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.
Jul 08, 2004 (9:06 pm)
Well you know what I think of the A8 W12's new grille. I think it fits perfectly. Gives the car real presence.
Mercedes and Bruno Sacco are done from everything I've read. He is apparently still "close" (whatever that means) to the company but he isn't running the design studios. Oh well, not even Mercedes, BMW or Audi can make a gorgeous car every time. They used too, but not anymore. The 7, 5, 6 has proven BMW can't and the CLK and Maybach have proven the same with Mercedes. I guess Mercedes felt the need to do a radical change with at least one of their cars since all their recent re-designs were conservative and safe. Despite all the criticism of the 7-Series, like others have just pointed out and like I pointed out a few months back during all that gloom and dooms sales talk here about BMW , the 2002+ 7-Series has sold better than the 1995-2001 model ever did. Hence MB, and even Acura (have you seen the rear of the new TL?) may not see it as a such a big risk in doing something radical.
"By the way - you are hard on Lexus - I think you know that - but I've always found you pretty honest and frank on MB despite your favoritism there."
You know what, the only reason I'm "hard" on Lexus is because some here are just as "hard" on Mercedes and/or BMW. I happen to like the GX470 and I still think the SC430 is an "interesting" car. I've always seen Mercedes for what they are, problems and all. Its the baseless and unfounded hype that invades this board and the news and views boards sometimes that sends the bs meter into the red. Especially the rhetoric about sales that isn't even based on anything and the ever preached gloom and doom/crisis talk based on it. When Mercedes has a model that cools down in sales it is crisis, yet when Lexus has one that hasn't sold well in years we get (not from you) all types of different excuses and it isn't seen as a crisis. You'd think that MB or BMW don't have any bestsellers at all per the tone on this board at times. You know what I mean? All that bad talk about the 7 and that it has done so well reminds me of when you say the car rags don't know what they're talking about...and I'm thinking that they've harped on and on about the 7's styling and idrive since 2002 and the car still has outdone the previous 7-Series. Most (not all) of the people on these boards who complain the loudest about the styling probably wouldn't have bought a 7-Series BMW anyway is my thinking.
The car mags aren't marketing people so they really don't have a clue as to what will or won't sell ultimately.
BMW sales are up due to the X3 first and then the 6-Series. The 7 is down and the 5 is about even with last year. Now worldwide they outsold Mercedes in May, and they might do it for the year if the 1-Series catches on because Mercedes' A-Class doesn't go on sale until fall. BMW's 3 and 7 have cooled a bit worldwide, which is at least somewhat expected of the 3-Series. The car is its 6th model year.
The Paris autoshow in Sept of this year is going to be a "really big show". Lots of German debuts.
VW doesn't have a bad looking car in their showroom. They all define that conservative, yet handsome look that Audi/VW is so good at projecting. The Touareg is one of the few SUVs that I like, that interior is the best going imo this side of a Range Rover. It along with the GX470, Cayenne and Range Rover would be on my list if I had the money and desire for a luxury SUV. The Phaeton is a smashingly handsome car, but it is a pointless exercise in VW showroom.
VW needs to improve reliability and get the new Jetta, Passat here ASAP. Though both of these cars are still very handsome and look timeless to me they are dated in features, engines etc. compared to the newer Korean and Japanese competition. VW needs small SUV to compete with the RAV4s and Escapes of the world. I want a sports car from them like that R Concept they showed at Frankfurt last year. Phaeton misstep aside VW is here to stay.
Have you and Lexusguy seen the comparo in the Aug issue of C&D? Awesome group of cars!
Jul 08, 2004 (9:52 pm)
"Luxury" car sales overall have gone up. Every month BMW, MB, Acura, Lexus, and Infiniti announce a new "record-breaking sales" month.
I feel like half the cars on the road is some sort of "luxury" make. It wasn't like that just ten years ago.
To me, the most interesting maker is Infiniti, trying to do their "Japanese BMW" thing. To be recognized as one of the "Big Boys", you need a successful $60k sedan. We all know that the Q is far from that. Would be interesting to see how the next Q turns out.
Frankly, if Lexus didn't have the LS, people would not think of them as being in the same league with BMW and MB. Instead, people would think of them as a company that sells very reliable, cush riding, rebadge Toyotas with nice interiors (Camry -> ES, Highlander -> RX, 4Runner -> GX, Land Cruiser -> LX).
The IS, GS, and SC do not have Toyota counterparts in the US, but don't really sell well.
Jul 08, 2004 (10:09 pm)
"Frankly, if Lexus didn't have the LS, people would not think of them as being in the same league with BMW and MB. Instead, people would think of them as a company that sells very reliable, cush riding, rebadge Toyotas with nice interiors (Camry -> ES, Highlander -> RX, 4Runner -> GX, Land Cruiser -> LX)."
Interesting point. In other words they'd be another Acura.
As far as sales go I expect Lexus, Mercedes, Audi and Infiniti post the biggest gains over the next 18 months or so due to all the new product they all have coming up. I think BMW will cool down after the 2006 3-Series is introduced. They won't have another all new product for a few more years.
Jul 09, 2004 (3:46 am)
"Every month BMW, MB, Acura, Lexus, and Infiniti announce a new "record-breaking sales" month."
Well... not quite. At least from the information I've seen in the C&D news section, VW sales are down, Audi is luke warm, BMW\Mini are doing well, and M-B is holding. I know Chrysler is up quite a bit thanks to 300, but I didnt hear anything about M-B grabbing any sales records. Lexus always has record months. Acura is way up thanks to the smash hit TL, and Infiniti is way up because they have real product to sell for the first time in their history. What has M-B just introduced that would lead to major sales gains? Most of their cars are due for redesign.
That is an interesting point about Lexus, but you have to remember, the LS came first. It was Lexus intent to compete with the best of Europe, and the LS400 was their first car. ES250 came next. Infiniti isnt quite ready to be a "big boy player" just yet. Hell just a few years a go Nissan\Infiniti was written off as a dead company. Infiniti needs more time to fill out its product line before they introduce a new fullsize sedan. (You cant let your primary sellers grow old while you work on some super flagship with a questionable market -VW) After G, FX, QX, and now M, my guess is that their next car will be the American version of Skyline GT-R (about bloody time!) and the Q possibly after that, maybe for '08. The Q was slightly facelifted for '05, which usually means it gets to soldier on for at least another 2 years or so.
#5712 of 24726 Lexus and the LS
Jul 09, 2004 (5:56 am)
Lexus is well differentiated from the other Japanese companies in that it has the SC, LX and now the GX as well. Acura has nothing (save the NSX which sells virtually nothing) that rivals any of those 3 on orice, let alone the LS. The next GS will be taken very seriously and Lexus will roll out V12 equivalent HP and a tunning arm shortly. They are worlds apart from Acura and the distance is about to widen significantly more in short oder. Now if the comment were about Infiniti it would have a lot more merit.
#5713 of 24726 Re: [lexusguy]
Jul 09, 2004 (6:48 am)
Upon rechecking, it seems that Acura, Lexus, and Infiniti are all on pace for record-setting years.
MB is about even.
BMW is the only one out of the five that is down from last year (-4.6% YTD) so far this year.
Overall, BMW Group sales are up because of the Mini, but Mini is not a BMW, nor a luxury car. VW is not a luxury make. I don't know what's going on with Audi.
The LS really does a lot for Lexus's image. No doubt about that.
The Infiniti GTR is rumoured to come in 2007. A bit far away. We'll probably see an M based coupe before that, to go against the 6 and the CLK. Maybe a G convertible as well. I also think they'll come out with an SUV based on the 2005 Pathfinder, to go against the GX. The QX, which is basically a rebadged Armada, has sold pretty well, and luxury SUV's in general are profit mines.
But the next Q is important.
Although Acura sells more than Infiniti, I really think of them a step below. It's hard to consider cars that MAX out at $24k (RSX) and $29k (TSX) as befitting luxury status.
Then you're left with just the TL and MDX, both of which sell in droves. But even these two are rebadged Accord EX-V6's and Pilots.
The current RL and the NSX haven't sold nearly enough to make a mark.
How the 2005 RL does will be interesting to see as well. Even though it doesn't have a V8, Acura really is trying to break into a new market with this car.
Jul 09, 2004 (7:13 am)
"Frankly, if Lexus didn't have the LS, people would not think of them as being in the same league with BMW and MB. "
You are probably right, but if BMW didn't have a 7-series people would think BMW isn't in the same league as Mercedes either. You remember when BMW had no 7-series up to the mid-80s? They weren't considered in the same class as Mercedes back then.
Jul 09, 2004 (7:59 am)
Maybe BMW needs a 9 series to go after the Maybach and Rolls. The 7 series is just looked upon as another car here in Westchester County. Same goes with the S class and LS. Too many luxury cars sort of lessens their auras.
Jul 09, 2004 (8:23 am)
We have one man saying BMW sales are up 17% in June (from May to June 04?), another says sales are down 4.6% YTD. Is this BMW brand or total? Another guy says X3 sales are good. The last time I read tables up to and including April, X3 3, 7, Z4 sales were not good. Does anyone know if current comprehensive sales figures are available? Have a link? They used to be published monthly like clockwork on various sources. Seems to me whatever modest increases, hence questionable success they may be experiencing is due to platform expansion and that's it.
#5717 of 24726 Re: brightness04 [saugatak]
Jul 09, 2004 (8:47 am)
even the lowly Chevy has an entry there.
guess you're not aware that the "lowly Chevy" engine on Ward's Top 10 is GM's 4.2L I6. You say you didn't bash the 4.2L I6, but read your own words, especially the bolded part.
You are entirely making too many assumptions. "Lowly Chevy" is a reference to the Chevy brand; if you think Chevy is a High End Luxury Marques (the title of this board), please let me know. The fact that even the lowly Chevy has an entry in the Ward's top 10 list, makes no great bragging rights for MB, priced on average some 3-4 times as expensive as Chevy's, to have an entry there.
I wrote: What do gearing and rear axel ratio have anything to do with that? You can make gearing and rear axel ratio choices to optimize for 0-60 (which makes 0-60 a bad measure for true performance), but as a consequence you have to compromise somewhere else due to the lack of power.
You wrote: You seem to have answered your own question. Sometimes the car with faster 0-60 is due to shorter gearing. I don't know the gearing or rear axel ratios of the MB vs. Camry. I was wondering if possibly the Camry had shorter gearing to account for its faster times.
Could you proofread what you type up before posting it? where did I say anything about Camry being faster than MB in 0-60? I said MB E320 is underpowered in its class (and 0-60 is not necessarily a good measurement of power). Once again, I ask, how does any of your argument regarding gearing have anything to do with rebutting my statement that MB E320 is under-powered?? What in the world does gearing have to do with under-poweredness which is a function of engine choice for the vehicle weight. The argument I made was based on power-to-weight ratio, which MB320 has the worst by far in its class.
YOU claimed that BMW underrates its engines. I just showed you ONE example, the 5.0L BMW e39 M5 v8, where BMW is clearly NOT underrating its engines.
I said BMW often underrates its engines. A small volume counterexample at the extreme of its product spectrum hardly rebutts my point. Care to disucss with us about the cars relevent to this discussion; i.e. 530i? or any other mainstream BMW's?
I wrote: So you are more or less agreeing with me that the MB pedigree is about riding large in the backseat; so much for the sportiness claim
I agree with you on some points (the ones I don't mention in posts), but not on this one. Doesn't the S-class have an AMG version? That is not a chauffered car IMO.
More obfuscation. How long has AMG been part of MB? a couple years? What per centage of S class are AMG anyway?? TRD has been an in-house operation for Toyota for a decade, does that make all Toyotas sporty cars??
Also, is there any point in comparing the Maybach to anything?
What does Camry have to do with Lexus? Maybach is the epitome of MB marketting