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High End Luxury Cars



  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "Gee, no wonder Lincoln is in trouble. There won't be many repeat customers if the median age of the buyer is 62+."

    I've heard people say that about Mercedes, Cadillac & Lincoln for 25 years - the one flaw in that assumption is that they generally figure everyone 62 years old, is going to die without replacements. People turn 62 every day. Somebody has to make cars for it right, and you'll have that market, which has money.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    hey, nevada banker,
    statistically, and factually, which age groups have the most money available to buy a car?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yeah, that one merc - and the C-240 Sedan as well. I've had rentals that were a disgrace in the cabin.

    No argument from me there, the 2001-2004 so C-Class was put together by a different company it seems, just like the 2000-2002 S-Class, very suspect. The 2005 model C feels like a different car altogether. Even one of the biggest critics (C&D) gushed over the interior quality of the C recently of a C350 Sport. Why Mercedes though they could get away with that, and the 1999-2005 M-Class is beyond me.

  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    "Somebody has to make cars for them."

    Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present the Lexus LS430.
    It is the car for "them."
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Mercedes has gotten away with a lot in recent history. The company has enormous untapped potential, and for the life of me, I don't know why they don't use more of it.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    Is Toyota/Lexus like GM/Cadillac three deades ago?

    As I notice this forum loves to bash everything related to GM and Ford ,Mr. Dave Power(founder of JD Power)has the following words to say about Toyota:

    He even worries about Toyota, his first client and the world's most successful automaker. Industry analysts suggest Toyota will pass General Motors in 2006 to become the world's No. 1 automaker.

    ``Today, at Toyota, there's nobody left from when I was there in 1968,'' he said. ``Some of the younger people act a little bit like how GM people were 50 years ago.''

    That potential for corporate hubris might be Toyota's biggest challenge in the years ahead, he said.

    link title
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    This isn't the hybrid forum, I noted, but I'm not yet sold on the hybrid, mostly because of the initial cost increase over the standard model

    Lexus currently has hybrids!

    BMW, MB, Porsche and Acura have indicated an interest in future hybrid vehicles!

    How can hybrids not be considered a part of a high marque vehicle discussion? They are a part of this topic as engines and transmissions are a important part of this forum.

    Personally I prefer potent turbodiesels than hybrids. Discussing hybrid or turbodiesel high marque vehicles should not be out of bounds here!
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I personally have to agree with you. Your point is so well presented. As the hybrid discussion relates to high-end vehicles, it is totally appropriate, IMHO.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    "Today, at Toyota, there's nobody left from when I was there in 1968,'' he said. ``Some of the younger people act a little bit like how GM people were 50 years ago.''"

    What a surprise that comment is. Let's see - how many company's are in the world today that existed 38 years ago? That's about how many company's you can substitute for Toyota in Power's comment.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I understood the point "dewey" was making to be that there might be a similarity between GM "then" and Toyota "now", and that history could possibly repeat itself. OBVIOUSLY the same employees don't last forever, but perhaps the circumstances are similar. Personally, I don't think Toyota and GM share a doomed destiny, but the question is legitimate enough.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Disagree. The auto world is far more competitive and globalized today and execs have learned the lessons that others failed at. The Japanese are also much more meticulous than the American counterparts of the past. The smugness of GM in the past is haevily tied to a smaller less competitive market of auto manufacturers. Look to MB and BMW exec comments over the years as much more repetitive of the arrogance once shown by GM.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present the Lexus LS430.
    It is the car for "them."

    No kidding, hpowders. I have one. Problem is, I'm only 52, not 62, and the LS430 is pretty expensive. Saw a new one at the Motor Trend snow last weekend that went for 75,000. Mine stickered new at 61,000. Lincolns can be had for the mid $40s - a more mainstream price for masses of 62 years olds. That's all I'm saying. Cadillac has left that market and is more in the Lexus-BMW camp now, but BMW is not usually a pensioner's car.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Ask Islandguy, tagman, I didn't see it. I'm not making a demographic statement of fact, just saying old folks often have money to spend. That's all.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    Not unless you are on a retired congressman's pension. Do those folks have a great deal or what?
    I truly hope that the 2007 LS will look a little less conservative and Mercedes-like so it can appeal to a wider base; perhaps more of the affluent younger folks, but I'm not holding my breath.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Yes, that's on my list to do when I retire - run for Congress, serve one term, retire at full salary. Buy a Town Car. :P
  • Why bother running for Congress. Become an aid! The NYT reports that the starting salary for a Congressional aid who becomes a lobbyist is 300K.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    Name me any other job where you can actually vote yourself a raise!
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    Look to MB and BMW exec comments over the years as much more repetitive of the arrogance once shown by GM.

    Arrogance at MB and BMW is nothing compared to the arrogance of Toyota today!

    How is this for arrogance :

    Toyota claiming that they may raise the prices of their cars in order to help GM ! Treating your competitor like a beggar who is dependent on your alms is quite condescending, dont you think? Especially when the real reason Toyota is raising prices is because of steel, energy costs and higher capital expenditures.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    IIHS press release

    Certain marques that we like to discuss here are notably absent.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Heck, our Firemen make 150,000 here! And they all have's the Firetruck from Ford, I guess. No college, just high risk once in a while. At least, the Aid has an education.

    But back on the topic (I digress)
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Hey, ljflx,
    You responded to my comment and your first word was "Disagree". But then you seemed to agree. So, shich is it? Here's what I said after indicating that I understood the point that dewey was making:

    I said, "Personally, I don't think Toyota an GM share a doomed destiny..."

    Did you mean to disagree with that or did you mean to respond to a different thread, or what??????????
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The company has enormous untapped potential, and for the life of me, I don't know why they don't use more of it.

    I agree, but how do they exploit that without "pimping" the brand? More segments? No, I would hope not. Concentrate or more high-end products like the sports cars that were to be built with Mclaren, while cutting out lower level A/B-Classes, even though they are solid hits in Europe?

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Arrogance at MB and BMW is nothing compared to the arrogance of Toyota today!

    You aren't going to get any agreement from the Japanese-are-perfect crowd here.

    What I find really interesting is that anything a BMW or Mercedes executive says is deemed arrogant and out of touch with reality, yet when Danny Clements was doing all that tough talking about how Lexus was going to compete with BMW it was taken as gospel. Now that those goals haven't nearly been met at the level at which he preached and were told they would by Lexus fans who hung on his every word, what he stated is no longer important.

    Yet here you'd think that only European car company execs say stupid things.

    Oh lets detail that example in your post because I was just about to mention that one. Just a few months ago Toyota executives said openly that they were worried about GM's problems producing a backlash against them. In short they didn't want the public to stop buying Toyotas because Toyota is seen as the one really driving GM out of business. Toyota even offered to "raise" prices of their cars in order to help GM as you noted. That whole dialogue had to be the biggest pile of BS I'd ever seen from a modern day car "exec". Raising prices by a few hundred dollars wouldn't do anything but make Toyota more money because people already pay a "premium" for Toyotas compared to Korean cars and most other Japanese cars, yet they offered as some kind of solution to cooling off their sales to help GM. Like people who found Toyotas too expensive would all of sudden buy a Chevy or Buick. We all know they'd just buy a Honda or get a lower priced Toyota. However the kicker is that since this backlash against Toyota never formed they're now bragging about increasing production and market share in the U.S....., which is what they were going to do all along. Yet Toyota is so humble and meek, what a crock.

    Now watch as Toyota's statements get spun by the faithful here as some type of genuine offer from Toyota to "help" GM out, when at best it was really disingenuous and at worst just plain old BS (which execs from every continent are capable of).

    Now I'm reading where MB and BMW exec's current statements are like those of American car execs back in the day?

    This theory totally ignores that Germans still make highly desirable and competent cars and still set the benchmark in more than a few classes, which the Japanese continue to chase. Yeah some of them have reliability problems, that too being blown out of proportion here, but compared to American cars back in the day which were under-engineered, ugly, slow, and just plain undesirable, today's German car are nothing like that.

    The only Japanese companies that really stand out as being so good at the moment are Honda and Toyota, and even Honda isn't on fire like Toyota is, so this characterization of the "Japanese" being some kind of superior group of brands is false to say the least. There are many cracks in the armor at Nissan, and Mitsu, Mazda and other lower level Japanese brands aren't nearly as dominate or "perfect".

  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    First off, an apology cos this post is long (kinda) cos it attempts to explain what really happened about the so-called *hoax* in a failed pre-collision system in the W221 (2007 S-class), that Merc1 alluded to here:

    Merc1 said: "I'll take this as you didn't know what you were talking about when you first posted. If this story would have been something real it would have been all over the place, yet you're the only one that felt the need to bring it up - minus the whole story. Gotta do more research if you're going to bash.

    The MB engineers working with him would be under "he's gonna run the test anyway so let us see if we can make it work so we don't get embarrased". Only to have it fail because he was too much of an idiot in the first place.

    The whole thing has to be the stupidest thing I've read in years, yet you thought it was real."

    A poster on CL (European) actually provided what really happened, and its fully described below... somewhat long tho'. Let's just say that the *hoax* is the faux pas that MB execs tried to pull over the (un)suspecting public... read on....definitely worth reading

    "Basically, it was an test of pre-safe, something similar to PCS. This new system is one of the major features of S class. It has two radars that monitor traffic ahead, and prepare brakes and everything else in even of possible crash. It even adjusts braking power to keep the distance between vehicle ahead (so you wouldnt brake too hard if there is no real need, someone could run then into you). Same radar system works during their new distronic cruise control, which is world first that works between 0kmh and 200kmh, completly stopping the car and starting it again.

    What happened was this:

    1. DC wanted to demonstrate their pre-safe technology in adverse conditions (fog). They called in biggest magazine - Autobild (not MotorBild, lol), and Stern TV, which is investigative report show (very famous in Germany)

    2. DC realized that system wont work in closed building and together with Autobild editor, they decided to fake it. Could Autobild editor make MB directors to fake the damn thing? I find that really ridicilous. What happened is that they didnt want to loose face in front of Stern TV, which would then publish it.

    3. DC in arragment with Autobild editor, put an board over one part of the track so Autobild editor would know when to start braking. They thought system has only 40% of chance to work.

    4. SternTV had several cameras around and mike on the Autobild editor. Before the first run, they heard when Autobild ed was complaining to MB guy how he is worried that TV will notice that there was no sound warning in the car when he started braking. This is when Stern TV took notice and started taping everything closer.

    5. Ed went off in new S class, and since it is small track, he forgot himself and did not brake when he should have, simply running into the next car. MB blamed it on the building and got another s class in.

    6. TV started taping hushed discussions between MB employees. They were denied passanger seat in new test. They taped the board over the track.

    7. Next run, Ed was braking long before even board was hit, so they had to repeat it.

    And finally, Stern TV published report that mage huge deal out of MB trying to fake the test, together with Autobild. They got one of the DC bosses in who explained how they knew system wouldnt work so they put the board over. He apologized to Stern TV for not letting them know that :-).

    What happened was MB trying to save their face in the eve of S class launch.
    This is one of their biggest new features and they didnt want to admit it doesnt work always. They got Autobild Editor to agree, I suspect they are long time buddies but they wanted TV not to notice anything. They have been basically caught with their pants down, and lost huge deal of credibility.

    To blame it on Autobild is pretty funny, while editor shouldnt have agreed, he was the one who seemed worried and twitchy, younger guy with lots of upper DC executives around him."

    Hmmmm..... a *hoax* indeed, except that the real question should be: who exactly is trying to fool the other???

    source: link title
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    Yeah some of them have reliability problems, that too being blown out of proportion here

    When some forum members predict the demise of Audi or MB because of certain reliability issues it makes me laugh as I refer to some dated Consumer Reports that are over 30 years old.

    Thirty years ago Audi and BMW reliability measures were below average in the past and was even worse than today when compared to the competition! Was Audi and BMW doomed from the American market because of these issues? Absolutely not because BMW, and Audi produced and currently produce some of the "Best of the Class" vehicles in the industry!

    Unlike BMW and Audi, the reliability of MBs were bullet-proof in the past and I have living proof in our garage(my wife's 83 MB300D). Despite current reliability issues with certain MB vehicles today, MB will continue thriving as long as they build exciting Benchmark vehicles that people dream of owning. But I have confidence MB's reliability issues will be resolved since MB itself has made it a priority to resolve. Zetsche appears to be someone who translates his "words" into "deeds".
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety,
    The institute, which judges cars by size class, has designated 10 automobiles to receive the new awards. In the first results, released last night, Volkswagen AG and its luxury brand Audi was the clear winner, taking five of the 10 awards. .

    Five out Ten for Audi/VW is not bad! Safety is an important issue for many! Probably a bit more important than reliability? I think so!
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Yes that was an impressive showing.

    It is interesting though that MB and Volvo, with their heritage and reputation as safety innovators, didn't make the list.
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    Back in the 60's, nobody thought GM and Ford would be brought to their knees. Especially no one would think the Japanese companies would be the cause of it!

    If Toyota and the other Japanese automaking powerhouses (namely, Honda and Nissan) meet a less than glorious end, and it's very probable in 30, 40 years, it won't be because of GM, Ford, DCX or any Western company. It will be because of a collection of Chinese and Indian companies, most of them unheard of or even existing today! I read that, in 2050, the Chinese economy will be 7 times the Japanese company! That'll be pretty odds Toy will have to play against.
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    Merc, MB lost to VW/Audi in safety. What do you say about that?
  • Thirty years ago Audi and BMW reliability measures were below average in the past and was even worse than today..

    Try like 5-10 years ago Audi was building absolute, marginal junk and they improved recently because the Japanese spanked them soundly in quality and durability. After all this is a VW product with a nicer showroom. They never beat the competition in anything other than interior which Lexus easily has in spades and even Acura. Guess which one of these will easliy run to 250K like the old Legend and LS's do?? The new M35/45 is even better executed than anything they could muster up.

    These same bozo engineers at BMW used plastic water pump impellers on these "fine cars". We won't even get into the electrical christmas trees lights flashing. Which is why anything built to last in that country is suspect to begin with. Cars that look good on the skin but break easy that's german for you. BMW is best in class for ugliness and cheezy new interiors.. Who's cost-cutting their interiors the worst today? BMW easily followed by M.B.

    Merc1 what's your take on why Mercedes had to borrow the Mazda RX 8 on its flagship car(could it be because it was designed in Japan?)and current Toyota RAV 4 design for the 06 ML.. Isn't it funny how the MB copying theme is now on the other foot?
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