Last post on Jan 28, 2013 at 5:55 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.
#10884 of 24726 Re: Reliablity Viral Contagion! [gshocksv]
Oct 26, 2005 (1:27 am)
What I meant was, if it wasn't for these corporate parents and the injection of capital, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley, Rolls, would probably be plagued with reliability problems and have already gone bankrupt.
Well that is basically what I stated in my previous post, except for that reliability part. I don't see here is how their reliablity has made any difference when they never traded on reliability in the first place. Secondly, the usual Consumer Reports and J.D. Powers data isn't available for brands like Ferrari, Bentley, Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce and Maybach. Everything I've ever seen about these cars and their buyers indicates that this group has a Mercedes, BMW,Lexus,Jaguar i.e. a "regular" car for everyday use.
Reliability as it is known here is not the reason why some of these of these brands have come back. Lets look at each one of them.
Rolls-Royce - they aren't doing to good, but they are doing better than when they were owned by Vickers. True, if it weren't for BMW they would likely be out of business in today's marketplace. It wouldn't be because of reliability in surveys, it would have been because of a obsolete product. The old Silver Seraph didn't even have HID headlamps or stability control when it was introduced in 1998. The cars Rolls built under Vickers were techincally obsolete and your average Mercedes, BMW, Lexus was a vastly superior car from that standpoint. Fast forward to 2004 and now with BMW at the helm they're able to produce a product that is both technically advanced and built much better than any Rolls in several generations - yes this does include reliability, but I seriously doubt that a Phantom has the reliability of a Toyota or Honda. The car itself is vastly superior to the Silver Seraph - and that is what brought Rolls-Royce back, not because survey chasers are checking results - their aren't any because RR isn't part of any surveys - that I know of. Its product. Now their comeback is iffy because while they are "up there" in name and what not, they severly overestimated the market for 300K cars like the Phantom. The last Silver Seraph wasn't nearly as expensive.
Bentley - their comeback is due solely to lowering the price of admission to the Bentley lifestyle from 225K+ for an Arnage to 165K for a Continental GT. This is via VW's Phaeton platform. All of a sudden I see Bentleys (Continental GTs) all the time and all the years before that you hardly every saw a Bentley Mulsanne, Turbo R or Eight. Now they're selling the 165k (or so) Continental Flying Spur and next spring they will sell a convertible version of the Continental GT Coupe, all on the VW platform. VW is hardly the standard in reliaiblity and I will never believe (without proof) that all of sudden Bentley's reliability is so good to the point where people want to buy them now. Its the price cut that got the traffic into Bentley showrooms, not reliability. Bentley still sells the Arnage, the car from the Vickers era and it has been tweaked so many times now I've lost count, and it still sells, but at over 200K it isn't going to sell as much as the Continental group of cars. Price far outweighs reliability when it comes to Bentley's roaring comback. There is a reason why the Mercedes CL has dropped like a hot rock since last year, much more so than the S-Class has. It is called the Continental GT. For a little more than a CL55 or CL600 you can have a Bentley. The CL65 AMG actually costs more than the Bentley.
The same is for Lamborghini. Every since the Jalpa was dropped in the late eighties Lamborghini was a one car show, and a 250-300K car at that, the Diablo and then the Murcielago. Enter the new under 200K V10 Gallardo and sales shoot up in just one year - that isn't reliability because Lamborghini has been owned by Audi since 1998, but the sales only came after the much cheaper Gallardo was brought to market in 2003. If you read a roadtest of a Lamborghini you'll see that they still aren't reliable. In the latest C&D comparo the Gallardo was flatbedded away, and didn't finish the test. Numerous test of the Murcielago have shown how fragile their gearshifts are - editors have broken them many times. Sure Audi made sure they don't run hot anymore and that the a/c actually works, but they did that with the Murcielago and Diablo (towards the end of its run), but the big sales (relatively) didn't come until the much cheaper Gallardo came on the scene.
The overwhelming factor behind the newfound success at Lamborghini and Bentley is a lower price of admission, made possible by their owner VW, not because they're more reliabile. Lambo is barely any better than they used to be in some aspects of reliability.
Now I agree about Ferrari having learned and gained the most because they aren't as fragile as before. Ferrari always had expensive cars and more than one model to sell and they haven't gotten any cheaper to buy so reliability has played a much bigger role there - I agree there.
A Maybach could be as reliable as a Camry, isn't going to change the fact that most people don't know the history behind Maybach or that is costs an absurd 325K to start. Now if they decided to build a cheaper car that will help, but that won't make any sense if they're going to be in S-Class territory, but that is another debate.
Rolls-Royce has the rich-parent to inject capital into them, but they still don't sell as well as BMW would like them to. Now watch what happens if and when they bring to market a car priced along the lines of the 225K Bentley Arnage, which you'll remember was the sister car to the old Silver Seraph. That being a market segment they abandoned with the over 300K Phantom. It has very little to do with reliability as we know it here.
Oct 26, 2005 (4:40 am)
Those original Maybach Zeppelins were gorgeous cars, but I agree, today the name means about as much as Pierce Arrow, or Cord. It's unfortunate that the last things the original company made were engines for Panzer and Tiger tanks.
#10886 of 24726 Re: Reliablity Viral Contagion! [michael_mattox]
Oct 26, 2005 (5:44 am)
I am an American who was actually up there trying to buy a car....and it was not even 5 years ago. It also has nothing to do with your economy...It has to do with taraffs and import fees which are much lower up there....In essence you are a free trade zone with Japan and Europe..
These five years, the Canadian Dollar has risen from 0.63 USD to 0.84 USD (33% increase). The price at the dealers are not lowered. In short, the car company/dealers do not list prices according to what costs them, but what can be afforded.
#10887 of 24726 Re: Reliablity Viral Contagion! [merc1]
Oct 26, 2005 (5:57 am)
Actually no because they aren't. Lamborghini just wrapped up a great year in 2004 and is on track to have their best year ever for 2005. Hardly dead. Mercedes-Benz is far from being dead, and according to some of today's press they're showing signs of corporate stability. Ferrari has been owned by Fiat for years? Whats your point? Ferrari is the most legendary name going in the sports car world, more so than even Porsche in a lot of circles. They owned F1 racing until just this year. Of course that means nothing here because luxury car bordem is the order of the day. You only need to read anything about Bentley today to know what a bang up job they're doing. The only ones on that list that aren't doing so hot are Maybach and Rolls-Royce, but dead they are not. They made the mistake of overestimating the demand for 300K+ cars.
LOL, you justify your point by 1 year of great sales? My bad on using the wrong words. Actually, these marques were dead long ago. Only some CEOs were fanatic about these cars and thus bought them at the expense of the employees. Example: this year, 2005, Bugatti Veyron is finally rolled out with many titles like being the fastest and the most expensive. This same year, VW lays off more than 20,000 workers in Germany.
Same goes with all English marques (Aston Martin, Bentley ....). They are English no more and they do not make money for their new masters. One year of profit does not a good business make. Check out the profits of these marques for the past 30 years plz! A lot of Ferrari's income was from tobacco ad's on their race cars. Let's see what happens when those ad's phase out in the next several years.
In the United States, the most profitable marques (in terms of profit per car/suv) are Porsche at No.1 and Lexus at No.2. Is it a surprise? BTW, the most profitable company overall is Toyota, whose market value is No.1 in the world and more than double of GM and whose profit is more than the big 3 combined (if they do have a profit).
#10888 of 24726 Re: Reliablity Viral Contagion! [merc1]
Oct 26, 2005 (6:15 am)
Absurdly high prices will kill the success of any car whether it is catered to the affluent or not!
#10889 of 24726 luxury and reliability
Oct 26, 2005 (6:46 am)
imho the higher up you move in price, the less important reliability becomes, and the more important exclusivity/prestige becomes to the people that actually buy these things. Not just in cars but sometimes in other products like watches. It is well known for example that Rolex is unreliable, but that doesn't keep some people from buying them, mostly imho for show.
#10890 of 24726 off topic factoid
Oct 26, 2005 (10:02 am)
I heard a speech yesterday by an expert on demographics. He said that people in Japan actually don't drive that much because the country is so densely populated...something like 80% of the population on 2% of the land, due to mountainous terrain. If you put every car in Japan on the roads simultaneously, there would be only 4 feet between each car. In the U.S. it would be 140 feet.
#10891 of 24726 Re: luxury and reliability [syswei]
Oct 26, 2005 (10:28 am)
"It is well known for example that Rolex is unreliable."
Where did you get this info? You are so wrong that it is not funny at all. It also shows that you don't know anything about watches. My Rolex lasts longer than you and I several lifetimes over.
#10892 of 24726 Re: luxury and reliability [ctsang]
Oct 26, 2005 (10:47 am)
My favorites are Breguet and Patek Philippe. Are they reliable?
BTW, here’s a David Ogilvy story.
Ogilvy & Mather once had the Rolls Royce advertising account. While developing strategies and tactics, one of O&M’s researchers went to England and was given tours and demos of the product by RR execs. He was awed by the quietness of the cabin and noticed that he could hear the clock ticking. Upon hear this Ogilvy said, bingo, that’s an ad. The headline of one of their ads proceeded to read something like this…
At 60 mph in a Rolls Royce, the only thing you can hear is the clock ticking.
Upon seeing the ad, the chief engineer at RR was a little upset and said “we really have to do something about that clock.”
#10893 of 24726 Re: luxury and reliability [ctsang]
Oct 26, 2005 (11:32 am)
Well, first of all, someone I used to work with had a relative that owned a high end watch store, so that it where I first heard it, I think the words were something like "Rolex is a poor timepiece".
Second, I have read that cheap quartz mechanisms will keep more accurate time than certain expensive Swiss-made models.
Third, if you just do a google with the words "rolex reliability" you'll turn up annecdotes like:
Went shopping for a jacket when I noticed a colorful watch on a man's wrist. I walked by him and noticed it was the red/blue Rolex GMT-Master. So I asked him about it. He told me he bought it on his way to Vietnam over 30 years for a "mere" $700. I said "Then you must have been an officer". He chuckled and confirmed. He flew in a gun-ship and operated the infa-red.
The watch itself was pretty beat-up. Scratches, and crystal cracked, but it still looked awesome. He said it was a "poor" time-keeper and required adjustments often, and service costs are high.
- or -
I have purchased this good looking but highly unreliable watch last fall.For the price all I had was a good looking bracelet, the accuracy of this watch was something left to be desired, frequent repairs, and in my books a total rip-off. I now own a Audemars Piguet and absolutely love it.
Of course, some owners might prove a little touchy on the subject.
For the record, I own an unreliable Swiss-made watch. Philippe Charriol. I bought it because I really liked the looks, and it wasn't too expensive.