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High End Luxury Cars



  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    mean, we don't see them i the USA-but surely Peugeot, Renault, Citroen must market lines of luxury cars-what are they?

    I cant think of any French car that can be considered HELM material? Although I have driven some exciting non-luxury Citroens and Peugots in Europe.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    You are quite welcome!
    Always eager to help a rational thinker! :)
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    iam not saying MB, BMW are bad, but lexus is much better at least IMHO

    I am glad you clarified your statement with the initials IMHO.
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    I pretty much know exactly what I see in photos, can parse the jump from 3D to 2D and can judge the technical details involved—size, proportion, dimension, scale etc. What I am saying is, according to what I see in the photos, I know almost exactly what I am going to see and the ambience I am going too feel when I sit in that driver’s seat. I am in no way speculating in this regard. Now, others may need to do it live but trust me, I don’t. 99% of the time I know what I am going to see live. You will rarely if ever hear me say it looked one way in the photos and another way live. For all intent and purpose, I HAVE sat in the front seat of the LS460.

    Wow. We need you to work for the CIA or NSA doing photo analysis - then we could catch Osama. And Jack Bauer needs you to prove he is being framed for the murder of ex-President Palmer [sorry, "24" is on while I'm writing this]. ;)

    At least you admit that you could be wrong 1% of the time. Perhaps this is one of those rare occasions... "Rarely wrong, but never in doubt." :P
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    If the LS430 is close to being as good as an MB S or a BMW 7 series, then why are LS sales so crappy in Japan itself?

    I don't believe that comparison is particularly valid. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that social status and standing are even more important in Japan than in the states. Perception is also very important. As Lexus has not truly existed as a separate Marque, the equivalent in the states would be something like Chrysler, Ford, or Chevrolet branding.

    In addition, in many countries (particularly the states, and I suspect Japan as well), imports have a certain cachet lacking in domestics. An analogy that comes readily to mind is beer (some insight into my personal life, there). One of my favorite beers is Newcastle Brown Ale. My sister (who has lived in the UK for several years) and her husband (a lifelong Brit) chuckle when they see me drinking one, because it is like drinking Pabst over there. On the flip side, they say that Bud Light is a popular, trendy beer over there. Go figure.

    Edit: If you have the sales numbers of Lexus Japan since September, I'm guessing most here would like to see them.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Just saw this:
    European sales

    I thought some might be interested.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    I found some numbers for MB, BMW, and Toyota (the Lexus equivalents) from an article one year ago (it doesn't give the specific year, only an average).

    Japan Luxo Sales

    In short, MB sell 45k, BMW 35K, and "Lexus" 50K. Interesting to note that 10% of MB sales are S and SL, and 7% of BMW are 7s--much higher than European ratios.
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    If it was 7 years ago I would give a 'no' to all three brands. Lincoln and Chrysler still are outside the corral.

    Cadillac seems to be serious about making excellent cars after spending much of the 1980s/1990 in the wilderness.

    The new XLR, DTS, STS and CTS Cadillacs compare well with models from the other brands discussed here. Solid car sales increases over the last 5-6 years indicate these cars are well received. Car sales were up again in 2006 by 13.4%.

    The Escalade is now a force to be reckoned with. The new 07 model has moved way up the scale.
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    MB just completed their 12th consecutive year of increased sales in the USA. BMW has a stellar track record too.

    The success of Lexus doesn't mean BMW/MB are out of the picture.

    I will grant that Jaguar's future is cloudy. Audi will continue to be eclipsed by reliability issues and the high visiblity of the BMW/MB brands.
  • lexusilexusi Posts: 65
    Intersting that someone here said that lexus in japan (formely toyota) is not selling as good as germans??! I want to ask, where do europhiles stand their opinions on?! no numbers, figures? how can you say something without support!! Glad to know that toyota sold more than BMW and MB, but whats more intersting that they are aiming at 100K in the next years, good luck germans, the only places germans are selling is in europe, and they are doing that becoz alot of ppl need taxis there!!

  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    MB just completed their 12th consecutive year of increased sales in the USA. BMW has a stellar track record too. The success of Lexus doesn't mean BMW/MB are out of the picture.

    No they're not out of the picture, nor do I expect that to happen, however Lexus has and imho will continue to gain market share. Some others were asking about "where Lexus' share has come from" and I couldn't find 1990 data, but autochannel has press releases going back more than 10 years:

    10 year growth:

    BMW 1995 93,309...2005 266,200 up 185%
    MB 1995 76,752...2005 224,421 up 192%
    Lexus 1995 79,334...2005 302,895 up 282%

    5 year growth:

    BMW 2000 189,423...2005 266,200 up 41%
    MB 2000 205,614...2005 224,421 up 9%
    Lexus 2000 206,037...2005 302,895 up 47%

    MB's 5 year numbers are somewhat galling, because 9% growth in 5 years is actally slower-growing than the US economy. Just another sign that MB reliability issues have taken a toll.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Thanks for that info. Where on the autochannel site did you find that info? I couldn't find it anywhere on that site.

  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Gary… my 1% claim could be a little optimistic. If school records are any indication, perhaps I am wrong about 7% of the time. However if we go by my wife, the number spikes drastically, probably close to 100%. So take it from there.

  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Basically you need to go to the news archive (here) and look for the individual press releases. For instance for th 1995 sales I looked at the January 1997 archive...early Jan press releases (Jan 8, 1997 in this case) have 1996 full-year sales but this always includes a reference to 1995 sales.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Thanks for the numbers syswei. Considering the 5-year growth percentages, I think BMW’s 41% is more significant and profound than Lexus’s 47% because Lexus is still establishing itself and still in the process of saturating its niche. I would think there should be more disparity. In any event, it is proof enough that although Lexus is doing just swell* as we all know, they are not conquering the world. Now if someone said Toyota will conquer the world, I would entertain that more seriously.

    *Swell. I think this word could be making a comeback thanks to Alan Shore on Boston Legal.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Well I was surprised that on a 5-year basis BMW grew almost as fast as Lexus. I had a mental impression that BMW has been doing pretty well in the US, but I didn't realize quite how well. However I would disagree that "BMW’s 41% is more significant and profound than Lexus’s 47%" . In my view, Lexus already had more unit sales 5 years ago than BMW, and in luxury sales it is harder imho to post big sales increases from an already large base (largely because some luxury buyers prefer some element of "uniqueness").
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    There is always a challenger ready to take on the established leaders.

    When the market leaders look secure the business barometer swings to 'Prepare for Change'.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    Here is a Bloomberg news piece about the Japanese luxury auto market from three weeks ago. The Germans do dominate the Japanese luxury market for good reasons!

    The three automakers(Toyota, Honda and Nissan) want a larger slice of the domestic market for cars costing more than 3.5 million yen ($30,000). DaimlerChrysler AG's Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen AG's Audi and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG dominate the segment, which accounts for 8 percent of cars sold in Japan. Still, minicars which typically cost less than 1 million yen are the fastest growing part of the market.

    In the first 11 months of this year, BMW's sales in Japan increased 17 percent, Audi's sales climbed 15 percent and those at Mercedes-Benz gained 3.5 percent. Japan's passenger car market as a whole rose 0.6 percent during the same period..

    German Luxury Dominance in Japan and the World
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    The riddle is quite easily solved: Lexus brand simply did not exist in Japan until the last third of 2005. In other words, there has not yet been a full model year history of Lexus in Japan. Of course the German luxury brands dominate the market when Lexus, Infiniti and Acura are all absent; what do you expect? Cadillac or Lincoln domination? The reality is that the four Toyota sedan models (equivalent to IS, GS, LS and SC) outsold all MB and BMW models even when they were marketted as Toyota's! With a separate luxury brand identity, one can only reasonably expect better sales. On top of that, there's also the Toyota Harrier (RX) and whatever they call the equivalent of ES . . . RX and ES account for some 75-80% of Lexus sales in the US. BTW, it's interesting to note that S and 7 series account for only more or less single-digit per centage of their overall sales . . . and the biggest shocker was that cars over $33.6k only account for 8% of car sales in Japan . . . hmm . . . perhaps they have not discovered MBUSA and BMWUSA's creative financing yet: how to reduce the monthly payment to a pittance on a car that has an exhorbitant MSRP.

    Also interesting to note that, Toyota is not folding its top of the line Crown models into Lexus brand in Japan.
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    The rapid sales growth at BMW over the past 5yrs came mainly from the SUV's. In 2000, RX300 was already the top selling luxury SUV. . . X5 and X3 did not exist yet.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I think the X5 started in late 99. But I think it is true that the BMW SUV lineup was less "built out" in 2000 than Lexus', given that BMW had only 1 SUV at that point, so their 5-year growth benefited more from an SUV "catch-up" than is the case for Lexus.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Now if someone said Toyota will conquer the world, I would entertain that more seriously.

    Isn't Toyota on the way to becoming world's #1 car maker ?

    I think BMW’s 41% is more significant and profound than Lexus’s 47% because Lexus is still establishing itself and still in the process of saturating its niche.

    To the contrary, an established name like BMW should grow faster than a newbie like Lexus who needs to establish itself. But the reverse was the case, making Lexus' accomplishments even more outstanding. MB grew at ~4000 cars/yr over the last 5 years, BMW at 13,000 car/yr, and Lexus at ~20,000 cars/yr. BMW's trend is great and they obviously are doing real well, despite all the hoopla about the Bangle designs. MB is the real nut to crack. For the history and heritage of the brand, they are falling behind the leaders - Lexus, BMW (in NA) and Audi in Europe. Hopefully Cordes will have the magic wand to turn the ship around...
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    I found this while trying to find which automaker is dominating the Japanese luxo market.

    Interesting sales numbers from Japan

    Unfortunately, they don't break it down by model. Interesting that Toyota is losing (relative) ground, while still selling half of all luxury (please refer to the article's own definition) vehicles. I guess that means that BMW and MB have some conquest sales. I wish it had some numbers for Audi and the U.S. ( :) ) luxury brands.

    The article states that MB, BMW, and VW/Audi dominate the market, then comes right back with conflicting numbers. This probably illustrates what Brightness was saying about how only luxury "brands" are considered on one side of the argument, while vehicle cost is on the other. I don't think we can really say too much about the whole thing until there is a full model year (2007) with all of Lexus-Japan's cars in the lineup (the Celsior/LS is moving to Lexus this summer).
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Thanks for the link.

    10 year car growth:

    BMW 1995: 93,309... 2005: 197,833 up 112%
    MB 1995: 76,752... 2005: 183,169 up 139%
    Lexus 1995: 79,334... 2005: 151,226 up 91%

    It's interesting to see that in the past 10 years, MB and BMW car sales have been increasing at a faster rate than Lexus car sales.

    Lexus kills MB and BMW in SUV sales though. It was smart of them to capitalize on that market.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Do you have five year rates for cars alone? That may help determine the shape of the growth curve.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Some people like to count only cars, for reasons I just can't fathom...other than the reason that it makes German brands look better.

    If you were trying to figure out from sales numbers what high-end bicycle company was meeting customer desires better, would you look only at road bikes, and exclude mountain bikes? Would that make any sense?

    If you were trying to figure out from sales numbers what high-end wristwatch company was meeting customer desires better, would you look only at men's watches, and exclude ladies watches? Would that make any sense?

    If SUVs don't matter, and shouldn't count, why does BMW build them? Why does MB?

    Are SUVs less worthy of being counted because they have fewer wheels? No. Less expensive? No. What is the reason for not counting them, then? That Lexus does well with them?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I didnt say BMW is yesterdays news, I said "The BMW" meaning the 7 series. Its aging, and there's just no way it will in a comparison against the S550, or LS460. Other than the styling cues, not a lot has changed since its introduction.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Apparently most automakers dont seem to think that the inherent balance of an I6 is worth the trade-off. It also takes a very well tuned suspension and steering system to notice the difference, I think. If Lexus switched the I6 in the SC and GS for the V6 in the ES, I dont think anybody would've noticed.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Personally, I simply like to see both numbers. When I shop for a vehicle, how many vehicles of Brand X are sold versus Brand Y or Z probably won't make one whit of difference. But I would either be shopping for a sedan/coupe or an SUV/CUV/Truck, never both. Maybe it's just me, but I don't consider them the same. From an accountant's or CEO/CFO's perspective, it wouldn't matter.

    One other thing to consider: if gas suddenly goes to $5/gallon, a manufacturer more heavily entrenched in the truck/SUV side of things may suffer more.
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