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.
#5272 of 24726 Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti tied for 1st Place
Jun 02, 2004 (4:15 pm)
Here is a link for an interesting article on the recently released automotive owner survey titled "Total Quality Index" by the research firm Strategic Vision where Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti tied for first place - http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2004-05-24-carquality_x.htm
Unlike the more widely published survey by J.D. Powers their methodology differs significantly from the Powers survey that primarily focuses on "only the things gone wrong in the first 90 days (of ownership)". BMW, Lexus and Jaguar also finished near the top with only five points separating the top six finishers.
Jun 02, 2004 (5:42 pm)
MB's problem is not prestige or pricing, it is reliability. If benzes were half as reliable as lexi, they would sell twice as many. Unfortunately they are not.
#5276 of 24726 2006 LS500GT over $100K
Jun 02, 2004 (5:48 pm)
The July '04 issue of Car & Driver has an article on Lexus setting up an in-house performance shop like BMW's M division - the first 3 models will be next generation IS350, GS350 and LS500.
The LS500GT will have a hybrid system with total output at 600HP!!!!! This 2006 model is expected to top $100,000! Lexus is moving into 6 digits!!
Jun 02, 2004 (8:09 pm)
That survey is strange, basically the entire car industry performs within a 10% range.
#5278 of 24726 michael_mattox
Jun 02, 2004 (8:59 pm)
Mike you constantly mention things that have no logic. We're talking about price and sales and how they relate, you mention that "America has chosen with their wallets". You're right that is simple and takes no thought to reach that conclusion. Until you bring a logical point to the table why would I bother. Simplistic is right.
"Your game is to always provide a moving target rarely give straight answers, jump from price to features, from S class to c class, provide long drawn out responses to hide your non-answers to specific questions.
This from one who hasn't been able to answer anything in years of posting here. You mentioned that Lexus takes Mercedes' innovations and perfects them about a year ago, yet when asked what those innovations are, NO ANSWER. You mentioned that Mercedes' safety innovations have electronic problems and that they don't work. I asked for specific examples of this, yet again nothing, nada, no answer.
A discussion about engine design, features or anything will get the same response from you, either sales numbers or reliability surveys. Tell me why would I bother to keep responding to something so irrelevant? You rarely if ever bring anything factual to the table. Others (see below) at least bring the facts along for the ride, and we have a genuine "discussion" (most of the time) as opposed to an argument that will happen if (I can't) I took most of your posts seriously.
You make statements with no facts so please don't fool yourself by thinking that I can't respond. For the sake of the board I won't respond to your posts, most of the time.
"Basically your logic is Lexus sells more cars than Mercedes because they have a cheaper overall line-up. Meaning cheaper average sales price."
Are you saying that this isn't true?!?!?? Because it most certainly is true about the average sales price of a Benz compared to a Lexus, but like I've said before that this is only one factor in sales, not the end all Max. You keep missing that part. I didn't say that price was the sole reason.
"If that were true, how do you explain Mercedes sales being higher than Lexus sales 10 years ago for example? There was even a bigger price gap between the 2 makes back then and I didn't see Lexus outselling Mercedes."
I think you know that in 1994 Lexus wasn't what it is today. There were 4 years old and hadn't hit their stride yet, and 1994 was way before the SUV boom, which happens to be %50 of what makes their sales press releases so hot. I think you know this because then you state: "See there are many variables that effect sales figures...." Which is what I was saying all along, with price being one of those factors that favors Lexus.
"Is MB pricing prestige appropriately? I don't know. But I do know that you can't simply explain away MB's sales performance by looking at price, without ALSO considering that prestige is HELPING MB's sales performance.
I never disagreed with the notion of prestige helping Mercedes' sales, but tell me what does prestige matter when there is a potential 13-20K price difference that some buyers can't make? I see your point about prestige, but I don't think you see where price is the end-all if you don't have the money to step to the more prestigious car.
Jun 03, 2004 (2:59 am)
"I don't think you see where price is the end-all if you don't have the money to step to the more prestigious car"
Has price kept the LX470 from outselling the TLC by 45% in unit terms? Surely there are some buyers that just can't afford the 10K premium for the LX...so yes, price is the "end-all" for those buyers. But the greater prestige of the LX seems to be the "end-all" for MORE buyers, as long as prestige is priced appropriately. Hence the higher priced, higher prestige vehicle sells 45% MORE units, at least in this case.
#5280 of 24726 Rollers and Maybachs
Jun 03, 2004 (3:47 am)
Information has been slim on what is going on in the Rolls-Royce and Maybach showrooms and how the lucky new owners across the land are enjoying their new luxo-barges. Is there really a decent market in the U.S. for sedans that sell for over 300 large? How do these cars satisfy their owners after the initial blush wears off?
My sense of things is that 1) demand has been disappointing for both marques, and 2) Maybach dealers in particular are disappointed as they each made a big financial commitment to facilities to get the franchise and the current sales rate will not provide a decent return on this investment. Rolls set up about half the number of dealers as did Maybach with a much smaller investment required, so I would guess they are happier. Maybachs were all supposed to be custom-ordered. Do all of the Maybach dealers now have demonstrator/show units, or are prospects looking at pictures and video screens? Rolls has a more conventional sale strategy, with dealers putting cars into inventory and selling from stock.
I have driven both cars and must admit they are impressive. But in the case of the Maybach, is it worth roughly three times the price of an S600? I think the problem is most qualified prospects think not.
Now, IMHO, the Roller is a different kettle of fish. Where the Maybach stylings looks to me like the world's finest Toyota Avalon, the RR is the most impressive looking mega-luxury car since the gorgeous Rolls-Royce James Young Phantom limos were discontinued some forty years ago. And therein may lie the problem. This car just screams: "Look at me! I am stinky rich (and you are not)!" Hollywood celebrity types like this, but not your typical successful small-town factory owner. Or maybe even a New York City orthopedic surgeon.
In any case, Automotive News sales estimates show both the RR and the Maybach delivering about 30 cars a month nationally, a bit off the goal I think.
Any board participants have any more hard news or comments on these two ultimate high end luxury marques?
Jun 03, 2004 (4:22 am)
Well we tried again and got very close to an agreement, but no luck.
Those two trucks are a good example because they are virtually identical and the big L is the only major difference for some. I see that.
What you don't see is that no matter how highly one might place the S-Class over the LS in terms of prestige, if they don't have the money to step up to the S430(slightly 13-17K more) or S500 (much more 15-25K) prestige isnt' going to make a difference.
Overall there other other factors in sales of the S vs the LS, my point was the price favors the LS. Prestige means nothing if you don't the money to buy into it. How many base LS intenders (56-63K) can just say oh the S500 is more prestigious and pay 85K for one? Far greater price difference there than between two identical trucks from Toyota/Lexus.