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High End Luxury Cars



  • denaliinpadenaliinpa Posts: 169
    what Toyota is doing in hybrids is very interesting. hats off to them. it's about
    time some inovation instead of duplication
    is delivered by a Japanese manufacturer.
    when it comes to the RX....every time i see
    one it looks like a girls car. kind of like
    how the Honda Prelude only appealed to women.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    So, the RX is a "girlie" car and therefore we should ignore it. Cars have to be macho to be worth anything, I guess.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    "The design of the RX and MDX in particular are much more of a "me-too!" reaction to the m-class, than the m-class was to anything before it. They are also-rans that were rushed to market by raiding the parts bins and platforms of the camry and oddessey, and performed accordingly. "

    Again, the ML was out a few months before the RX if that. I don't know how that qualifies for me-too!

    How the MDX was rushed to market I have no clue. When did the MDX come out? I believe it came out for MY2001. That's hardly a rush job. In fact they read the market well and came out with a great vehicle.

    And if the RX was a rush job. Wow! they sure did one hell of a job! Looked better than the ML, looked more upmarket, had a much nicer interior and it was designed for the way people actually use luxury vehicles. Amazing for a rush job!

    Also, I don't know how basing a car on another vehicle is a rush job. If so, that makes the Sienna, ES330, Solara, Highlander all rush jobs.

    "I'm also not sure the term "crossover" was even being thrown around back in '98-'99 when the RX first hit the pavement."

    Actually they were calling the RX a crossover from day 1 due to it's unibody structure and limited off-road ability.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289

    I see a lot of women driving Hummer H2s. Must be a girlie car!

    Oh wait a minute, I see alot of any brand of SUV driven my probably more females than males. They must all be girlie SUVs.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    SUVs just don't count for anything in these discussions, and you know why? Its not because they're girlie cars. Its because MB hasn't had much success with SUVs. Anything that MB doesn't do well just CAN'T be important to the self-styled "enthusiasts".
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Mercedes is as good about hyping other folks innovations as any company I know, and some sites like carfans and wolfgangs just perpetuate the baloney. So here's an update:

    crumple zones, yep MB. It's true!

    airbags(patent), Invented by American Allen Breed, first installed in production vehicles by GM, sold to the US Government in 1973.

    auto-dimming mirrors,

    You might want to take a look at Fred Bauer the entrepreneur behind Gentex Corp at:

    In 1982, his Company introduced the world's first electromechanical (motorized) auto-dimming mirror. It was quickly adopted by Ford and General Motors, who in just three short years were purchasing over 200,000 units annually.

    But Fred wasn't satisfied. He teamed up with research chemists and electrical engineers to achieve what many in the scientific community thought was impossible. In 1987, they brought a 50-year-old scientific phenomena out of the laboratory and into the automobile with the introduction of the world's first electrochromic mirror. An entire industry was born.

    Today, Fred and Gentex's world-class R&D team continue to advance electro-optics and the science of electrochromics.

    moisture-sensing wipers,

    Can't find anything to substantiate a MB claim. TRW had the first one's here in the U.S. in 1997, Valeo in Europe is major supplier to everyone over there.



    TRW introduced the first OEM Keyless remote in 1988.

    safety-cells, ??? I couldn't figure this out. Is this a rehash of crush zones?

    speed-adjusted volume, ??? Only citation I could find was how bad it was in an Audi SR4. Nothing like having the stereo and tire noise competing for max decibels.

    anti-lock brakes,

    Robert Bosch got first patent, not MB as best I can tell. First U.S. vehicles was an early 1970's Chrysler Imperial with 4 wheel electronic ABS. 1st MB was 1978.

    FYI - Antilock brakes in general were developed for the laying of the transAtlantic telegraph cable in 1837 to keep the cable from snapping. The one's autos use were copied from airplane designs.


    I think Ford and Keyless invented the original version of this about 25 years ago. MB added a dash start button.

    traction control systems, no info yet, could be MB, though I remember that Continental Teves claims to have done this too...

    emergency-tensioning devices(seatbelt),

    Definitely invented by TRW not MB

    head curtains, watershed management design, ???

    fuel injection,

    Nope. 1910 by some guy in Iowa. I think Fiat invented common rail injection now popular for diesels.

    diesel engines...

    were invented by Rudolph Diesel.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Nice job. There's an old germancarfan saying: "Don't let the facts get in the way of our unshakable belief that Germans invented everything."
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    The M-class first appeared much earlier in concept form, as well as in a "jurasic park" sequel to a huge audience, so if the public was already getting glimpses of it one to two years before it actually hit the market, other car companies were surely keen to it as well, and sooner still. Of the vehicles in question, it hit the market first, by months or years isn't relevant to me.
    -Whether or not it was wise or efficient, Mercedes used a ladder body because they thought that was what the American market wanted. They were wrong. Yes the interior was chinsy. The lower body wasn't "forgotten to be painted," it was the same as the sedans they used to paint bumpers and lower body with, and after two years they stopped. They truly believed these vehicles would be taken off-road regularly. They were wrong.
    For every person who says they love the MDX, or any other of these vehicles, there's one that doesn't. The looks of these cars is very subjective, and there aren't enough hours in the day to settle that.
    If the Germans were really aware of the things the American market cared most about, they would have come with cup holders(good ones), in-dash cd players and dvd entertainment for the kids a long time ago. They have always built their car for their market(except for the M) and driving style, and some folks here in the states like them, and some don't. It's always been that way. I'm a lifelong "self-styled" enthusiast, whatever that means, as soon as I could drive, I parked cars as a valet, and Mercedes suited my my idea of the ideal. You guys can knock yourselves out with the Japanese stuff, but you won't sell it to me.

    -platform sharing, and using shared platforms to expedite the launch of a vehicle as quickly and cheaply as possible, aren't the same thing.

    -If all the flaws, be they ergonomics, aesthetics, quality, that the 1st gen M-class had are now getting corrected in the 2nd car, they've done nothing more than take a big step in the right direction.

    I don't have to be right. Mercedes-benz has made many mistakes as of late, but DESPITE those things, overall they still get it right for what I look for in a car.

    If Mercedes now copies something to get it right in the U.S. market, good for them. In the past they haven't copied much, and that was their undoing here in the U.S.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    There's no need to be so defensive guys. Stroudman's not threatening you personally. He said MB brought many of these things to the public. That doesn't mean that they invented all of them, just provided them to consumers.

    For example, everyone knows rudoplh diesel invented "the diesel." It's also true that mercedes produced the first diesel motorcar.

    And here's some "milestones"

    Now, not all of these are "firsts" or "inventions" and i imagine some of them are debatable.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    Thank you, that's really all I am trying to say. Thanks for the info, though. I don't know everything there is to know, I'm just here to learn as well as discuss.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    "If Mercedes now copies something to get it right in the U.S. market, good for them. In the past they haven't copied much, and that was their undoing here in the U.S."

    Interesting - that's as close to a falling down admission as I've ever seen on this board.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    That's more Porsche than the Cayenne by a real wide margin - that's for sure. I can't imagine the Porsche faithful getting upset with this car if it looks anything like this - though you never know with those people.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    How right you are... excessive warranty costs are crippling the German firms. The idea behind the Japanese lean strategies is "zero defects". Get it right before it's on the boat/trailer to the retailer.

    Japan, Inc. has figured out how to achieve operational equilibrium that leads to record profits and more capital used for innovation and product development.

    Imagine coupling German engineering with TPS! Heck, imagine American engineering AND innovation with TPS! No reason that we can't develop the complete product package at any price point to match the best in the world. Someone with guts and vision is needed to do this... we're starting to see some of this with the 300C, Corvette, Ford GT, (maybe) the STS and, of course, our trucks.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Does anyone know if the following story is true:

    I heard years ago that some genius at GM calculated that cost to the company would be lower if they skimped on QC and let the customer discover any problems and then bring the car in for customer service. Very stupid short-term thinking, if true, rather penny-wise and pound-foolish.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Sounds like a water cooler or coffee machine story. Too much legal risk is involved - I can't imagine a corporate mgr thinking like that.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594

    Here is the more pertinent story. That GM is in so much trouble they'll probably be closing two of their model lines (Pontiac and Buick). If anyone is looking, this is a SERIOUS situation for American jobs. The domino effect is going to be huge.... Much as I love Japanese vehicles, I do not want American jobs disappearing at the expense of overseas auto manufacturers. Something must be done to see that GM does not fall on its face, regardless of what we may feel about the quality of their offerings. Yeah I know their production issues, financing issues, health care issues, benefits issues, etc... BUT...

    Off-topic I know, but worrisome all the same.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    OAC - the unions have to wake up. They are part of GM's problems and paralysis. I'd say GM is partly negotiating via the media. But I'd also say that GM has some real serious issues right now. The P&L warning was huge but you also have to separate out the non-cash charges in it. Nonetheless GM needs some major concessions here. Better to have a good paying job with less benefits than none at all. Hopefully it doesn't ever get that far. But remember there is also plenty of foreigners that are increasing US plant production.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    If a recession hits, I wonder if we'll see big union givebacks like what we've seen from the big airlines of late.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    "If a recession hits, I wonder if we'll see big union givebacks like what we've seen from the big airlines of late."

    I doubt the UAW will give in even slightly. It's not their style. They are too bone-headed to think about the future of the US auto industry.

    I think the airline unions actually see well enough into the future and are willing to compromise to try and help the US airline industry.
  • wbreaux1wbreaux1 Posts: 55
    A couple of thoughts on the recent posts. As to "skimping" on QC, I assume that skimping is relative. I assume that car companies chose a level of spending on QC that they think will maximize profits. If GM tripled spending on QC, their cars would be much better but they'd go broke (much sooner than they might otherwise).

    As to the potential loss of jobs at GM being such a serious problem for the US economy, I disagree. The unemployoment rate in the US is about 5.5% compared to around 10% in Germany, which is doing great with autos (I'm not sure what the rate in Japan is but I wouldn't trade our economy for their's). Our economy is enormous and is impacted by many factors. Of course the US has been losing manufacturing jobs, but has been replacing them at an astounding pace. Those who think this is really such a big issue can send campaign contributions to Ross "Giant Sucking Sound" Perot, Dallas, Tx. . .
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    So what are we disagreeing about with regard to the W140, the W220 and the W221?

    After reading all of that I'm not sure at this point. I guess my original point was that how can anyone that finds the current LS even remotely attractive have a problem with the new S-Class' styling. I mean wheel arches are one thing, but the LS430's overall look is awful imo, it being a poor copy of the W140. By poor I mean it has the sides of the W140 down pat, but the front and rear are typical Toyota style-less, plus its too short to be that boxy.

    I agree that Lexus won't emulate the S again, but only because they have or at least think they have a "design direction" now. Otherwise when the 2007 LS came out you'd be looking at a 2000 S-Class all over again.

  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    "Its because MB hasn't had much success with SUVs. Anything that MB doesn't do well just CAN'T be important to the self-styled "enthusiasts". "

    You are correct. If MBs SUV isn't selling well, "let's not count SUVs at all" when comparing luxury brand sales attitude is what it always falls back to.

    Yet, if the new MB M-class sells well, I bet those sales won't be excluded.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Hmm. The corollary must be - "Don't let the facts get in the way of our unshakable belief the Japanese invented everything"
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Some people say that about Microsoft and their software. Although their are some that made a pretty penny (or old nickel) off of their stuff.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    do you mean of the manufacturer, the dealers, or the fans of the vehicle? Whoever generates sales stats, or excludes certain vehicles from those stats, is going to tilt them towards their agenda, whoever they are. Which is obvious if one reads these posts...
  • I believe the story is true...I recall reading stories about Senior Management of GM and Ford using their actuaries to determine how many people would die and the avg. cost of each settlement and comparing that to the cost of making a fix on every car....

    Sometimes it was finincially better to not do the fix....Now a days the lawsuits can be too severe to make that kind of decision.
  • I don't think quality is always a matter of spending more money..It is a culture that needs to be developed in your work force.

    As Toyota has proven...Quality results in more sales, More competitive pricing is possible and warrenty costs are lower leading to much greater profit.
  • What is more critical to a company...The innovations of the past that set them apart from their competition...OR...The current innovations that capature the market..Like hybrids.

    The old quality buggy wip or the model A?

    A sound profit 50 years ago...Or ...a big profit this year and next?

    Innovation that is sometimes unreliable but is first on the market or Absolute Quality and Reliability in the innovations that are put to use.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "SUVs just don't count for anything in these discussions, and you know why? Its not because they're girlie cars. Its because MB hasn't had much success with SUVs. Anything that MB doesn't do well just CAN'T be important to the self-styled "enthusiasts".

    Likewise anything Lexus doesn't accel in isn't important either, worse yet in most cases it isn't even understood. Innovation, styling, safety, 0-60 times, handling or anything else that Lexus doesn't come out on top of is dismissed instantly as being irrelevant on this board.

    A salesman comes here to say one thing and it is turned around for another. Rudolf Diesel invented diesel and Mercedes was his first client and they introduced the diesel first to the market. Period. This is the case with many of the other innovations that one here loves to google crap to death about to find the name of the person, but then leaves off how and who brought these things to market.

    SUV sales - the only reason anyone here including me pointed out that SUV sales are holding up Lexus is because after reading all the Lexus rhetoric on this board you'd think every vehicle they sell are bestsellers, yet they aren't hence the pointing out that over half of their sales are SUVs. Didn't say they shouldn't be counted only that it should be noted that not every Lexus car has set the market afire in sales.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Interesting - that's as close to a falling down admission as I've ever seen on this board.

    What are you talking about? Every car company does, or at least tries to do what is best for the market in which they are competiting. Mercedes is no different, and nobody ever said they were. Copying and making changes to be competitive are two different things. Where Mercedes does differ from your brand is that they don't have to resort to copying styling and having the wannbe image that makes Lexus so lame. This falling down theory is just plain ridiculous and is nothing more than wishful thinking.

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