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 20, 2004 (8:59 pm)
"MB prices are higher than Lexus (and Infiniti and others) because their cars cost more to produce, sell and service. Their production processes aren't as efficient as Toyota's nor their ability to manage their supply chain as good. "
I agree with all of this, but that wasn't what we were talking about here. My point for the last couple of days has been that a few on this board are hyping small sales losses as the end of BMW and Mercedes-Benz or like they are in some type of galactic trouble. Yet in the same post they'll come up with all kinds of excuses as to why certain other brands (Lexus) have similar problems with certain models, but those logical reasons couldn't possibly apply to Mercedes-Benz or BMW models of the same age and/or going through a model change over. One thing of interest here, how is MB managing their "supply" chain incorrectly? They do it the same way any other luxury car maker does. In what way is Mercedes different? Please explain this.
Everyone knows that Toyota is the production efficiency king. Everyone knows that it costs more to produce cars in Germany for the reasons you mentioned, and some others you don't. Even when Mercedes topped these reliability surveys in the early nineties they still cost way more than the competition, so all of the cost is not sheer reliability and defects.
"Their entire marketing campaign is designed to make you think you are getting something
Really? So all of the innovations that Mercedes has and their beyond government safety standards, and in many cases much more variety doesn't account for anything. Right. Lexus' marketing slant is that of a knock-off Mercedes with their LS and a knock-off BMW with their IS and probably the upcoming GS. Just because you don't see anything more in a Mercedes doesn't mean it isn't there.
"I don't think that MB is 'dying' but they are in serious trouble for the first time here in the U.S."
Really? I would call serious trouble back in the early nineties when Lexus started gaining ground and Mercedes sold less than 60K cars a year for a few years. That is serious trouble. Now if you're basing this assessment on the reliability situation then your statement has more merit. If your statement is based on the sales drop of the first three months, then it is nonsense like the other posts of similar ilk.
I agree they do have a reliability problem and the perception of the problem is getting worse. What I disagree with is the buzzards-are-circling mentality on this board in particular.
"Their profitability is lower ( and the Chrysler-Jeep drain no help ). Their R&D is tighter and narrower and this makes them more dependent on suppliers for new technology, which is widely available to others. The technical edge is gone and often bleeding edge, not leading edge."
I agree the Chrysler arm is a drain, but they may be starting to turn that around too. Maybe. They have a ton of new product on the way. However, tell me if MB's technology is so supplier based (like a lot of Toyota's isn't) then why is that Mercedes manages to always beat Toyota to the punch (specifically Lexus) to the market with it? I took the LS430 until 2004 to acquire certain features the S-Class back in 2001. This fact doesn't jive with your statement.
Well not to get too deep into your post, but your posts for the most part have always had a logical/factual base, others don't. I always pay very close attention to your business minded posts and really can't take issue with anything you've just said. My problem was (in part) with people talking about sales losses for certain models (5-Series) when in fact it wasn't even true.
You and footie shouldn't think for a minute that I don't see a problem with Mercedes and to a lesser extant BMW. The reliability issue will only get worse before it gets better. Why? Because most of these surveys look back 3 years and for 2004 they'll be looking at 2001 models and for 2005<>2002 and 2006<>2003 so it is going to take some time for MB, BMW, Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover, and whoever else is deemed unreliable, to pull themselves up.
I'll be the first one to order the closing of the water tight doors and the manning of the lifeboats.
Apr 21, 2004 (7:29 am)
The answer to you question (below) is simple..Lexus perfacts the innovation before they put it in their car. A SAFTY INNOVATION WITH an ELECTRICAL PROBLEM EITHER BREEDS "FALSE CONFIDENCE" OR TO THE WELL INFORMED OWNER...A FEELING OF DOUBT AND CONCERN, Will it work, or will it not..Is my family save? BEING FIRST DOES NOT ALWAYS MAKE YOU BEST.
"then why is that Mercedes manages to always beat Toyota to the punch (specifically Lexus) to the market with it? I took the LS430 until 2004 to acquire certain features the S-Class back in 2001. This fact doesn't jive with your statement."