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High End Luxury Cars



  • I dont think Lexus should celebrate just yet. They might be excited at 5K/month, but these are low margin models.

    Lexus does not have product with 70K+ MSRP which can provide high margin bliss.

    Lexus is content to be a high volume, low margin luxury player. May be they find happiness and deep satisfaction with low margins and hate high-margin as it might result in too much happiness and uncontrollable emotional surge leading to acid reflux and heart attack.
  • rayngrayng Posts: 70
    IMHO, Toyota's pricing strategy is appropriate for the Lexus brand. As a much younger marque without much pedigree or tradition, a high-margin, low-volume pricing structure would simply not work. What does work is building a great car for a reasonable price. Overcharging for the sake of doing so only works on occassion for established marques with a great deal of racing pedigree producing very low volume automobiles.

    BTW, Lexus just set a new monthly sales record.

    So I think Lexus is doing pretty well--quite "content to be a high volume, low margin luxury player." ;)
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Unless you have some new information, they have the highest volume in the US, and have more operating income than the Big 3 combined, so these stones you hold are, at best, miscast.

    And with the LS600h, they won't have any problems selling them, for sticker! And a V10 sportscar is coming.

    Toyota could buy, and sell, any maker, probably twice.

    Why don't you pick a genuine target, like the French, Paula Abdul, or Les Moonves?

  • There are no stones, only love and more love.

    Or may be stones made of wool.

    French are imploding, Paula is growing old/messy, les moonves, forget that.

    Lexus has high volume passion, not high margin.

    Mercedes: High margin, high volume Love.
    Lexus: low margin, high volume Love.

    Lexus does not want high-margin bliss, thats my reading!
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Toyota may not make money on a per-car basis like Porsche does, but who cares? In terms of pure net profit, Toyota rakes in $3+B a quarter, more than many automakers make all year. How profitable was the "high-margin" M-B last year?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Do you have any clue about how low a build cost Lexus has vs its competition? You are so off base on this that its hard to even comment back to. Lexus is the exact opposite of what you think. They are low volume and high - in fact very high - margin. Do some research before posting absurd comments. Attack Lexus on style and sport if you want to as that has some merit but on the business side attacking Toyota and Lexus is like being boastful on the Titanic - as it was sinking.

    Now if you want to visit the worst lux business in the US then talk Audi - low volume and low margin.
  • manegimanegi Posts: 110
    At an analyst meeting last month, Katsuaki Watanabe, the CEO of Toyota, sounded apologetic for the "low profitabilty" due to "huge investment in new technologies and production capacity" - He said that once this peaks in the next one two years, the margins will improve.

    So current profitability of Toyota is not the internal target - It is way higher.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    They are expensing rather than capitalizing the new R&D fuel technology. This has been known for a long time now and it has nothing to do with margin per car. There are probably a number of reasons for this decision including conservative accounting but possibly also PR. The latter is simple - Toyota's $13bln of profitablility would be around $17-18 bln if you adjust for these expenses. What does the rest of the industry that is profitable earn - maybe half of that. Sometimes it's good PR to make yourself underperform your real numbers. It's an easy adjustment for Wall street as the multiple goes up to compensate for the conservative accounting. On top of that your future profitability is greatly improved as you have little depreciation of the new technology.
  • Please dont burn with anger. Let me re-phrase. If Lexus prices its products head-to-head with mercedes and keeps a low build cost like you said then it will make better business sense.
    No one wants to attack Lexus/Toyota. We all want to Love.

    Lexus is in line with what I think, not opposite. Because, we both love margins. Only problem is Lexus needs to get more ambitious than just cutting costs and improving quality.

    They should shun cut-rate pricing and compete head-to-head with Sultans of Sindelfingen.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    A clear success (the SC), in selling over 35000 in less than 3 years, and is still around while the XLR, quietly, quickly, is carried into Retirement Village, on a stretcher of GM incentives.

    Interesting that you would compare to the XLR of all things. I guess if you compare a loser to a bigger loser it makes the first loser look good? ;)

    The IS is better looking (by a margin) than the 3

    In your dreams. The IS looks decent, but, sorry, it's no 3. No way.

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The 3 from the front is the only Bangle car that I think is attractive. From the rear though, not so much. The IS has an edge in that area.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    The 3 looks like a prune. It's a gnarly little thing.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Lexus never had costs to cut as they were very low right from the get go. This is business 101 we are talking about. You are an entrant into an established field with much lower costs than your competition. Why on earth would you price your product with theirs. That's the quickest way to failure for a start-up business that there is. Let's have some common business sense here. If you look at things from a long-term perspective as a company like Toyota does you'll see that MB prices have dropped since 1990 while Lexus prices are up in a range of 30-100% and on average 50%. Initial LS cost was 35-42K with most cars at 40K. Current prices are 58-73K with most prices at 63K and with the 2007 model we'll see thos prices jump $7-10K+. Meanwhile the S just came down another $2K. That is the way you go about a LT business plan on pricing and the execution here is letter perfect.

  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    Can you feel the love?
    BMW sales are up through the roof.
    The people have become totally Banglefied.
    Not surprising: incredible driveability coupled with bold, aggressive, unique styling.
  • Did the S come down 2K? When?

    It is still $86,135 and has been skyrocketing 2-3K every year.

    If I am wrong I will accept it. Can you provide year-by-year data to support your statements from 1995.

    S500/S550 vs LS400/430

    Peace to the power of 4.
  • I think the problem with 3 is the deformed eyes and tail lamps. These deformities are a passion of Chris Bangle, who is an ardent believer in "deformities".

    Sweet shapes cause massive pain in his brain and neurons fire violently.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    Relax, take a deep breath, chill out and have some :lemon: ade.

    Reality is BMW trounces everyone else in the ELLPS and LPS segments.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Nope - you can go do the research yourself. But the 99S redesign dropped $10K and the new one dropped $2K.

    This is a discussion going nowhere so why not just let it go. I'm hardly interested in prolonging it. The board has been so much better withou the Lexus vs. MB battles. Save your energy for when both new versions are pitted head to head against each other.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    to not restart the headache-producing, way-beaten-to-death specific brand wars mentioned is to not take anyone's bait.

    Just in case anyone was wondering. ;)
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    You know, I was responding earlier to the doc's comments that the IS is better looking than the 3, and I told him "in his dreams". While I do think the 3 is better than any IS, I want to make sure I don't give the wrong impression. To be fair, if Chris could just settle down a notch on the designs, I think he'd make even more people happy. His general style has gone just a wee bit over the edge . . . not by a bunch . . . but definately over the edge, and he would make even more people happy if he could just settle it down a notch, IMO.

    While very close, I do think Bangle has overshot the sweet spot by just a little, IMO. I've seen some of his videos, and he's not just a designer, but he's also surprisingly a very good car salesman, although not as good as Lee Iococca ever was in his days of glory.

    With a little prescription help from his doc, Chris would probably design even better, if you know what I mean. ;)

  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Let me suggest that continually raising the MSRP might be the major reason why Lexus resale is so high. This reminds me of my Datsun Z that had great resale until the paradigm shifted in the late '70s.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Let me suggest that continually raising the MSRP might be the major reason why Lexus resale is so high.

    Very good, blckislandguy. I like the way you think! This reminds me of our discussion about the possible major price escalation that future Jaguar XJ's may experience and how it might support the resale values of the most recent generation XJ's.

    I completely agree with your suggestion, and history has often shown that periods of price escalation have lead to greater resale. When the dollar/yen exchange went through its problems and the Japanese cars prices kept rising, so did their respective resale values.

    Whether the result of currency fluctuations, or simply deliberate marketing strategy, the effect is similar . . . there is often a relationship generally to increased resale value of models whose new counterparts have undergone significant price escalation.

  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    "Let me suggest that continually raising the MSRP might be the major reason why Lexus resale is so high."

    Great point. It makes the resale value behave like a stock future. When you tink about it MB's price resisiduals started to have problems with the decreasing MSRP on the new S. The reliability factor was a further aggravation. Speaking of stocks the market has behaved better than I expected (back in December) in the first quarter. I'm still a bull here and see a nice growth percentage for the rest of the year.
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 875
    Take your own advice about research and substitue Jaguar for Audi....Are you kidding....Audi?
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Speaking of stocks the market has behaved better than I expected (back in December) in the first quarter. I'm still a bull here and see a nice growth percentage for the rest of the year.

    I'm on the ride with you. I've been an aggressive bull on the market for quite a while now. Doing quite well.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    I find that the IS is better looking than the 3. I hate the 3's tail lights.
    I have never driven the IS because I read it is rather cramped and being 6'2", why bother?
    The 3 is roomy for a compact and of course, handles like a demon. Just wish they would have left the tail lights alone.

    If I didn't have my money spread out over so many long term positions already, I would definitely be buying BMW stock on any weakness. A no-brainer, IMO.

    Taylor should be gone tomorrow.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    No need to be hostile. :)

    I'm just sayin' the IS is better looking than the already good-looking 3-series. I have no malice agianst BMW or the 3, and I am willing to admit that the 3 is a better sports sedan, mostly because it is more space efficient, and it is not set-up to dissuade spirited driving, in the chassis, or in the tranny.

    Lexus accomplished what they wanted, making a design that YOUNGER BUYERS WOULD BE DRAWN TO! It took the IS300, put in a true Lexus interior, and made it faster, but it sold out the drivability of the first-gen car. Lexus usually doesn't trade one desirable feature for another desirable feature, you usually get more of x, instead of y replacing x, but so be it.

    Regarding comparing the XLR to the SC, if you want to call the SC "a loser", go right ahead, but I'd like one fact to back up that assertion. Please.

    The XLR failed. The facts that I need are it never even reached 50% of the SC's best year (17k), and GM TRIED to say they only wanted to sell 3k a year, which is Garbage a La Carte!

    No, Cadillac didn't want to sell more than 3-4k XLRs a year. Why would they want that? Is it a Ford GT or something? And I think a lot of people still remember Allante, and they are still paying for that fiasco.

    Lexus said right from the "First Drives" previews in the mags that they wanted 10k in the first year (2003, was released in March, sold 17k in less than 10 months), and 8k a year after that (2004, 10k - 2005, 8k).

    Regarding margins, there are two ways to produce speed, add power, or subtract weight. Toyota subtracts weight. Mercedes adds power. Both work. No one is bashing Mercedes or anyone else.

    All I'm sayin' is comparing the way Toyota does bydnis, and how Toyota does it is insane! They are both automakers, that's where their similarities end.

    Toyota/Lexus is in it for Long-term market share. Lexus will be the Mercedes of the 21st Century! Build it slow and steady.

    The cars aren't as sporty as I want, but maybe luxury cars aren't supposed to be sporty?

    Maybe that's what slogans are for, right?

  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    No. I'm not kidding - Audi - low margins low volume. We're talking 80K a year US sales from a full line mfr.

    Tagman - been bullish and aggressive for sometime now. Market is still undervalued. Microsoft is going to shoot at some point here. I see a run to 33-35 on them.
  • Resale value also depends on quality, reliability, strong character, timeless design, a special connection and love with the customer

    and of course continuously raising the MSRP.

    If Lexus raises the MSRP head-to-head compared to mercedes, then the resale values will rise. ;)

    Let Lexus and Mercedes Love each other and not argue anymore.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Why not have Mercedes lower prices, by reducing costs?

    Who says Mercedes pricing is correct? Maybe they're overpriced? What does an E350 start out at? $50K? Does that even come with Premium leather? Or decent cupholders?

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