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High End Luxury Cars



  • do you have any understanding of building and protecting a brand? how many times do you think you have heard that "Lexus are only high priced Toyota's"? do you know why people say this? they say it because it is true. Lexus showrooms are filled with re badged Toyota's. what kind of luxury brand is this? and no matter how you like to spin the GX and LX suv's...they are 99% Toyotas that you as a consumer are being duped into paying premiums for. why anyone...anyone at all would purchase a Lexus SUV over the exact same vehicle that sells in the Toyota showroom across the street for substantially less money is beyond rational thinking. so the Toyota Land Cruiser is legendary...ok i you know what I'm going to do...go spend an extra 11K to own one with the Lexus badge on the grill as opposed to the Toyota. great. hats of to Lexus....they now how fool people.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    The only place I've ever heard it is by those who say it on this board and none of them are professionals who would know better. And yes I know a thing or two about business and brand building.

    Now please don't tell me that I don't know what I'm doing as a consumer or that I am a fool when I save a bundle on choosing an LS430 over an S500 and end up with the car that is at a minimum its equal and in every owner tabulated survey beats it to death. Case closed on that one.

    By the way have you ever priced a fully loaded TLC?? It usually is all of a few thousand less than an LX470 and for the latter you get an air suspension and a few other things not available or included on a TLC. Those who used to say they were 10-12K apart were comparing a TLC with many missing options to an LX470 that had everything included in its price. Good luck finding a TLC that was as stripped as those mentioned. That was a custom order. Every TLC brought here is loaded. When I bought the loaded TLC was $59.5K and the loaded LX470 was $61.7k. There was no $10K difference. The $2.2K bought me an air suspension, an up and down suspension adjustment, a better stereo and a cmore luxurious interior plus two free scheduled services. Cheapest TLC on the lot was $57K and change and missing things I wanted. My difference in lease price was $11 per month. Wow!
  • i interpreted the "no.1" remark to automotive survey positioning.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    He didn't finish the sentence so only he knows. For whatever its worth - I think he caught himself just in time to leave out the last word or two. We've all been there - where we said or started to say something we shouldn't. But who knows - because it's a translated article sometimes things are lost in the translation.
  • i stand by my original post.
    the pricing between the vehicles is
    very different. a TLC with options
    is approx. 60500. the LX..67+.
  • would it be accurate to say that the VW Phaeton and the Touraeg(sp) have carried VW upmarket?
    when it comes to available equipment and luxury isn't the Phaeton the equal of all the other offerings in this class?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Don't understand why you are interested in selling prices but not in profits or a company's financial strength.

    Well the claim was made that Lexus sells more luxury cars in the U.S. over 50K so I said it was Mercedes. The profits, business curve, all that jazz we've been over and is irrelevant to what I was asking. Last I checked Mercedes was still selling cars that compete with Lexus and ones that don't, at a premium over Lexus, BMW and Audi. You've been saying that people are going to stop paying this and stop paying that, but it hasn't happened yet. The two sales leaders in this particular class are the least expensive and the most expensive so.....kinda goes against the doom and gloom prediction from you that is now 4 years old.

    FYI a S500 never, ever sold at 110K.

    BMW has had over 40 years to displace Mercedes as #1 whatever that means in the grand scheme of things, prestige, sales etc. The comment was made about sales which BMW managed to pass Mercedes during certain months last year. BMW won't pass Mercedes until they build something under their own brand that can match up with the exotics of the world, and they certainly need something other than a 7-Series to match Mercedes' CL, SL, SLR models. I know its lost point on this board but those are the cars that get the headlines and build the brand image, especially when rich folk all over the world drive them. BMW isn't even close to toppling Mercedes on that front. Their last exclusive model, the Z8 was slaughtered by the SL.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You're right, saying a S600, AMG or SL or CL aren't luxury cars wasn't worth a response. Total spin. I couldn't believe you said that and then posted such a elegant, level-headed review of the GS300 and M35 in another forum. That really did have me wondering who was using your user!

  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    I couldn't believe you said that and then posted such a elegant, level review of the GS300 and M35 in another forum. That really did have me wondering who was using your user id...

    That was my evil twin, take your pick :)
  • will people pay 100k for a Lexus sedan or sports car in the US or Europe? i think it's a hard sell...if not close to impossible. maybe 10 from years.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I think those products did push VW upmarket in the eyes of VW fans, but the rest of the market really didn't notice much, especially the Phaeton. The Touareg is a fine SUV and it has been successful, but the VW brand was already seen as upmarket from say Ford, Chevy or Dodge.

    The Passat in particular was always seen as upmarket from a Camry, Accord or Altima, and priced accordingly, and if you look at the new one you'll see what I mean. Unfortunately VW needs to offer the upmarket ambience with a regular market price otherwise they aren't going to sell many of anything anymore.

  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Excerpts and comments:

    "What happened to the Germans' favorite car, the Mercedes?

    These days, the cars of all premium carmakers contain a lot of electronics, not only at Mercedes. And electronics cannot simply be bought and integrated into a car. We need to ensure smooth cooperation with our suppliers."

    The word again: electronics.... So MB has problem integrating electronics into their cars. And this is the #1 marque brand in the world ?

    "So you're blaming the others?

    No. We're responsible for Mercedes. Our customers have a right to top quality, and they will get it."

    Revealing statement here. Notice that Jurgen didn't say "they are getting it", rather "they will get it" Hmmmmmm... Good luck to current MB owners, since it will appear that only future owners will benefit from their quality upgrade.

    Overall: the Q&A is very revealing. The general tone and pointedness of the questions reveal the seriousness and the REALITY of the problems at MB. Unfortunately, the top execs are still in some denial, with loads of excuses and massaging of facts to gloss over the problems. I sure hope and wish MB the very best in turning things around. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "So he admits MB has lost its throne? That is very interesting because it may have been an accidental slip of what the real mindset in the company is given everything else he said was a lot of BS trying to cover such a thought up.

    What he was talking about is in quality and sales over BMW, which outsold Mercedes for a few months in 2004. He isn't talking about your positioning theory. Now he had to catch himself because he made a mistake? Lexus' chairman shoots his mouth off about the GS and even the faithful aren't wowed by the car. Did he slip too? Hype at its best. One wrong word and a car company is done.


    Why post the review if its such a joke?

  • oacoac Posts: 1,594

    By denials I refer to statements such as these:

    - "The quality of all cars that leave our plants today is better than ever"

    Really ? Then why is the question still being asked ?

    - "Without the weak dollar and the costs at Smart in 2004 the result of the Mercedes Car Group would have been markedly better in 2004"

    And no other global auto manufacturer was affected by the weak dollar, right ?

    - "No, a profit maximization program. Because we're not only looking at costs, but also at revenues. Eckhard Cordes has the right people and knows which levers to pull. You'll see tangible progress at Mercedes-Benz cars in the next twelve months"

    Talking of spin, eh ???

    - "And electronics cannot simply be bought and integrated into a car."

    It's not our fault....

    I could find more of this kinda *denials* and *excuses* if you insist....
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    So the currency situation has no affect on anything?


    "And electronics cannot simply be bought and integrated into a car."

    is a denial or an excuse? Sounds like to that is what they were doing and they realize it doesn't work.

    Take a hard look at costs doesn't sound like a spin or excuse to me either, sounds like they're at the very least trying to do something about it.

    The only part I find suspect is about the quality of the cars leaving the plant being the best ever, that remains to be seen just yet.

    Just admit that you find the whole interview to be a joke or excuse, no need to pick it apart line by line that is tired.

    Spin: Saying a SL or S600 isn't a luxury car to make a illogical point about sales.

  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    C'mon Merc1, you gotta learn to let go.... The SL or S600 are true luxury cars.

    And I didn't post that Schrempp interview for fun or to make a joke about it. But really to (a) change the topic which was going no-where, and (b) hear from the CEO of Mercedes-Benz on the state of affairs at MB. Whatever else comments we all make are our own opinions, right ? Like you, I am entitled to mine. You don't have to agree with it.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Its hard to take your opinion seriously (sometimes) when you make statements like that about cars costing over 100K not being luxury cars..makes we wonder if you really believed that. Secondly if were to post an interview from a Lexus exec talking about how they keep promising to add excitement and some style to brand I'd be accused of bashing in a min if I pointed to the new GS and said something like thats the best they can do. You couldn't have thought posting an interview about MB and then taking it apart by calling it excuses and denial would change the direction that this thread has been going over the last week or so...come on now who you kidding? Thats all this thing has been about, and you can't say I started it, there are newbies!

  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    My opinions of the GS is well known, so allow me to do the Lexus bashing for you. Lexus missed the mark on this car, imo. I have moaned and complained for weeks about the 3L motor on the '06 GS, rather than the 3.5L released in Japan. Coupled with no SPORT package, the GS300 may be a liability (imo) until MY2007 when it gets the upgraded 3.5L motor. My opinions on MB are also well known - no secret there. If Lexus exec goofed, pls feel free to post and we'll debate it as well. Did you not post about Lexus' recall in China recently ? Was that bashing or fact ? I think it is fact, not bashing.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I think people will pay 100K for a Lexus sedan in limited numbers, but 125K for that sports car concept I think they can forget about it, unless they change the styling quite a bit. The proportions are right, but the details are terrible. The Acura NSX comes to mind as how the market will react to a super expensive Japanese sports car, then again I think Lexus has more sense than to let the car go unchanged for 15 years!

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "If Lexus exec goofed, pls feel free to post and we'll debate it as well. Did you not post about Lexus' recall in China recently ? Was that bashing or simply facts ? I think it is fact, not bashing.

    Ok I'll keep that in mind, though it isn't that serious to me. Interviews with car execs really don't do anything for me unless they say something really off the charts. I don't think anyone wants to read anymore about Lexus and Mercedes or Audi at this point. So I'll pass on the search engine for Lexus exec interviews.

  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    You always exaggerate what I say about MB. Everything I said has come true so far and I said these things 2-4 years ago. Reliability and quality would slip and it would be embarassing to them, sales will fall off and profits would drop to the point that they may go in the red. Well officially the first two occurred and are continuing and the latter is a miss by all of $20mln at the operating income line. Unofficially - you can bet your life they are in the red at the net income line and that the operating income is a propped up number. Trust me - this is my area of expertise at a very high level and I could write a college textbook chapter on teaching an auditor what to look for.

    Now the currency problem - it effected every importer of every good to the US. MB had 70% profit coverage for the dollar in 2004. That is reflected in their figures. The other 30% is not but overall this is by and large an immaterial amount. That's why it's spin on his part. The results would have been unacceptable no matter what is a non-spin statement.

    Gloom and doom - never said they would go bankrupt or any other crazy statement like that. Said they would slip precipitously and it would show up financially and it has. Said the quality would continue to decline and it has. I also said they'd eventually correct things but never return to their glory days of pre-1990. Their days of grand master supreme by a wide margin are over. Their days of being a top auto maker and among the finest in the world have a long run still in front of them.

    CEO spin - It's part of the job qualifications and all of them do it very well.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well the quality and reliability part really isn't anythin new and sales haven't dropped either. They were off a few percent last year compared to 2003 worldwide. The exageration is just about every post about MB on this board. Like I said before they're still selling cars are a premium and will continue to do so. Their pre-1990 days are gone and so are BMWs and anyone else in the luxury car market. Nothing that wasn't easily predicted has happened.

  • michael,

    the post numbers are 7767 and 7801.
    the inference was made that the aluminum
    skin of the Audi A8 had inherent flaws
    that made it more dangerous and less sturdy
    in case of an accident.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    oac, drop me an email when you have a chance, please - pat AT edmunds DOT com. Thanks.
  • here is a link to an article
    ranking the top CPO'd brands. n
  • Merc:

    It would seem to me the quality of a car and it's appointments, state of the art features, comfort, Safty and dependability, make for a Luxury car..NOT PRICE..

    Yes the S Class is far more expensive then an LS Ultra, but is it Better....
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I must have missed all those predictions and imagined all the MB fans, you included, that said it would never happen.
  • Merc:

    I have carefully read the two posts and the link provided...He does not state that The Audi is less safe then Lexus...In fact he doesn't mention Lexus in either post...The question is advantages or dis advantages of aluminum frames and the Link seems to disprove any advantages for aluminum...

    Here once again is the link...I will ask you once again to please stop this misrepresentation of the posters words and meaning....They are clear to me...and he has clairified his intent in later messages just to be perfectly certain he was not misunderstood.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 63,263
    I "carefully" read his posts as well.. and I inferred that he was denigrating the safety of the Audi, by implying that aluminum body panels would be less safe than steel..

    It is disingenuous to assume his intention was anything else, regardless of further posts..

    And, if that isn't the case.. then what was the point?


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  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I think it's kinda silly for several people to be arguing over what another person may or may not have meant.

    Why don't we drop this particular exchange?
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