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.
#3997 of 24726 lenscap - Market Update Links & Info
Jan 26, 2004 (5:33 pm)
I subscribe to Automotive News and after reading your post I looked at this weeks Auto News issue on the Web. Here are some public links and info extracted from my subscription issue that were provided. The public links from AutoWeek (the Automotive News sister publication) have almost the exact language as the commensurate article in Automotive News.
1. Here is some of the key information from the 2007 Lexus article you mention -
"How high is high enough? How big is too big?"
"Those are the questions facing Lexus Division, which won the best-selling luxury brand title for the fourth straight year in 2003."
"But Denny Clements, Lexus general manager, says the brand has fallen into a predictable rhythm - and he wants to change that."
"We launch a car, then have a minor change after three years, and then a redesign two years after that," Clements said during an interview at the Detroit auto show."
"Meanwhile, the Europeans have new product news and variations coming every year, and they're always on magazine covers. Lexus needs to be like that. Lexus needs to have something always going on. It needs to have that buzz."
"Clements said Lexus and parent Toyota Motor Corp. have set this stir-things-up agenda for the next few years:
- A new distinct design specific to Lexus, to be seen first in the 2005 GS 430 and evolving from there. (Note: the article says a MY05 GS not MY06 which makes more sense like merc1 said a few days ago.)
- A redesign of each car line by spring 2007.
- All-wheel drive availability with the redesigns.
- The addition of a flagship above the LS 430.
- The creation of a factory performance division, akin to Mercedes-Benz's AMG."
"After spending the last several years bulking up in SUVs, Lexus is returning to its core strength: luxury cars. The next-generation GS 430 and GS 300 sport sedans, which will arrive in early 2005, will be followed by the replacements for the IS 300, ES 330 and LS 430, all arriving by spring 2007."
Very interesting, IMO.
2. Here is the Acura RL article on the AutoWeek Web site on the new RL - http://www.autoweek.com/cat_content.mv?port_code=autoweek&cat- - - - - _code=carnews&loc_code=index&content_code=01990871
3. Here is a link from AutoWeek (the Automotive News sister pub) on the ultra-luxury Cadillac that I believe we have basically seen before - http://www.autoweek.com/cat_content.mv?port_code=autoweek&cat- _code=carnews&loc_code=index&content_code=00165382
4. ON the Cadillac SUV engine initial statement from the article it goes on the say -
"The move is in keeping with General Motors' plans to create a series of exclusive high-performance cars and SUVs for Cadillac called the V Series. The first of those models, the CTS-V sports sedan, is in showrooms. The CTS-V is powered by a V-8 derived from the engine used in the Chevrolet Corvette."
"You will find Cadillacs running around with higher-output V-8s, running around with V-10s (and) V-12s," Stephens says, "and you will find even one variant with even more cylinders."
Let me know if you want more info and I will e-mail it to you.
Jan 26, 2004 (10:08 pm)
Well thats what I basically meant, they're pricing the Phaeton below its main rival from Germany, not the actual dollar amount. Nobody can sell a car like a Phaeton or LS for 35K anymore, but for 76K pretty loaded/awd the Phaeton undercuts VW's main rival the S-Class by a huge amount. I know the numbers aren't the same when Lexus was willing to take a loss those first few years, VW isn't (and probably can't) do that.
In your other post you say that a Mercedes "lover" originally stated that a Lexus is a poor mans Mercedes. It's no rumor, nor does it matter who stated it, it's said because Lexus keeps making their flagship (best premier etc) car in the shadow of Mercedes' S-Class, hence the distinction. It will be denied by some until the end of time, but the LS' whole reason for being is the S-Class. No other cars in this class look alike and pattern themselves after each other like the LS does the S-Class. Lexus and only Lexus keeps imitating their nearest competitor in just about every way. BMW, Jaguar, Audi and now VW all have cars in this class, but they're very different from one another.
I know you (a LSx2 owner) and your circle can afford a S600 with no sweat, but the *average* LS430 buyer can't, especially if someone is paying cash. Doesn't the average LS sell for about 60-63k? The S600 is double that. Nothing is etched in stone here, I'm just speaking in general. The "poor man's Mercedes" saying probably came up too when looking at the price spread between the two cars, one starts at 55K and goes to 72K, the other starts at 73K and goes to 125K, thats a huge difference.
#3999 of 24726 Market Outlook..........
Jan 26, 2004 (10:39 pm)
I must say I find Lexus' plans impressive on paper, but if the GS is any indication then I'm not so sure. The LF-S to GS was sort of a letdown. The LF-S is supposed to be the next IS, per autospies (I know right).
I also read where Lexus wants to sell 350K cars a year in the U.S. That would be some feat, every dealer would be able to use money to keep their fireplaces lit. Lexus has what 200 dealers, Mercedes around 300 and Cadillac has over 1200. Lexus can start printing their own money if they push 350K units out of such a small dealership body. This may be possible if the next IS has a sedan/coupe/convertible/wagon lineup like it's target 3-Series. The HPX would have to take off also. I'm not convinced the next GS will be all that more popular than the current car.
Thought I'm not so sure if the GS lineup is done just yet. They've released some detailed info on the next GS300, but I don't think the GS430 is set in stone, I can't see them NOT increasing the horsepower on the V8 GS. It could be possible that they haven't said anything yet because they don't want the current LS430 to be affected. I mean spring 2005 is quite a ways away. I also can't see them not offering awd on the V8 model, I mean Mercedes and Audi (to a lesser degree) sell a good number of awd V8 cars in snowy places where rwd is too big of a pain. Last summer when visiting Minnesota, every Mercedes I saw was a 4Matic, I mean every single one. I'm sure Florida is quite different and I've never seen a 4Matic Benz when I visit Texas so awd seems to make a difference depending on location.
Cadillac will have to put up or shut up in my book. The XLR and CTS are not the world beaters Lutz promised. The XLR while competitive, at the end of the day is still a few rungs below the SL and the CTS hasn't come close to beating the 3 or 5-Series. The V-Series cars will be good for image and those who can afford them, but what Cadillac, Acura and Infiniti for that matter needs is a attention grabbing flagship car. The new STS *so far* doesn't look like anything the E, or 5-Series should worry about. The next RL if a hybrid could be that car for Acura. The next Infiniti Q45 could be a few years off since the current model just came out for 2002.
Jan 27, 2004 (6:36 am)
I enjoyed reading these posts. I thought Merc1's comments were right on. I've owned MB, BMWs and Lexus. The S600 is not in my price range. The LS ultra is $70K and has more features than the S500 at $80K. I've warranty problems with both MB and BMW, but never with the LS. The Lexus experience is real. There is no going back.
Yes, MB has better styling, but only on the outside. Nothing beats the interior of an LS and that's what I see the most of. Also, the 04 LS has greatly improved the bland exterior problem.
LS is a poor man's MB. Yeah, I've heard that said, but not by those who have really studied the cars and owned them. I don't think anyone has ever thought I bought my LS because I could not afford the S. I've also heard MB is for those seeking image over value.
Slicer_3729: Everyone agrees, the LS easily is the winner in your first 4 categories, and the interior wins for your 5th. I equate fun to drive with smooth and quiet, so for me it wins that, too.
Jan 27, 2004 (8:29 am)
I didn't mean to imply that everyone who buys an LS430 can buy an S-600. But I'd bet a very high percentage can swing an S-430 and and many of that group could get an S-500. There are plenty of people that reach high for the cars in this grouping and the group below. It's really a function of your decisions in life. In my town I'll see S-class and LS430 cars on driveways of homes that range from $500k to $5mln. You can easily see who could afford anything they want. Personally I'd finalize a great house before picking a great car. That's why I drove an Acura Legend (an excellent car but certainly not in this league) through 1994. The S-class was within my reach in 1990/91 and I also passed on the LS400 in those years until 1995. But I knew I wanted a bigger home in a different town. Built my house in 1994. It's funny how things happen. A higher auto payment may have made me take a lower priced lot. I took the more expensive lot back in 1994 bacause I had few other financial obligations. The other lot I was considering was $50k cheaper and that's $300 a month on a mortgage. Today that $50K is worth $600K. I still remember your decision a few years ago and I commend you for it.
#4004 of 24726 jamesfletcher2
Jan 27, 2004 (11:29 am)
Thanks for the article updates. It looks like Lexus will be changing quite a bit in the coming years. The article, which I finally read, mentioned the following (some of which you touched on):
1. A super-luxury Lexus above the LS is coming. Lexus says "it's not an issue of if, but when."
2. Lexus will create a performance division similar to Mercedes/AMG and BMW/M. According to Lexus, "we have to have those image products."
3. Lexus' GM says no car "gets him more emotional than the pending redesign of the LS 430. It is more than just a redesign...it will make the same impact as the original."
Jan 27, 2004 (12:10 pm)
I read somewhere (Consumer Digest I think) that a Lexus LS 500 might be available in model yeaar 2005. The 500 will be available alongside the 430. In 2006 or 2007 a Lexus LS 600 will come to market with a 400+ Hp V12 engine. That would really shake things up