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.
#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.
#10894 of 24726 Re: Reliablity Viral Contagion! [merc1]
Oct 26, 2005 (11:47 am)
I think we can go back and forth on this, I do agree with many of your points, but ultimately, I think reliability is the number 1 issue that these brands had to work on, and it's not just simply sorting out all the bugs, but changing people's perception of its reliability. Poor reliability means poor resale value. Let's admit it, a lot of these rich people can afford to buy these luxury cars, but they still hate to lose 50% of the value after a few years. Also, in reality, a lot of people in the nation's top 3% income bracket can afford the lower end of these premium brands, but they just can't afford to run them.
I could go on and break down my analysis, but it's starting to sound like a college research paper to me... so probably not. I do want to say, most auto magazines I read in the 90's identified reliability as the number 1 problem with these super premium brands.
BTW- here's the link to Edmund's long term test on its Ferrari, very interesting. Do you think the editors will be buying another Ferrari soon?
#10895 of 24726 Re: Reliablity Viral Contagion! [merc1]
Oct 26, 2005 (11:51 am)
I don't see here is how their reliablity has made any difference when they never traded on reliability in the first place
Well, "never" is a long way to look back. Most prestige brands made their names trading on reliability in the first place, including the grandaddy of them all, Rolls-Royce. At a certain point in a marque's history (for cars or for watches), the groupies take over, and the products get purchased for their "exclusivity," which of course makes for a conundrum for the manufacturer, as you so aptly pointed out regarding how the new Rolls are not doing so hot due to high pricing. When "exclusivity" becomes the selling point, it makes the product line highly cyclical. A few more years of good sales volume for Bentley, do you think it will still be perceived as "exclusive"? probably not. Selling on "exclusivity" is not a sustainable marketing position; that's why practically all the brands selling on that point are owned by one mass merchandizer or another.
#10896 of 24726 Re: luxury and reliability [ctsang]
Oct 26, 2005 (12:00 pm)
My Rolex lasts longer than you and I several lifetimes over.
Sounds like my wife's 83 MercedesBenz 300D! This heirloom will continue being a part of our family as long as it does not malfunction! (I thought of using TNT but wont since this car has nostaligic value)