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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The M's is the more performance oriented AWD system. It normally operates at 0\100 unless the car starts to slip. The GS300 AWD believe is normally 30\70. Handling traits of the two cars should be similar to the RWD cars. The M is faster and sportier, the GS is a bit more quiet and refined.
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    Infiniti has reported that they plan to achieve this 200,000 plateau by (1) increasing dealer count to around 200, (2) improving the look of the dealerships so they have a more consistent look/feel/experience, and (3) challenging each dealer to reach a benchmark of 1,000 sales per annum. It's a pretty lofty target, but might as well shoot for the stars.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    To reach 200,000, annual sales would look something like:

    G (all variants): 70,000
    M (all variants, including a future coupe/convertible): 35,000
    Q (or its successor): 7,000
    CX: 40,000
    FX: 30,000
    QX: 15,000
    GTR: 3,000

    Total: 200,000

    A G25 would add volume (which I think they'll do), as well as a more conventional SUV based on the Pathfinder (which I don't think they'll do).
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Merc, so does that mean the C is also at least "60% new"? Or is Audi counting mostly sheet metal?

    Not sure what the percentages are, but the C definitely isn't sixty percent new, but neither is the Audi. Unless they're counting the nuts and bolts we can't see.

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    If I had a magic wand, I would send both the command and the engineering (and styling) fix to make all these cars have better F/R weight distribution. I would also send the command to not offer FWD biased AWD cars (unless such data would be explained fully to the buying public).

    The RWD bias of these AWD cars IS NOT unimportant, but it still seems that weight distribution (along with appropriate suspension design) would go a greater distance in making all of these car's handle better than RWD biased AWD alone.

    As I read posts here and there and magazine articles, the subject of understeer and oversteer seem to weigh more heavily on the car's overall objective and subjective handling prowess.

    This must be a difficult engineering feat to accomplish, unless the mfgrs don't believe this argument has merit.

    Today, based on a "statistic" that I cannot prove or disprove 80% of all cars are still FWD for a variety of reasons some we would agree on some we could debate.

    The direction is clearly to produce more and more AWD vehicles. Why not simultaneously make them better balanced and take the quantum leap in performance that this combination of engineering applications promises.

    I noticed my battery in my new Audi is in the rear (unless I am completely nuts), this must be yet another attempt to improve weight distribution, but the A6 is still something like 59 41 F/R. That is a huge issue despite all the geniuses of suspension systems that Audi employs.

    RWD biased AWD is a good goal -- FR balance is a better one, IMHO.
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    The BMW E39 also carries its battery in the trunk, for the reason you suggest.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Can Audi make a truly balanced car if they continue to offer it as FWD?
  • mrdeenomrdeeno Posts: 4
    If I had a magic wand, I would send both the command and the engineering (and styling) fix to make all these cars have better F/R weight distribution. I would also send the command to not offer FWD biased AWD cars (unless such data would be explained fully to the buying public).

    F/R distribution is probably easily solved by ADDING weight to the rear of the car until you get 50/50, but this is unrealistic since it just makes the car heavier overall.

    The problem with F/R weight distribution is inherint in whether the car is FWD or RWD. FWD cars are usually front heavy since the mass of the car (engine) is placed right over the axle. Making the FWD car AWD doesn't improve weight distribution unless they intend to make the front very light by using exotic materials and make the rear heavier. the RL and audi's are all FWD based, which is why their weight distribution is much heavier at the front. As much as a manufacturer is going to try to optimize this, it's gonna be difficult since they're working against the weight of the engine.

    As for rwd cars, the engine can be placed behind the front axle which improves the weight distribution (like nissan's FM-front midship platform of the M45, which places the engine as far back as possible). The m35x and other awd's based on RWD cars have another driveshaft that drives the front wheels, unlike FWD based cars that don't need the extra driveshaft.

    It's probably too costly for Acura and Audi to switch to RWD based awd, since that would require re-engineering of all their PROFITABLE platforms.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    June 2005 Sales

    E = 4,205
    5 = 4,183
    STS = 3,719
    GS = 3,317
    M = 2,480
    A6 = 1,581
    RL = 1,565
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751

    Sales of the 5 are 4005 units. Wonder what the discrepancy is with other manufacturers?

    Mercedes E class 4343.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Dude, you're looking at June 2004 sales.

    My figures are correct for June 2005.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    The BMW 5-series 4005 units are for last June(jun-04). June-05 sales are 4,183.

    it's best to check each manufacturer's own press releases.

    Here's BMW's for Jun-05:

    BMW Press Release
  • chef_jmrchef_jmr Posts: 41
    Audi should be disappointed in those numbers... I am surprised the GS is beating out the A6 & the M. Having test driven all three, the GS just did not have the "it" factor, perhaps I feel this way due to fact it is not marketed for my age group (mid-30s)...

    Will lackluster sales encourage Audi to promote better leases for it's '06s???
    (I know they are clearing out the '05s with special lease deals, and the upcoming price increase is not making me happy as I will be purchasing this Fall)
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289

    Where do you get Nissan/Infiniti figures from??
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    From their site,
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    A6 and RL have been brawling for second to last place since GS and M hit. I dont know what Audi's sales goal for the A6 was in the US, but it appears that RL will miss Acura's projection of 20,000 unless things pick up.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Acura most certainly will miss 20K sales for 2005. Thru the first half of this year they are at 8,432 units sold. At this rate they will miss it by about 20%. Not good. As always, Honda had a golden opportunity to design a stand-out RL and they didn't. Leave it up to Honda's stubborness to dismiss the notion of a V8 in a luxury car!

    If Honda/Acura were smart, they would play the RL's market segment just like Benz, BMW, Lexus and Infiniti play the game: Offer at least 2 engine choices, one a 6 and one a V8. And obviously they should bother to make it bigger inside than their $15K cheaper TL.
  • bondguy1bondguy1 Posts: 228
    Who cares how many sell of each long as you buy what you like. I think with all of these cars mentioned there is a lot of retention amongst the former owners of the brands (some because loyalty is offered and some because they enjoy there current car). I think probably Lexus has the highest retention of previous owners coming back to buy or lease again. How many Infiniti owners of M's are previous Infiniti owners? Prbably not many. But, many will probably be back in three years when the lease is up and that is more important (ie: establishing new clients where they take sales away from the competetion). How many M owners would be driving Lexus, Audi or Acura if the M hadn't been born? A lot. Even though I drive the Audi A6 (because I had a good experience with previous one), I give Kudos to Infiniti for making a great car in the M and certainly a hard choice between the two.
    I think if you asked 100 people which one would have the better reliability, more than 85% would have to go with the Japanese car. It's just their reputation. I know people who had a nightmare with Audi's the same year as my previous one. Mine was great. So, test them all, if your leasing don't worry because in three years, you can get a chance to do it all again!
  • chef_jmrchef_jmr Posts: 41
    I agree that marque retention is extremely important... I currently drive a Lexus SUV (RX300), my parent's have gone through two RX's and absolutely love them (after owning big S-class Benz's most of their lives...). It's reliable [the Lexus], but Lexus' lack of the "it" factor in drivablility terms I mentioned earlier, steers me away from their cars, and I would only consider a GS if all others (A6, M, 5) were total dogs, which they are not.

    I had a bad experience with an '01 VW (Audi's parent) GTI, hence my vigilant search for all info concerning these models. I, too, will have an A6, most likely, but I am concerned with Audi's reliability, and need more convincing than a 90-day JD Power survey... I had three plus Airbag warning lights go off in the VW (among many other problems), now I start hearing similar issues occurring in the Audis. Coincidence?

    More attractive prices would be a good start, Audi! I can help boost their sales, Audi should just give me reason to purchase their car vs. competitors (it's called sales strategy, non?) The answer is out there...
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The RL is a victim of too much platform and engine sharing. There's only so much that can be done when you're stuck with the same global midsize platform as the rest of Honda's cars and the same engine as the MDX. I'm not saying Honda's 3.5L is bad, but its no better than any competitor's six in real world acceleration, despite leading them all in hp. I think they would've been smarter to sacrifice some of those ponies for more torque, especially in the low end, but thats not how Honda does engines.
  • bondguy1bondguy1 Posts: 228
    I live in S Florida. But, I have found if you go to Audi's webpage and search for deals and go to the Atlanta area, for some reason, they always seem to have the cheapest deals. If you live near there great. But, you should print up the deal and take it to your Audi dealer and they should be able to match it. Even if it quotes a lease with only 10K miles a year and you need 12K, add whatever it may be a month and work from there ( I think it's like $15/month). And, as far as reliability, remember. Your VW that had problems didn't come with 4years 50K miles everything covered including scheduled maintenance. I'll agree it can be annoying if something goes wrong and having to take the car into the shop...but if it's there overnight, they give you a loaner and it all covered anyway. This is great for leasing...for purchase, it's a different story if you keep the cars a long time.
  • bondguy1bondguy1 Posts: 228
    The cars in Premium Class that were considered were:

    Acura RL

    Audi A6

    Cadillac STS

    Infiniti M 35/45

    Mercedes CLS
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    "Who cares how many sell of each long as you buy what you like."

    You obviously missed the entire point of the post!
  • bondguy1bondguy1 Posts: 228
    yes, whats the point? Are you going to buy a car based on how many they sell or are you going to buy what you like?
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Consumer Reports’ annual auto reliability survey shows that the reliability of domestic cars and trucks continued to improve last year, while those from European automakers declined. Japanese and Korean automakers once again produced the most trouble-free vehicles overall.

    Tell me something I don't know.

    Consumer Reports’ analysis for each manufacturer is based upon the number of problems per 100 vehicles. The average problem rate for all 2004 vehicles covered in the survey (including domestic, European, and Asian brands) was 16 problems per 100, down from the 2003 rate of 17 problems per 100.

    Snore, tell me something new, PLEASE.

    This just in!

    DaimlerChrysler, Ford, and General Motors inched a little closer to Asian automakers with an overall problem rate of 17 per 100. Last year, U.S. automakers had a combined problem rate of 18 per 100.

    The problem rate for European automakers rose slightly, to 21 per 100 from 20 per 100 last year. BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen had more than their share of problems.

    Only Audi came out better than the industry-wide average, with a problem rate of 12 per 100 for the two Audi models covered in CR’s survey.

    The Asian manufacturers (Japanese and Korean) once again produced the most trouble-free vehicles, with an overall problem rate of 12 per 100 (the same as Audi) for the 2004 model year. That rate has not changed in the past three surveys.

    Brand Problems per 100 vehicles

    Subaru 8

    Honda 9

    Acura 10

    Toyota 10

    Hyundai 11

    Infiniti 11

    Lexus 11

    Audi 12

    Mini 13

    Ford 15

    Pontiac 15

    Cadillac 16

    Chevrolet 16

    Chrysler 16

    GMC 16

    Jeep 16

    Mazda 16

    Saab 16

    Dodge 17

    Mercury 17

    Volvo 17

    Buick 18

    Nissan 19

    Saturn 19

    BMW 21

    Volkswagen 23

    Mercedes-Benz 25

    Lincoln 26

    One wonders where Jaguar may be or would be on this list? :confuse:
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "...Why run the sale...none of their other cars sell"

    Generally you would do something like that with cars that arent selling (see GM).
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    "yes, whats the point? Are you going to buy a car based on how many they sell or are you going to buy what you like? "

    Boy oh boy. still missing the point.
  • chef_jmrchef_jmr Posts: 41
    That's some of the most useful information we've seen in a while! Thanks for posting it Mark. It would be nice to know which two models of Audi's CR was following...

    Oh, and to bondguy1, to put this matter to rest so that maxhonda99 can enjoy his Independence weekend... My point of the lackluster sales by Audi was this: Should the sales numbers for Audi not meet their expectations, it would imply that something is wrong (bad design [not the case], high price, crappy ad campaign, something). If you have a product that ain't selling, maneuver it so that it's sales will increase (probably why they have begun the lease deals on the '05s to clear the lots for the '06s that could become stale due to a price increase!!!)

    As I just stated, Audi is increasing the price on the '06 A6, while cleaning up the options packages--perhaps a trade off. But it is counter-intuitive to increase the price on your product when you are having troubles moving it in the first place. Although, there are probably some MBAs or others here on the forum that are aware that sometimes this type of price increase actually increases the attractiveness of the product. I see it in the San Francisco real estate market occasionally, homes won't sell for three months, taken off the market for a week, and then re-listed at a higher price, and quickly are sold! Market psychology is strange, and I am no expert. Could it work for Audi? I doubt it with all the extremely rich competition out there, but would be an interesting debate...

    I will purchase the car I most enjoy, while considering the financial implications.
    I just want Audi, and all car manufacturers, to know that we are no fools! At least I'm not!

    I hope that clears up my point for everyone, maxhonda99. Happy 4th!
  • bondguy1bondguy1 Posts: 228
    Yes, I agree with you but GM sold a heck of a lot of cars last month since they did the emplyee pricing. How many people are really not buying Q45's because of price? Do you ever see Q45's on the road anymore? I remember back in 1992 and around that time, a few years after the Lexus and Infiniti names were introduced, it was a toss up which to buy between Lexus LS 400 and Q45. The Q used to be more about performance and Lexus more luxury. It makes sense what you said and it's obvious they want to try to jump on the employee cost bandwagon. It is great if you were in the market for a G35. I wonder if this is a local dealership thing or something Infiniti is doing nationally.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Its all a gimmick anyway. Many have said that essentially the same deals where already available on GM cars before they started this "employee discount" bit. Calling it that though instead of just big fat rebates makes it sound like people are getting something "special" instead of just the usual mark downs on crappy cars.

    As for this Infiniti dealership specifically, I doubt they thought it would do anything for the Q45. That car as it is right now is basically unsellable, as I'm sure Infiniti's dealers are well aware. As you said, I think its meant to help G and FX sales.

    As for the original Q, it was killed by one of the worst marketing campaigns in luxury car history.
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