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.
#12136 of 24723 Re: Sales... [tagman]
Dec 15, 2005 (7:45 pm)
Your well-worded post makes me realize that different brands are successful for different reasons. In fact it seems to me that people will actually turn to a particular brand because of the success it represents and they expect.
Yes. The disagreement comes when one side suggests that what they look for in a brand is more important than what the other side looks for. Everyone here, including me is guilty of this.
The problem, then is when a particular marque no longer represents what people expect from it. Such as, the reliability question that recently has hit MB. I believe MB will work through it, in my opinion, and I also think people buy MB for other reasons.
This is true, which is why I listed several things that Mercedes is known or prized for. This is why I think Mercedes situation has a subtle, yet clear difference to say GM's situation back in the day when the Japanese (and Europeans) were coming on strong. Mercedes still makes great car in most respects outside of absolute reliability. GM on the other hand simply ignored the competition and wished they would go away + they built some truly lousy cars to boot. I mean Mercedes aren't ugly, slow, under-engineered or unsafe, but they could use a overhaul in the reliability area for sure. Mercedes has made a many changes to remain competitive, which is one reason for the current trouble. Mercedes doesn't do cheap well. Remember the old way was to build the car with very little consideration to cost (in other words their cars were of the engineers dreams) and then let the accountants deal with pricing them to make a profit. The 2000 S-Class showed that they didn't fully understand how to build to a price. Now this new S-Class appears to be correct from a build quality point of view as does the CLS and SLK, all having wonderfully built interiors.
GM's downfall is similar to what Rolls-Royce went through before BMW bought them and gave them the funding and technical know-how to be competitive again. The car the Phantom replaced, the Silver Seraph was an antique compared to a Mercedes or Lexus or BMW, but the Phantom is state-of-the-art, but a tad bit overpriced to sell 1K units a year.
#12138 of 24723 Re: Sales... [oac]
Dec 15, 2005 (7:53 pm)
MB's boutique approach may work, for a while, but unless the fundamental issue of quality (real or perceived) are tackled and solved satisfactorily, their troubles may not be over yet.
True. I think their model approach will work also, but like you state the quality has to be there.
I'm sure BMW's free maintenance is a big draw for a lot of buyers, but more importantly BMW has stayed true to being a driver's car. That and the fact that most of their models are relatively new is what really put them in the right position.
#12139 of 24723 Re: Sales... [pat]
Dec 15, 2005 (7:55 pm)
I think I remember this being asked previously and don't remember if you commented, but have you ever tried to get a job as car mag writer?
Not seriously, no. I have written the mags before of course, even had a few letters to get published over the years.
#12140 of 24723 Re: Sales... [oac]
Dec 15, 2005 (7:59 pm)
MB's boutique approach may work
I dont know how boutique and MB can be used in the same sentence. Or maybe that is because I live in Canada where Smart Cars and B200s are sold in every MB dealership.
#12141 of 24723 Re: Sales... [garyh1]
Dec 15, 2005 (8:03 pm)
Your knowledge and thoughtfulness shines through much better for me personally when it is applied in the positive. Of course, I have to quickly add the same comment applies to some other posters here as well. Everyone's thoughts get a much clearer airing when they aren't buried in diatribe.
Thanks. I agree about not being buried in diatribe, but some things I read here just send the meter into the red.
#12142 of 24723 Re: Sales... [dewey]
Dec 15, 2005 (8:06 pm)
IMO they have the best "fit and finish interior quality" in the industry.
I agree. Audi just has a way of working the materials and design that just makes their cars so slick, IMO.
It should also be noted that Audi's head interior designer (Stefan Sielaff) was hired by Mercedes to do the new S-Class' interior, but now he has gone back to Audi.
#12143 of 24723 Re: Sales... [dewey]
Dec 15, 2005 (8:12 pm)
Or maybe that is because I live in Canada where Smart Cars and B200s are sold in every MB dealership.
I've had some knock-down arguments with some other diehard Mercedes fans on Germancarzone about the A/B-Classes. I personally thinks Mercedes needs to kill one of them next time around. Now the A-Class is a hit in Europe with over 100K being sold in a less than a year on the market, and it seems that the B-Class has caught on too so the chances of Mercedes killing off one of them is that much slimmer now. How do the A and B-Classes sell in Canada? What do you think of them? They are the only Mercedes models I've never had the chance to see and inspect in person.
#12144 of 24723 Re: Sales... [merc1]
Dec 15, 2005 (9:47 pm)
I couldn't agree more about Audi's interiors. I spent an evening in a friends new BMW 545. The interior is just plain DULL. In addition, he couldn't get to the proper screen on his (idrive - is that what it's called?).
There is absolutely no comparison to my A8L. I do not know how the 7 series compares.
#12145 of 24723 Re: Sales... [merc1]
Dec 15, 2005 (10:14 pm)
Leave for a few hours and this forum lights up like a Christmas tree!
Very active following your post. I have to compliment you on a very well thought out contribution and it reveals your vast experience and knowledge of cars period. Quite profound and as garyh1 stated...positive and without diatribe. When the host compliments you and then returns a second time to defend an issue that's pretty cool. All things considered it looks like Kudos around the board.