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.
#5012 of 24726 maxhonda99
May 16, 2004 (8:59 pm)
"The ES330 is no cheaper than a C-class. In fact, the majority of C-class sales come from the cheaper C240 and then you factor in the cheaper C230K and C230 hatch and the average price of a ES330 is much more than the average price of a C-class sold. Same with the RX330. The RX330 MSRPs right up there with the ML350 and the ML350 after discounts probably sells for alot less, yet the RX330 crushes the entire ML lineup in sales."
Wow Max you're ignoring the E-Class costs more than the GS, the S-Class costs more than the LS, the SL costs more than the SC and so on. Do you realize how illogical it is to ignore the rest of this brand's lineup to make that most illogical point? Every single Mercedes, except the C and ML cost more, and in some cases way more than each competing Lexus. The only places where these two brands line up exactly is at the C vs. ES/IS, ML/RX and CLK/SC, in every other case the Benzes cost more. You don't see this and what affect that may have on sales? Recently you're post were...well you know...but I can't believe you think there is an even playing ground in prices here when you look at the both brand's entire linuep. Mercedes is selling cars (and some of them are "volume" models) are prices where there is no Lexus to speak of.
I'll give you that the RX crushes the ML. I've always hated the thing (ML) and it has never lived up to the MB standard. Syswei's theory about sales indicating which product meets buyer's demands better is correct here because the price difference is negligible.
Did you actually read my post before posting? Your assumptions about sales are ridiculous....like everyone who bought an LS looked at the S-Class first and decided on the LS. Like I said before plenty of unattractive cars sell. Yes everyone says the LS is a great car, but you seem to miss it when this same group of people, whether it be press or even some buyers, talk about the car's styling, which was my point...not the greatness of the car.
I don't doubt any of Lexus' plans but no where in your cheering do you account for the fact that nearly every luxury car maker has a huge product offensive planned for the next 2-3 years. Mercedes and Lexus (how ironic) are probably the brands with the biggest product offensives planned. Every luxury brand's dealership body has had to expand, from Mercedes to BMW to Audi to Jaguar. Audi for example has rebuilt every dealership here (except 1) over the last 2-3 years. They're all bigger and brighter and pretty good looking too. Motorwerks in Barrington IL has done the same thing - a satellite dealership in Hoffman Estates because of increase in sales and the upcoming product offensive. Lexus is far from being the only luxury brand with lots of things (product) planned.
Have you ever read about what Audi is saying about their future in the U.S.? They saying they'll being doing 200K cars a year by 2008. I personally don't see that, but this what they're saying. They have at least 4-5 new models coming during that time frame. I think the brands to watch as far as new product is concerned are Lexus, Mercedes, Audi, Infiniti and Cadillac. BMW will probably taper off after the facelifted 7-Series and new 3-Series for 2006, even still remember the 3-Series is a 100K+ unit car in this country alone.
I understand what you're saying about Lexus prices, and it is luxury car pricing for sure, but no matter how you spin the prices for Lexus' vehicles they still don't come anywhere near certain Mercedes models. The action at Lexus is mainly between 33-55K, Mercedes has more models past that price point that are at least trying to be "volume" sellers. Lexus' most expensive car fully dressed costs the same as the base S-Class. Anyone who thinks this has no bearing on sales is dreaming.
" Now you have a whole bunch of niche MB's that I haven't counted because I have no idea of
those sales figs. But they are niche and can't be all that great."
Sort of my point. They have a lot of these so-called niche models that cost more $$ yet some think they're supposed to outsell a company that has nearly all mainstream 33-55K models.
Always the most logical Lexus supporter...like in post #5009.
I wouldn't waste any more time responding like you did in post #4968, they're lost to put it mildly. They theory changes with each and every post, once the previous theory has been shown to be flawed (to say the least). Sales, models etc. one incorrect statement after another all in the name of hype.
I was about to say you're ignoring price, but then I see you listed the E as outselling the GS. So you're saying the E-Class meets the needs of the American buyer better than the GS?
When I logged in tonight I saw 57 new posts on this board. I was like WTH! I knew I had my "work" cut out for me. Well there you go.......lol.
May 17, 2004 (4:46 am)
What did your last post say? You basically said that Lexus sells more cars because they are cheaper. Correct? The LS I didn't include because well, it obviously does sell better than the S-class this year. Now that could be because it is cheaper or it could not be. Do you really have any concrete proof it sells in bigger volumes because it is cheaper?
I gave the RX330 vs. ML and C-class vs. ES330 as examples of where your *theory* is quite simply incorrect.
Why was your *theory* incorrect? I stated it before-If as you state Lexus cars sell solely on the basis of price advantage vs. Mercedes, then the ES330 or the RX330 shouldn't be outselling the C-class and ML-class, since the prices of the C-class vs. ES330 and ML320 vs. RX330 are quite similar.
May 17, 2004 (4:47 am)
Yes I'm saying the E meets American buyers' needs better than the GS. I'm going to speculate that styling is a big part of this, I think the current GS is the least attractive in the Lexus lineup.
#5016 of 24726 maxhonda99
May 17, 2004 (4:59 am)
My point is that most of Mercedes' lineup is above 50K, not under it. They only compete side by side with 2-3 Lexus models in price, the rest are priced above the bulk of where Lexus gets the bulk their sales from.
The RX and ES are only 2(!) models from Lexus and they just happen to be their most popular and they costs less than the bulk of Mercedes' models msrp. Look at the price configurator at Lexus and then Mercedes. If you don't see where there are more Mercedes over 50k compared to Lexus then I don't know what else to tell you. You're saying that this has no bearing whatsoever on who sells more cars overall? Come on now.
The LS vs the S is a simple case. The average LS sells for 55-65K, this is less than the base price for the S-Class. You can't tell me that this fact has no affect on sales. There is no way every LS buyer can just say oh 75-83K for base S430 or S500 is no big deal. Price limits this decision for some LS buyers, not all. Not ever S-Class buyer can afford a Bentley either.
The sales race will probably always be won by Lexus or BMW, they have much cheaper cars if you average their MSRP's.
Wait a minute. Didn't someone just say that styling has nothing to do with sales? You Lex guys gotta get on the same page. I seriously doubt styling is the issue because the E has always outsold the GS.
May 17, 2004 (5:18 am)
I don't recall anyone here saying styling doesn't affect sales.
As far as the E/GS, of course as with all MB models, prestige is a factor too. But if the sales difference can't be explained by the combination of styling and prestige, what else would account for the difference, in your view?
Annecdotally, I actually considered both the E and GS in 1998. My wife was really taken by the oval headlamps and felt at the time that the E offered very unique styling; she kept referring to it as the 'frog-eyed car'. Neither of us cared for the GS's styling. BTW, I didn't like the E's transmission, I felt it shifted inappropriately. Anyway, we ultimately got an RX, basically for the 'utility'.
May 17, 2004 (5:29 am)
You obviously don't get what you yourself are saying.
May 17, 2004 (5:59 am)
I think it is pretty clear, others got exactly what I'm saying. I see your point about the RX and ES, but they are only 2 models. If you clearly don't see where the pricing structure of MB would inhibit overall sales then forget everything I've said because you'll never get it. You're pointing to 2 Lexus models out of what 7(?) compared to 2 out of 9 for MB, most of which are price higher. You honestly don't see this? Only the ML and C are even competitive with Lexus pricewise. What about the SL, CL, S, G, the AMG models, the CLK Cabrios? They do try to move these too, while costing way more $$$$.
The average msrp for a Benz is higher than it is for Lexus. I don't see how it could be any simpler than that.
Styling and sales....read back a few posts, this whole round got kicked off on just that point. Anyway that pales in comparision to you having considered the E-Class in the past! You did it again, I'm baffled by that.
The E and GS in sales.........hmmm. Prestige, styling, depth of models, more recognition in the segment (the E has been the top seller since the mid-90s in the med-luxury market) I'm sure all have something to with the E outselling the GS. But I think the biggest mistake was that Lexus decided to go after BMW's 5-Series in the "sport" game. I don't see Lexus buyers lining up to buy a sports sedan in the middle segment, or any segment. The GS and IS have proven this year after year. It certainly isn't because they cost too much, the LS outsells the GS and the ES the IS, clearly Lexus buyers prefer luxury over sport even though the LS and ES cost more than the GS and IS. The GS400 was only about 7/10ths BMW 540i and nobody shopping for a Lexus seemed to care. The milder GS300 was bought like 3 to 1 over the GS400, and the LS400 and now LS430 isn't all that much more money, but is a lot more car than the GS430..so the GS430 and (base) LS430 models might be to close together. Just some of the reasons I see. I think overall the Lexus image is too stuffy to sell a sports sedan in any great numbers. The Lexus owners on this board have proven not to care one bit about "sport" when it comes to their sedans. This theory will be tested with the next IS. They're going all out this time around. No more re-badged Toyotas.
May 17, 2004 (6:01 am)
Understand your point on pricing and agree with it for the most part. But when you consider your points and all the MB niche car points we've discussed it shows pretty clearly what is wrong with MB's strategy. They are trying to be a volume producer and a boutique high-end car maker at the same time and the two strategies work against each other. Too much volume kills the status icon (over time) and has yielded all these reliability problems. Lower volume with high quality (the MB mantra all the MB enthusiasts wish they would go back to) supports the high pricing and the status icon. So which way do they go? At the 50.000 foot level it's pretty clear to me they can't go both ways. But at the same time can they watch Lexus increase scope and creep deeper into their lineup and niche car territory while at the same time making a "true" thrust at Europe? Remember also they have to match and/or stay ahead of their true European nemesis - BMW. It's a soap opera.
Lexus' biggest mistake is trying to take on BMW at the same time as MB? Never made sense. Moving off the initial strategic plan is always a problem no matter who you are. The IS is out of the mainstream and lacks the internal support (marketing dollars, budget support, etc) to make it a success. The GS needs to be addressed as it is the only real weakness in the "strategic mainstream" car line-up. The LS and ES hit their marks very well and the RX is a runaway success. The SC has varied too much over time for it to establish itself firmly but it sells about the volume they were expecting anyway. Long-terrm though - it's a key branding car for them just like the SL is for MB. Sellling 45k larger suv's annually at $50-70k is also quite an achievement. Time will tell if the next GS will cut it. You know my initial reaction and I've yet to see the car. But I'd also expect a lot of surprises with the next GS. I do think the next LS will be an absolute smash. I could be wrong but it's also why I think they really have moved the LS production date up to 2006. They want it to support the GS and at the same time it does not allow the S-class to have a one year lead time like the last go-round.
May 17, 2004 (6:39 am)
"The average msrp for a Benz is higher than it is for Lexus. I don't see how it could be any simpler than that."
Basically you're saying Lexus sells more cars because they are cheaper overall, correct?
Do you have factual data to backup your claims? for example do you have factual data that says the LS430 outsells the S-class due to price? If that is the reason, why didn't the LS430 outsell the more expensive S-class by a huge margin in 2002 & 2003? After all, as you say the LS430 sells because it's cheaper. How about the GS300/430? Shouldn't that be outselling the E-class? The SC430 outselling the SL?
And yet again, I gave you 2 examples in the Lexus and Mercedes line that go head to head where your claim of lower prices selling more Lexus' simply don't hold water.
"If you clearly don't see where the pricing structure of MB would inhibit overall sales then forget everything I've said because you'll never get it."
You can try and theorize how lower prices help increase sales volume at Lexus which I basically disproved with the C vs ES and ML vs. RX.
And people could theorize that with the much larger product range that Mercedes has(which BTW, would mean MB should be reaching more customers), Lexus is simply selling more cars that Mercedes because they are actually building cars that more people want. Otherwise, I can't quite understand why a similary priced RX330 outsells the similarly priced ML350 by over a 3 to 1 margin. Or how a lone ES330 outsells the entire C-class range(from the under $30K hatchback to the C320).