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.
#4804 of 24726 saugatak
Apr 24, 2004 (5:03 am)
I don't think BMW is in trouble from Lexus. I don't even think they are in trouble right now. I think they have developing problems which can and probably will lead them into trouble. Given the Toyota juggernaut and the fact that Lexus set dead aim on MB - you actually have to give MB a lot of credit for withstanding it and re-inventing themselves. I think BMW will have far more problems from Acura and Infiniti than Lexus in the next few years.
The story of Lexus is easy to see. The big guy came into the little guys space and succeeded big time in the most important market. Usually that type of move fails - probably 9 out of 10 times. But they didn't this time. Once they are rooted they expand. That is what is going on right now.
I will disagree with you on Toyota making tuned or road gripping cars very well right off the bat. Why does anyone think this is so difficult? This is a derivative thing not an adjacent space type of thing - like say Microsoft making Xbox and competing with Sony. This is more like making a Corporate windows and a consumer windows operating system. The difficulty is in the marketing not in the car building. But that difficulty is a fraction of the marketing difficulty they had in 1990. Thinking Toyota can't do this is like thinking Boeing can only make consumer aircraft and not military or space air craft.
Bangle - I read that story also but I also read the guy who is taking his place is his protege and the actual lead designer of these funky designs. I don't think BMW is Bangle free. I think they may have gotten more Bangled. He now has responsibilty for the whole empire.
#4805 of 24726 Off topic - leasing in New York
Apr 24, 2004 (7:53 am)
I hadn't realized how ridiculous the New York law (the last one in the country) on leasing and associated liability is until I read a story this morning. But in simplified terms it invokes a principle called "vicarious liability". This term means the owner of the car has ultimate liability. How stupid and extreme can this be? In 1999 a guy ran over and severely injured his 15 year old daughter while she was sun bathing in the driveway. Certainly a tragedy. But then this went to court and the courts decided that Ford - the lessor of the car - would pay most of a $1mln claim! Is that absurd or what. This law was set up for the livery business but was never amended.
For those of you who may not know it - there is still a New York city law that says the only legal means of tranist allowed to park on a NYC street is a horse and buggy. Dates back to the 1800's. Whenever NYC gets into a bind they will have an immediate cash bailout readily available.
Heaven help us - who knows what other outdated and absurd laws are out there wherever we live.
By the way - many carmakers refuse to lease in NY now or have created legal ways - at the consumers expense - around this crazy law.
#4807 of 24726 Saugatak - Incorporating the Toyota Manufacturing Process
Apr 24, 2004 (5:16 pm)
"BMW is already on the road to recovery b/c they're booting Bangle upstairs and they just have to incorporate the Toyota manufacturing process."
If it were that easy, MB, BMW and everyone else would have
a) Already done it and 'fixed their quality problems'
b) Announced that it was in process and would be in place soon
We know that neither have or will happen.
The facts are that the TPS is very, very sophisticated, requires a total change in a companies' culture to adopt, and takes a great deal of investment, time, energy and committment.
MB doesn't have the money, BMW is too arrogant. Neither will be able to make a car as good as a Lexus in the next 10 years.
I think "BMW's driver's feel" thing, based on today's mechanical suspension systems, is pretty much something that Toyota/Nissan will duplicate with variable suspension systems that are electronically controlled. Toyota is very well coupled with GM and take advantage of the rheologic shock technology they developed that allows suspension setting to be change in milliseconds. Dial-a-ride is coming to a Lexus near you.
Imagine, getting a BMW ride in a Lexus. You get a great enthusiast ride, something that looks like the best of European styling, has incredibly low defects, is highly reliable, and costs 20 - 40% less than the 'old world' technology. Got a date with Momma and need to cool it, just flick back to Lex LS.
If you are interested in learning more about TPS, I can repost a few links.
#4808 of 24726 re-DCX woes
Apr 24, 2004 (7:32 pm)
Well.... well.... Interesting read of the NYT article. Its all there in print, all I have been saying, which some MB fans have downplayed and castigate it based on a measly three month sales trend. Hmmmmm.... I spoke about TRENDS of MB and BMW declines, others said its not happening anytime soon. Trends are trends, they can be trailing or forward-leaning, but sometimes you cannot miss them. They stare you right in the face.
It is not just about reliability, the problems are many and multi-faceted
Anyone remember Barron's Bank ? May be telling to re-read what happened to that glorious banking institution...All came tumbling down because a few execs fell asleep at the wheels...
Like I always say, time shall tell.....
#4809 of 24726 Just stopping by
Apr 25, 2004 (3:44 pm)
Haven't been here since the middle of March and just waded thru all the posts since then.
Some of the them have been just painful to read.
I have seen almost no mention of Cadillac, except for a recent post by merc1. I did want to add that Cadillac sold more luxury passenger vehicles than Mercedes did last year.
After reading the previous posts one would think that Lexus and Mercedes are the only 2 players in this segment.
In February I sold my '95 Lexus for $8700, taking a $1,000 loss in the process.
I took the Lexus registration to my local Cadillac dealer, got the $1,500 conquest cash and bought a Cadillac SRX.
To say that I like this vehicle more than my LS400 would be an understatement. More headroom, just as quick, better handling, automanual, very quiet for a wagon body(or any vehicle), etc. etc.
As nice as the Lexus was it was an old person's car. Soft and quiet. I am glad I bought it an got the Lexus fever out of my system, but this Caddy fits my needs and lifestyle perfectly.
I'll never put down a Lexus or their owner's, but I needed a vehicle with a little more character and feel than the Lexus offers.
The Caddy is far from perfect, it has some interior bits that could be nicer and I have had a new camshaft installed, but I am getting 17 mpg around town 20.5mpg at 80 mph and 24+mpg at 65 mph.
Overall a nice package that sold 2800 units in March, but still about $2K overpriced for what you get.
It does fit my needs better than the Lexus did, which is all that matters. I had regrets after buying the Lexus, I haven't had any with the SRX.
#4810 of 24726 Re: Just stopping by [b4z #4809]
Apr 25, 2004 (4:08 pm)
It is great to have a car you really like. We all have different tastes and wants and needs.
You were very smart to eat the $1000 rather then suffer in something you weren't really happy with. I have rented Deville's when I travel and like them a lot. I also have a 92 Allante that is still a great car (kind of expensive to keep up but I think it is Classic in it's looks.)
#4811 of 24726 2005 LS 430
Apr 25, 2004 (4:13 pm)
I am considering buying a 2004 LS 430. Does anyone know if there will be any changes for the 2005? When will major body changes be made.
Thanks for your help
Apr 25, 2004 (4:51 pm)
The consensus is that the next generation LS will be out for model year 2007. Imho there is an outside chance that we'll see it for MY2006. As the 2004 was a refresh, don't look for significant changes for 2005.
Apr 25, 2004 (9:35 pm)
Same thing I see. Still talking about trends that haven't amounted to anything yet. Trends mean nothing until at least the first have of the year is over. Your view on what was happening wasn't even based on facts, just what you thought was going on sales wise. You only mentioned corporate matters after your sales theory collapsed. It is very easy to switch theories mid-stream.
"I think "BMW's driver's feel" thing, based on today's mechanical suspension systems, is pretty much something that Toyota/Nissan will duplicate with variable suspension systems that are electronically controlled.
This misses the essence of a BMW by a country mile. Plenty of car makers have already beaten BMW by the numbers, but not feel. Cars like the IS300 and G35 handle as good or better than competiting BMWs, depending on who you ask. Variable ride systems are already in place on certain Cadillacs and Mercedes, and neither of them feel like a BMW. The raw mechanical feel of say a 3, 5 or any M-Series BMW hasn't been duplicated and it surely won't be duplicated by some vario system, such systems usually prove to feel even more artificial. Have you ever driven a 330i or M3? The only way to duplicate this "feel" is to do a clean-sheet design with the a from-the-ground-up intent of beating BMW at their own game. Just like it's in Toyota's DNA to make a quality car, BMW goes for the same thing at the birth of a design. There is a little more behind a BMW than a mere suspension tuning exercise. The next IS300 may be able to duplicate this, if they've studied the current 3-Series hard enough. The G35 comes close too.
You already have several cars that are pretty good at the ride/handling tradeoff. To get a car to handle like a 3-Series with the ride of an LS430 will be the stuff of dreams for quite few years to come I suspect. The two types are just too far apart to incorporate into one cohesive package. Such a car would be a mess of a vehicle and would feel way too artificial to make the BMW grade. Ride and handling will always be a compromise until something space age happens.