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.
Apr 14, 2004 (10:06 pm)
Sorry, but Newsweek and Time mean nothing to me automotive, business or otherwise. There are others like Automotive News or Wards that I'd rather get the business (more accurate) information from. It is so easy to make claims like Acura and Infiniti are "damaging" BMW without backing it up with anything factual when you're a NON automotive magazine. What did they base this statement on?
There is a little thing called competition which is what BMW has in the 3-Series area, more than every before. However when you speak of damaging a company Acura and Infiniti will need to do more than compete they'll need to dominate BMW at every turn and not just here, but worldwide. Infiniti isn't even a spec in Europe or anywhere else outside of the U.S. and Japan. Acura will never be a threat to BMW on the worldwide scene with just 3 cars all in the lower and one in the middle segment (that has been a flop since 1996, the RL).
So much incorrect information, I don't know where to start. After the usual: "I don't own a luxury car so therefore I'm not allowed to comment on anything", you go way left on the facts. Why oh why do we get so caught up on sales numbers and when they dip for MB and BMW there is a crisis, but for everyone else when they have a sales dip it is nothing major? Your posts sound just like that rather (way off-base) article which ignores any and all other factors behind sales trends. Will you ever get it that with a lineup that costs what MB's does they aren't even supposed to sell as many cars as they do? Nope because that would be too much like right (thinking beyond the hype). Tell me who has more cars that base for 50K or more than MB and sells as many above that price point? Yet because Lexus has an fwd car, a crossover thingy and a SUV that sell well they're all that, let us ignore the sales duds in their lineup.
"BMW releases much anticipated new redos of its flagship 7-series. Tank job ! They make unprecedented move to redo a redo within 2 years of release. Not much change in its fortunes. Spell trouble to BMW ? Not to Merc1's thinking. And then came the new 5-series. Tank job x2. Buyers were scrambling for the 2003 5-series rather than the new 2004 design."
Sales numbers please. Otherwise this is hot air. The 5-Series is a tank job? Says who? Facts please. If the 5 and 7-Series are tank jobs then the GS and IS are also. Guess what Lexus is way down this year also, the SC430. Is that a tank job too? Of course not. I'll await the article that shows where BMW is in trouble. Link please. Please tell me what re-do of the 7-Series happened after just 2 years after the car was released in 2002. Funny thing, I drove the 745i back in 2002 and then again a 2004 760Li model last fall, wow I must have missed the changes. Because their haven't been any, yet. The only change was with idrive. No engine or body (the 2nd most criticized aspect of the car) changes have happened yet. The actual face-lift that you incorrectly speak of will likely happen with the 2005 model.
" How many upper-class auto companies come out with redos only to lose sales ???".
Yeah how many? If you're talking about the 5 and 7-Series BMWs please provide the facts (you know like sales numbers that show where the new cars sold less than the previous generation from the start). Otherwise this is more hot air.
This board lives for unsubstantiated hype when it comes to German cars, yet we pretend everything is all smiles and sales galore for every Japanese luxury car on the road, yet some of them can't be given away. You know the ones from that threatening brand Infiniti, with 2 big fat high-priced duds at the top of their lineup. Lexus sells every GS430 (69 of them last month) and IS300 they can ship over. Right. It seems like to me the RL, M45, Q45 and GS are the "tank jobs" since we're judging this based on sales numbers. The cars I just mentioned never sold worth a darn from day one of their introduction, except for the GS but even that one died a quick death in the market place, yet nobody said that they were tank jobs. The Double Standard meets the hype.
#4718 of 24723 Sales Trends
Apr 14, 2004 (10:59 pm)
After really looking at the sales numbers for BMW and Mercedes-Benz for the first three months you really have to ask what in the world is all the hype based on.
Mercedes-Benz is down 5 percent for the first three months. For 2004 they don't have an all-new car to continue the fast pace of 2003, you know the year the S-Class was face lifted, the new CLK Cabriolet went on sale. Most important of all a new E-Class was introduced, which is very big deal at Mercedes-Benz. For 2004 there are no new models in which to stimulate that kind of sales growth again, yet sales dropping 5 percent is totally because of what JDP says about reliability. Right. All of a sudden in just three months the public has decided that reliability is a bigger problem than it already was. Ok. The C-Class is going through a model changeover; you know how production slows down in anticipation for the 2005 model that goes on sale in May. The E-Class has done the impossible and actually posted an ever so slight YTD gain from last year's hot introduction. The CLK, SL and even the ice cream truck G-Class are up YTD so far compared to last year.
Of course the older models in the lineup are going to slow down, this happens with every car maker, Lexus included. Please see the SC430, GS430, GS300 and IS300 YTD totals compared to last year if you don't believe this. All are down YTD from last year.
BMW is down an even more dangerous 2.3 percent YTD compared with last year. The 5-Series (the tank job) is up YTD over the 2003 car that everyone was "scrambling" to get. So much for that theory, at least for this point in the year. The other tank job 7-Series is off by 707 cars YTD from last year. Yep this model is finished. Wanna bet when the actual facelift does happen sales won't increase? Right.
There is an article at the carconncetion.com on VW titled "VW Plays The Incentive Game" that explains their situation a little more throughly compared to that JDP let us tout our upcoming surveys article.
#4719 of 24723 designman
Apr 14, 2004 (11:42 pm)
Not saying that reliablity and the survey results are hype, just that article trying to say that reliability is the sole factor in certain brand's sales decline. The reliability problem is real for MB, Audi, BMW, VW, Jaguar and whoever else has one.
Apr 15, 2004 (5:33 am)
Oac… that E39 scrambling last year was fun. Everyone was checking in with their deals, looking for advice, giving advice. Also, with all the opinions on the Bangle designs, the BMW threads were lit up with great posts. They are slow these days.
Merc1… I understand your point and agree that everyone turns up the hype volume on their agenda... corporate nature, human nature. Obviously, reliability is not the only factor that influences buying. I point to the fact that BMW's less-than-favorable sales come at a time when they are enjoying a stellar reliability ranking. I have to believe if the new models were knockouts, buyers would be stepping on each other to get to them. Personally, reliability has always been high among my priorities. I have always been torn between this and pure passion. My conservative side usually wins.
BTW, with regard to the outgoing RL. I know it is a sales nightmare, but it's one helluva bargain. It's a good reliable family/client limo. And I absolutely love the Acura interior touches. People don't know what they are missing. There's a lot of crowd following in car buying. "It's not selling well, must be something wrong with it." If you want a luxury sedan and want to save a buck, this is the one. By today's standards the price is low to begin with. Add to this the discounting due to lack of demand... it's a catch in my book. I know what the next question is and am prepared to answer it. I just don't feel like blabbering on about this if it isn't necessary.
#4721 of 24723 interesting
Apr 15, 2004 (7:51 am)
Let's see what the second quarter brings and drop all this sales stuff. A quarter is too short a time frame. But there's a lot of bad press about German cars right now. I still am hearing and reading a lot about the CR reports and now the major press media are also jumping in. None of that will help sales and none of that will help confidence and if anyone thinks that doesn't have anything to do with it then they fail to understand what affects purchase decisions. Many people are like designman and choose the conservative approach. Reliability is something you expect when you lay out the big bucks. Passion is the overstated hype here and like most things in life it rarely lives up to expectations anyway.
merc1 - it will be interesting to see where you go when you buy. If you don't buy German than all your rants and raves about them will be nearly meaningless. Many of the Lexus buyers have been buying the cars over and over - in some cases for 10-15 years. You haven't stepped up yet. It will be interesting to see if you are willing to spend $35k - $50k on an MB, BMW or Audi (certainly they will offer some car model in your price range) when an Acura or Infiniti can be had for less, deliver equal or near equal performance (maybe better in some cases) and also delivers more car and much better reliability. That is what upcoming buyers will face and all the article I read said is that Acura and Infiniti were poised to take some of those sales because of the way they have repositioned themselves. They weren't positioned to do that before as they were too focused on Lexus and probably to a certain extent the Japanes market. The article even quoted some BMW former buyers who raved about the cars and said they were done with BMW.
As for Wards - many everyday people don't even know it exists. Find me a person who doesn't know about Time or Newseek.
Apr 15, 2004 (9:13 am)
As I read the posts by the folks that favor the German cars ...Especially Mercedes I am struck by this thought.
Mercedes has everything...It is better looking then Lexus (Most Lexus people agree) It has more Luxury car models ....It has a a big reputation...It has that Ohhhhh it is a Mercedes factor. It rides almost as well/or as well..It is almost as quiet/or as quiet some models are faster, most are as fast.
Mercedes has all the goodies that the LS has and more and they usually have them first....
SO WHY DO THEIR SALES FIGURES KEEP SLIPPING TO LEXUS?
There are some people who feel uncomfortable with people going Ohhhhh, when they drive by...BUT THIS FACTOR CAN'T POSSIBLY OVERCOME ALL THE ADVANTAGES THAT MERCEDES HAS...
There can only be one primary Reason....THE LEXUS REPUTATION FOR FIT AND FINISH AND RELABILITY.
#4724 of 24723 designman
Apr 15, 2004 (9:43 am)
"I point to the fact that BMW's less-than-favorable sales come at a time when they are enjoying a stellar reliability ranking. I have to believe if the new models were knockouts, buyers would be stepping on each other to get to them."
Couldn't agree with you more. This point states two things: reliability is NOT the be-all, and redos that fall way off-mark. Of course, there are those who choose to bury their heads in the proverbial sand and refuse to acknowledge the obvious. More power to them. I am sure BMW execs are doing something to address this indication of a wrong direction. Two new designs and sales are down ? Not good at all.
Merc1 touts MB's higher prices as an excuse why MB sales should not be an issue. I point out that MB sales in the US are down at a time when there are far more affluent buyers than ever before. In California today, 1-in-500 earns $1M or higher per year. That is a huge market for so-called marque brands like MBs. So why is MB sales in decline despite the apparent higher purchasing power of more affluent buyers ? Go figure that out Merc1. And besides, since when does a business entity like MB not care about their sales ? Oh, I get it, MB simply needs to acquire more interest in failures like Chrysler and now Mitsu. The latter is a miserable failure and DCX may have given up on pure organic growths and looking rather into acquisitions to grow. Guess, we'll see how this new direction pans out ! An article in USA Today's (04/14/2004) talked about how MB s now *marketing* their Maybachs. Use them as hotel limos. Great way to sell a $350K car. Assume people who rides in these limos will go out and buy one. Makes so much sense to me
GS, SC and IS sales are not where Lexus would like. The GS has had no redo in years, the SC still sells pretty well, and the IS was not appropriately positioned in the market. Lexus is addressing both the GS and IS. Now, we'll have to see what happens if the coming redos of these two models will effect sales and improve Lexus' bottomline. I predict that BOTH will be successful, at least much better than the market perception for the new BMW redos of the 7 and 5 brands.
Closing point: Lexus built a brand in 15 years to surpass an MB brand of 110+ yrs within the US in sales. Barron's Bank, a 116-yr-old bank went under in a very short time due to a rogue employee. If anyone believes any company is immune from liquidation, they don't have a clue about the 21st Century global economic realities. Competition today is fierce in every area, and no longer do companies have much time to correct ills; the competition would eat them for lunch. The sooner BMW, MB, VW, Audi, etc addresses their reliability issues, the quicker they can turn things around. Look at how GM is making a huge turnaround with their Cadillac brand. They may not be all the way back yet, but they have made a remarkable turnaround that should be acknowledged.
#4725 of 24723 Pablo, you just made my day
Apr 15, 2004 (10:23 am)
Wow, this is the one many of us have been waiting for. And it's almost exactly as I had imagined. I like the sketch in button #6 because of the broken roof line at the rear, but will take what appears to be the fully developed concept model any day. They're damn near perfect. Both resemble the current 996 911, the prettiest one ever made IMO. Can anyone translate the German? What' being said? Is this actually on the Porsche drawing board or just Photoshopped concepts by some dreamer?