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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Poor Acura what are they to do? I keep reading about a lower-priced RL to arrive this summer/fall with less equipment and a price closer to 40K instead of 50K. I guess that might help.

    This time last year the RL, STS, GS, M and MB's own CLS made me cringe to think what all these newer models would do to the E-Class in terms of sales, but the one that took the spot would turn out to be an old friend (sort of) in the class, the 5-Series. Go figure. :confuse:

    Steve has it wrong about the M, LG. For a car with literally no past or reputation to sell as good as it has so far is a great success IMO.

  • ...have to realize that Mercedes and BMW are different and thats pretty much the way it will always be.

    I agree completely. But as an aside, Mercedes/AMG has expended a lot of effort trying to win me (2003 M5) over. We have been invited to several Mercedes "VIP" events and had both an E55 and S55 offered to us for full weekend test drives. This is all coming from MBNA, not the local dealer who I know personally.

    When I mentioned at the last such event that I was considering a Porsche 911 S or Turbo for later this year or next, I was called 2 days later with the offer of an SLK55 for the weekend and a "top priority" spot for the future CLK63 or SLK63. Beuatiful cars, I'm sure, but of absolutely no interest to me.

    You or I might agree that Mercedes/AMG does not compete directly with BMW/M or Porsche, but don't tell the MBNA marketing guys that - I rather enjoy their wining and dining me. :)

    P.S. Remember the original 300E? It was available with a 5 speed manual and my neighbor bought one of the very few such equiped ones that was imported into the US. He taught all of his kids how to drive a stick with it.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Interesting take on it. Well I do think they compete with BMW/M and Porsche, but not directly if that makes sense. They can't be competing directly without manuals and even sportier setups, but these AMG cars aren't slouches either, just a more relaxed take on performance, a super GT if you will. I've always thought of a Mercedes as a heavy grand touring car relative to BMWs and especially Porsches. I don't know why they would give you a S55 if you're an M5 driver, that car is way to big and slanted towards luxury to compare to the M5. There is news that Mercedes may be offering sportier setups on certain AMG models, tenatively called "Track Sport" editions, but still no manuals for guys like you and habitat. :cry:

    I don't blame you for taking them up on their offers I know I would!!

    Yes I remember the 300E (W124), first Benz I ever drove. It was also the car that got me to liking Mercedes-Benz, especially the 500E version. That car is probably still my favorite Benz of all time. I remember a commercial for the 300E from back then in which the manual version topped out at 140 mph and the auto 137 mph. There was even a manual tranny SL320 in the early nineties they imported a whole 100 of!

  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    It's what I do! ;)
  • 2001gs4302001gs430 Posts: 767
    April 2006 Sales – Midsize Luxury Sedans:

    E = 3,778
    5 = 3,699
    M = 2,417
    GS = 2,336
    STS =
    A6 = 1,555
    RL = 1,031

    I think the GS sales will regain third place if Lexus can make and deliver all 2000 GS450h by December.

  • 2001gs4302001gs430 Posts: 767

    1. The headlights on GS are like somebody plucked out their eyeballs and running for help here and there. The serial killer headlights on 5 are at least intimidating.

    I agree the head and tail lights can use some improvement. Some thing along the line of the LS460 would be nice.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Considering how long the 5 and E have been dominating the LPS segment. . .

    This is accurate if you so stipulate that you are limiting your LPS ADI (area of dominant influence) to the United States (or the US + Canada.)

    What might be useful ("might be") would be to note the sales of the LPS crowd globally.

    How does the Infiniti M35 and M45 stack up when total sales worldwide are factored in? Ditto Acura's RL, Audi's A6, Lexus GS, and so on (heck include the STS for fun, too.)

    I read this, recently:

    "In Europe, the German luxury marque Audi is now on a par with rivals like Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Yet in the States, Audi is a mere also-ran, selling barely a third as many cars as the luxury segment's leaders."

    Apparently (from the rest of this article and from other blogs), Audis cost more than their rivals in Europe yet sell on par with BMW and Mercedes.

    Is it possible to acquire an M or a GS "readily" in Europe? One would imagine that in the UK these Japanese built cars would be offered since both the Japanese and UK drivers require right hand drive cars. . . .

    Anyway, my point is to note that the 5 and E may only dominate (sales-wise) in the US, which is hugely important, but perhaps not as important as Europe and South America or Asia or maybe even the Middle East and India as these areas (most likely the latter ones noted in the list) will be where the most significant growth will (and is already) come from.

    It is important that the 5 and E are dominant (in the US), of that there is little or no doubt. It is not a complete picture, however.

    Does the 5, to pick one, "dominate" the world over?

    Its a small world, after all, as the song goes. . . :shades:
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Apparently (from the rest of this article and from other blogs), Audis cost more than their rivals in Europe yet sell on par with BMW and Mercedes."

    No problem believing that. I wonder... How much of the disparity in Audi sales between North America and Europe has to do with the fact that their excellent Diesel technology is only available over there?

    Best Regards,
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    "70% of Audis, BMW's and Mercedes LPS offerings are sold in diesel form in Europe."

    I am certain the numbers are NOT dead on identical for these three brands, but the gist of what I have been reading is that for all practical purposes, the diesel versions of these three LPS cars (in Europe) outsell the gas versions (70% to 30%.)

    Unless there IS a huge disparity, I would assume this is not THAT significant.

    Note: In Europe the 3.0TDI Audi A6 is ~900 Euros less than its "lower performing" (slightly) and much thirstier 3.2 gasoline version sibling.

    "You mean, I could buy an A6 TDI that will out accelerate, go farther on a gallon of diesel (that generally cost less than a gallon of premium gasoline), last longer (by about 100,000 miles), output 30 - 60% less greenhouse emissions and go for about a $1,000 less?"

    "Technically yes, but you can't buy one here in the US."

    "Why not?"

    "Hmm, technically because we will not offer widespread availability of CLEAN DIESEL fuel until 3rd or 4th quarter 2006."

    "Who's bright idea was that to NOT mandate such fuel sooner?"

    "Not mine."

    "Who, really?"

    "You figure it out, I have to go to place a wreath on the tomb of the unregistered voter."

    "Oh I get it."

    "No, no you don't -- you don't even get a clue."

    "Now you're being insulting."

    "No, its just that there is no such thing as common sense, and the perpetuation of the myth that there is, keeps holding us back, costing us money and depriving us."

    "Get off your soapbox you oaf."

    "Sticks and stones."

    "Seriously, what would happen if our LPS cars, just as a starting point were suddenly available in diesel format."

    "Truthfully, no one knows -- but what could happen according to the EPA (2/2006), '. . .the US could save the amount imported from Saudi Arabia if one-thrid of US vehicles ran on diesel. . .' so to the extent that LPS cars are only a fraction of the total, perhaps the impact would be diminimus."

    "What are you a lawyer."

    "No, but I do play one on TV."


    "Now who's the oaf?"


    "All the stuff that we now enjoy in our econo boxes, stuff like power steering, brakes, windows and air conditioning were first offered in Lux cars -- then trickled down to the rest. Were all LPS cars to come out with diesel with the performance improvements, fuel economy improvements and slightly lower prices that we have seen elsewhere, well it stands to reason that the near-LPS cars, and so on down the food chain, would soon be offered with diesel and we theoretically could accelerate [no pun intended] away from our dependance on middle eastern oil."

    "Dream on big boy."

    "Speaking of Big Boy's -- how about lunch?"

    "You're on."




    "Of course."

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "How does the Infiniti M35 and M45 stack up when total sales worldwide are factored in? Ditto Acura's RL, Audi's A6, Lexus GS, and so on (heck include the STS for fun, too.)"

    Thats somewhat hard to determine. If you count only Infiniti, Acura, and Lexus versions, their global sales outlook is pretty poor. If you factor in Nissan Fuga, Honda Legend, and Toyota Aristo sales though, then it might be more balanced. I'm not sure.

    Edit: Actually, I think the Aristo is no more, and the car is badged as the Lexus GS in all markets.
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    I think the GS sales will regain third place if Lexus can make and deliver all 2000 GS450h by December.

    1. Hybrid sales (Prius, Accord & Civic hybrids) are way down recently. No sure why luxury buyers are more concerned about gas price than economy buyers.

    2. GS and competitors sales are driven mostly by sales of V6 versions, so why would GS460h do much for sales?

    GS is just doing the typical Lexus nose dive for sporty sedans. IS will do the same!

    Lexus, Infiniti and Acura are only in a few markets, so can't do a worldwide sales comparison. Infiniti and Acura are not even in their homemarket of Japan yet. Infiniti is doing the smart thing though, expanding in the exploding developping economies of India, China, Korea and Russia first, before the well established markets of Europe and Japan. In the developing countries, there's much more growth potential and Infiniti and Lexus can compete with MB and BMW in more even terms.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    ya know, I can hear that conversation...


  • gwhjrgwhjr Posts: 1
    want to buy new mb e320 cdi but am wondering if electrical problems are enough to buy something else. am diesel fan but do not want predictable headaches.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    but just didn't feel like the car was what we wanted. Kinda along the Lexus lines, just didn't do it for us. The other German offerings felt better to us.

    I sure hope Audi A6 TDI and BMW 530 TDI happen. Would be sweet!

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Audi for one (and so has Mercedes, I believe) confirmed more and more better diesels for the NA market starting with the Q7 and A6 from Audi and just expanding to beat the band from Mercedes.

    This is a good thing! :surprise:
  • 2001gs4302001gs430 Posts: 767
    GS and competitors sales are driven mostly by sales of V6 versions, so why would GS460h do much for sales?

    I will bet that Lexus will sells every single GS450h they could bring to NA this year. Also, its MSRP is the same as a loaded 530i's. I don't know whether the latter is selling at much lower price than MSRP and the former is not. The one apparent draw back for the GS450h is the trunk space. Furthermore, the GS450h may take away some regular GS sales.
  • stevekilburnstevekilburn Posts: 359
    Please dont misunderstand, I am a great admirer of Lexus and I am on your side.

    Incidently I am one of those rare species who love both benz and lexus. And I defend and attack both of them. If you dont believe it read my earlier posts in various threads.

    I am not talking about combined 5&E sales I am talking about year to year sales of M,GS and RL compared to 5&E .

    I think M and GS sales are way behind, not even half of what the german brands are selling.

    5: 55,000 approx every year
    E: same
    GS: 10-15,000 every year (pathetic)
    M: 20,000 (last year only), before that it was a joke.

    The solution: GS needs more pizzaz and performance and sexy sheet metal, something akin to what they have done with IS and the upcoming LS 460 and 600h L.

    For M: They need a new fresh V8 to boost the sales and make the car look less bulky, fat in exterior design. It should look more sleek like E-class or aston martin.

    The headlights and front facia are too gross and although its a huge improvement over the previous M, more work needs to be done.

    I saw the interior in NY auto show and it was great!
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 875
    hilarious posting as usual. What about the Q5, [if it actually gets made] With a stick? [if it actually gets made]
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well if that is the case then the GS450h isn't going to help the overall sales picture for the GS line. Plus the GS450h is limited to like what 2K units, hardly enough to make a difference.

    I predict the GS sales will rise again once the GS350 and GS460 go on sale, but then what does Lexus do for the remaining 5-6 year after that engine update. If I were Lexus I'd let the GS go to MY2008 and then do the engine along with a facelift that gives the car a little change in looks and driving qualities. Other wise if they just do an engine swap for 2007 to the 350/460 the GS will run out of steam by 08/09 especially when the next E comes along. The GS has always been overshadowed by the LS anyway and the new LS460 will likely make the GS430 irrelevant like it has in the past. They've been too close together in price and the GS has never been truly sporty enough to make a real difference IMO. This time though Lexus might take the LS' base price out of the 55-60K bracket giving the upcoming GS460 more room.

  • stevekilburnstevekilburn Posts: 359
    The problem with GS is that in size, softness and bland design it rivals the ES. So the customer thinks for a moment and then goes for the ES.

    ES sales: 65-70K /year
    GS sales: 15-20 K/year.

    One solution is to retire the ES altogether since it wont sell outside US anyway (and introduce higher camry trims to make-up for the sales) and make GS sexier and sportier.

    Lexus cannot afford to be US centric anymore as it takes the plunge into global market place.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Where are you getting these figures for GS and M? Have you been looking at their monthly reports? You are implying that the E and 5 are averaging at least 4600 sales a month (which the E often misses quite badly), and yet you seem to think that the GS and M are selling like the RL, when in reality they are selling 26,000 to 28,000 cars a year.

    First GS was 10-15K, now its 15-20K in your next post. Which is it?
  • 2001gs4302001gs430 Posts: 767
    Well if that is the case then the GS450h isn't going to help the overall sales picture for the GS line. Plus the GS450h is limited to like what 2K units, hardly enough to make a difference.

    If they averaged about 200 more sales to otherwise non-GS buyers due to this model per month from now until year end (2000/7 = 285), that should be enough to take back the third spot from the M. Then the new engines for the regular GS plus any face lift should continue the sales support.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well we'll see but those sales may be at the expense of the GS430/460. I really don't see the point of the GS450h when I really think about it, especially when the GS460 comes along...but that is another story. I just don't see the GS having staying power like the E or 5-Series. I think the M will take its spot for the next few years simply because it is more exciting car, just a fresher entry IMO. Then again who knows the M might just fade away after its 15 minutes are up, but the decent staying power of the G35 says otherwise.

  • 2001gs4302001gs430 Posts: 767
    The problem with GS is that in size, softness and bland design it rivals the ES. So the customer thinks for a moment and then goes for the ES.

    IMO, the GS is nothing like the ES. It does have a sporty component to it that the ES or LS don't. It has everything that a Lexus should have to go with that sporty side. It may not be enough to be compared with the more serious LPS with emphasis on the P, but it fills a gap in the Lexus line up nicely.
    I think Merc1 is right that one of the draw backs is that the GS has been priced too closely with the LS.
  • 2001gs4302001gs430 Posts: 767
    Once the GS350 and GS460 are available, Lexus could up the ante with a GS500h or GS600h(?).
    Both BMW and Benz have more than 2 models in the 5 and the E series which probably contributes to higher sales numbers i.e. something for every taste...
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    This is true...

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    . . .now that the talking heads and politicos are all abuzz about gas prices alternative fuels, off shore drilling and alchemy, one would expect the readily available information pertaining to diesels would surface on ABC, Bloomberg, CBS, CNBC, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, NBC, the Daily Show and Countdown with Keith Oberman.

    Instead there was a 3.76 second quote from our Prez indicating that maybe we might want to consider extending and/or strengthening the case for tax credits for hybrids.

    Buried in the report -- which was mostly about the outrage of the consumer and their political leaders (of both parties) on price gouging -- was a statement which essentially MEANT (but did not quite say) hybrid sales, even with incentives, have been unimpressive.

    I am not opposed to new technologies. I also am in favor of exploiting and improving current technologies.

    The evidence, thus far, is overwhelming that we could IMMEDIATELY reduce our dependance upon Middle Eastern oil (which we are told is a laudable goal, right?) by rapidly ramping up our adoption of diesel motivation (check out Europe's adoption rate and check out what the EPA says the impact of even a minority utilization of diesel engines in our cars and trucks could mean.)

    A great disservice is apparently being perpetuated on the NA public -- and that is the lack of "news stories" extolling the possibilities and outcomes of using this reliable (and apparently cheaper to build and cheaper to operate) technology.

    We may well all be driving cars that use electric motors sometime in the future -- and because there IS promise there, we should not stop pursuing this technology.

    However, we should be talking about what we can realistically do "now."

    With 70% diesel LPS penetration (and an overall 33% diesel adoption) in Europe as a backdrop, there are so many questions that are raised by the lack of information broadcast by "the Media."

    This is almost tantamount to having a side-effect free cure for a disease or condition and not shouting it from the electronic rooftops.

    My upper-middle class neighbors all gather from time to time in the new home theater and bar of one of our ilk and bemoan the $3.00+ gas prices our Audis, Bimmers and Infinitis require. When I mention diesels to these mostly 40 something MBA's they universally look at me as if I had six heads (I have but four.)

    I explain, as I do here, the cost of acquisition and operation, the EPA statements, the fuel costs and lifetime fuel costs (assuming $3.00 per gallon is just a foretelling of things to come), the PERFORMANCE and LUXURY, the diesel durability reputation and on and on; and, you know what? these guys, whilst swilling their Premium Beers (Amstel Light, you know since we are trying to avoid the spare tire) say, "If all this stuff is true, Mark, why in the wide wide world of sports isn't THIS THE TOPIC regularly and frequently on the news programs from the TODAY SHOW to BILL O'REILLY to THE DAILY SHOW to the COLBERT REPORT?

    Why indeed.

    One more time: "I did not have sex with that" No No, wait a minute -- "LPS cars will be the logical and practical place to immediately offer high performance diesel motivation -- followed within a year or two by the trickle down and availability across all makes and models."

    What the heck are we waiting for?

    I want my hot rod, fuel sipping LPS car -- NOW, well OK how about 2007?

    The industry and the media have their heads up their -- noses! :confuse:
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    IMO Lexus as a brand appeals mostly to a certain class of buyers, who prefer comfort and willowy rides, so all the engine combinations won't help GS and IS that much.

    Before GS introduction, I said on Edmunds, if I were the GS product manager, I'd sorely tempted to make it as soft and luxurious as possible, because that'd play to the strength of the Lexus appeal.

    Just look at the Toyota sales leaders (Camry, Avalon, Corolla). Every single one is the softest ride in its class. Lexus should've made GS softer than STS or S-type, then it'd have a pretty chance of being the 3rd best seller in its class. As it is, I don't think it has any chance of overtaking M again.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,860
    The past experiences I have had with Diesel, I use to have to change the oil every hundred hours ...I was wondering if they have been able to extend the oil change time in the newer model engines? Tony
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