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

U.S. Auto Market News and Reviews

1596062646568

Comments

  • berriberri Posts: 10,057
    The Germans have a good game going on in the US. Americans seem to consider them the tech leaders and cool regardless of reliability. I've always been amazed how Audi moved so quickly from a mid range model to being considered lux. You have to give them credit. As for Lexus, I've got to think butt ugly styling is not the way to go. Infinity and Acura seem to be having the same issue of attaining the status of German vehicles. If Cadillac had a chance to really revive, I think lux pricing instead of starting a bit lower like the Japanese did and proving their worth may have handicapped their re-emergence in the US lux market.

    Was Lexus revolution or evolution? I think maybe a bit of both. Japan Inc. bumped Detroit out of lux leadership as it expanded Toyota Corp. market reach. Camry and Accord kind of did the same thing in the midsized car segment years back. But Germany consistently puts out product and status image in lux, while having problems getting VW to where it once reigned in popular price segment. Who knows where it will all be a decade from now.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 4,082
    Just curious — how many Lexi are sold compared to BMW and Mercedes? I’ll bet it’s pretty similar. Which is quite an achievement considering the German makes had decades more time to establish their reputation.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    They did walk away with Mercedes lunch. Gave them a heart attack in fact.

    https://www.carthrottle.com/post/how-the-lexus-ls400-conquered-the-world-and-why-were-glad-it-did/

    It was a highly refined car with features far more modern and innovative than Benz or Jaguar. And there was nothing Toyota about it. It was a completely new automobile.

    It re-defined how luxury cars were built--flat out revolutionary car IMO.

    I understand how you might find the car somewhat soul-less. Many people do. But that's not really the point.

    Toyota saw an opportunity, and just aced it. It's been a while since an American company did that.



  • fintailfintail Posts: 47,907
    edited November 2018
    Yet the S (what the LS was designed to challenge) still handily outsells the LS in virtually every market it is offered, it has since inception, and there are no signs of this changing. The S has a significantly higher MSRP and transaction price, is more expensive to run, and still outsells the LS even in years when it is aging. This isn't an opinion like on the carthrottle link, it is reality. Lexus definitely gave execs in the competition reason to pause, and they took heed - all players are better now. They evolved.

    OG Lexus LS = Toyota Celsior badged for US consumption. OG Lexus SC = Toyota Soarer badged for US consumption. And so on. Which innovative or revolutionary features debuted on that car? Refined, definitely, but it was more about proven tech than paving a new path. It paved that path for the brand, not for cars in general. Pairing MB and Jaguar is also kind of funny, as they were even more apples to oranges then than now. In terms of the market, the RX is more significant IMO. The soft and small upmarket SUV aimed at coddled suburban housewives was a coup, answering pent up demand that everyone ignored for ages. Lexus still owns that segment (although others fight hard).

    I'll also say the Germans invading the US luxury market around 15 years prior was more of a revolution, as MB in particular decimated the home team, relegating them to decades of catch up.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 4,082
    Coddled suburban housewives? I see plenty of guys driving those things.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • fintailfintail Posts: 47,907
    Wife took the car for whatever reason, and hubby had to go somewhere B) Or maybe he just wants a very comfy dull experience, with more ground clearance than an ES.

    Many vehicles are neutral, some are aimed at specific demographics, even if nobody will own up to it.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,486
    fintail said:

    OG Lexus LS = Toyota Celsior badged for US consumption. OG Lexus SC = Toyota Soarer badged for US consumption. And so on. Which innovative or revolutionary features debuted on that car?

    Interesting about the etymology of the higher end Lexi.

    When did the ES series of Camry faux Lexus come into play. I believe a lot of people smear their judgement of sales of Lexus based on seeing a lot of the ES models on the roads. IOW, how did the true premium vehicles of Lexus compare to the Mercedes premium series.

    People also see all kinds of baby Mercedes now and that helps skew the perception of how the sales are doing.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • fintailfintail Posts: 47,907
    Mind you, most non-NA markets didn't get Lexus until many years after it arrived here. Japan didn't get it until the 21st century. There are urban legends about Lexus meaning "Luxury EXperiment for the US" or "Luxury EXperience for the US", but I suspect it is just a made up word, as Toyota has a history of pleasant sounding created names for its cars.

    ES debuted for MY 1990 alongside the LS. It was also known as the Toyota Windom (Camry-based), and the first 3 generations had faux hardtop styling. The first generation had a very JDM look, and early ES are quite rare now. For MY 1992, the ES received a modern somewhat swoopy/rounded update (like Camry), and moved upscale just a little, IMO. Sales really took off then. The rest is history, no doubt the volume model behind the the RX.

    IMO, the ES doesn't hurt Lexus perception, it is a fine car. Some of these perception issues are also unique to this market. I suspect the smaller models like the CT and HS impacted perception more, and they were slow sellers, eventually discontinued. MB may get some issues from the CLA and GLA, but in other markets, they've sold utilitarian looking hatchbacks (along with semis, buses, garbage trucks, et al) for years, and nobody minds it.



    Interesting about the etymology of the higher end Lexi.

    When did the ES series of Camry faux Lexus come into play. I believe a lot of people smear their judgement of sales of Lexus based on seeing a lot of the ES models on the roads. IOW, how did the true premium vehicles of Lexus compare to the Mercedes premium series.

    People also see all kinds of baby Mercedes now and that helps skew the perception of how the sales are doing.

  • berriberri Posts: 10,057
    I'm not really into expensive German cars, and if I got one I'd make sure I only held it until the warranty was over, but I have a friend who loves them and travels worldwide quite a bit. He claims that you don't get a real luxury MB unless it is an E Class. Below that, he says those vehicles are just gussied up mid priced or commercial vehicles outside of North America. I don't really know, but found his view interesting???
  • fintailfintail Posts: 47,907
    I'm a MB fanboy, and IMO the true luxury doesn't really come in until the S-class, or maybe a very highly equipped (top few percent of production, MSRP probably >75K+) E. A normal E still does taxi duty in many countries, is usually equipped with a 4 cyl and Tex, etc. I don't see anything wrong with that. The brand was never really only about "luxury", that's something created by this market. It has historically been a build quality/engineering brand with a luxury model range at the top.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Not only did Lexus re-define the luxury car market in America, it redefined what "reliable" means in America.

    Lexus is the benchmark, and sits comfortably at the top of the list in most reliability studies. Mercedes hasn't been able to match it for 28 years, at least not so far.

    Mercedes owns a debt of gratitude to Lexus---it forced them to up their game. Benz was getting pretty blase by 1990.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 11,237

    Not only did Lexus re-define the luxury car market in America, it redefined what "reliable" means in America.



    Seems that Acura didn't get the message though.
  • thebeanthebean Parts UnknownPosts: 1,086
    fintail said:

    I'm a MB fanboy, and IMO the true luxury doesn't really come in until the S-class, or maybe a very highly equipped (top few percent of production, MSRP probably >75K+) E. A normal E still does taxi duty in many countries, is usually equipped with a 4 cyl and Tex, etc. I don't see anything wrong with that. The brand was never really only about "luxury", that's something created by this market. It has historically been a build quality/engineering brand with a luxury model range at the top.

    Thus is why the MB tag line "The best or nothing" makes me grit my teeth as much as "Toyota Excitement". B) Not true, especially the lower end MB's.
    2015 Honda Accord EX, 2017 Honda Civic EX-T
  • fintailfintail Posts: 47,907
    I try to tune out marketeer babble. "The Ultimate Driving Machine", "Innovation That Excites", "An American Revolution" and others, ugh.
    thebean said:


    Thus is why the MB tag line "The best or nothing" makes me grit my teeth as much as "Toyota Excitement". B) Not true, especially the lower end MB's.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 47,907
    edited November 2018
    On that I can agree. Lexus helped the Germans evolve into a new era (and it took some time), whether they wanted to or not. It worked out for the better, as sales show. They probably also slowed price inflation, at least for awhile.


    Mercedes owns a debt of gratitude to Lexus---it forced them to up their game. Benz was getting pretty blase by 1990.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490


    Not only did Lexus re-define the luxury car market in America, it redefined what "reliable" means in America.



    Seems that Acura didn't get the message though.

    I know. That always mystified me. Perhaps Toyota is much better at "doing its homework". When it launched Lexus, the amount of R&D and number of prototypes was.....intense. I think Benz in the 1980s got too complacent, as in "whatever we do, they'll buy it".

    But you're certainly right. Just being "made in Japan" doesn't guarantee you anything. Honda has had more than a few missteps.

    Every automaker screws up now and then. The trick is to not get a reputation for doing it regularly. You hear me FCA?
  • berriberri Posts: 10,057
    I like what I see in the upcoming Lincoln Aviator pictures and write ups so far. The Explorer is supposed to share a lot of this. Maybe a potential home run like the 90's Explorer. I was going to say "blow out" model, but then I didn't know if it will come with Firestone tires :p Seriously though, these are going to perhaps be intriguing when they come out.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 47,907
    Speaking of Honda goofs, I assume many have known for a long time that late 90s-early 00s Accords can have clearcoat fail issues. Lately I have noticed the same issues on 2006+ Civics.

    MB vs Lexus can go both ways, too. It's interesting to note than in 1988, MB had a great lineup, but some of the models were quite old - the S-class of that era entered production in 1979, and the SL in 1971 (!). Today, Lexus sometimes has some aging models that maybe are only updated via the competition - the prior LS became really long in the tooth by the mid teens. I also suspect Lexus wouldn't have any sport or psuedo-sport models without the existence of AMG and M.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Does anyone even buy an SL anymore? I would guess that model is going away pretty soon now that they have an S cabriolet.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 47,907
    I think there are still a few retired dentists in Del Boca Vista and Lucille Bluth types in La Jolla who buy them.

    Funny, SL sales have been low for years, but every potential competitor fails while the old name marches on. I can't imagine MB discontinuing it even with low sales, they can afford to keep it around just for historical reasons.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I think the SL is suffering just like all convertibles. The trend seems to be ever downward for the soft top/
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 11,237
    Had my '17 Cruze in for service today and was looking on the lot. I was wanting to see if they had any new '18 Cruzes left, as a potential replacement for my wife's PT Cruiser. Ironically, they had no '18's left but had '18 Malibus left--the model they are continuing to build. Go figure.

    TV commercials say that Chevy is the best-selling brand in NE OH, but apparently that's not the case elsewhere.

    In the showroom they had a '19 Corvette, base model, only options 8-speed automatic with paddle shifter, and glass top. Sticker $59,310. Seems like an overall bargain to me. I don't like the higher-zoot ones with black wheels and cladding and spoilers. And try as I might, I just cannot like the looks of the Camaro. The 'Vette was silver, which I wouldn't buy though.
  • berriberri Posts: 10,057
    edited December 2018
    Speaking of blue hairs, I saw a tarted up Lincoln MKZ with what appeared to be a convertible look vinyl top covering the back windows of the 6 window greenhouse today. The back of that top even had the carriage look hardware. Not an enhancement. Borrowing from old rock 'n roll; I saw your car and it was uugglly B) The owner probably spent thousands to convert it to a 4 window look that only made the thing look like a cheaper model.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 47,907
    People just have less space and time (and money) for toys. I have no desire for one - I already have a hobby car, and I don't want to deal with convertible hassles (either as a complex retractable or high risk cloth top) as a daily driver.

    Regarding uplanderguy's Cruze browsing, sales are definitely a regional thing. I suspect in west coast urban areas, a significant amount of new domestic brand cars on the road are rentals. I don't know anyone personally who has a new Cruze, Impala, Malibu, etc. Interestingly enough, I know a couple people with Ford Fusions.

    I think the SL is suffering just like all convertibles. The trend seems to be ever downward for the soft top/

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 11,237
    ...and Ford is dropping the Fusion.

    Funny that Chevy is keeping their car in that size class. I'm stupefied that they are dropping the Cruze but keeping the Sonic. The Cruze was a completely new car for 2016, but the Sonic is still the car that came out in 2012.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 11,237
    edited December 2018
    I had posted this on my Facebook page the other day, but industry buffs, at least older folks, may find the attached interesting. It was Youngstown's CBS affiliate interviewing the head of the Lordstown plant and Fisher Body plant there, on Oct. 18, 1966. They were ready to instantly hire 2,500 people then. Imagine.

    Some neat footage of '67 full-size Chevys on the line.

    My Greenville grandparents had a new plum-colored '67 Impala Sport Coupe. Never occurred to me before I saw this video, but I wonder if it was built in Lordstown. Since they lived only 35 or 40 miles away, I bet it was.

    https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2123364707949975
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 11,237
    edited December 2018
    A high-school friend of mine who lives near Columbus, OH now has an '18 Impala his wife leased; their second of the current-generation. He says they will probably buy it at the end of the lease.

    The Impala Premier (formerly LTZ) is my favorite GM product. I still prefer the styling to the newer Buick LaCrosse. Like the Cruze, CR recommends it (for folks who like CR). It's built in both Detroit and Oshawa, Ontario, and both those plants are closing. Supposedly the Impala is hanging on for about a year, longer than the Cruze. Another 'go figure'.
  • berriberri Posts: 10,057
    For awhile now, most advertising I see for GM, Ford and FCA is about trucks and crossovers. However it happened, I think Detroit basically ceded cars to the Asians (and Germans in the lux segment) some time ago. We probably shouldn't be surprised at all about this Ford and GM stuff really. I think UAW work rules make it harder to earn a decent return on less expensive stuff combined with excess capacity issues.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 11,237
    edited December 2018
    RE.: Lexus--friend of mine's Dad bought an LS300 or 400 (not the V8) coupe in the mid-nineties. I know it's all about quality, but for the price it struck me as a large compact car. I remember reading online that my two-door Cavalier matched it for rear-seat legroom. I wasn't very wowed with it from a luxury or styling standpoint.

    My friend said it was in the 40's when new.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 47,907
    6 cyl coupe would be an SC300, in some ways a luxury Supra. Those were quite the thing when new, I remember one of the most affluent families in the small town where I lived got one at introduction, and it really stuck out in 1992. Lexus of that era sometimes had leather and soft touch materials that didn't age well, I have seen many with seating and steering wheels that show patina, to put it nicely.

    Regarding the discontinuance of sedans, the GM and Ford better hope and pray current trends, both consumer and fuel price, hold true. Others aren't abandoning sedans, heck, MB is even introducing a new small trunkback car for MY 2019.
Sign In or Register to comment.