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.
#16433 of 24723 Re: Inspector Parrot [reality2]
Jun 15, 2006 (7:00 pm)
...cointunied from previous post...
"Globally, Lexus is selling less
than half of Audi's volume, and less
than those of BMW and Mercedes-
Not everybody falls for the line
that car buyers demand a race-bred
heritage for their cars, or that the Germans
are the only manufacturers capable
of producing high quality vehicles
with a sporty drive.
The new little Lexus IS, which
competes with the BMW 3 series,
Audi A4 and Mercedes C-class,
drives as well as its Europeancounterparts
and looks just as classy.
The new top-of-the-range Lexus LS
limousine is surely equal to the Mercedes
S class, BMW 7-series or Audi
A8, while another Japanese luxury
marque, Nissan's Infiniti, shortly to
start selling in Europe, is no slouch
when it comes to high class design.
Cadillac will also be claiming bragging
rights for its new cars which are
also being seen in Europe in increasing
numbers. Though pitiful at best. Chrysler's eye-catching
300C and various Jeep SUVs are also
competing vigorously in Europe.
No God given right
Professor Garel Rhys of Cardiff
University Centre for Automotive
Research isn't convinced that the Germans
have all the answers. The likes
of Lexus have also shown that high
quality doesn't have to mean prices
that make the eyes water. And outright
performance might not be such
a big seller where consumers are becoming
more aware of the need to
conserve previous fuel and resources.
"There's no God given right that
German hegemony at the top end of
the car market will continue, and
when you look at the success of
Lexus in America, which has forced
the Germans to engage in more realistic
pricing strategy, Lexus has certainly
opened the eyes of American
buyers of German products to the
level of prices they are asked to pay,"
"Their latest models appeal to
the European eye and consumers and
are not geared entirely to the American
market, unlike Infiniti, which
needs a more global shape. Lexus is a
very, very competitive package, good
handling and efficiency, the sort of
car that can give BMW, Audi and
Mercedes a good run for their
Speed not everything
"This book gives a very German
view of the automobile. Customers
aren't just interested in speed, but
other things like style and quality.
And with everybody becoming more
aware and interested in global warming,
the pursuit of speed is at variance
with what might become a more acceptable
attitude. High earners too
like to demonstrate their social responsibility.
Arguing that the Cayenne
is faster than the Range Rover,
is not the message required in the
market place," said Rhys.
High quality, value for money,
and a great experience at the dealership
are Japanese attributes that will
work for them even in the upmarket
sector, said Al Bedwell, auto analyst
at JDPower's operation in England.
"Having said that I think that
German car buyers may be influenced
by good motor sport results,
but that's just a feeling. But with the
right designs and dealer network,
Lexus could be a lot more of a threat
to German premium brands. Lack of
a sporting heritage is only a minor
handicap," said Bedwell.
Bedwell estimates that Lexus
will raise its sales in Europe to between
45,000 and 55,000 by 2010,
while Infiniti, which launches in Russia
later this year and will start a fullscale
roll out across Europe in 2008,
will hit 20,000 by the end of 2010.
Honda's Acura has yet to announce
any intention of selling its
cars in Europe.
Even the Greens agree
Rosengarten said the German
premium car makers have been so
successful that last year Audi, Mercedes,
BMW and Porsche produced
more cars than the mass car manufacturers
in Germany Volkswagen, GM's
Opel, and Ford.
"I expect that to continue," he
said, and underlines the need to make
sure Germany's roads remain unrestricted
by speed limits.
"It is important to keep away
from a speed limit in Germany. All
politicians from the main parties
agree with this, even the Greens realise
its importance; after machine tooling,
automobiles are the biggest employer
in Germany," he said.
Professor Rhys isn't convinced
about this need for speed.
"It would be rather worrying
from a German point of view if this
book reflects the attitude of the companies.
But I don't think they're so
enamoured with speed as this book is
pushing forward. The German vehicle
manufacturers are unlikely to fall
into this trap provided by this book,"
#16434 of 24723 Re: Ok, who needs the NBA/NHL Finlas! [drfill]
Jun 15, 2006 (7:05 pm)
I'll fly Air Europe...the food is better!
Jun 15, 2006 (7:23 pm)
I am trying to get a handle on HELM -- isn't price the key?
As I read through some of the recent posts it appears that many of the cars discussed here have high five up into six figure MSRP's.
I cannot tick them all off, from the top of my head, but aren't virtually all the cars that command that kind of MSRP's "high end?" And, those cars in the price range noted are all luxury cars no?
As a frequent participant on the LPS forum and a former owner of an Audi A8, I also wonder as I am attempting to get up to speed, how much "performance" counts in this class of cars?
I have not, for years, driven an A8, 7 Series or high S class -- and the last time I drove the big buck Lexus, although more recent, was also some time ago.
The recent write ups of the Lexus hybrids do make them seem to be VERY powerful, but I still have not read comments about them that would suggest they place high value on performance.
The $100K Lexus has to be HE and I would hope LM, but is it also a PS? The Germans, based on 4+ year old experience DO emphacize P.
All the comments pertaining to Lexus are certainly strong and mostly persuasive -- but there does seem to be less "concern" for them with respect to performance.
Does HELM place low, medium or high value on performance?
To me, the Audi S8 and a possible RS8 define HELPS, but does that qualify for inclusion in HELM?
With "lottery" money, an S8 would certainly ring my bell as an HE vehicle.
What, if any, concensus is there regarding traits -- including and excluding "brand" cache -- to be considered as a member of the HELM club?
Since I find the size of the LPS family perhaps more to my needs and tastes, I will most likely be an observer here, but I would appreciate some "clarity" regarding the traits that qualify a vehicle to play in this league.
Thanks for the enlightenment.
#16436 of 24723 Re: Just clearing up some obvious misconceptions/misquotes as we go along. [drfill]
Jun 15, 2006 (7:47 pm)
I don't remember saying Audi isn't a HELM.
Please allow the honorable TagMan to respectfully refresh the good doctor's memory.
In post 16213 I requested you to say that "Audi is a HELM".
In post 16214 you replied "Audi can be a HELM for YOU. Not a HELM for me."
Very true . . . Audi is indeed a HELM for me and blkhemi and others, but you clearly said it . . . that FOR YOU, in YOUR opinion, according to YOU, DrFill, from YOUR perspective Audi is not a HELM.
Doc, that's OK if you don't think it is. We just won't agree. But you are most welcome to change your mind, my friend, or even maybe you could put a spin on this whole thing and admit you didn't use the best choice of words, and that you actually meant to say it IS a HELM. That would be fine with me.
So . . . here's your chance . . . Tell us that "Audi IS a HELM. Maybe a second-tier HELM, in your opinion, but that it IS a HELM.
Can you go with that? C'mon, Doc, I'm tryin' to work with ya here.
#16437 of 24723 Re: Ok, who needs the NBA/NHL Finlas! [drfill]
Jun 15, 2006 (7:57 pm)
Hallelujah! I finally made somebody's list.
#16438 of 24723 Re: Just clearing up some obvious misconceptions/misquotes as we go along.
Jun 15, 2006 (8:07 pm)
Starting to see some Audi TV ads.
I do believe they will be making some significant gains in the US market pretty soon.
I have to agree with Merc. They have the best looking vehicles across the line both inside and out of any of the companies we discuss around here.
Wonderful designs. Fabulous interiors.
They won't be kept down much longer.
I will for the first time add an Audi to my list when I go car hunting again.
Perhaps the Q7-one of the best-looking SUV's I've ever seen.
#16439 of 24723 Re: Just clearing up some obvious misconceptions/misquotes as we go along. [tagman]
Jun 15, 2006 (8:18 pm)
Tag, I think the doc has stirred the pot once to many times. It's so ridiculous that he can't remember what he mentioned, in fact several times from the start of this debate, that Audi IS NOT a HELM, then barely a HELM, now a full-blown HELM.
Doc, you've won. This whole experiment has proven that you can get a good arguement here. For all intents and purposes, the test worked. As I've noted before, the HELM thing is over. Lexus, Audi, Infiniti, who cares? The fact of the matter is that all the cars that are in question have posted some strong gains in both sales and product, even Lexus with the wonderful IS and upcoming LS. Yes I said it for the record, Lexus is a HELM(albeit, how are they better than Audi? One car can't strike a flame against Audi's lineup). Even without heritage, the company has a winning if dull recipe for success, with the LS being the best premium car in it's class in sales. But to exclude Audi from this is like saying the brand never existed, particularly when the brand has beat it's own sales forecast by some 200k units and counting, and this on the heels of it's A6/A8 cars, not lower end cars like Lexus generates most of it's global sales.
So can we please put this HELM/non-HELM debate to rest because she hasn't had any rest in almost a week? And poor Pat can only intervene so much. You don't think Audi is a HELM, great, fine. Then stick by it as the rest of the world knows what's really going on.
#16440 of 24723 For me the heritage argument is a last resort
Jun 15, 2006 (9:14 pm)
It's a weak POV and the ultimate fall back point (should I say desperation point) - IMO - because it is totally exclusionary. So of course by using it you can exclude someone new if you want to - anytime for the next 30-100 years (that's a lifetime in my book) and in any industry. But by doing so it means you'll never consider something from a new manufacturer or service provider. I could never be that narrow minded.
The business world, particularly the technology sector is a proven graveyard for those that think heritage is so crucial. Old world Europeans puts up a grave resistannce for a while but sooner or later mainstream forward thinking Europeans overcome the heritage stupidity. Sorry but I can't follow a group of people that tried to deny Disneyland to their kids because they thought they were so smug and it was beneath them. I'll give you heritage has some merit but if you make it a decision maker you are simply shortchanging yourself. Most people aren't that narrowminded.
Does anyone really think heritage will exclude Lexus from success in Europe?? If so I've got some great pacific ocean property in Nevada to sell you. Lexus has made a tiny attempt in Europe with a car they engineered for America. The moment they make the car European and build it there they will sell it in droves. Making the product in Europe makes it a European product in their eyes and that is about 100X more important to Europeans than heritage.
#16441 of 24723 Re: Aston Martin and heritage in Spades [stevekilburn]
Jun 15, 2006 (9:33 pm)
Aston has one victory in 1959 at Le Mans. Thats all!
Most of aston legend is just baseless propaganda and fraud, just like most other british brands.
Ok, you totally missed the point. I didn't say Aston Martin was the winningest car company ever. My point was that Aston and Maserati have been racing for a very long time, just like MB and Porsche. They both have legendary cars, just like MB and Porsche.
The point was, how many race wins does Volvo have? How many legendary Volvos are there? Why is Volvo a "premium" brand, while Aston Martin and Maserati are "second-rate".
#16442 of 24723 Re: Potpourri... Tagman, question for you... [cyclone4]
Jun 15, 2006 (9:34 pm)
The question is, in comparing the MB-S series, the BMW high end (whatever it's called, 700 series I think), and the LS, what has been a better car the past several years, taking everything into consideration (luxury, build quality, dependability, etc., etc.)? I think that the unequivocal answer to this question is the LS. You will notice that I did not even bring up the fact that the LS costs about $10-20 thousand less. That makes it even more of a winner. Now, what about the future? Is this going to change? I very much doubt it. With the gorgeous LS460 coming out and more importantly the LS600HL, I don't see how things are going to change much. The LS will still be the better vehicle, period. Isn't this the most important factor?
Better when you stack the criteria in favor of the LS. No where in there does performance, handling, styling or anything else that actually relates to it being a car as opposed to an appliance even come up. Secondly this about the LS being more luxurious doesn't hold water. The car is no more "luxurious" than a S-Class or A8. Softer leather? Big deal, it will look like crap when the 2nd onwer gets his hands on it. Many buyers don't give a "flying leap" about all this dependability/reliablity superiority that Lexus defenders constantly harp about it, if they MB/BMW/Audi wouldn't be able to sell cars, and they all do it for more money on top of that. On paper the LS looks to be the end-all vehicle to some, yet right here on Edmunds you'll find a few Lexus owners have left and some buyers that found it to be a totally insipid vehicle. A luxury car of this ilk has to do more than win in surveys and being Mr. Practical, that is something Lexus doesn't seem to grasp, at least not yet. The new LS is anything but gorgeous, of course IMO.