Last post on Jan 28, 2013 at 6:55 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.
#599 of 24723 hey arcoates
Feb 15, 2001 (9:37 pm)
Glad you've gotten it back. I would'nt be surprised if that next move by Lexus includes the enthusiasts car but I wouldn't be surprised if they bypassed it either. They've made a conservative move toward that with the euro suspension. This company is making some of the best business moves I've ever seen in the super luxury class though. I know it irks you that they copied MB in 1990 but if it was out of respect that was only a small part of the reason. The real purpose was to destroy the MB's uniqueness at a fraction of the price. How do you take on the market leader - copy him, differentiate slightly and build in qualities that make his weaknesses standout (note Lexus' realibility) and lastly price it a lot lower so his would be customers come to you. Pure business strategy but to an enthusiasts that makes him a copycat. That strategy was quite successful. In 1990 the LS400 sold for about 40% the price of an S-500 but today a comparably equipped LS430 sells for 80% of the S-500. Lexus price went up while MB's price dropped. All evidence of a well executed strategy.
What comes next - copy the engine sizes but differentiate elsewhere. They've got the customer base to be bold now and as much as they are conservative in styling they are quite bold in business. Do you have any idea how much was at stake in their investment to build the Lexus brand? Do you realize how little it would mean to their bottom line to hire a team of Italian designers for the next model. They'd make $7.52bln instead of $7.53bln. - big deal. Don't underestimate this company or how easy it is to build in a bold new style for one model. That's where I'd bet they will go.
I'm afraid that what Lexus accomplished in 1990 signalled the end of the stand-alone super luxury car brand. Once it started to pass its technology to the everyday Toyotas after a 2-3 year exclusive for Lexus it meant it had a huge edge over MB,BMW and Jag. It had a car base to leverage that technology - they didn't. Thats why Jag went to Ford and MB got Chrysler though that latter deal should have been the other way around. Of course Toyota has Lexus and Nissan has Infiniti. The two oddballs left are GM and BMW. BMW is private so they don't have to put up with public market pressures but they won't survive long-term if they don't move at some point. GM's got to have a luxury brand so that looks like a marriage to me. It's got to happen. BMW's cars may be impressive but it's financials are not. Company has shown no revenue growth in past three years and its profit margins are weakening. Look at its margins compared to Toyota.
By the way Nissan is now run by a German and that new Q coming in April has a 340 engine and is aimed right at BMW at a much lower price. It may have taken a German now based in Japan to get them finally going and that guy is going to cause a lot of Germans in Germany to lose a lot of sleep. That new Z looks pretty awesome to.
Bottom line in all this is simple. The playing field has been levelled and the landscape has been permantly changed all because of the copying of a great car by a great company. End of story.
#600 of 24723 Unfortunately......
Feb 16, 2001 (6:44 am)
none of that adresses the simple fact that the Japanese have yet to be able to copy the "driving feel" provided by the Germans, albiet for a premium. I think that is my beef with Lexus, I think this is what some of us (arcroates, merc1, myself) are trying to impress upon the Lexus fans. Now it appears that this is simply not important to some buyers. If that is the case the Lexus is the perfect car for such buyers. Toyota/Lexus is undeniably an impressive automotive presence with very deep pockets. Until they figure out how to put some real style in their designs and build some great driving dynamics into their cars, those of us who buy cars primarily for those reasons will continue to shop BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Feb 16, 2001 (7:26 am)
The BMWs and Mercedes have a certain "feel" that is recognizable even if you were blindfolded. If blindfolded in a Lexus, one would not be able to differentiate between the Lexus, a Cadillac DeVille or a Lincoln Town Car (not that there's anything wrong with that). That's not necessarily a bad thing, it just depends what you are looking for (but I still can't get over the ugly exterior of the LS430).
#602 of 24723 Cadillac STS
Feb 16, 2001 (1:26 pm)
This is what I am trying to say- lexus still isn't a drivers car. They have done a great job of producing many things, but driving excitement isn't one of them. I guess my point wasn't getting across because I was too blatant.
Anyway- I do agree that nowadays, the luxury marques have to have some big car company muscle behind them to stay alive. Jaguar was floundering when Ford snapped them up. Mercedes-Benz was okay, because they bought Chrysler. BMW is going to have to do it sooner or later, and I hope it is GM, but I doubt it, and this is why:
You may not want to hear this, but when the STS moves to the sigma RWD platform in a couple of years, it will be competition for the cars we talk about here. It has most everything it needs to play in this league, except (a)RWD and (b) a quality problem.
It's getting RWD, so all GM has to do is step up it's quality control. The interiors are designed beautifully, it's just that they sometimes use low-rent materials, and they have the tendency to fall apart.
If they can get those two things right, I think they will be a major player. Can anyone deny that the Northstar isn't a gem? If they increase displacement, they could easily get 350hp, and be right in with these guys. Exterior styling is nice, better than the LS I think, some pretty high-tech gadgets, advanced chassis. I think it will become a major player in this market.~ A.R.
#603 of 24723 Deville & TownCar
Feb 16, 2001 (3:59 pm)
The LS would be easy to pick out from these two...it would be more quiet in every way imaginable.
Feb 16, 2001 (6:39 pm)
That is illogical-why have the Flagship (Deville) in the middle of the pricing spectrum, under the (STS). The Flagship is not always the most expensive car, but usually is the top of the line sedan
#605 of 24723 bwh and arcoates
Feb 16, 2001 (7:12 pm)
bwh - Maybe they are simply not interested in you. I'm sure market research shows those (as in you) buyers to be in the minority otherwise given their business moves they would have come to the party a long time ago.
Arcoates - your dream cadillac has a snowballs chance in hell of happening. I think GM gets BMW but then they have lots of licensing agreements with Toyota. How about a GM/Toyota merger. Nah - neither government would allow it.
Where's Merc1 - I miss him.
#606 of 24723 Used 740iL vs new 530iA
Feb 16, 2001 (8:00 pm)
I am close to ordering a 530. Then decided to look at used 740i's or 740iL.The idea was, could a used 740 be a better decision than a new 5 series. Could I save a few dollars ?,but have the ride, control,and over all car be better? One is probably into the 1998 versions of the 740 before reaching cost parity with a new 5 series. Can any one comment basically on the differences and preferences between a used 740 and the new 530?
#607 of 24723 Reliability
Feb 16, 2001 (10:03 pm)
I've been away for awhile and wow I missed all the fireworks. As I've said in previous posts I own both a Lexus and a Mercedes . They are of two different classes. The Lex is a 99 GS 300, the Benz a 2001 S 500 /AMG sports package. I first bought the Lexus because of it's unique styling, value and Lexus reputation for reliability. Here's the report:
Two weeks after I bought the GS-service engine light comes on. It seems Lexus had a problem with the supplier of the chip that regulated this. The chips were defective. Result recall on the chips. Some people had the problem some didn't. It affected GS and LS models according to the dealer. It took 3 weeks for the chip to get in.
One month after owning the GS, the glove box was rattling had to be replaced.
About the same time the sunshade rattled, had to be tightened.
2 months ago, GS radio had to be replaced due to malfunctions.
Now the Benz. COMAND system had to be replaced due to software issues.
My point is this. No matter what the manufacturer's marketing departments trumpet and what J. D. Powers and all the other pundits proclaim, the fact is these cars are wonderful machines but they are fallible no matter who manufactures them. That being said, do I regret my buying decisions ? Not at all. Like I said I own both and seriously considered buying the LS430 because I am so pleased with the GS300. But in the world of ultra luxury MB wins the big luxo car battle. Did I pay more ? of course.. do I regret it ? Absolutely not. Now please don't go quoting the so called Auto mags. For every article one can produce of the Lexus or BMW or Jag being the better car there are at lease 2 others that state the opposite. It's all subjective . Bottom line ? Buy what you choose for whatever reason. It's funny that no one says to the Bently owner " for 300k you could have had 4.5 LS430's or 3 S600's " Do you really think the Bently owner cares ? And yes I drove the Bently too and considered a 2000 Bently Arnage that was slightly less than 200k. So it is with the MB owners. Yes we could have saved 15-30k, but we really, really,don't care.... at least I don't.. so enjoy what you drive and let's all join hands and sing Cumbaya...lol
Feb 17, 2001 (6:43 am)
I think I am right on this one. The DTS will stay FWD, because if they move it to RWD, it is too much competition for each other. The STS and DTS are extremely close in price, and the features are pretty much the same. GM doesn't have a car to play in that market, and I don't think they are willing to spend a ton of money to get BMW. They would much rather just improve and existing model. The DTS is the flagship true- but their client base for that one is old men. Yes, the average age is lowering, but it is still a retirement complex car. The STS has always been touted as a drivers car, and so far it hasn't. When they move it to RWD, things will change.~ A.R.