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.
Jun 22, 2004 (11:55 pm)
We'll just have to see what happens. For Infiniti or Acura to do anything to Mercedes or BMW they'll have to become global brands and in Acura's case they'll have to build a real luxury car. This means no Accord based fwd/awd V6 powered vehicles. They'll have to do an S-Class/LS/7-Series type car and it will need to be badged an Acura all over the world. As far as I know they aren't going global with the Acura name. I'm not even concerned with Acura past 35K. Infiniti is going global, but it won't be complete until 2008 or so. Infiniti will pose the biggest threat to BMW, but the Germans aren't going to stand still until then either.
You're right about the previous generation Lexus SC400/300, it was good looking for a Japanese car, but Lexus neglected the car in the marketplace. My how things change because the CL of today beats the pants off the SC430 as does the SL. One good looking car in 14 years of existence is pretty dismal.
Jun 23, 2004 (6:07 am)
Go back and read. The person inquiring asked about an LS euro vs a base S430. It's not a mag contest and I don't insist on comparing the two at all. The euro costs the same as the regular edition mod lux car in the Lexus line-up which is why the comparison to a base S-class is valid anyway. Can you even get an S430 sport? I thought it was limited to an S500 in sport edition.
I have never seen a 600HP V8 from Benz available on their base cars. Thus my other remark.
Audi only sells 80K cars a year here. I actually think the comments are quite valid. People will hesitate to make Audi a big seller here until they prove to be very reliable and the acceleration problem (which I never bought as a real problem anyway) was the first manifestation of an unreliable car - at least in public perceptions. As for the folks i talked to - they are all $250K+ players and two have equity ownership positions in their dealerships. I think they know their industry a lot better than you or I know it. It's also a close knit industry.
Jun 23, 2004 (12:29 pm)
I was refering more to the North American market, where Infiniti and Acura are already established. BMWs sales here dont come from the 7 series, the come from 3 series and X5. If the G35 and FX45 are faster and better values than comparable BMWs (which they are) it spells big trouble for BMW. For Acura to jump into the tiny volume full size lux market (which there already was not enough room for a VW) would be pointless. What they need to do is, just like Infiniti, beat BMW (and M-B) where it hurts, with a hopefully AWD TL, and an eventually redesigned MDX.
#5465 of 24726 Re: merc [lexusguy #5464]
Jun 23, 2004 (2:02 pm)
I think Acura could do to Lexus what Lexus did to Mercedes...Especally when they started up....Come in with big luxury package price the car at $50,000 with a package similar to the Ultra.
But first they will need to come up with a nice V8 and then an attractive design both in and out...
Acura however is the only one who I think could crack into the market...The Germans are just not competitive enough.
#5466 of 24726 We’ll know when the Japanese have won the gold
Jun 23, 2004 (3:26 pm)
“Lastly they are all upset about the NSX as well despite its low sales volume as it could have and should have been a halo car matched with a true V8 flagship sedan to compete with Lexus, Infiniti and the Germans.”
Been meaning to respond to this. NSX is an awesome car. However, I think it is living proof that when it comes to Japanese cars, the world is not yet ready to pay “more for more” in the ilk of German cars. As expensive as Porsches are, NSX is one non-European car that Porsche wallops on price. And at one time not too long ago, it was almost twice as expensive as the extremely popular Corvette. Low sales of NSX tend to show us what the world expects from Japan, and that is “more for less”.
The distinction of being able to do “more for more” still belongs to the Germans. When this changes, the Japanese will truly have arrived as prestigious brands. Mind you, I am not saying the Japanese don’t make superior products in many cases, it’s just that they haven’t proven they can get the price that the Germans command. Discounting is a crack in the German armor, but there is still quite a way to go. The interesting thing is that I think we are right in the middle of witnessing that tranformation.
#5467 of 24726 designman
Jun 23, 2004 (3:43 pm)
I agree with you sbout Acura and Infiniti. I have no doubt that Lexus can command over $100K pretty easily for a V12 equivalent car and will probably introduce a $150K car in the next few years. Lexus has separated themselves from the rest of the Japanese. I think the high German prices are already running into plenty of resistance and won't hold. The resale values are far too low in percentage terms to hold the high prices for the new cars in place. It's already pretty obvious but you'll never know it from the Edmunds TMV. But a $77K MB S is less than $150 different in lease price than a $62K LS430 now and the 745LI at $76K was barely more than my $64K custom LS a few months back. On top of that its the LS that holds 60-62% of its value after 3 years. The others are in the low 50's. Without that resale foundation the upfront price just won't hold unless its heavily subsidized and disguised which is what is happening already.
#5468 of 24726 ljflx
Jun 23, 2004 (5:54 pm)
Lexus truly have separated themselves from the rest of the Japanese. It is now up to Infiniti and Acura to duke it out as the next up-and-comer brand in the US lux market. That's whay these two companies are taking on BMW knowing Lexus pretty much sowed up the MB level competition.
By 2006, the competition at the upper echelon of the lux market will truly heat up. If the 2006 LS is the LF-S design, and if by MY 2007, Lexus comes out with the LWB version, with the 600HP hybrid-ized engine, then MB will truly face its stiffest competition yet. No amount of gnashing of the teeth, or the wringing of hands will wish away the poor reliability and quality of MBs going forward. Truly, their marqueness is slowly eroding, and the evidence is overwhelming. Like most historical things, it may take a while for its full effect to manifest.
Time, always, is the enemy (or friend) here.
ps: Merc1, you need to tone down your lambasting of Lexus-fans at the obvious ugliness of the new and improved 2006 S-class spy pics. There is no need to focus on Lexus-ophiles, rather you need to direct your anger at MB for their poor judgement in coming up with such a disastrous design for their top brand. Are they that scared of Lexus to rush through such poor design???? Hehehehe.....
Jun 23, 2004 (7:47 pm)
I think Mercedes is also hurting it's image with it's cheap line of cars. They look like Mercedes but an inspection reveals that they are really cheap..
When the image goes what will Mercedes have left to sell?
Jun 23, 2004 (8:47 pm)
Yes you can get a S430 Sport. The Sport package is an option on the S430, S500 and S600. My point had nothing to do with what someone was comparing this time around, you've always stated the same thing that a Euro LS will outhandle a base S-Class.......that shouldn't be a shock. My point is that when you evenly spec the cars you can't say such a thing about the LS. You always state as such like a better handling S-Class can't be had.
"I have never seen a 600HP V8 from Benz available on their base cars. Thus my other remark."
I'm not sure what you mean here?? No car in this class is going to have a 600hp V8 or any other cylinder configuraton as the "base" engine, with that much hp. Please explain what you're talking about here. You think the next LS is going to have a 600hp V8 as the "base" engine?
"Audi only sells 80K cars a year here. I actually think the comments are quite valid. People will hesitate to make Audi a big seller here until they prove to be very reliable and the acceleration problem (which I never bought as a real problem anyway) was the first manifestation of an unreliable car - at least in public perceptions. As for the folks i talked to - they are all $250K+ players and two have equity ownership positions in their dealerships. I think they know their industry a lot better than you or I know it. It's also a close knit industry."
I agree that Audi has a problem, but it isn't unintended acceleration. Anyone who thinks that Audi is still suffering from something back in 1985 is just lost imo. If these people are truly in the industry then they should know the facts surrounding that whole episode about Audi. Audi's biggest problem is reliability.........and it had nothing to with that acceleration mess. I'm wondering if you even know what the true problem was with Audi back in 1985?
I just can't get worried about Acura. They're not even willing to make a rwd or V8 car. There is only so much you can do for under 50K with fwd/awd and V6s. To take on Mercedes and BMW at the top of their game and brush aside their image and market power you have to build a true upper-class car that plays their game. So far Lexus is the only one openely talking about a 100K V8 or V12 luxury car or who competes with the Germany's best cars (sedans at least) right now. Neither Acura or Infiniti can give away their most expensive cars. Bold prediction: I expect Cadillac to place above Acura in the next few years because they're willing to push boundaries that Acura simply won't.
Jun 24, 2004 (12:00 am)
I really dont see Acura doing much damage to Lexus. The two brands are just too differently focused. Lexus' strength, at least right now, comes from ES, RX, and LS. Acura cant do a car like the ES. The MDX cant sell for $43K+ so they will not be able to offer the level of refinement and materials quality that RX has. Acura has no LS fighter whatsoever.
Infiniti also wont do any real damage because Infiniti and Lexus are pretty much polar opposites. The cars that Infiniti has tried to position against Lexus, I and Q, have both been huge flops. You'll notice that the I did not get a redesign with its Maxima cousin. I think it will not get one. Same goes for Q. As OAC said, I think they are content to let Lexus gun for M-B, and generally avoid them. Theres fresh meat on BMW and Audi, and thats where Acura and Infiniti can get stronger.
As for the Germans themselves, they are at an interesting cross roads at the moment. They want to preserve their luxury prestige here, but at the same time, they want to offer increasingly lower and lower priced models. Europeans might not even blink at the idea of a C230 taxi cab, but I think that would definitely give American C-class owners some pause. Because they have no "regular" Toyota or Honda or Nissan type badge, they must offer the C230 coupe, Audi A3, and upcoming 1 series with the same badge as their $100K machines. I'm not sure in this market that is a good idea. The global auto market at this point is probably the most brutal it has been in history. If you take away your own badge prestige by offering $20K cars with the blue and white prop, 4 rings, or 3-pointed star, how do you continue to justify your asking prices as the Japanese (and Koreans) get stronger and stronger?