Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

How Much Is Brand Legacy Worth To You?

hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
edited December 2010 in Lexus
Zero, 5%, 10%. 25%? Would you pay even $1 more for, say, the 3-pointed star, assuming, hypothetically, equality or comparability between a Mercedes and another car? It's a choice, not a crime, to pay more for status. Are you reluctant to admit, even to yourself, that status has a role in what you drive?

Alfred Sloan's marketing genius was largely responsible for GM's enormous success in the'30s, '40s, and '50s, and was based on people's desire to move up, and to flaunt their success. Other people don't assign much value to status, or are even repelled by the notion of paying for status. Some seek annonymity.

What are your thoughts on this? Did you, for example, buy a Lexus instead of a Toyota, mainly because of the impression you'd make on others, justifying it by, "it wouldn't look right for a person in my profession, or from my neighborhood, to drive a Toyota/Honda/Chevy?" Or, how about the person who has little interest in performance, can't drive worth a darn, and isn't a car nut, who drives a Corvette or a BMW M series? Far fetched? Uncommon, maybe, but they're out there.

Do you know someone for whom status is very important, or the opposite?
«1

Comments

  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,223
    edited December 2010
    There are infinite amounts of people in my area who aren't really into cars or driving, but will pay more for a nice badge. This is how most 3ers/C/IS/GS and so on get leased. From what I can tell, the guy in my building who has a new M3 isn't a car guy - you don't drive something like that with atrocious music blaring out of it at all times...and there are many out there like him.

    I like MB for many reasons. I like how they drive, I like the heritage, I generally like the styling, I like where they come from, and I haven't had any really bad experiences with one.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited December 2010
    Buying a brand name product is important for many people because the brand generally indicates a certain level of quality across the product line. If you go to any McDonalds, you pretty much know what to expect. They've gone to great lengths to protect that brand legacy. Chez Ritz doesn't offer to-go food in doggie bags so unless you namedrop, people won't know that you just went there for dinner.

    Cars, on the other hand, wear brands and some people will be more impressed to see that McDonalds bag in a Mercedes than in a Hyundai. Even if the Genesis is equal to the E Class for some drivers.

    Can't say that I know anyone like that though. My in-laws had a BMW they liked but because of the paucity of mechanics where they moved, they traded it for a Buick. It just worked better for them.

    Calvin sure sells a lot of bumper stickers though.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    No question about it....some buy just to "show off" the brand they drive. I can't count how many BMW and Benz drivers I have seen that can't afford to maintain their ride. For them, its all about getting that monthly payment as low as possible. The cost of maintenance never enters the purchasing equasion...

    But, I have seen that in home sales as well. Big house with sheets hung in the windows because they can't afford curtains....

    Here's a twist for you, though.

    How about those who avoid a brand, instead of insisting on it?

    I'm guilty of that. Over the years, I have had horrible luck with LG products, from cell-phones to TV's and appliances.

    I fully understand that LG could not be in business today if everyone had the same experiences I have had, so they must make decent hardware. However, not for me... I refuse to take another chance on their products.

    That attitude may change one day, but that day isn't here yet.

    No doubt that attitude is widespread in the car world as well...How many times does one have to be "bitten" before saying they've had enough?

    Those are my thoughts on the subject...
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    The quest for status doesn't have to be as pronounced as a Chevy versus a Cadillac. While there are signs that cars, once a very important single measure of the status of the owner, has been losing importance. Cars define the person to a lesser extent than they did back in the day. Nevertheless, many still rely on cars to make the statement they want to convey to the outside world.

    Hopefully, some people buy a certain model because they like something about it, be it its performance, reliability, styling, packaging, features, the brand's country of origin, or whatever.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
    in a Taurus SHO is Eco boost in a Lincoln so I'll drive the Taurus. Legacy? Meh!
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    The way you feel about M-B pretty much describes my feelings for Cadillac and Buick.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,223
    I'll add to that I like driving behind a hood with the three pointed star at the end, feels nice :shades:
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    Same here with a wreath & crest or tri-shield!
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    ...and say that the badge itself is a worthless piece of plastic. Its sole use is as a shorthand for the amount of effort (or lack of) that a company puts into its products.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    The nicest badge is the car title in your pocket in your name with no lienholders listed on it. :shades:

    States need to issue vanity plates that confirm that the driver isn't making payments. That'll impress the neighbors. :D
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    edited December 2010
    Interesting idea! To some, a mass market car that's fully paid for might have more cache' than a luxury brand with a lien.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    We can call the "Poseur Plates!"
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,223
    Indeed, and a paid for highline car could even be better.

    I own 2 MBs...not the latest model, but not bad cars. I'm more than content. To quote an old piece of British ad copy: "A used Mercedes is still a Mercedes".
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited December 2010
    That reminds me of the long term Ferrari tester that Edmunds got (Long-Term Test: 1984 Ferrari 308 GTSi Quattrovalvole) back in 2007 for $28,000.

    Every place they drove it, people fawned all over it and just assumed it was a big ticket car (and it sort of was, judging by the repair bills).

    What's impressive about the old classics is that the owners are wealthy enough to be able to afford to keep them running. ;)
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,223
    Non-enthusiasts assume funny things about cars. Some highline brands have styling that ages very well, so a non-fanboy can think a several year old car is new. And for something like my old beast, people know what a new one costs, they know old
    American cars can be worth a lot...so they assume it is worth a fortune. People look at and compliment both of them, although in the real world they do not carry any extreme value. Ferraris might be in a realm all their own.

    I can maintain my old cars or lease a new Civic LX or equivalent...tough call.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
    Only 3 ornamental points? The superior "gunsight" on our Ford product has 4. :P
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    I'm still miffed that my 2000 Park Ave Ultra doesn't have a stand up hood ornament, while the cheap base model does! :P
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I can maintain my old cars or lease a new Civic LX or equivalent...

    I sure like the idea of a newer car and never having to go to the shop. My cars are getting past that age I'm afraid (keeping fingers crossed to get through the winter).
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,223
    edited December 2010
    Maybe the lack of an ornament is an attempt to look sporty or sleek? MB does it on coupes and cabrios, or more lately on sport trim cars,
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,223
    I look at a shop visit as a price paid for driving fun. And with the right car, it's not a big issue...neither of my cars are Ferraris, I can deal with it, I have a good shop just a few miles from home.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,223
    I think I remember a 4 point ornament on my old 66 Galaxie as well. A nice ornament can have an effect.

    But for gun sights, the fender mounted ornaments on the 60 Ford my dad had are unforgettable.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Mercedes makes some wonderful cars. What's your second favorite brand?
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,223
    Tough one. As an overall brand, I don't really know. There are models from many brands that I like, but as a brand in entirety, I don't really follow anything else as closely. I generally like German brands, for the big 3 I have usually preferred Ford (thanks to my dad being a Ford fan), of the J3 I have usually liked Honda.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    Maybe the lack of an ornament is an attempt to look sporty or sleek? MB does it on coupes and cabrios, or more lately on sport trim cars,

    I think that's exactly what Buick tried to do. I think most people associate stand-up hood ornaments with old-people cars, along with vinyl roofs, whitewall tires, wire hubcaps, etc. The marketing people at Buick probably figured that older people would buy the base Park Ave, and they'd appreciate the stand-up hood ornament, while the Ultra would appeal to a younger crowd.

    Still, I kinda wish mine had a stand up hood ornament! My buddy with the 2004 Crown Vic is weird like that as well. He had a Grand Marquis hood ornament mounted on his Crown Vic. He had to go with Mercury because the Crown Vic didn't offer a stand-up by that time!
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    edited December 2010
    I've never had a favorite brand, although growing up and for a number of years after I had a soft spot for Mopars. Of the Japanese brands, I'd agree with you regarding Honda. I rank the German brands about equal, but favor certain models of each, depending on the year. For example, of the Audi sedans, I only like the A4, which is why my wife was able to convince me to buy one. Although I remain concerned about its reliability, so far, so good. Just in case, though, I have the names of a couple of independent shops that have been recommended. I'm not a big fan of Volvo and Saab, but don't have an intense dislike for them, either. I just think there are better choices.

    It just occurred to me that vehicle brand preference might be an interesting discussion topic.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,223
    edited December 2010
    Could you fit one to your car, or is the whole grille or front clip really different?

    I must be an old timer in some way, as I do like seeing that ornament when I drive...although it is much more of a factor in the fintail with its more or less flat hood and much larger ornament.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,223
    I'm the same about Saab and Volvo...some interesting or even appealing cars, but nothing enough to make me want to take the plunge. I'm happy with what I have.

    I sometimes think what I would have if I didn't have my current car(s)...I'd probably just look for the best sweetheart lease deal, and change cars every 36-40 months, or I would drive something ancient and simple.
  • oldcemoldcem Posts: 309
    Same here - I enjoy driving behind a hood with a leaper on it.

    Regards:
    OldCEM
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Then Ford and Honda are winning at the moment, per JD Power (via the Detroit News).

    "Both the Ford and Honda brands retain 62 percent of their customers at trade-in time, according to the study, which was based on responses from 123,601 new-vehicle buyers and lessees and was conducted between February and May and August and October."

    Ford, Honda win loyalty survey

    Hyundai came in third.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    Brand Legacy, much like brand loyalty means nothing anymore. I found it out the hard way with GM time and time again, and now with the foreign manufacturers I'm with, both means absolutely NOTHING. These salesman treat you as if your a first time customer and don't give you the best price no matter how long or how good a customer you are with a brand. I've seen it time and time again with different manufacturers.

    That is why I shop around and I go with which every manufacture gives me the best price, treats me the nicest, and has a body style I like. Its worked out better that way.

    Quick example, with Infiniti, I had one vehicle I got from a dealer that treated me pretty nice and gave me a good price but was not the closest one to where I live. Went back to get another Infiniti and the dealer I got the other one from gave me a worse price for everything then the one closer to me which I did not do business with before. I have had the same thing happen with GM, Mercedes, Nissan, and Acura. So it makes no difference who you go with. Brand legacy and loyalty means nothing in my opinion.
  • berriberri Posts: 10,166
    American business has always been primarily a short term focus about making next quarter's numbers.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,280
    edited December 2010
    I'll have to say that both my BMW and Mazda dealer have treated me very well before and after the sale. That said, the utter lack of reliability displayed by my Mazdaspeed has insured that I will never consider one of their products again.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 20,635
    is an important part of a brand's legacy for me, as a long time fan of sports car, F1 and endurance racing I gravitate towards those brands that have done well in those arenas. I've never owned a Ferrari or a Porsche but I certainly aspire to. I don't know why people equate Lamborghini with Ferrari. Lambos may be striking and exotic but they have no racing heritage but Ferrari has an unmatched competition heritage.

    I'm also a retired advertising guy and I'm keenly aware of brand names and images and I admit I don't mind it if people are impressed because I drive a such and such but the truth is unless you can afford something exotic not many people will even notice.

    The reasons I'd rather buy a used BMW or Audi for the same money as a brand new Honda or Toyota have more to do with impressing myself than someone else.

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,280
    The reasons I'd rather buy a used BMW or Audi for the same money as a brand new Honda or Toyota have more to do with impressing myself than someone else.

    Me too. My interest in BMWs was sparked back in 1969 by David E. Davis Jr.'s classic article "Turn Your Hymnals to 2002". I was in 7th Grade at the time and I finally bought my first BMW(a 1973 Bavaria) in 1983. I appreciate the fact that BMW has a storied racing history as well as a reputation for building driver-focused cars. Yes, Munich takes its eye off the ball every couple of decades or so, but they always manage to get back on track.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • I'll typically look first at that brand for which I have purchased a vehicle in the past. However, if the model I'm checking out to buy doesn't turn out to be consistent with past experiences, I'll look elsewhere.
  • xluxlu Posts: 457
    I test drove almost every model in the market; but every purchase ended up with a luxury car. I think the better performance, more features, nicer styling, better warranty and dealer experience justifies for a higher price tag.
  • My air suspension failed on my car yesterday. I have a 02 Mercedes Benz S600. I called the dealer but the price they quoted me was like 6 grand. I was not about to spend that. So im on here looking for other options. anybody got any alternative ideas

    Glen
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,223
    Find a good independent mechanic, but it'll probably still set you back 3-4K. Driving an earlier W220 is a risky undertaking. I looked at a car on that platform when it was a few years old, and the complexity scared me away from it.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    I shy away from air suspensions in general. They didn't work back in the 1950s and I wouldn't trust them now. I recall two girls that owned a 1980s Lincoln Mark VII with a failed air suspension and the car was sitting on its axles like a low rider. They obviously didn't have the money to fix it. I wonder if they can convert that Mercedes S600 to regular coil springs? It would be a lot less troublesome and that's what happened to a lot of the cars with failed air suspensions back in the day.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,223
    I'm scared of air suspension too, although from what I have been told the models after 2003 or so are less problematic. Some newer models have actually gone back to partial conventional suspension.

    I haven't read of any conversions, but I am sure it is possible given time and money.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,223
    Went to the shop for an oil change today, and what was sitting outside but a 2000-2002 S500, sport package, nice color...with failed front suspension. Butt was somewhat up in the air and the nose was low. Not a flattering pose.
  • I have a 2000 Mercedes Benz and mine air suspension went out in mine. First thing i did was get rid of the air. I couldnt stand it . Caused more problems you will know what to do with. Replacing air bags was getting old. I went to Strutmasters.com and got a conversion kit cost be around 1 thousand but its better than 6 thousand. I just couldnt beat the lifetime warranty. So relieved not to worry about them air bags again!!
  • I have a 2000 Mercedes Benz S600 and mine went out about a month ago. I went to Strutmasters.com , they had a conversion kit to convert my vehicle. I bought that! Highly recommended came with my lifetime warranty too. The system is great now. You should check them out. The ride is just as great as before the air went out.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 20,635

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,825
    edited December 2010
    Take EVERY oems model, variant, even newer generations of "proven" existing models with HUGE grains of salt ! Almost all of them follow the faster hit the "RESET" button paridigm of quickest concept to market cycle time.
  • ken117ken117 Posts: 249
    IMHO buying a high priced brand really makes little sense, other than making a person feel superior to those driving a standard brand! In reality, a Caddy is simply an overpriced Chevy, a Lexus an overpriced Toyota. Most of the extras on the high priced brands are more or less unnecessary. More importantly, having purchased vehicles for thirty plus years, I find I can always get a much better deal at a standard brand, such as Honda, than I can at the high priced brand, Acura. High priced dealers seem to think they are entitled to more simply because of the brand. Personally, I find the money I save buying a standard brand over a high priced brand allows me to provide more to my kids, such as a quality education. I find more self-fulfillment in that than I ever would driving a Caddy!
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,825
    edited December 2010
    Indeed. One also pay TAXATION through the nose for that feeling ! (in a lot of cases it is a form of justice). In CA, this county has a 9.25% sales tax. The county contiguous, has a 9.75% ST. One also continues to pay throughout the tenure of ownership. I would not put it past CA to go back to the fees in lieu of asset tax !
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,280
    Thanks for clearing that up...

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • For the past 11 years I have owned a Toyota 4runner. I have loyally the brand and had wanted to buy another 4 runner. Last week the 4Runner died with 270K miles. I can say I did get my moneys worth from the vehicle. When I started to shop for the replacement it was apparent that non of the manufacture have produce a more fuel efficient SUV in 11 year. My 2000 4Runner could get 16 to 19 MPG. The only SUV which could get greater mileage and provide the same lilt compatibility only get an est 19 MPG. so my loyalty to any single manufacture is gone for ever.

    car less in Washington DC
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,825
    edited January 2011
    GOOD/BAD news !?

    I do not want to rain on anyone's parade, but 270,000 miles is far too little miles. To me that falls into the category of premature death. You do not provide details beyond what I have concluded but it would seem the best course is to have it fixed, repair, etc. I sold a 87 TLC with 250,000 miles and after about a years time the person that bought it tracked me down again (yeah, that was my reaction too,... STALKER) Finally he just left a message. It was: if you are planning to sell ANY of your vehicles, would you call me first.....
Sign In or Register to comment.