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Comments

  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    In the Ray Catena MB ad from yesterdays times I saw some of the biggest discounts I've ever seen on MB cars including an S600 discounted $30K and an SL 55 discounted $32K. This was a long list with even the CL being heavily discounted. But the grandaddy of them all was a Maybach 62 discounted $101K.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,306
    Just kidding about the valet.
    My wife thinks I'm nuts but when I go to Disneyworld, I drop her off and park my 5 month old 545 in the remote lot and walk about a mile back to the hotel.
    I still could get dinged but at least I know my seat will be in its correct position and none of my radio presets will be changed.
    No valet for me!
  • hpowders:

    This is a problem that BMW have to consider---valet parking.

    Valet abuse and toying with the cars is a most annoying problem. A lot of times people just do not know. But rubber is burnt, stereo is played with, seat settings are changed.

    Sometimes, if your car is brand new, they parked it in the back. "Better to play with it my dear."

    A lot of times you have no choice, say that you are in the middle of a big city on urgent business, you really cannot find a park and lock and walk towards your destination.

    Even in the underground garages, your car could be good entertainment.

    A valet key should only be able to move the car enough to park it, and should not be the key to turn on all the other features.

    Is it because this situation does not arise too often that the manufacturer have not addressed this? Not everyone have a chaffeur that can watch the car like a hawk.

    Thanks,

    Manny
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Good Post,
    Here are the retention rates by Marque:
    Lexus 63.0%
    Cadillac 53.0%
    Mercedes-Benz 52.6%
    BMW: 50.0%
    Industry AVG: 49.6
    Acura: 45.7%
    Audi: 38.1%
    Jaguar: 37.1
    Lincoln: 35.7%

    Source is JD Powers Retention Study 2005. Jaguar is fighting a serious case of Poor Brand Perception. Most people still equate Jaguar = Bad Quality. I don't think Jaguar has gone far enough to dispell the notion Jaguars will fall apart. I think this is the chief contributor to their pitiful resale value.

    I love Jaguars and would love to own one..But it has to make sense. They still are a poor value to the new car buyer and lack some of the modern tech that their competitors have. The introduction of the bland XJ didn't do anything for me. I'd still buy an older XJ8 in a heartbeat.

    SV
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Wow. I thought BMW was closer to Lexus than that. This clearly shows how ridiculous the future projections we just debated here are. Audi doesn't surprise me as it's retention is abysmal but Acura's low retention is surprising. Infiniti is missing from that list.
  • ron_mron_m Posts: 188
    These survey results also appeared in AutoBeat Daily a couple of weeks ago. I found them to be quite interesting. The big shocker to me was that Chevrolet was actually number 5 or 6 on the retention rate list. I'll have to go back and re-read the article in AutoBeat Daily to verify exactly where they came in at, but it was very high. The high retention rate numbers for Chevy has to be for their pickup trucks and SUVs. I just don't see how it could possibly be for passenger cars. One thing is for sure though, people that are GM loyalists are very, very serious about it for reasons that are unbeknownst to me. I must admit that the General burned me once, but I'd be hard pressed to purchase another one of their products anytime soon.

    The last new vehicle that I purchased was at the end of Sept. 2002--and it was a Lexus sports sedan. It has been a great car thus far. I have only experienced one very, very minor issue that was resolved in about 45 minutes under warranty. It really wasn't that big of a deal, but I am extremely picky about my vehicles and decided to see if the dealership would address my concern before the warranty expired. They did, and I would gladly purchase another Lexus car or SUV. By my definition, Lexus most definitely deserves the stellar build quality and downstream reliability reputation that they currently have. No car manufacturer is perfect, including Lexus, but they do seem to do a pretty darn good job of building high quality cars and SUVs.

    Ron M.
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    I agree with blckislandguy. While it may look a bit conservative, the new aluminum Jaguar XJ is light, responsive, and well priced compared to the competition.

    Even the supercharged R version is priced in the class of lower powered cars. I drove cars such as the new 750, A-8 and Mercedes--- all priced in the 75-80k range, and the XJR feels like a quick sled by comparison.

    I think that the marketing has been very poor. They should be marketing the XJ based on its pricing, abilities, and superior fuel economy for a luxury car. They spent all of this money developing the new aluminum chasis and body, but they never talk about it. Ford seems very foolish to go this far in the XJ's new style of fabrication and design, while not making much noise about it.

    While they may depreciate quickly, they are good values as lease cars. You can lease or buy a base XJ8 for not much more than a loaded 5 Series BMW, or E class Mercedes. Ford seems asleep at the wheel in marketing these cars.

    BTW, while the depreciation is a problem,it is the same, or maybe even better than the A8 and other luxury cars.

    The styling may be bland for some, but it retains a certain amount of Jaguar cache. The tall roof may look more conventional than the old XJ, but at my height of 6'3", the old car was really claustrophobic.

    Having driven the old style Jaguar XJ and the new one, I cannot imagine anybody thinking that the old design and execution is better. The new XJ is much quicker and lighter. Maybe the lines of the old XJ were sleeker, but the old version was low slung, cramped, and quite uncomfortable by comparison to the new version.

    Meanwhile, the fact remains that Ford has not handled the Jaguar situation well.
  • Wow! They may want to consider offering buy-one-and-get-one-free deals! "At least one of them might be working when you find the urge to drive" ;-)
  • The plot really is not complicated: MB has been losing prestige hands over fist over the past 20 years. Two decades ago, it was a sensation that MB introduced an entry level car that was 2.5-3 times the average new car price to reach a younger generation of owners . . . Today, the bulk of MB sales are for cars more or less at or slightly above or below the average new car price, depending on where you live in the world.

    BTW, don't blame me for mentioning the lease pricing . . . Lease is apparently MB's preferred marketting tool, where one can find out how much a new MB really costs.
  • Does this not sound like a current Lexus LS review ?

    No it does not. Reviews have not bemoaned about LS not haing MB handling or ride for years. It has had a cushier ride than MB since 1989, and outhandles S class since 1998. The price difference has not been an issue lately either, as it is actually more expensive to acquire an LS than a low-level S, given MB's subsidies.

    Does the following not sound like a current review of any pricey BMW?

    That is not current either. The successor to 2800CS is the 5 series. A 6-cyl 5 series can be leased for little over $500/mo, well within means for mere motals.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    THIS STUDY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RESALE VALUE!

    If you actually read the study, you would have read that the study "measures the percentage of new-vehicle buyers and lessees who replace a vehicle that was previously purchased new with a new vehicle from the same nameplate."

    You could also call it "Brand Loyalty."

    Nice try, though... :P
  • Gee, lets not shout at each other the day after Christmas.

    While I haven't read the study nor even seen excerpts in trade journals, it seems to me, albeit a Jag fan, that yes, this study is quite clearly a proxy for resale value. Maybe in fact owner retention rate is the best predictor of resale in the future. What causes good resale, among other things, is high retention. The retention rate is a driving dynamic in this.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    While I haven't read the study nor even seen excerpts in trade journals, it seems to me, albeit a Jag fan, that yes, this study is quite clearly a proxy for resale value. Maybe in fact owner retention rate is the best predictor of resale in the future. What causes good resale, among other things, is high retention. The retention rate is a driving dynamic in this.

    I'll have to disagree.... If that were the case, then Chevrolet would have the 4th highest resale, Hyundai the 5th highest, Ford the 6th highest, and Cadillac the 7th highest. We all know that those are definitely not cars with high resale.... Also note that Infiniti is near the bottom of this study, but I don't believe their resale is that bad.

    J.D. Power and Associates 2005 Customer Retention Study
  • While I'm open to the idea that MB is subsidizing the S Class, I'd really like some proof (e.g., Edmunds TMV?) that one can pick up a new S Class for less money than a Lexus LS. The costs may even out because of depreciation when you factor in the TCO data over 5 years but I'm not convinced that a LS is more expensive to acquire.
  • I have seen several S350 ads showing less than $450/mo lease deals. As far as I know, there is no way you can get LS for that little outlay.
  • Retention rate I think does predict resale if one compares apples to apples. Clearly, Chevrolet-largely a truck/large SUV line, has a superior resale to Ford -again largely a truck/SUV line.

    Infiniti-resale is an oxymoron.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Even if you lease, you're still going to get killed if you get a new Jag. Now that Jaguars are basically reliable cars, the best thing to do is to buy them at 3-4 years old. By 2007, a '04 XJ8 will have lost some 2\3 of its value, and you'll be able to buy it for less than the price of an X-type. You can buy a '98 XK convertible for the price of a Honda Civic. Not even A8s are that bad.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    ;)
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    No it does not. Reviews have not bemoaned about LS not haing MB handling or ride for years. It has had a cushier ride than MB since 1989, and outhandles S class since 1998. The price difference has not been an issue lately either, as it is actually more expensive to acquire an LS than a low-level S, given MB's subsidies.

    A MB S350?

    What continent do you live in? Does North America actually sell MB350s? What part of the world are your reviews from, expecially the ones comparing a MB350 versus a LS430. It would be interesting to know since the LS430 is not taken seriously anywhere else in the world but North America.

    That is not current either. The successor to 2800CS is the 5 series. A 6-cyl 5 series can be leased for little over $500/mo, well within means for mere motals.

    What royalty do your mortals belong to ? The House of Saud? The successor to a 2800CS is a BMW 6 series. Also 8 thousand dollars spent on a BMW 2800CS during 1970 was not exactly an immortal act.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    MB has sold about 13k of the new CLS's this year, so that can be called a success, and the ML is still doing quite well. But with those 4 lines shown above, it's a loss of 15,483 cars over the same time in 2004 for Mercedes.

    The whole purpose of having new models like the CLS is to increase market share and penetration. But when you lose nearly 16k cars in the other direction, that's not good.


    I'm fully aware of the sales numbers. Like Dewey stated, MB should see a bigger improvement next year when some of their core models get some attention (E and S). The only Mercedes introduction that hasn't gone well this year is the R-Class, for good reason IMO.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The plot and point of the conversation was lost pages ago with all that leasing mumbo jumbo. Everyone doesn't lease. Despite your gloom and doom outlook and their loss of prestige (which I agree with) MB is still #1 in that regard when it comes to the mass-market brands.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    It has had a cushier ride than MB since 1989, and outhandles S class since 1998.

    The first point is arguable, but the second isn't. The LS doesn't outhandle the S-Class. The so-called wannbe "Euro" option for the LS can't even be had. Its a rarer car than than a Aston-Martin. Everytime I've driven a LS430 it yowled and keeled over like an old battleship on the high seas. The S-Class isn't nearly as loose and lifeliess, plus you can actually get a S-Class in sport trim.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Audi doesn't surprise me as it's retention is abysmal but Acura's low retention is surprising. Infiniti is missing from that list.

    Why would Acura's low retention be a surprise? They don't have anything to move up to from the RL. A buyer gets a TL then another and then move up to a RL. Then what? They don't have anything to keep a buyer in the fold once the buyer's taste have moved past the entry and middle level market segments. The last RL only took 9 years to be replaced. Why would anyone buy that car again and again every three years? Of course they'd leave the brand. Proof the reliability isn't the only thing that matters. Acura is still sitting on the porch.

    M
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Okay, so what direction do people feel (or want) each high-end marque should take?

    Infiniti (as it is near and dear to me): Reinvent the Q just like they reinvented the M. AWD option on all car/engine combinations.

    Lexus: Styling (although the new LS looks like it will be a winner), and fewer/cheaper option bundles (sorry, but if I shell out 56k for a base LS, the Ultra package shouldn't add 20 large).

    MB: Concentrate on reliability and their higher end cars.

    Acura: Create a car one level up from the RL (LWB and V8).

    BMW: Improve reliability of the 7. Otherwise I think they are doing everything pretty darn well.

    Jaguar: Dump the X-type. Create dedicated platforms and engines. I don't know if I like the idea of them trying to move higher with their top-end unless they are truly committed to selling (far?) fewer cars.

    Audi: Work on their advertising. Create better name recognition. Rework the fish-mouth--sure it is recognizable, but not everything unique is good or attractive. They produce beatiful cars--from the side and rear as well as on the inside.
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    I believe that Infiniti is working on a Q replacement, but little info or spy photos...so,it sure seems to be quite a secret project at this time. I think that they will probably nail it this time after the success with the M45.

    Acura seems to have missed the mark with the new RL. It is a well-built, nice car, but its appearance is so generic and bland that they get little attention. It looks small for this class. They could use a flagship, but I have not heard any talk about this as a real possibility.

    The Jaguar X type is likely to be dropped in the next couple of years, but they still seem to sell them to the middle aged and older folks who always wanted a Jaguar. Even though they dilute the brand, the X types still constitute a chunk of Jaguar's current U.S. sales, so I wonder how they can dump the car right now. Meanwhile, the replacement for the Jaguar S type is not due until 2008, so Jaguar has little in the pipeline for the next couple of years, except the XK sports cars.

    BMW makes a great car. As many have noted over and over again, their worst point has been the Bangle styling which is going to fade. The recent advance pics of the new 7 series look good. No more Bangle excesses and the ultimate driving machines look like winners.

    IMO, Lexus has really become bland as a luxury car. The current LS430 is as exciting as a comfortable sofa. However, I acknowledge that the upcoming new generation LS may change that. The GS is really disappointing to me. I recently drove a GS430 and it seemed more like a sportier looking, well built Buick, rather than a real contender as a mid luxury sports sedan...By comparison, the M45 is a much better new product. However, the new IS is a really nice lead off to the future. I am sure that Lexus will bounce back with some more hot products
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    It will certainly be interesting to see what happens with the Q. If I were Infiniti, I would be tearing apart a Quattroporte, and copying everything. That car absolutely sets the benchmark on how to make a full size, super-lux sedan that is also a blast to drive. Not even the 7 comes close. I also think the GT-R is going to be a total hit. It's pretty embarrasing that Japan's most famous sports car in the US is still the Toyota Supra... a car that has not been on sale for almost 10 years.

    Unfortunately, the bean counters have given the axe to the idea of using a shortened XJ platform for the next S-type, so instead it will continue with the already obsolete DEW98 platform, meaning everyone will continue to not care about the S-type.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The IS350 is good, but I dont think it's good enough. There's just no way it will win any comparison tests against the 330i. No 350 AWD and no 350 with a MT were also dumb decisions that will hurt them. Also, the next Infiniti G is just a year or so away, and I dont think Lexus will be able to defend themselves against what will probably be an absolute monster.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    I heard through my dealer that the G-coupe is going to have a convertible hard-top option. What a blast with a 6 speed MT and (minimum) 298 hp.

    Trunk space? What's that?
  • I sat in a S550 yesterday. The interior seems a bit busy with all the chrome trim--seems very 70s American. :confuse:

    The seat was quite comfortable. We were unable to drive the car. They are only for display.
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    It really is quite a success story that Infiniti has become more of a leading edge company in recent years. They were lost and dying until they got awakened by the Ghosan/French connection. They went from being lost to becoming somewhat inspired...

    I have to say that the failure of Jaguar to take this aluminum mode to the next generation mid-class sport/luxo sedan (S Type) is a mistake. As the owner of an XJR, I can only imagine how a smaller all aluminum sedan with the Supercharged V-8 would respond. As many have noticed, the current S Type R is slower than the larger XJR with the same engine/drivetrain due to its weight. If Ford had the money and balls to "go for it" in the next generation S Type, they might have had a world class car in this segment.
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