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 29, 2004 (6:54 am)
It's posts like ejerod's on the S-class board that scare the daylights out of me on MB. He was in seventh heaven if you remember with the 2001 S - initially. When you come from 9+ years of Lexus perfection its hard to opt for anything that will be less. Isn't that why people became so loyal to MB over the years. They built bulletproof cars that people raved about and had enormous confidence in. I still remember so well the movie "The Four Seasons" with Alan Alda. The Benz in that movie should have been listed as an actor in the credits it played such a key role. The owner, who was played by an actor whose name escapes me (but he's played many character roles including a key role in "Wait unti Dark") was ready to die for the car toward the end of the movie. If you are a Benz lover - you have to see that movie plus the movie is really good anyway though the follow-up TV series failed. It was early 80's if I remember right. MB never really made flashy handling cars until recently. That's also why the AMG business was born outside of MB. Problem for me is I know a number of people like ejerod who fret over their experience - some have moved on, some are still hoping. Personally I don't know anyone whose had a flawless Benz right now and I don't know anyone who hasn't had a flawless Lexus. Hence my belief in the CR surveys.
Apr 29, 2004 (6:54 am)
When you look at it, the MB nameplate is just 1 notch below Toyota, which isn't bad at all!
I do agree with ljflx and merc1 that long-term reliability matters more than initial quality, though.
#4885 of 24726 off-topic
Apr 29, 2004 (7:01 am)
ljflx, imdb.com is a really great site for looking up movie trivia
Apr 29, 2004 (8:58 am)
Thanks - I forgot about that website. The actor was Jack Weston. Great movie.
MB - Perception is still high which could account for the ranking.
#4887 of 24726 MB perception: The Golden Calf
Apr 29, 2004 (9:38 am)
It will take a lot to knock Mercedes off the perception perch. If the previous-generation boxcar designs couldn’t do it, followed by the current American-looking varieties with funny lights and cheap wheels, nothing will. They’ll have to collapse in puffs of smoke a la slapstick silent movie cars before people stop buying them. Even then, there will be vultures picking up the badges to use as paper weights and hang on their walls.
#4888 of 24726 Golden Calf, Vultures
Apr 29, 2004 (10:15 am)
Designman, I had to laugh when I read your post. When I was a kid, I loved Cadillacs. I collected sales brochures and advertisements. In college, I found a hood ornament from an Eldorado, and was so thrilled.
When I started buying new cars, I no longer really wanted a Cadillac. In the past 20 years, I have only owned one Caddy--an Allante. Hopefully, the upcoming STS will be a winner.
Perhaps Cadillac will be on top of that "perception" perch soon with Mercedes, and I can wear the hood ornament on a gold chain.
#4889 of 24726 don't know about that
Apr 29, 2004 (10:49 am)
I don't agree designman. It's not as difficult as you state and it can happen a lot quicker than you'd expect. But if the quality isn't there than the resale values fall. Indeed that is happening right now. If the resale values fall the high upfront prices that generate the profits don't hold. If that happens it comes tumbling down as they will have to lower prices to move the cars. Perception and status is a house of cards tied to the high prices right now because the car quality doesn't support it. If it did the resale prices would have stayed at historic MB levels - above everyone else. If the prices don't hold the public perception and status will fall quickly. It's like so many bad things that happen in business. The signs are there, they are hard to believe and then a lot of things turn against you at the same time. Then people wonder what happened. They have to restore quality and confidence and do it pretty soon. They are addressing it because they fully understand the danger lurking in the near future. I think they will succeed at least to the point of turning things around. The difficulty was getting themselves to believe there really was a problem. They were in denial.
Apr 29, 2004 (1:57 pm)
Well I agree with you―how do you like dem apples? There probably isn’t a single person or business in existence that doesn’t take life and everything in it for granted to some extent. It could all be over in a finger snap. And we see major corps failing all the time. Yet some never seem to learn. Indeed, I exaggerated a bit in my last post to make a point.
But what I am saying is that MB is on the highest of pedestals when it comes to image. To this day, even though Cadillac has seen the dregs, the image still holds for many and it held even during the raunchy years. I think MB would have to go clearly out of business before people let go, and even then, they’d be wishing it back from the dead. From the upper reaches of corporatia to the lower-east-side pimps, it’s one of the ultimate status symbols, and to people who have built emotional equity in status, I have to believe reliability is a concept with which they have little familiarity. And with hefty price hits, there will be plenty of these people turning it into their opportunity.
#4891 of 24726 designman
Apr 29, 2004 (2:58 pm)
To a certain extent that's why I'd almost rather see them scale back and just build cars the way they used to. They are not going to be able to match the Toyota prowess of mass car building. On the other hand they can build very high quality cars with a lot of options and customizing and still produce say 150k+ cars a year for the US market. Sometimes smaller is better. Then they'd maintain that classy image forever. I think I'm starting to see merc1's light on his favorite brand.
I have seen several people now in the $1mln+ per year comp range walk from MB over to Lexus. My old company's former CEO just did and I was shocked to find out the other day. He was one of those people that I thought would never move from MB. Swapped out of an S600 and into an LS430 ultra and loves it. We met for dinner, never talked about cars but had parked at the same NYC garage. Then we walked off together and both asked for the same car. It was a funny moment. I was glad to tell him I only had a custom lux. He had a host of problems with his S600.