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.
Oct 25, 2002 (7:36 am)
See, the pessimism continues. I basically have issues with your entire post.
First and foremost, let’s begin at continue to fall down the sales list. How long has Lexus been falling down
The sales list? Year to year, sales have been rising for over the last five years. Not just that but in 2000 & 2001 I believe, Lexus was the best selling luxury nameplate in the United States, ahead of Mercedes & BMW, and far ahead of Cadillac & Lincoln. And BMW is probably going to sell more cars in the United States for 2002, but not by much. And Lexus & BMW will still be far ahead of Cadillac in terms of sales figures for 2002. This is of course in a recession. Despite your pessimism, I’m a bit more optimistic and realistic in that you can expect, if the economy holds steady, that Lexus sales-with the introduction of new products during the 2003 model year, will go grow even further. I apologize for bursting your bubble, but don’t expect Cadillac to gain that much ground, considering they will merely have the new SRX and XLR(Low-production) next year. I would still expect Cadillac sales to grow by about 5K to 6K units a month next year due to these 2 products.
Yes, the RX300 had minimal competition when it first came out, but since last year when the RX300 was in it’s 4th year, the RX300 had plenty of competition-the ML line grew since 1998 from just the ML320 to the ML430 and M55, the X5 came out, the MDX was introduced, Toyota’s own Highlander came out, and it’s had the Infiniti QX4 as competition. Yes, RX300 sales are still strong and it’s still outsells the MDX(which is better), the ML-class & X5.
Gimme a break, Cadillac sales are off about 30K units thru Sep-02. I see 145K units thru Sep-02 vs. 176K for Lexus thru Sep-02. Cadillac is hardly right behind Lexus or BMW. “Right Behind” would be proper if it was said
Lexus was “right behind” BMW in sales. While I am talking about sales figures, let’s discuss Deville fleet sales to limo companies and the sort. A further inflation of sales figures.
How old? I have seen people around age 30 to 40 driving Deville’s. But, a shock, they are all driving cars that they don’t own but Deville’s which their employers own, the Limo companies. Otherwise, I basically see 50+ set driving Deville’s. While on this topic, let’s not fail to point out that most people in their 30, 40s, or even 50s can afford $60K+ cars, which means you shouldn’t even be comparing the Devilles demographic age group to the LS430’s age group. The Average deville transaction price is probably a good $20K lower than a LS430’s. BTW, how many 40 year olds do you see driving a S-class around or a 7-series? Not a whole lot. Why? Similar to above, not a whole lot of people in the 40 to 50 age group can afford $70K cars. Psst. You generally have to have more $$$ to buy a LS430, S-class, or 7-series. And $$$ usually comes thru acquisition(working).
The ES300 is no beauty queen, but let’s get real, the CTS is one of the ugliest cars, IMO, in the automotive industry. Styling is subjective, so let’s not go there, since obviously Lexus styling clicks with more people that Cadillac styling does.
“If you erase the Lexus price advantage it starts to lose its luster compared to the prestigous German marques” The same can be said about Cadillac. If you erase Caddy’s price advantage it loses even more luster compared to luxury cars that are actually prestigious.
#1878 of 24723 2003 S class and Thanks MB!
Oct 25, 2002 (9:18 am)
zachmbenzfvr: Saw the info on the website. The S is a great looking vehicle (still). The wheels in the photos are killer. Although I'm pretty sure I saw some light reflecting off of a gawdy piece of plastic in one of the interior photos.
Even if Lexus isn't thanking MB, I am. When I was recently out to replace the family vehicle (wife, 9 y/o, and 7 y/o), MB was (as usual) at the top of my shopping list with the new 7 series next. I decided to give the LS a look for the first time. What I found was that, in the full size "premium luxury" category, Lexus was building a better MB than MB. Not only that, I got to put $25k back in my pocket--best "cheap rip-off imitation Mercedes-Benz" I've ever found. Your comments reminded me of what my MB salesman said to me when I was evaluating the S class: "It's [the S] a great car for someone who has to have the S." If you are the kind of person who needs to have the extra perceived cache of the S, by all means pony up--it is also a very fine vehicle. (That didn't go up too far did it?)
BTW, in any other vehicle category I would have been sticking with MB or BMW (which one depends on the category as a result of variations in my priorities). Which means (gasp!) that I have found a tiny fragment of common ground with glamourlife: Congratulations on your new E500. A beautiful car IMO.
#1879 of 24723 media request
by kirstie_h HOST
Oct 25, 2002 (12:38 pm)
A top U.S. daily needs drivers of the BMW series 7 to share their experiences and be named in the story. If you are an avid Series 7 driver and would love to talk about your car, please email me at lori_feudoramail.com. Deadline is by Monday October 28 at 5:00p.m. EST
Oct 25, 2002 (2:20 pm)
Gosh, Lexus must be sitting pretty; it is the car of choice for OLD people, and as the population ages, all us prostate patients will be looking for cushy cars to drive. And I suppose the S500s and 745i's are the must-have for freshmen on the college campuses this year?
Do me a favor: Count the number of 20-30 year olds you see this week in S classes. The tell me about the LS being an old person's car.
#1881 of 24723 ljflx, nealm1
Oct 26, 2002 (2:05 am)
Question, just curious...what did you guys drive before you bought your first Lexus?
#1882 of 24723 Ok OK.. lol
Oct 26, 2002 (10:41 am)
Geez.. when I said I was young I didn't mean to incite an age riot.. lol. You're right.. there aren't many 20-30 year olds driving any of these cars. My statement, as are all the statements here, was subjective. My point being that the younger generations do not like the styling of the LS430. But the demographic that Lexus targeted with that car was 47 year olds with an annual income of 200k. These are the people that can typically buy just about anything they want as far as a luxury car goes. So as far as hitting the target goes, Lexus has been successful. In fact I'd say Bullseye. I'm a private banker by trade with my own firm. I have quite a few wealthy young clients from entertainers to athletes. Of the hundreds I know that do own everything from Audi's to Lamborghini's ( and I'm talking about people that are under 40 in my client base) I only know 3 that own the LS430. No, it isn't a scientific survey by any means and I'm sure someone will find a hundred different articles or studies to argue a point, but that's my observation. The LS430 just looks too bland, whereas the BMW, MB, even Jaguars look like they can eat up asphalt, make a killer cappacino , and allow you to buy season tickets all without breaking a sweat. In the words of a friend of mine that's a professional race car driver. The S class may not be able to outperform a Porshe, but by the looks of it, you know it isn't scared to try. The LS430 on the other hand looks as though it will cower and cry for it's mother .
Oct 26, 2002 (1:52 pm)
"the BMW, MB, even Jaguars look like they can eat up asphalt, make a killer cappacino , and allow you to buy season tickets all without breaking a sweat. In the words of a friend of mine that's a professional race car driver. The S class may not be able to outperform a Porshe, but by the looks of it, you know it isn't scared to try. The LS430 on the other hand looks as though it will cower and cry for it's mother " Those are the corniest two sentences I have read in a long time. Especially the the "killer cappacino, and allow you to buy season tickets" part. Really, no sensibility to that.
Oct 26, 2002 (1:59 pm)
i had too many typos in my last message and I apologize for that.
I dont see how the RX300 can be called a continuing success if it was selling close to 90K units a few years ago and is selling around 60K now. I don't know what the exact sales figures are but 31% of 200K sales is close to 60K a year. The new one will never hit the sales levels of the first model which was a pioneer.The SRX, X3 and other competition will limit it's success in the market.
Listen, I dont have a problem with old people buying cars, that's the media's problem. All I'm saying is that people need to acknowledge that Lexus models other than the IS and RX do not appeal to younger buyers. Now if you live in an area where no one drives anything that isnt an import (CA for example) I can understand why you think all people strive to own a Lexus but that isnt the case here. I have never seen an LS430 driver with hair that wasnt gray. The old model wasnt much better in that regard but this model seems to be a hit with retirees.
If Cadillac was to add 5 or 6K units a month next year it would surpass lexus in sales. Cadillac barely has a price advantage versus the Germans. They have nothing to compete with the 7 series or class but when you look at the prices of other models they arent cheap. The Deville's prce range is $42-58K, Seville $46K-57K, CTS $30K-$40K, escalade $50K-$56K. Next year Cadillac will have a model that is more expensive than any Lexus. We cant dispute who sells more cars but if you look at the average sale price of a CAdillac and a Lexus we know who will have the advantage. Most of Lexus' sales come from three models that cost under $40K and cadillac only has one model that sells for under $40K.
Also, I dont think anyone buys a lexus for the looks. Let's be realistic. Out of all the major Luxury makers Lexus has the worst styling. call it subjective if you want to but I never hear anyone that doesnt own a lexus call their cars attractive. The CTS isnt the best looking car but it is conveying a consistent theme which cant be said about any lexus. WHen you see the CTS next to the Slade and XLR it begins to make some sense. I would fix the rear end, but other than that it is a sharp and modern looking car. Lexus has no common design theme and as a result their cars do not match except for their grilles.
Cadillac, Infiniti and eventually Lincoln (hopefully) are going to do the same thing in the 2000s that Lexus did in the 90s. They are going to re-establish themselves with new products and performance and someon is going to pay in terms of sales. My guess is that Lexus is going to be the primary casualty.
Oct 26, 2002 (3:04 pm)
Whenever the assembly line is re-tooled to produce a new design - as is the case right now with the RX300 - you have lower production and hence lower sales. The plant is operating usually at 33% less efficiency. That is also why the new model takes a while to reach full production after it is introduced. LS400 sales dropped to 14,000 in its last year and zoomed to 33,000 in 2001 with the new model. Don't read anything into sales stats in the last year of a model - its a production issue not a sales issue.
For Merc 1 - Acura Legend and please lighten up a bit. It was a great car. Like my 95 LS400 a friend bought it and took my 60k break-in miles to over 300k miles before the car started to have problems. The 95 LS400 has over 200k miles and is still functioning well. I must do something right when these cars are in their baby years though I do drive them hard and fast.
Oct 26, 2002 (3:09 pm)
1487, wake up dude. Is the RX300 still not the SUV sales leader in it's market category? Which SUV out of them RX300, MDX, X5, ML, and QX4 sells in greater numbers? True the RX300 does not sell 90K units like it did in the first 2-3 years of its cycle, but 60K is still better than what the competition is selling, and most of the competition has newer models(MDX, X5) and the sales numbers still don't match the RX300. Not just that, but the RX300 is darn old. Compared to the MDX especially, it's smaller in just about every dimension, doesn't have the driving dynamics of the MDX, and is underpowered next to the MDX, but it still outsells it. I can see your continued pessimism being a hard-core Cadillac fan, but realistically, if a 5-year old SUV design is outselling newer better and similarly priced vehicles, what makes you think a totally new better newer similarly priced RX330 won't sell more than 60K units? Yes, Competition will limit the RX330's success, and I will even doubt the RX330 will sell 90K units a month, but neither will the MDX or Caddy SRX sell 90K a year because of the crowded entry level luxury SUV segment you speak of. On the other hand, you have to remember that the cross-over SUV segment is still growing(not like it was in the late 90s, but it's still growing) in the double-digit range.
Old people buying luxury cars is not the problem. Simply put, the older a person is, generally, the more expensive car that he/she can afford. Therefore, young people generally cannot afford big-buck luxury cars unless the young person is inherently rich, a pro sport player, a entertainer, a drug dealer, hit the lottery, or is extremely smart and well educated and makes tons of money at a young age. But obviously, we know that all those groups put together constitute a very small percentage of the luxury car buying public.
Everyone in here acknowledge's in here that older people buy Lexus cars, just like older people buy Cadillac, Lincoln, Mercedes, BMW, and Jaguar. What you have a failure acknowledging is that even less young people find any Cadillac model appealing than Lexus models.
Please take a survey if you go to college, or wherever and see how many young people(college aged maybe?, 20-30 age group?) and see what they would rather be driving, a Cadillac or a Lexus. Guaranteed results would be a vast majority would pick a Lexus over a Cadillac. I'm only 27, and I prefer Lexus far over Cadillac. In fact, out of all Luxury car makes Cadillac would be next to last right ahead of Lincoln. 1)BMW 2)Lexus 3)Audi 4)Infiniti 5)Jaguar 6)Mercedes 7)Cadillac 8)Lincoln.
The only Cadillac I like is the STS, because it hasn't gone to that lame new edge design philosophy yet. The CTS has awesome driving ability, but it's styling inside & out is hideous, what was Cadillac thinking?
On top of that I have many wealthy friends, some inherently rich, some to actually earned it in the computer industry the last few years, I don't see any of them with any cadillac product, but I do see them with Audi's, BMW's, Lexus', mostly BMW's though.
Yes, Cadillac will probably add 5-6K a month in sales. But you still fail(consistently) to realize that Lexus as well as BMW and Mercedes have new models coming out next year. In Lexus case, the GX470, a new RX330, a new GS330/430, and a SC330. As I know you so well from just a couple of posts, I know the response to come.
"Cadillac barely has a price advantage versus the Germans. They have nothing to compete with the 7 series or class but when you look at the prices of other models they arent cheap. The Deville's prce range is $42-58K, Seville $46K-57K, CTS $30K-$40K, escalade $50K-$56K."
Cadillac has a big price advantage and dealers give huge discounts. $58K for a Deville. I think not. I have heard the DTS with the night vision is made in very few numbers. And again, here's the word, realistically, most Deville's are sold at the lower end of that price spectrum. Same with the Seville, and CTS. So really, Caddy does have a advantage, a big advantage(while you're at it don't forget to mention the 0% financing deal GM is throwing around). And the DTS's competition is basically itself. You're not going to see a whole lot of DTS buyers cross-shopping a LS430, S430, or 745il. It's just not going to happen. The DTS's competition is basically the Lincoln Town Car.
The Cadillac XLR will be more expensive than the Lexus SC430. What do you think that will do for Cadillac? You think it's going to be a better car than the Mercedes SL500? Do you really feel Cadillac will sell more than 1,000 units a month after the first few months? Do you really think most people who can afford a $70K+ car are going to jump from their SLs, XK8's to the XLR?
I bet Infiniti is going to improve alot in the coming years, I don't see the same with Cadillac. General Motors talked about beating the competition all thru the 90's, and it always never happened.
"Also, I dont think anyone buys a lexus for the looks. Let's be realistic. Out of all the major Luxury makers Lexus has the worst styling. call it subjective if you want to but I never hear anyone that doesnt own a lexus call their cars attractive. " I also bet nobody buys a Cadillac for the looks then. And yes, styling is subjective-stated again.
BTW, why do you think all people strive to own a Cadillac?