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.
#12342 of 24726 Re: The Union Jack [rjlaero]
Dec 26, 2005 (9:24 pm)
MB has sold about 13k of the new CLS's this year, so that can be called a success, and the ML is still doing quite well. But with those 4 lines shown above, it's a loss of 15,483 cars over the same time in 2004 for Mercedes.
The whole purpose of having new models like the CLS is to increase market share and penetration. But when you lose nearly 16k cars in the other direction, that's not good.
I'm fully aware of the sales numbers. Like Dewey stated, MB should see a bigger improvement next year when some of their core models get some attention (E and S). The only Mercedes introduction that hasn't gone well this year is the R-Class, for good reason IMO.
#12344 of 24726 Re: French Jaguar [brightness04]
Dec 26, 2005 (9:33 pm)
The plot and point of the conversation was lost pages ago with all that leasing mumbo jumbo. Everyone doesn't lease. Despite your gloom and doom outlook and their loss of prestige (which I agree with) MB is still #1 in that regard when it comes to the mass-market brands.
#12345 of 24726 Re: How little has change in 35 years! [brightness04]
Dec 26, 2005 (9:35 pm)
It has had a cushier ride than MB since 1989, and outhandles S class since 1998.
The first point is arguable, but the second isn't. The LS doesn't outhandle the S-Class. The so-called wannbe "Euro" option for the LS can't even be had. Its a rarer car than than a Aston-Martin. Everytime I've driven a LS430 it yowled and keeled over like an old battleship on the high seas. The S-Class isn't nearly as loose and lifeliess, plus you can actually get a S-Class in sport trim.
#12346 of 24726 Re: Jaguar and Others [ljflx]
Dec 26, 2005 (9:41 pm)
Audi doesn't surprise me as it's retention is abysmal but Acura's low retention is surprising. Infiniti is missing from that list.
Why would Acura's low retention be a surprise? They don't have anything to move up to from the RL. A buyer gets a TL then another and then move up to a RL. Then what? They don't have anything to keep a buyer in the fold once the buyer's taste have moved past the entry and middle level market segments. The last RL only took 9 years to be replaced. Why would anyone buy that car again and again every three years? Of course they'd leave the brand. Proof the reliability isn't the only thing that matters. Acura is still sitting on the porch.
#12347 of 24726 Brand directions
Dec 27, 2005 (7:21 am)
Okay, so what direction do people feel (or want) each high-end marque should take?
Infiniti (as it is near and dear to me): Reinvent the Q just like they reinvented the M. AWD option on all car/engine combinations.
Lexus: Styling (although the new LS looks like it will be a winner), and fewer/cheaper option bundles (sorry, but if I shell out 56k for a base LS, the Ultra package shouldn't add 20 large).
MB: Concentrate on reliability and their higher end cars.
Acura: Create a car one level up from the RL (LWB and V8).
BMW: Improve reliability of the 7. Otherwise I think they are doing everything pretty darn well.
Jaguar: Dump the X-type. Create dedicated platforms and engines. I don't know if I like the idea of them trying to move higher with their top-end unless they are truly committed to selling (far?) fewer cars.
Audi: Work on their advertising. Create better name recognition. Rework the fish-mouth--sure it is recognizable, but not everything unique is good or attractive. They produce beatiful cars--from the side and rear as well as on the inside.
#12348 of 24726 Re: Brand directions [docnukem]
Dec 27, 2005 (10:11 am)
I believe that Infiniti is working on a Q replacement, but little info or spy photos...so,it sure seems to be quite a secret project at this time. I think that they will probably nail it this time after the success with the M45.
Acura seems to have missed the mark with the new RL. It is a well-built, nice car, but its appearance is so generic and bland that they get little attention. It looks small for this class. They could use a flagship, but I have not heard any talk about this as a real possibility.
The Jaguar X type is likely to be dropped in the next couple of years, but they still seem to sell them to the middle aged and older folks who always wanted a Jaguar. Even though they dilute the brand, the X types still constitute a chunk of Jaguar's current U.S. sales, so I wonder how they can dump the car right now. Meanwhile, the replacement for the Jaguar S type is not due until 2008, so Jaguar has little in the pipeline for the next couple of years, except the XK sports cars.
BMW makes a great car. As many have noted over and over again, their worst point has been the Bangle styling which is going to fade. The recent advance pics of the new 7 series look good. No more Bangle excesses and the ultimate driving machines look like winners.
IMO, Lexus has really become bland as a luxury car. The current LS430 is as exciting as a comfortable sofa. However, I acknowledge that the upcoming new generation LS may change that. The GS is really disappointing to me. I recently drove a GS430 and it seemed more like a sportier looking, well built Buick, rather than a real contender as a mid luxury sports sedan...By comparison, the M45 is a much better new product. However, the new IS is a really nice lead off to the future. I am sure that Lexus will bounce back with some more hot products
#12349 of 24726 Re: Brand directions [docnukem]
Dec 27, 2005 (10:51 am)
It will certainly be interesting to see what happens with the Q. If I were Infiniti, I would be tearing apart a Quattroporte, and copying everything. That car absolutely sets the benchmark on how to make a full size, super-lux sedan that is also a blast to drive. Not even the 7 comes close. I also think the GT-R is going to be a total hit. It's pretty embarrasing that Japan's most famous sports car in the US is still the Toyota Supra... a car that has not been on sale for almost 10 years.
Unfortunately, the bean counters have given the axe to the idea of using a shortened XJ platform for the next S-type, so instead it will continue with the already obsolete DEW98 platform, meaning everyone will continue to not care about the S-type.
#12350 of 24726 Re: Brand directions [fenn]
Dec 27, 2005 (10:55 am)
The IS350 is good, but I dont think it's good enough. There's just no way it will win any comparison tests against the 330i. No 350 AWD and no 350 with a MT were also dumb decisions that will hurt them. Also, the next Infiniti G is just a year or so away, and I dont think Lexus will be able to defend themselves against what will probably be an absolute monster.
#12351 of 24726 Re: Brand directions [lexusguy]
Dec 27, 2005 (11:00 am)
I heard through my dealer that the G-coupe is going to have a convertible hard-top option. What a blast with a 6 speed MT and (minimum) 298 hp.
Trunk space? What's that?