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High End Luxury Cars



  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Good post D-man. TMC continues to prove that it can pump out plenty of good 'ol reliable plain vanilla, advertise big, and keep it popular.

  • You wanna analyze the devile in the details? Maybe you should look at BMW's PERFORMANCE ENGINEERING as opposed to Toyota's quality-control engineering.

    Okay, here's the difference between "Performance Engineering" (isn't that just design choice?) vs. QC Engineering: individual AMG and M projects typically cost less than $100 million, some only a few million dollars in R&D cost. Give me $100k (heck even $10k), I can make a typical BMW better performing than it is in stock form; here "performing" meaning handling, BMW's forte; BMW has nothing special when it comes to engine output in the overwhelming majority of its cars or weight reduction. QC engineering on the other hand is an entirely different. Making consistent and reliable cars entails massive capital investment in robotics, running into billions of dollars for a platform, in addition to whatever design choices made related to products. It involves process engineering. You can probably see the vast difference in capital requirement between "tens of million" vs. "billions." A billion is 1000 million not 10 million.

    BTW, I'm not saying BMW is doing it wrong, given the context of its competitive environment. Training workers to accommodate product variation/update is a lot of cheaper than spending billions on acquiring new robots. There is a trade-off however in the end result. This difference in approach also explains why BMW and MB can offer more product variants whereas Toyota/Lexus tend to offer less variants despite having greater volume of sales.

    Poor little BMW quality-control engineers ain't good fuh nuttin'. They only put their money where their mouth is with a 4-year warranty with free maintenance and great lease deals, the latter of which has everyone perplexed

    Warranty and leas subsidies are partly gambles based on the interest rate difference between Euro vs. Dollar donominated debt over the past few years. Some of it is just plain old marketting ploy to defend an artificial MSRP; e.g. there is no way the financing arm itself can make money from a deal that entails 1.5% lease interest rate when the short-term borrowing cost is 5.25% in the US and 3.25% in Eurozone. Warranty and lease subsidies can book "sales" up front, but eventually there will be massive write-offs . . . they always do.

    More Toyota worship and sanctimony.

    Not really. Someone who worships Lexus in HELC would not be mentioning Toyota.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    I hate making unedited posts when I am on the run.

    Apologize for my embarassingly bad anglish

    I erroneously wrote:

    The fact that a such a small company like Jaguar which happens to be owned by a financially trouble parent(Ford) is proof that any auto manufacture can be successful in achieving outstanding reliability and sales service success.

    Correctly I should have written:

    The fact that such a small financially troubled marque like Jaguar( owned by an even more financially troubled Ford) can accomplish such high ratings is proof that any auto manufacture can be successful in achieving outstanding reliability and sales service.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    You might wonder, if you were reading recent posts. Fortunately, members are given a hint with the make/model listing at the top of the page, right after "What is this discussion about?" along with the paragraph defining the topic.

    Let's stick to the vehicles and not engage in brand wars, namecalling, or general manufacturer quality, please. As always, conversation baiting other members is off-limits.


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    Share your vehicle reviews

  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I had already given you the benefit of the doubt. ;)

  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    OK Pat and Kirstin,

    here is some very HELC focused material:

    This year, just 92 seconds passed before Neiman sold out of its 50 limited-edition 2007 BMW 6 Series convertibles, with a 500-horsepower engine and $139,000 price tag (trip to Germany included) -- the speed and the price set a Neiman record. On Tuesday, Saks sold out of its 20 "Saks Special Edition" CL600 Mercedes-Benz cars for $160,000 apiece within 7 minutes and 45 seconds of the designated 2 p.m. sales time, a spokesperson says.


    Individual buyers getting hot over Neiman or Saks branded car? I guess that says quite a lot about the type of individual that buys such a car.

    Personally I prefer the logos M, AMG, S(Audi) or RS especially if that logo is on an authentic M, AMG, S or RS vehicle.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    What!!?? No Lexus and a trip to Tokyo? ;)

  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251

    And these 6 Series and CL buyers were not even interested in any MB and BMW lease deals. Imagine that? ;)
  • Jaguar quality did not improve while it was independent. The turn-around took place after Ford take-over. Both Jag and Ford can lose a ton of money in the short term, but so long as Ford has the cash flow, as I mentioned before, and willing to lend that cash flow to support Jag, to the tune of billions (dwarfing the entire revenue from the Jag brand itself), Jag quality should be fine.

    Absolutely agree that sales service is one area even the lower-volume players can really compete on level ground with the higher volume makers. If Ford is committed to Jag, a new XJ can be a very compelling choice among HELC cars.
  • The world would be a much kinder place for MB and BMW if Niemen Marcus and Saks could sell 20,000, not 20, of those cars at those prices. Uniqueness is certainly a good selling point under certain circumstances. Some Ferrari and Lambo models are sold out for years ahead. That does not mean however either Ferrari or Lambo can maintain independence, much less making their cars reliable :-) The last sentence is a joke; do people who get Ferrari and Lambo even care reliability?
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    a new XJ can be a very compelling choice among HELC.

    I completely agree with that post. I have previously posted in great detail here as well as on the Jag forum about the merits of purchasing a Jag XJ, most particularly at that and still this point in time. History will prove this to be one of the best windows in time to acquire a Jaguar XJ.

    At the time I made those detailed posts, the XK had not quite been released yet, but I would now say that the XK appears to be a terrific purchase opportunity, although I would not say that it is quite the same as the XJ opportunity. For what you can get, and the deal that can be made, the XJ can be a steal.

  • Tag, TMC knows what it's doing to make big $ selling cars ( I could only wish that I already own a big chunk of this company ). I will be more than happy to upgrade my GS to one of the new LS460/600 vanilla in the near future. I am a strong believer that every man/woman should be able to have a minimum of 3 vehicles in his/her garage, one of them should be a luxo cruiser like the LS or the S class that offer absolute comfort to the occupants, the second one should be a sporting machine such as a Corvette or an 911 turbo, and the last choice should be a utility vehicle that can be any thing depending on your needs.
    I have commented on this subject before, that switching between these more "focused" vehicle types would make you appreciate each of them even more. IMO, life is dull if you tried to compromise and stuck with same car every day.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Sounds like my garage.

    I agree with the idea of different TYPES of vehicles. I've posted that in the past, as have others. However, that said, I highly doubt that our individual choices would be the same.

    Closest I can imagine to an all-in-one vehicle would be perhaps an X5 , Range Rover Sport, or a Cayenne.

  • I highly doubt that our individual choices would be the same.

    Yep we all have our constrains and preferences. My line up that I am currently working on is LS460/600, latest Corvette, Toyota minivan. If my annual earning were a couple hundreds big ones less, the line up would look like this: Camry, Civic Si, and a used Sienna.
    If I won the big lotery then LS460/600 and S550, latest Corvette, 911 Turbo, a Ferrari, and a big hunking SUV that gets 11 mpg. :)
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    1)Back to the future for VW? I guess we will be seeing the same kind of extensive parts sharing between Audi and VW as we have seen in the past.

    The integration of management will see the reduction of wasted investment that was supposedly allowed by former CEO, Bernd Pischetsrieder. Previously, if Audi wanted a new engine, it would develop its own unit and then if Volkswagen wanted a similar product it would build its own from scratch, with each company working autonomously. Under the restructuring plan, development programs would be integrated, which should lead to both a reduction in costs and shorter time to market figures.


    2)Mr. Winterkorn plans to reorganize the company's brands into two groups, these people said -- a premium group made up of Audi, Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini, and a so-called volume group of Volkswagen, Skoda and Seat. News of the revamp was previously reported in German magazine Der Spiegel.

    The company currently groups its brands with VW, Skoda, Bentley and Bugatti in the VW group, and Audi, Seat and Lamborghini in the Audi group.

    Doesnt Mr. Winterkorn's arrangement above sound a lot like Ford's disasterous PAG arrangement? Similar to Ford sharing parts/platforms with its luxury cars, VW will increase the amount of sharing between VWs and its luxury marques.

    What I honestly have difficulty understanding is the prior arrangement before this change. How on earth could VW/Skoda be in the very same group as Bentley and Bugatti? And what is even more perplexing is how can Seat be included in the same group as Audis and Lambos? I've driven a Seat in Europe and believe me I was oblivious to any Lambo connection.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    So tell me Adam what is the Motorola of the HELC industry?
    What is the NOkia of the HELC industry?

    If I do need a laptop or phone I will remember your company's name and avoid it at all costs! :mad:
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,094
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  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 7,472
    Excellent and informative post Brightness. Keep em coming. Most enjoyable.

    2013 LX 570 2016 LS 460

  • Now we know why those "W" engines came about . . . a way of leverage a 4-cyl Skoda engine into a W-16 Bugatti :-) only wish I were joking.
  • Thank you. Have a great weekend!
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    Uhh...what kind of financially sound blue-chip automobile company based on conservative business principles gambles with a 4 year/50,000 mile warranty on its vehicles including all regular maintenance?
    No sir. BMW does it to make a statement. Quite a bold one at that. They are letting the world know that they have extreme confidence in the quality control of their vehicles.
    So far after doing this for a few years they are not only still in business, but sales of their vehicles have been going through the roof, making the company very powerful financially. They couldn't be in this position if their cars are falling apart.

    What puzzles me is given the outstanding warranty and subsidized leases (which surely BMW does not have to do), why everybody who can, isn't driving a BMW.

    Instead of making yourself look foolish with incredible, unsubstantiated claims, get yourself and your misinformed supporters to a BMW dealer forthwith, and lease one of these incomparable vehicles while the incredible bargains are still in place.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Brightness, your point is that BMW can’t afford to make a car as reliable as Lexus/Toyota, and I say this is unknown and insignificant even if true. BMW’s reliability or lack thereof is no liability. They are successful by means of their own formula, as is Porsche whose net income is 19 percent compared with Toyota’s 7.5 percent. Volume and big doesn’t mean squat. If it did Gallo wine would be served in good restaurants. I’m not sure if it’s even served in bad restaurants…. alright, that's a bit of a wisecrack but the analogy applies to some degree.

  • BMW certainly does have a statement to make, but if you look around, what other companies have been making statements with extra warranties? Hyandai, Kia, Chrysler and GM. MB tried once, but when the bills came due they rescinded the statement. A few years is not nearly long enough a time span to test out a bold new business practice; e.g. lending to marginal borrows have been a booming business in the past few years . . . do you honest believe that's the sort of practices that can survive a full economic cycle?

    That being said, I do agree with you that leasing a BMW on one of those heavily subsidized leases is a decent deal right now, for the consumer! I have gone on record to point out that the included full maitenance of brakes and tires make the deal even sweeter . . . provided:

    (1) one does not drive too much distance, as in any lease;
    (2) small devliance from the design spec, i.e. little bugs here and there, is not a bigger issue for the leaser/driver.
  • Designman, I think I went out my way to point out that BMW is good at maintaining its profit margin, and that, given its production/sales volume, BMW is making the right decision in pursueing a path of somewhat high human labor to robotics ratio . . . Just don't expect products made with high level of direct human participation to have the kind of tight tolerance and finish consistency of products made with high levels of automation. Variants and variation come hand-in-hand. That's all. I just don't buy the argument that BMW can achieve or even should try copying Toyota's quality control.

    Not sure how wine making relates to this. I can set up my own winery for under $10 million. It's been 70+ years since that sort of startup was possible in the auto industry. Modern carmaking takes a lot more economy of scale than most other endeavors.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    I'm saying BMW doesn't have to do it anymore. Their cars are terrific and their quality control at this time can stand with virtually any manufacturer.
    I don't expect the lease subsidies to last, now that BMW quality control has improved. Pretty soon I believe they will be doing what Lexus, Mercedes Benz and Porsche are doing: You want a BMW lease? You will pay and pay and pay!
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    what other companies have been making statements with extra warranties?

    That Range Rover I looked at comes with 4 years of included maintenance.

    Up until '06, Jaguars came with 4-years included maintenance as well.

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Can we find a way to put more emphasis on the cars themselves and less on all the dissections of the manufacturers' actions, reactions and non-actions?
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Gotcha. We are a happy family here, just casually debating points of view.

    Not sure how wine making relates to this.

    Well, I happen to be swilling a glass and one thought led to another.


    (Oac, get off your friggin' rocking chair.)
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 7,472
    Well, I guess they have to do something to move these things. I can assure you that they wouldn't be doing this if they would sell on their own merit. Kind of like putting a prize in the Crackerjacks! ;)

    2013 LX 570 2016 LS 460

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