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.
Mar 26, 2002 (3:43 am)
Of course they're aim is to make money, but these cars like the RS6, M3 are also expensive to develop and usually don't make as much money as say a regular A6 or 3-Series model. Is that clearer? A car like a RS6 exists and is driven more so by passion than the balance sheet.
Yep I have, but again...see what I said above. Porsche's GT2 is not for profits primarily it's to prove superiority on the track....while making a profit. The regular 911' s generate the real revenue. What you just stated about them not making a car unless it's profitable is what I stated several posts ago.
Guys, I'm not saying that profits aren't important, because they are. However the European companys are just as driven by making a hell of a car too. The Japanese tend to limit themselves to mainstream products with profits/sales being the #1 reason for their being.
Well who knows on that one. Some say Mercedes did take Lexus seriously in the beginning some say they didn't. I do know that Mercedes was in better shape than either BMW (no V8's at all) or Jaguar at the time to deal with Lexus. Lexus also aimed a lot higher than Acura did too. The Acura Legend of 1986 got creamed by the also new 300E at the time, so Acura didn't really aspire to be at the same level as Mercedes-Benz. They didn't truly have a real "luxury" car until the second generation Legend came in 1991. The first generation legend was barely a step up from a Maxima at the time. Hardly at the level of the first LS400.
Mar 26, 2002 (6:42 am)
I hear what your saying and agree with you. If audi was all about profits and sales they would bring over the A3 than produce and certify 500-1000 RS6's.
Acura did the exact same thing to the established luxury marques that lexus did. When the legend came out in 1986, it was just as good as the 300E for almost half the price. Do you guys realize that a late '80s, early '90s 300E was going close to 50K when new? That's amazing! BTW, if you think the '86 legend was anything like a '86 Maxima, I want you to go back and take a look at some Maxima pictures. Also, Acura had the best dealers and customer service at the time.
Mar 26, 2002 (8:48 am)
I seem to remember a comaparison between the 300E, STS and Legend, the 300E easily walked away from them both. The Legend was no where near being as good as the 300E. What I was saying about the Legend versus the Maxima is that it had precious little (if anything) to make it any better than the Maxima at the time, especially when the 1989 Maxima arrived. I did say Acura did the same thing as Lexus, but they clearly didn't aim as high.
You're right about the 300E, the 1993 model was $49,900, with far less equipment than today's $49,115 E320. That is amazing. I was just thinking, the 1990 500SL debuted at $83,500 and the 2003 SL500 is only $86,665.
Mar 26, 2002 (10:21 am)
Yeah, I remember the March 1993 issue of C&D (off the top of my head) that compared the LS400, XJ6, 400E, 740i, and the V8 quattro. The 400E had a price of (Gasp!)61K if I can remember correctly. It would be difficult to option out a E430 to be that much. That IS amazing. Since MB had no competition back in the late '90s they could charge whatever they wanted for their cars and I'm sure they were raking in the profits.
Just think what you are getting now in comparison to in 1990. I wonder what that 61K 400E would cost adjusting for inflation.
Mar 26, 2002 (3:35 pm)
In the late 80's, the price of all E and S class MB's were higher but they had better quality. Vault tight. MB reduced their prices, eliminated most of the bargaining from list price and reduced the quality. Check out BMW, some of there list prices exceed the price of competing model from MB. Lexus forced MB to reduce their price but has had very little effect on BMW. In the late 90's a S500 was about 88K with increases each year. How many cars were they going to sell when those cars hit 100K. They had to reduce their price and still they are about 15K more than the Lexus. Also as the quality has come down, lots of MB owners moved to BMW who's quality was goin up.
No, the X5 is not supposed to be an "off road" Vehicle. The X5 was made to generate additional profits. BMW offers an SAV, emphasis on sport, AWD for light snow, and better traction. It does out handle (on road) the other SUV's and is more fun to drive. It is short on off road abilities and space so we don't expect it to compete with our LX.
Porsche admits the Cayenne is to do the same and keep them independent. In fact the first year's production of the Cayenne will be 1/3 of their total auto production for the year. With plans to expand to 50% of their total auto production within 2 yrs.
merc1 - Porsche has decided that they will produce their new super car. But that decision wasn't made until they received X amount of committed orders to insure they made money. Porsche didn't hide this fact, they said up front, no orders no car. Don't get me wrong, I love the cars that are perfomance based, but if there were no profits to be had, those perfomance cars would not be made in todays market even if it does bring braging rights. In the past, it was about the cars but most of those makers are out of business or have sold out to larger firms like GM, Fiat and Ford.
BMW doesn't sell many M5's but they have sold every one they can produce and the profit margin on the M5 is more than that of a 530i or 540i.
Mar 26, 2002 (4:54 pm)
Of course Lexus got BMW's attention. That's why for 1993 they brought out the 740 for 735 money (which by the way was 400E money). The 7-series was considerably more car than the 400E, yet the pricing was similar. This proves that MB's pricing was out of control. Pricing for the 5-series has grown little to it's present version, along with the present E-Class.
There is no doubt that MB in the late 80s and early 90s had HUGE profit margins on their cars. For 1994, MB reduced the pricing for their E-Class by 10K, and the cars were essentially the same.
You're right, the X5 is not an off-road vehicle, but essentially an any-road vehicle. I still don't understand the point of the X5 other than to generate profits. The Cayenne is going to totally tarnish Porsche's image, plus will be a huge failure once the hype dies down. Serves them right if you ask me.
Mar 26, 2002 (6:21 pm)
Yep the X5 was to just generate profits. But it is fun to drive and works in the snow. It's still a debate if the Cayenne is going to tarnish the Porsche image but I have a feeling it will sell if they price it right.
I'm looking forward to a new Audi S8. I will probably not buy another S class. I didn't have any problems with my previous ones but the news do not seem to offer that vault like substance. If Audi produces a technology leading S8 with a new budy style and maintain the AWD, I'll put it my garage instead of that 745il.
I don't know if Lexus got BMW's attention when it comes to pricing. BMW is selling perfomance which they have no problems telling the world that Lexus can't match them. The 740 is BMW's answer to the S, and they maintained about the same distance in price below the S with the 740 as they did with the 735. Not to mention they stayed about the same $$ above Lexus. In fact in 1993 the LS was still considered "near luxury" and were not an honest threat to MB or BMW. The LS was bearly 3 yrs old.
In the service area, Lexus made them both take notice. Both MB and BMW have improved and offers full maintenance warranties where Lexus doesn't anymore.
Lexus has done a great job I just wish they would work on a fresh idea for the exterior of the LS.
While our Lexus is very luxurious it just doesn't excite me like our European cars.
Mar 26, 2002 (7:58 pm)
If I remember right the LS400 was originally viewed as competition to the E-420/430. In fact on the 95 questionaire as a follow-up to a purchase or lease they asked you what other cars you considered. You didn't have to put E-430 as they already had put it in for you. All you had to do was put an x and list any other cars you also may have looked at. It was the 98 model that started the push to compete with the S and the 2001 that really accelerated it further.
In the bull market of the 90's many people would have been able to afford $100k S-500's. MB had to do something with price, not so much because it was getting too high but because of the big economic difference it had to cars that were winning such high reliability scores and renewing virtually every customer on a new car purchase. If Lexus isn't there MB does not cut prices. The price/value today vs. 1990 is all due to competition. Does anyone really think otherwise?
Mar 26, 2002 (9:38 pm)
The 400E was a pipe dream in 1990. When the LS400/Q45 was introduced, the 300E had a 177hp/3 liter compared to a 250hp/4 liter V8 of the LS400 for about 10K less. The LS400 offered the horsepower and luxury of a 560SEL for much less than an E-CLass. Kind of makes you wonder what the MB executives were thinking in 1990!
bernard: BMW's didn't have the same pricing problem as MB did when the Japanese duo came out. A BMW 525i was still reasonably priced compared to it's eqivalent MB. The 5-series was priced similar to the smaller and less powerful 190E 2.6. Lexus and Infiniti did have an impact on the product, V8s became the norm for the 5 and 7 series not long after lexus entered the picture. Don't know if that was directly because of Lexus or not, but it does seem like a interesting coincidence.