Chryslers are little more than twice warmed left-overs. I will give it perhaps one year, before 300C piling up in the supply channel to multi-month proportions just like Crossfire has.
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    has substance that the Crossfire lacks. The 300C is the 300 to get while the 300C SRT-8 is awesome.

    Information and pictures of the 300C SRT-8:

    Information on the Chrysler/Dodge LX cars (the big rwd cars):

    The Magnum is perhaps the first cool American station wagon that has sold very well (55-57 Chevy Nomad didn't sell well).
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    Here is the 1998 Chrysler Chronos concept car:

    2005 Chrysler 300C SRT-8:

    Now the 1957 Chrysler 300C:

    The grilles of both Chryslers (57 and 05) look similar.

    Notice the lines in the middle of the 57 and 05 Chrysler's hoods.

    Also notice the rectangular taillights of both cars.

    The front end styling of the new Chrysler 300 is almost IDENTICAL to the front end styling of the 1998 Chrysler Chronos concept except for the slant of the new one.

    The Bentley Arnage...

    "Named for one of the most challenging corners on the Le Mans racing circuit, the Arnage was fittingly introduced at the French circuit in April of 1998." from
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