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.
#13811 of 24723 Re: R-Class [ljflx]
Feb 03, 2006 (9:34 am)
Won't argue with you at all on this one but in my mind the CLS probably cannibalizes other Benz sales a lot more than anything else. Is it a co-incidence that E-class sales go down as the CLS comes out. If not otherwise than who is the CLS stealing sales from? From my perspective if you need both the E and the CLS to stay even or rise slightly with past year sales of the singular E-class model (as was the case in year one) it means your cost of doing business went up.
But when you look at E-Class sales they only dipped about 6K units for 2005 compared to 2004 if I remember right. I don't think the CLS was the cause of this. The cause IMO was a new GS, RL, M35/45 and a 5-Series that became hugely popular in its second year just like the E did in its second year - 2004. Other than this what time frame are you talking about in which the E's sales dropped so badly? At the beginning of last year? That may have been because of the CLS then again it could have been just the beginning of this year - Mercedes gets off to a slow start - slower than everyone else it seems. Not sure why.
But I will argue on the power front. Lexus is leading big-time with the hybrids. MB's added power on the S was a response to BMW adding power on the 7 and a lot of all of this can be traced back to Lexus rolling out a V8 in 1989. I don't view anyone leading here with more powerful gas engines in the mainstream (volume) car models - this is just an upping the ante game. On the hybrid front Lexus is clearly setting the pace and if I was a German lux mfr. I'd have a fear that they may steal this emerging and future growth segment just like they stole the SUV segment
Leading what though? A market segment or overall image? Sure they're leading in hybrids, but hybrids aren't everything by a long shot. Lexus rolling out a V8 in 1989 didn't really catch Mercedes in a bad position considering they already offered a V8, two of them to be exact.
I agree that the Germans had better get with the game on hybrids, and they've all had to do an about face on this. This past Frankfurt autoshow proves this, everyone had a hybrid on display. You know its crunch time when GM, Mercedes and BMW all work together on something! These companies really can't stand each other normally. Again, though hybrids are but one aspect of the market and yes Lexus leads there, but that doesn't equal overall supremacy over Mercedes and BMW. Not by a long shot.
#13812 of 24723 Re: R-Class [lexusguy]
Feb 03, 2006 (9:39 am)
Valid points IMO. I don't see the purpose of a GS450h either if the GS460 will outpower it for likely less money. A lot of people think that hybrids are the second coming of the automobile.
#13813 of 24723 Re: Merc [syswei]
Feb 03, 2006 (9:50 am)
Merc1, the car companies are to some extent in an HP war, but I think you go too far in assuming that the hp of the LS460 is a direct reaction to the hp of the S550.
You say hp war I say direct response to the #1 competitor. We'll have to agree to disagree there. Lexus' past actions say that this is a direct response to Mercedes IMO. Between that hp rating and an 8-speed tranny, Lexus most definitely was looking at Mercedes (specifically the S550) when developing the LS460's drivetrain. Though I do see what you're saying with the hp per liter ratings - that the LS460's hp rating just happens to fit in with what they're doing with all their engines at the moment. True, but mightily suspect to me considering Lexus' past actions. Mere coincidence that dual injection technology gets them to the same hp number as their direct competitor? I don't think so.
You're just reaching about dual injection being thought of as a copy by me. Never even implied any such thing. The technoloy isn't a copy, but they sure made sure they tuned it right in order to match the S550 and a 8-speed tranny was likely in development since the first 7-speed Benz hit the road in 2003.
#13814 of 24723 Re: R-Class [merc1]
Feb 03, 2006 (10:13 am)
"Mercedes gets off to a slow start - slower than everyone else it seems. Not sure why."
Sales stats are cars delivered to dealers not necessarily sold to consumers. For example one would think November and December should be big months for Lexus because of the December to remember promotions. Typically I'd expect January to be a slow month for them because of that promotion ending so sales staying high is a real positive sign as it shows an indication of advanced dealer orders for late January and February sales to consumers - even after a major promotional period. In the case of MB - I'm not sure of their promotion periods. If January-February is a dead promotion month I'd expect that January sales would be low. The telling point on this years January sales that should be troubling is "same car sales" the auto equivalent of retails closely watched "same store sales". Take out the R-class sales and business is down in the same comparative period.
I don't know what the expectations of the ML were. i thought I read 30-35K annual sales but maybe I'm mistaken. Is the just under 2K units good, average or bad in your mind?
#13815 of 24723 Re: R-Class [ljflx]
Feb 03, 2006 (10:20 am)
Well Mercedes' promotions end on Jan 3rd every year.
I'm sorry Lenn, but all this worry about Jan's sales figures is much fuss over nothing to me. We've had this same implication of some kind of problem every single year for the past 2-3 years around this time, and sales always pick up.
Now if the S-Class doesn't sell well in March (which will be its first full month on the market) then there will be cause for suggesting there is a problem.
For the M-Class Jan is a bad month, but why is there so much fuss over this? We're talking like all the M will ever do is under 2K when I know that won't be the case, if past sales performance is any indication. Again, too much worrying about one month! I don't remember what the sales projections were for the M-Class, but 30K sounds about right I think.
#13816 of 24723 Re: R-Class [merc1]
Feb 03, 2006 (10:43 am)
I'd be surprised if the S-class doesn't sell well. The longer-term issue is will the LS cut into it given the lead time is only 6 months this go round. Like Tagman I expect both models to do very well. But I'd think that April is probably a better benchmark month for S sales than March as there are usually supply line hiccups in the first month.
I will be curious to see if we start seeing S-class sales figures in February as it could be indicative of how fast consumers will buy them in March. If it says zero in the MB charts than I am mistaken and the sales charts are entirely tied to Consumer purchases and not manufacturing shipments to dealers.
M-class - I really have no opinion on it at all, just was curious how you read it. A few days ago when I saw the figure my initial reaction was it was lower than I would have expected.
#13817 of 24723 Re: R-Class [templeton3]
Feb 03, 2006 (10:44 am)
I found a few more reviews about the R-Class-and it is unanimous-vehicle drives and handles great and is extremely comfortable with an enormous amount of room back there.
A car critic for MSN.com who is notorious for hardly ever giving a car a rating higher than an 8 out of 10, raves and gives it a 9!
A shame it's not selling.
#13818 of 24723 Re: R-Class [ljflx]
Feb 03, 2006 (10:46 am)
With all the talk about the ML...have people noticed that the RX isn't doing so great, despite the 400h being in the mix? I think Lexus has to be disappointed. Jan RX (330 and 440h combined) -10% yty, Dec -4.8, Nov -8.5, Oct -1.4.
I think there are a few reasons: overall weak industry SUV sales; new ML; lack of excitement over the RX400h.
#13820 of 24723 Re: Merc [merc1]
Feb 03, 2006 (10:56 am)
IMO your view just isn't supported by the facts. Surely the 4.6 liter Lexus engine was in development well before anyone knew the S550 would be 382 hp? Now, if the Lexus 4.6 was unbalanced in some way, for instance, being very weak in terms of torque, then I'd accept that they made a late decision to tune it toward a particular hp number because of what MB was doing.
But such isn't the case. The Lexus 4.6 is 380 hp, 370 lb-ft, which is consistent with past LS engines which had approximately equal hp and torque numbers. If it were 380 hp and 280 lb-ft or something like that, then you'd have a more persuasive conjecture.
Separately, sorry for the confusion, but no I didn't think you had claimed dual injection was a copy of something MB/BMW had done. I just brought it up as an example of something that Lexus has done that ISN'T a copy of MB/BMW; and that indeed MB/BMW may find themselves "copying" from Lexus.