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.
Apr 18, 2004 (10:33 pm)
Well I've always stated that MB is my favorite brand, but not my favorite car in every segment. If I were shopping in your class there would be only MB and Audi on my list, but in the 30-35K segment there are at least a dozen good or great cars competing and Mercedes' C-Class doesn't really wow me like say an E, SL or CL does. I'm looking at the G35 Coupe as the best alternative to any of the German cars in the price range. I seriously thought about the Acura TL, but couldn't stand the styling, otherwise that would be the car for me. Me no want a 3-Series. Everyone has one and a new model is due for 2006. The Saab 9-3 Aero is interesting, but seems to have gone up in price since I last looked at them; it stands at 38K per a walk-around on the local Saab lot earlier this evening. Too much money and I'm thinking GM DNA is present. No thanks. Audi's A4 is another possible choice, but only the 3.0L model, the 1.8t model is a slug. I'm thinking Audi, MB or Infiniti, the latter two I'm waiting to see their facelifts (G35, C-Class).
If passion is overstated hype (NOT!) then these reliability and now sales sermons are just the same.
As far as "everyday" people not knowing about Wards, what does that prove? I wouldn't expect them too because this is the same lot that will read a CR and JDP report and take it as gospel and never think past it, and for a many of these everyday people that works. They're happy with their boring appliance-like cars. Just because more people know about Newsweek and Times doesn't mean these two are automobile savvy or some type of automotive authority.
I see you've decided to ignore the obvious facts because they don't support any of the current rhetoric. When shown the sales figures to dispute the notion of the 7 and 5 Series being "tank jobs" you skip the subject. This is what is called unsubstantiated hype.
"Two new designs and sales are down?"
Sales are down compared to what?? Is it that you don't want to see the sales chart or don't understand it? The 5-Series is UP YTD over the previous car. You couldn't be more wrong about the 5-Series. The 7-Series is in its 3rd model year and it is only off by 707 cars YTD compared to last year. What car doesn't have a sales drop in its third model year? The SC430 has done the same, yet.... You're (hyping) stating that the 7-Series sales drop is a crisis, yet the SC430 has done the same in its 4th model year, but that isn't a crisis? No it isn't, even I wouldn't call it that. What is happening is natural and it happens with every car sold except for cars like Ferrari etc.
If you really want to see a sales drop watch the GS as it gets eaten alive by the E-Class, 5-Series, RL, M35/45, A6 and STS, which all are either on sale or go on sale before the new GS does in....gasp...a year from now. Timing is everything; someone might want to let Lexus know this.
"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 ?"
So what? California is but one state and can't carry the entire sales mantle for Mercedes-Benz or any other brand. It is also foolish to think that just because there are more people with money that they're going to want to show off this wealth by purchasing more Mercedes-Benzes. A totally new product is the only thing that will keep sales for MB or any other company at their same level as a year ago, especially when the previous year was a record year. Why am I even replying to something so ridiculous?
Secondly, their biggest seller the C-Class is going through a model changeover. I don't know why this is so hard to grasp. Yet MB remains in either 3rd or 4th place in the sales race despite having the highest priced cars of any mainstream luxury brand. Yeah what a failure they are because they aren't able to sell as many tarted up Camrys or tall wagon thingies that sell in the 30-40K range, yet most of MB's products are priced at 50K or above. Yet Mercedes-Benz is supposed to win the sales race. I don't think I've read anything so far off in left field on this board in quite a while.
Since you're sales theorems are nothing but hot air you'll turn to the MB's corporate situation. Guess what, I don't like it either, but it really has nothing to do with their sales performance so far this year.
"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."
Excuses, excuses. The GS has been a failure since the first model back in 1993 it has never sold up to expectations. Yet the failure of a 7-Series you keep incorrectly talking about debuted in 2002 and beat the previous 7-Series' best year! FACT. The IS was half-baked and everyone knows it. The SC430 blew right past Lexus' sales estimates for its first year quite easily yet in it's 4th model year has slowed down. This is the same thing as the 7-Series. The same exact scenario, yet BMW is in trouble and Lexus isn't. This isn't a crisis to most people here, but a natural thing that happens over time, but if you're making a case against BMW you'll play this up as a crisis, though other cars are in the same exact situation.
I notice you use the words "market perception", when talking about the 5 and 7-Series, yet the cars are selling, so this perception you have isn't based on anything factual. The press has harped about BMW's new styling and idrive, yet just like you guys tell me when a Lexus takes a beating in the press or comparo....the press doesn't buy the cars and they don't have to live with them.....so what they say doesn't count. Yet here for the sake of building a shaky case (at best) about BMW, market perception makes the 5 and 7-Series failure yet they've outsold the previous designs. WOW. A contradiction at each and every turn in the Lexusworld. Double standard hype at its best.
#4739 of 24726 Also......oac
Apr 18, 2004 (10:50 pm)
You and others are harping about Lexus' sales performance, yet you conveniently ignore that the whole Lexus franchise is basically being pulled by 3 vehicles...the ES, RX and to a lesser extant the LS. The IS and GS are show room decorations, the SC430 is being outsold by the 30K+ more SL, and the GX does ok for it's segment, but reading this board you'd think that all of Lexus' models are star players and outsell competing vehicles when they don't. Now prestige and image have now come up. Before it meant nothing and was all in a Benz or BMW owner/fans mind, yet this very same thing is supposed to overcome the fact that the average BMW or Mercedes is thousands more, in order to help them sell more cars. Makes sense because prestige can account for the price difference, no matter if you can make the jump ($$$$) or not. Very Logical.
You mentioned California, funny you should do so. Guess where the largest market for high-end Benzes is in the world outside of Germany? Newport Beach, CA. Now tell me since you're the expert in sales trends, at what point does the market become saturated and sales drop? Mercedes already has the California market at the upper end. Don't believe me? Check out the tuner Brabus' website, they've set up shop in two places to cater to high-end Benz owners, one in Florida and the other in California because of S, SL, and CL sales trends in those two states.
BTW, the actual BMW numbers:
Model March 2004 YTD-2004 March 2003 YTD-2003
5 Series 3,873 10,328 3,660 9,492 ---->up
7 Series 1,418 3,925 1,467 4,632 -->down 707 units
Yep BMW is in deep trouble. Please.
#4740 of 24726 Mercedes-Benz
Apr 18, 2004 (11:28 pm)
Sales -- March 2004
Model March March Monthly YTD YTD Yearly
'04 - '03 - % - 2004 - 2003 - %
C-CLASS 4,825/ 7,266 -33.6% 15,407/ 17,567 -12.3%
E-CLASS 4,971/ 4,456 11.6% 12,802/ 12,725 0.6%
S-CLASS 1,572/ 1,805 -12.9% 4,379/ 5,250 -16.6%
CL-CLASS 265/ 328 -19.2% 658/ 925 -28.9%
SL-CLASS 1,430/ 1,028 39.1% 3,884/ 2,520 54.1%
CLK-CLASS 1,925/ 1,900 1.3% 4,821 / 4,298 12.2%
SLK-CLASS 379/ 554 -31.6% 957/ 1,266 -24.4%
M-CLASS 2,307/ 2,330 -1.0% 5,832 / 6,616 -11.9%
G-CLASS 142/ 170 -16.5% 419 410 2.2%
GRAND TOTAL 17,816/ 19,837 -10.2% 49,159/ 51,577 -4.7%
In even deeper trouble than BMW. They have 4 models that are up this year YTD, but their oldest models S, CL, ML and SLK are all down. This doesn't make sense. A new SLK has been shown and goes on sale in Sept. This couldn't possibly have anything to do with sales dropping off. Funny the 2000 LS400 dropped like a rock right before the 2001 LS430 arrived, but there was no crisis there. Hmmmmm. The C-Class is going through a model change that happens early next month. That couldn't possibly have any affect on sales. The CL and S after being facelifted for 2003 and posting better numbers than in 2002 shouldn't possibly slow down this year. Makes sense. The ML being the exact same age as the Lexus GS shouldn't see a sales drop either. Makes sense. The Lexus GS selling a whopping 69 GS430s in March shouldn't worry anyone at Lexus, I mean really the GS is only facing about a 1/2 dozen newer entries (like the ML is with the Touareg/GX470/Cayenne/X5 etc) so sales of the GS should remain the same, but MB is in trouble with the ML. Makes sense.
Mercedes and BMW are finished, while Lexus goes for "exclusivity" with the GS430 which is rarer than the VW Phaeton, Audi A8L, Infiniti Q45 and M45, and Acura RL all of which are considered sales duds, but the GS430 isn't. The age of the GS430 couldn't be the reason for this. No way. These other cars are just "better".
Apr 19, 2004 (3:22 am)
BMW dealers used to pound their chests with the fact that they didn't have to discount. Those days are over. But we don't see the heavy discounting parsed in the already less-than-impressive sales figures. Although BMW is considered one of the most successful auto makers, they are losing lustre in a changing world. It's much too early for this to sink in, but I believe it is starting to.
The 5-series came out of the gate with discounts. One buyer already reports $3k off retail on a 525. The 7 has undergone heavy price lopping. If the summer brings discounting equivalent to or close to last year's and sales are buttressed in this manner, will sales be considered a success? In my book this is not a feather in the cap of the noble German.
#4742 of 24726 designman
Apr 19, 2004 (3:36 am)
I'm not saying the car is a smash hit or that it is re-writing the rules of the segment, but to call it it a failure based on sales numbers is bull, especially when those numbers say otherwise. Everybody discounts to a degree nowadays on certain cars withing their respective lineups. I find it very funny that certain Lexus' have never sold worth a darn and yet they aren't considered failures.
I personally don't like the 7-Series either, but this hot air blowing based on sales figures is utterly ridiculous. I can understand if a person doesn't like a certain car, but they could at least get the facts straight or get some that supports their theories/views because the sales argument doesn't.
Now that you mentioned discounting we'll have to read about how Lexus doesn't discount. Right.
Apr 19, 2004 (5:00 am)
For maybe the second time, I have to agree with you about Benz and BMW being in trouble. They are clearly not in trouble. BTW, the new SLK finally looks stunningly beautiful.
#4744 of 24726 maxhonda99
Apr 19, 2004 (5:31 am)
Alright enough is enough! That makes 2 posts in the past two days! Who is this using maxhonda99's user id? LOL.
Apr 19, 2004 (6:04 am)
merc2 broke into my user ID and had been rampantly posting posts in favor of MB. Now that I am back in control, let me say Mercedes sucks. just joking.
Apr 19, 2004 (6:42 am)
"Passion" is a subjective term (Hype)
"Reliability" is an OBJECTIVE term. (fact)
Merc. Just curious...What are the Sales expectations for the GS this year??? How many do they expect to sell?
Prestige...When a prestige Luxury name like Mercedes sells cheap cars...Does that damage their Prestige?
Sales SC and 7 series...To use your own arguments since the SC doesn't sell much anyway...does it really matter if their sales drop a little...Not much lost there. If a High profile car like the 7 series loses sales..Well...That is an important development..Don't you think?
Once again Hard numbers for sales or sales decline is not hype..it is fact.
Merc...Yes LS 400 sales dropped off when the LS 430 came out...THEY WEREN'T MAKING THE CAR ANYMORE, THEY DID SELL ALL THE 400S THAT THEY HAD.
Apr 19, 2004 (9:09 am)
"Yes LS 400 sales dropped off when the LS 430 came out...THEY WEREN'T MAKING THE CAR ANYMORE, THEY DID SELL ALL THE 400S THAT THEY HAD."
I don't quite understand the statement. maybe a rephrase is in order.
I think what merc1 meant was the LS400 sales in 2000 were low throughout the year. And that it was basically due to the imminent release of a redesigned LS(LS430). Basically it's sales dropped on 2000 because alot of prospective LS shoppers wanted the LS430 instead and sales also decreased because the product was getting old(less people wanted a LS as opposed to other newer designs such as MB S-class).
"Merc. Just curious...What are the Sales expectations for the GS this year??? How many do they expect to sell?"
I would say 12K to 15K units.