Last post on Jan 28, 2013 at 6:55 PM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Jaguar XJ-Series, Lexus LS 460, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Volkswagen Phaeton, Maserati Quattroporte, Mercedes-Benz CL-Class, Sedan
Let's try to define this forum as being limited to luxury performance vehicles where the mainstream version in a typical configuration has an MSRP of at least $60k.
A luxury vehicle with a base price of $59k qualifies because it would typically be bought with some additional equipment, bringing the MSRP over $60k.
Vehicles like the E, 5, A6, M, or GS, even if available in certain versions over $60k, don't qualify because they are cars from companies that have higher end cars in their lineups.
#10045 of 24723 Re: Merc1 [oac]
Aug 08, 2005 (1:46 am)
What about the fact that buyers TODAY have more choices of high-end lux cars than in the past, say a decade ago, that you don't understand ? Lexus and Infiniti are new entrants within the past 15 years, right ? Prior to 1990, its either MB or BMW... Now Lexus via its LS, and Infiniti via its G cars have provided much better competition to the dominance of the traditional leaders (MB and BMW).
I got that part long ago, its the relevence I'm trying to figure out. First it was MB isn't the choice for the high-end buyer, now it has shifted to there are more choices. We all know that. Anyone can see this. Sure the market has expanded and MB and BMW have expanded their sales with it. Back before Lexus and all the newcomers MB/BMW never broke 100K sales a year, now they're both over 200K a year.
Prior to 1990, there was Jaguar, Audi, and Cadillac also, not just BMW and Mercedes. Were those others good choices? Thats open for debate for sure, but they were there sure enough.
I never argued that buyers don't have more choices today, only that MB is still the main choice for the high-end buyer, which is what you started out with a few posts back. Infiniti's G35 has nothing to do with your original point about MB and the high-end buyer or the high-end luxury buyer period. The Q45 does however and its a dud of the highest order. Infiniti isn't even a player at the high-end of the market. Audi sells more A8s than Infiniti does Q45s.
Of course there is more competition all around, I didn't debate that. I couldn't debate that with a 1/2 dozen newer and/or revised cars in the E's segment alone this year, for example.
Yes, 7-series may be selling well for a 7-series, but it remains a distant third to the LS. So I am looking at the bigger picture of the entire class, not the narrow picture of solely the 7-series sales record...
So what, the 7-Series costs more than the LS430 to begin with. Secondly how are you looking at the whole picture when the gist of your post is again about sales compared to the LS and not BMW's bottom line? You're only looking at sales relative to a much cheaper car and ignoring the fact that the current 7-Series has surpassed the record for any 7-Series before it.
Why is it that the 7-Series has to outsell the LS for it to be a success in your eyes, but the GS doesn't have to outsell the 5-Series to be a hit? Major contradiction there. Sales, again aren't the sole indicator of whether or not a car is a success or not.
I see you withdrew your post with that claim about who sells more cars between 50-80K so I'll delete mine that disproved it.
#10046 of 24723 Re: Merc1 [oac]
Aug 08, 2005 (2:19 am)
In the >90K price range, the number of MB car sales are so small as to be insignificant. The price range that counts is the $50 - $80K. That is the sweet spot in the market we are talking about here, and that is where Lexus outshines the others, as the market has spoken.
That maybe the case with the "others" but it certainly isn't the case when it comes to Mercedes-Benz. At the 50-80K "sweet spot" price point, that statement is incorrect if you're referring to Mercedes.
Since 2005 isn't over yet, letís look at 2004. Mercedes has roughly 4 models that sell in your noted price range of 50-80K, the G, E, CLK and most of the S-Class. Now between the E, S, CLK, and G-Class Mercedes sold 103,461 cars that cost roughly between 50-80K in 2004.
Those numbers don't even reflect the CL, SL and SLR at 2683, 12,885 and 45 units respectively, all of which sell at prices way above any Lexus.
In the >90K price range, the number of MB car sales are so small as to be insignificant.
Sorry, but just because Lexus doesn't sell anything past 70K doesn't mean the 12K+ SL's Mercedes sold last year at 90K+ are "insignificant". Such a statement can't be taken seriously as no one else even comes close to such volume at that price point. Why is it that if Lexus doesn't do it, it is deemed insignificant?
Anyway, back to your original statement about the 50-80K price bracket.
Lexus has the LS430, GS430, LX470 and SC430 that sell between the 50-80K price points you mentioned. I couldn't find the total number for 2004 for the SC430, but the GS, LS, and LX sold 50,380 units. This is counting the GS as a whole because if you look at the just the GS430, which is the only 50K GS model the 8,262 units the "GS" sold last year would be a whole lot less. A whole lot less considering hardly nobody bought a GS430 last year. (Even with the new car the GS300 is by far the majority of GS sales, but thats another story.) Even if you add the 35,420 units the GX470 sold last year and add say 12K SC430 sales last year (which I don't think it sold that many), you still get 97,880 units which is still below the Mercedes total. The SC430 number is very generous imo as I seriously doubt it sold that many in 2004. If you take away the GS300, you'd most likely wind up with about 90K units for Lexus sold in that 50-80K price (which is very impressive I'll admit) range compared to roughly over 100K units for Mercedes.
Now if you have differing numbers I'd like to be corrected here, especially about the SC430 which I admit I'm guessing since I couldn't find a grand total for 2004 anywhere.
Except for a huge number of SC430 sales way over what I gave, switching the price bracket doesn't change anything. Plus you're ignoring the extra 15,613 units Mercedes sold over your 80K price bracket. Either way you want to chop it, Mercedes is still the #1 choice for the mainstream, high-end luxury car buyer.
The world of Bentley, Aston-Martin, Rolls-Royce and Maybach is quite different.
#10047 of 24723 The right way to look at lux sales
Aug 08, 2005 (5:50 am)
Let me just interject that you don't look at lux sales on pure absolute volume. I don't know the numbers and I'm not going to waste my time looking them up. But my guess is that the new 7 isn't anymore successful than the old 7 and may be worse off. Sure it's volume is up but the market has expanded. As I said - I don't know the numbers so this is only an example but if BMW was selling 16K cars in a 60K market that's a 27% share. If they are now selling 20K cars in an 85K market that's a 24% share. In that example you would measure the new car as less successful. My gut tells me the latter is the case.
#10048 of 24723 Re: The right way to look at lux sales [ljflx]
Aug 08, 2005 (10:29 am)
Ljflx, your gut is right in the case of the 5-series. Someone in the Luxury Performance Sedans thread pointed out that the segment DOUBLED sales in one year from July 04 to July 05 but that the 5ís market share went from 23.7% to 18.8%. Donít know how true it is but if so, no marketer can be happy about this. Itís kind of like an employee getting a $10K raise when everyone else in the company is getting $20K. Slap in the face. The boom in that segment was incredible (actually, sounds too incredible to believe) and thereís no way BMW should not have at least maintained market share.
But every company in that position will take the figures and spin it to the public. ďRecord salesĒ in the case of the 7. Yeah, it sounds good on the surface, and it is in context of the company itself, but itís specious in other regards as Ljflx mentioned. Also, around here the BMW campers play it like a cheap fiddle, when in fact BMW should be doing better and has to watch its step even though it is prospering.
BMW Auto and Brand Sales are down. Kdshapiro, itís not a blip. I canít see how BMW auto sales are trending in the right direction.
BMW Group USA July 2005 Sales:
BMW Group First-Half Sales For 2005:
Aug 08, 2005 (12:21 pm)
I really did not take the money into consideration for the initial thoughts....I first wanted a change from Lexus and something that drives sportingly..Also the ability to carry a little more cargo than the convertable....The wife went and test drove the bmw, and I could tell she really wanted that car, so I was blindsided in that way..I should have started another paragraph in my above post as the cost of the bmw and what followed was really just a side thought... Tony ps The reason I further posted to Merc was I would have sold the clk to him at a more reasonable price...I like him He has passion
#10050 of 24723 Re: The right way to look at lux sales [designman]
Aug 08, 2005 (12:54 pm)
From a post in the "High-End European Luxury Marquees" forum by rl81.
I know quite something about BMW, since I have done some work for them last year. What most people here don't realize is that they are not as big of a company as most people think they are. From a business standpoint, they have been close to max capacity for like the last 5 years or so. First the E46 and then the Mini took off way more than they could have hoped for. Yes, at this point the people are slapping themselves on the back. The 7 series that so many people hate sells better than the old one, so it's a step ahead from their point of view. I believe that after the face lift, they went into the right direction from a design and engineering standpoint.
So people, just think that BMW just a couple years ago sold more than a million vehicles per year. Their capacity is almost at 100% despite Bangle-design. In some ways a little drop in sales makes their life easier, because they can get their capacity under control. Yes, BMW wants to expand, but expansion can only happen so fast, and don't forget that most of their production is in Germany. They only started full production in Leipzig this year, where they build the E90. You'll see them be more agressive in the future.
#10051 of 24723 Re: Merc1 [merc1]
Aug 08, 2005 (3:17 pm)
Merc1: You always try to twist other people's words to make your point. My main points, for the umpteenth time are as follows:
1) MB is no longer the de facto, *must have* lux brand. You may not agree, but the market has spoken. The market has expanded (no one argues this) and the many more players, and the many more quality brands have relegated MB to the mainstream of lux car brands, not one perched at the top as in the past. May be it is inevitable that no one stays at the top for ever...But with MB's quality issues (real and perceived), corporate issues (SEC troubles, CEO departure, management shake-up, etc), and production issues (way too many variants, huge costs, low profit margins, etc), and the competition gaining in strength, all contribute to nudging MB to its downward trend (see sales numbers below)...
2) BMW sales of the 7-series may have improved with the '02 release, but it has not gained an iota of market share in the lux space. Rather, the biggest gainer remains the Lexus LS which came out of nowhere to become the best selling lux sedan in the NA market.
3) In the $50-80K price range, the LS ($55 - 70K) sells more than the S430 ($70 - 85K) and 745 ($68 - 80K). Feel free to add the E500/55 to the list, just to make the point. But here on this forum, we acknowledge that the LS competes more against the S than against the E.
Designman provided BMW sales numbers, so I won't go into it here. But see MB numbers (YTD)
Mercedes-Benz (YTD as of July '05)
Car: 83,708 vs. 90,390, down 7 percent
Truck: 14,926 vs. 12,778, up 18 percent
TOTAL: 98,634 vs. 103,168, down 4 percent
Do you see the trend here ? MB growing their SUV sales while car sales are declining ? I guess its not just Lexus that pads its sales with SUVs, right ?
Lexus numbers (YTD, as of July '05)
Car: 81,849 vs 79,630, up 3.9 percent
Truck: 168,568 vs 163,292, up 4.4 percent
TOTAL: 250,417 vs 242,922, up 3.1 percent
Do these numbers mean anything ? Lexus is clearly outselling MB overall, and about equal in car sales, despite the zillions of MB variants. Like Len (ljflx) often states, too many variants are a weakness NOT a strength. Could be one chief reason MB is not profitable....
Aug 08, 2005 (3:30 pm)
"2) BMW sales of the 7-series may have improved with the '02 release, but it has not gained an iota of market share in the lux space. Rather, the biggest gainer remains the Lexus LS which came out of nowhere to become the best selling lux sedan in the NA market."
According to the above post by rl81, they don't have to...as they are selling all they are making anyway and their factories are at capacity. An enviable situation for any manufacturer.
#10053 of 24723 Re: Merc1 [kdshapiro]
Aug 08, 2005 (3:46 pm)
they are selling all they are making anyway and their factories are at capacity. An enviable situation for any manufacturer.
If they really are capacity constrained, it means that customers are paying more than they should for the cars. So...enviable in some ways for the company, but not so enviable for the customer.
#10054 of 24723 Re: Merc1 [merc1]
Aug 08, 2005 (4:07 pm)
Please give evidence of incentives on the brand new 3-Series, I didn't know there were any.
You can get a new e90 for well under MSRP. That is not a sign of a hot car. When the new GS came out, you could not get one for under MSRP. I'll bet you that when the new IS twins come out, they'll sell for MSRP (+ in some markets like CA) and not a nickel less, at least through this calendar year.