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.
Oct 08, 2003 (11:22 pm)
I think that generally speaking people buying a car that ranges from 55-72 are little less deep in the pockets than people looking at a car that starts at 73K and goes to 125K. Yes there is some overlap for sure, but to say its the same exact demographic I think is incorrect.
Yes Lexus has grown market share, but its been at the expense of every import luxury brand on the market, not just Mercedes. Mercedes is on a sales roll also these days. The whole market exanded somewhere in the 1990's to the point where Lexus, Mercedes and BMW sigularly sell more cars than all three combined did just a few years earlier.
I seriously doubt Lexus will ever be even with Mercedes in name, simply because Lexus doesn't have the lineup. The "wow" AMG cars add a lot of luster to the Mercedes brand as do cars like the SLR. There seems to be this theory that Mercedes is forever reaching downmarket and that couldn't be more incorrect. If anything they are trying to cover all aspects of the market. Yes they have a 25K hatchback, but they also have a 350K+ exotic coming and the Maybach is already here, which everyone knows is just a super Mercedes. Mercedes' next round of new cars/suvs are not downmarket: CLS/E (which I hope they change before production), GST, ML and the next G-Wagen are all upscale products. Not to mention that the next S is supposed to move a few notches as well.
Until Lexus gets some diversity, like true 4-seat convertibles, coupes, wagons, awd, performance variants, etc, they'll never reach Mercedes' brand recognition level overall. Mercedes' appeal goes far beyond what we all regularly debate here too. Racing plays a part in it for a few AMG buyers. If Mercedes could wrestle a Formula One title away from Ferrari you'd hear about it all year long with special F1 versions of various Mercedes models. They've done this before. Lexus simply doesn't compete on the world stage.
There is no way Mercedes is going to let Chrysler pull them down the tubes, they'll cut them loose before Mercedes suffers.
Oct 08, 2003 (11:43 pm)
bluestar1: I didn't say MB S class owners were more affluent than LS430 owners because the car is more expensive. I said that because the demographic data presented on Carpoint listed the average yearly income of Lexus LS430 owners as 186 K and that of S class owners as 286 K. If you consider that in each case the car cost about 1/3 their respective yearly income that makes perfect sense given what we know about what people feel comfortable spending for a car. Let me also point out that the fact that SOME LS430 owners can also afford an S class is irrelevant. The point is a simple one. Let me spell it out for you: If car A is more expensive than car B than everyone who owns car A could also have purchased car B. But the opposite is not true. I.e., invariably there will be people who could afford car B (because it's less expensive) but not car A. Substitute A for MB and B for Lexus.
skinnygboss: You stated "He also went on to say that overall, the highest single percentage of a car make traded in on a Lexus is a Lexus." My point was that when people mostly trade in a Lexus for a Lexus how do you know what they previously drove before their first trade in for the Lexus? How do you know what 'market segment' they were shopping in?
As far as waiting lists is concerned I think it is good (for MB) that MB has unmet demand. It enforces pricing at MSRP for the dealer ensuring higher profits. It maintains a mystyque for the brand. People have actually been forced to wait 18 months or more for their cars. Says alot about brand loyalty and the dersirability of these cars that they don't jump ship and buy something else. Of course when the option is buying the hideous SC I would wait (indefinately if necessary) for the SL. Thank you very much.
Do me a favor. Go into any MB dealer and ask him to show you his 12 day inventory of NEW SLs. Say to him "Sir, let me see your 12 day inventory of new SLs. They said on Edmunds that I could pick one up right away." LOL!! What's a 12 day inventory of SLs anyway? The monthly sales of the previous generation SL was about 1000 cars. For the 2003 its probably less. How many MB dealers are there in the US? I don't know maybe 300. They'll each sell an average of 3 SLs per month or one every 10 days. So a 12 day "inventory" of SLs is like ONE CAR. (and it's probably an SL55)!
#3046 of 24726 clarification
Oct 09, 2003 (3:30 am)
Lexus came out in the fall of 1989 as a 1990 model.
While it was true that they started at 35K most of the cars that were sold were in the 41-43K range.
I seem to remember that leather was a $1400 option. I could be wrong on that though.
You guys might remember that it went up against the hideously expensive and heavy
S class "armored car" body style.
There was some negative reaction to the S class's styling and also a problem with the tires flatspotting due to the weight of the car.
This was also the era of the $76,000 E class convertible!!!!!
lexus truly revolutionized the luxury car segment for the better.
The customer has been the beneficiary of Lexus's entrance into the luxury car market.
Oct 09, 2003 (3:51 am)
Actually the original LS went up against the W126 S-Class (1981-1991) which is considered a classic by Benz folk. The tankish, bank vault S-Class (W140) came out for 1992. It was the one that had problems with it's tires. This generation of MB engineers hadn't build a car so heavy and big before and they misjudged the tire required.
There is something to be said about Mercedes' prices back in the day. For that same 76.5K that the 300CE Cabrio listed for back in 1993, you can get within 4K of a new CLK55 AMG Cabriolet. Quite a difference in cars. An AMG version of the old car would have been a 100K at least. The 300CE Cabriolet's equivalent today is the 52K CLK320 Cabriolet. The only thing the old 300CE/E320 Cabrio (arguably) has on the new cars is it's build. The performance and technology difference is like night and day. Still that particular E-Class was such the definition of Mercedes back in the day, it's a classic.
Oct 09, 2003 (6:54 am)
Did you ever take even one statistics course in college or grad school?
You ask "How you can you put so much faith in something and you don't even know the criteria they use (JDP)? It doesn't make sense." My response is: how can you put MORE faith in the anecdotes that are related on boards like this one? Anecdotes that are few in number and that are from self-selected individuals?
No one has ever said that Acura or Lexus or any other brand is problem-free. And some of the problems that people have do show up in these boards. But to judge whether, for the entire population of cars, one brand is more "problematic" than another one, you need a large, randomly-selected sample. Which is what JDP, not these boards, gives you. Not a judgement that runs something like "gee, the Acura TL has had some transmission problems, and although I have no idea how widespread the problem is, it shows that the ENTIRE Acura brand might be just as unreliable as brand X".
Oct 09, 2003 (7:15 am)
".. In 15 years, I will think that Lexus will be
at par with Mercedes in brand name recognition.
It is inevitable .."
Speculation. It is not inevitable, it is not a foregone conclusion, and car makers' ability to execute to a standard of exellence for 25 years has often been tested by history, and most have failed. All credit to Lexus for where they are today - but none of us has a crystal ball, let's be honest here.
Besides, one thing that will keep on hampering the Lexus image of hyper-luxury is the lack of true $100k+ "superstar" cars. Merc understands that is integral to the "lower range" desirability, which is why they crank out such a variety of super-cars: the press keeps reviewing them, they keep enforcing the image of the top of the range that most people only dream about. Lexus will always be perceived a notch below that, and given the fact they didn't come from the very top down, unlike most of these brands, it'll be hard for them to crack that image.
Moreover - they don't need to. They have loyal customers, and there are plenty of people that seem to appreciate Lexus for what it represents: superb Japanese engineering ability combined with a very plush and luxurious driving environment. If there's one criticism I have of German brands, it it the teutonic chilliness of their interiors. Look at a $100k plus Merc or Porsche, and compare the interiors with a Bentley Continental or even a $70k Range Rover - they can't hold a candle to them. And I think it's one of the reasons Lexus managed to break into the top realm: they offered a plusher interior wihtout foring people to go for Cadillac-esque driving dynamics.
Oct 09, 2003 (7:22 am)
Agreed, it will be along, hard slog for Lexus to try to catch up to MB in prestige (and adding supercars would help), and if they ever do manage it catch up, it may take many decades.
But I see that as good for me, the consumer, as it means the price/value gap will persist for awhile. And personally, I don't have to have the most prestigious car. I don't drive in order to be "seen" by others. I drive for myself.
Oct 09, 2003 (8:19 am)
Exactly - different people buy different cars for diferent reasons and motivations, and more power to them. There's nothing like a generically "better" car - there's a better car for someone/something. It's personal and so specific that these generic discussions never leads anywhere.
Oct 09, 2003 (8:23 am)
By the way - instead of making arguments based on having to bash other brands, what I'd be interested to hear is about the merits of the cars by themselves owners/advocates see, and also -for once- express some constructive criticism on how their brand of choice could execute something better to have even more appeal to its captive base.
The current argument is so skewed in the direction of merely criticizing the other brands, and over-praising one's own brand of choice, that it's become childish. We *know* owners are more critical than that, and that this illusion about this or that supposedly being the perfect car that has to be conjured up to defend it from criticism is unrealistic.
I for one think all the brands mentioned in this thread are awesome, even though for now I took another approach when it comes to my very own every day driving choice.