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.
#7491 of 24723 DCX Relationship...........
Feb 14, 2005 (1:43 am)
There also seems to be a big misconception and only on this board that a Chrysler 300 is a Mercedes E-Class.
The Chrysler 300 uses Mercedes parts and/or engineering principles, not an entire E-Class platform. Chrylser basically took what they needed from the 1996-2002 E-Class an adapted it to the 300. The seat frames, some switchgear, suspension design and layout (not actual parts) and some other under the skin things that 99 percent of buyers won't even have a clue about. Chrysler also used steel in place in of aluminum in places like the suspension to keep costs down, which is why you can get a 340hp 300C for 33K. There is no way to transplant an entire E-Class down to 33K with an 340hp V8 engine, even if it is a pushrod V8. The basic 300 models can be had for around 25K, hardly a E-Class transplant implied here by the uninformed.
What Chrylser did is very similar, but not the same as what Ford did with the Volvo S80/XC90 platform to create the 500 and Freestyle. Ford however left more Volvo DNA in their products than Chryler did with Mercedes.
The only Chrysler that really is an Mercedes in different dress is the Crossfire, and its is a 1998-2004 SLK, not the 2005 model.
For the search engine types there are many sources on the net about this to clear up the confusion.
#7492 of 24723 Significance in Marsha's "Inner City" post
Feb 14, 2005 (5:14 am)
I knew this day would come again. Classic Monday morning.
I have only one thing to say that has not been mentioned before. When I see a Lexus pimpmobile, they truly will have made it to the top of the status heap. And don't laugh because this, I believe, is why Camp Lexus fights so tenaciously. They have the price, awards, reliability and cars they are happy with, but they want the status to go along with it—something MB has had for a real long time. Sure, they don't "need" status, but it still eludes the brand nonetheless, and they feel they deserve it because afterall, Lexus is the thinking man's car and, indeed, they are smart thinking people.
Trust me, look for that LS pimpmobile. And please, let's not take this too seriously.
#7493 of 24723 Re: World View Please [hpowders]
Feb 14, 2005 (6:04 am)
hey...it wasn't my post. i found another post
with my screen name on it on another thread last night. i don't know how someone posted under my name but at least they agreed with me! are MB buyers "not thinking men" and now "liars"!
when it comes to whether the German brands sell more lower priced vehicles or higher...it doesn't matter. they still offer high end luxury vehicles with many more options and drive train combinations. this is but one thing that separates the Germans from Lexus. basically Lexus makes 1,ONE,UNO... LS. that has to make it cheaper to manufacture.
as for Lexus not being in Japan. until this past year all of the Lexus vehicles were sold under the Toyota name.
as for Lexus in Europe. they've been there awhile and have not had much success.
when it comes to dissecting corporate financial so as to validate the purchase of an automobile....do you do that when you buy a couch or a washer machine? where is the automobile enthusiast side of the equation? how about being excited by the car you purchase? this seems to be missing completely.
like i posted before...the LS was updated in the front end mainly i believe because the car looked prematurely dated.
when it comes to price point....don't think for a second that the price of the LS compared to the S class isn't what drives a lot of people to purchase the LS. it's cheaper... lower payment.
this more than anything will decide for most people which car they are going to buy.
Feb 14, 2005 (6:39 am)
Toyota prices the LS for less because it's more efficient to begin with. The TPS mantra they follow is the best in the industry. They fully utilize the benefits of platform sharing and not offering numerous engine types..Hence their strong financials. Their cars are built primarly by robots, hence avoiding the union worker mess the Germans have to deal with..Basic economics will tell you the most efficient producer is the most profitable one. We all know the most expensive item isn't the "Best" one..
My citing of financials is to show that the Toyota/Lexus philosophy has proven its superiority in the market. You can't argue with 12 Billion in revenues. And yes, I wouldn't buy anything that was from a troubled manufacturer..It's common knowledge that people tend to avoid troubled airlines such as US Airways in favor of healthier ones like Southwest..It's basic consumer psychology. Would I buy a Maytag Neptune Washing Machine if the company were in trouble..No? A car isn't a $100 purchase that you would ignore these things..
Lexus was originally developed for the US market solely..They might offer their cars in Europe, but these cars were designed with the US consumer in mind..That will change soon as Toyota seeks to give Lexus its own identity.
All Lexus cars run on a 6 year cycle. At year 3 they recieve a minor refresh..This has happened in 1993, 1998, and 2004 with the LS..Nothing new here. What about BMW? They've just done the same thing..Only Jaguar leaves their cars untouched for nearly ten years..Who can blame them? They make the best looking cars on the road.
I could care less about the prestige part. I would buy an older Rolls if I wanted that. Better yet, I'd pick an off lease Jaguar Vanden Plas, a car with an exterior and interior look that trumps anything out there. Actually that's what I'm planning on doing, as a off lease XJ8 is probably one of the best buys out there. With a Select Edition Warranty I'd have no problem taking one home.
What is the Lexus allure? It's the luxury car that almost makes sense to own from all objective views. I have better things to do with my money than to blow it on a car just because of looks! It had better make sense logically to buy that car..And the Lexus LS has done that for me for over 13 years! It's easy on my wallet (Can't argue with 18K every 3 yrs for a new one), drives great, has the best electronics in the industry, and is a general pleasure to own. For me, piece of mind is far more important than "Looks"
#7495 of 24723 Pointless........
Feb 14, 2005 (7:01 am)
"My citing of financials is to show that the Toyota/Lexus philosophy has proven its superiority in the market. You can't argue with 12 Billion in revenues. And yes, I wouldn't buy anything that was from a troubled manufacturer..It's common knowledge that people tend to avoid troubled airlines such as US Airways in favor of healthier ones like Southwest..It's basic consumer psychology. Would I buy a Maytag Neptune Washing Machine if the company were in trouble..No? A car isn't a $100 purchase that you would ignore these things.."
Yet people do just that. Who in the world thinks like that when buying a car unless the company is reportedly like 2 steps from being out of business or leaving the U.S. market? Mercedes isn't close to either. People don't walk into a car showroom and ask how the company is doing if they want the car. People still buy Jaguars, VWs, Saabs, Mercedes and Chryslers no matter how much trouble their repsective companies are in. The only companies that are in that type of trouble are Isuzu and Mitsubishi (maybe). This thinking that buyers are incorporating some type of corporate health check into their buying decision is a pure fantasy by Lexus owners/fans on this board. All made up with no basis in reality. If people really thought like that no company that has ever been in trouble would ever recover. Audi in 1992 sold 12K units and was written off. They turned it around by sheer product. All this corporate isn't going to make a Lexus any more appealing, in fact it only enhances the boring image that Lexus itself has seen fit to try and change. A tuner arm, the so-called L-Finesse styling initiative, and 400hp hybrids should be touted if one wants to make the brand appeal to those who find it boring, not corporate talk about balances sheets.
#7496 of 24723 denaliinpa and other S and A8 apologists
Feb 14, 2005 (7:02 am)
I'll ask again, why do S and A8 owners like their cars less than LS and 7 owners? Why do they seem to be less "enthusiastic"? And if they aren't happy with their cars, even apart from the quality issues, what is going to happen to the S's worldwide sales "dominance"?
Data from this site:
...call up the 2004 A8, 7, S, and LS. You'll find that, even ignoring the quality-related issues and focusing instead on performance, comfort, features, style, and overall appeal, actual owners of A8s and Ss DON'T like their cars all that much, on average, whereas owners of 7s and LSs DO.
It seems to me that the LS and 7 are "on a higher level" than the S and A8.
Feb 14, 2005 (7:32 am)
It might be necessary to click on the "Auto" icon and then click on "Automobile Ratings" to get at the right screen, which asks you to "Pick your cars".
Feb 14, 2005 (7:33 am)
I wasn't saying that MB is on the verge on insolvency. But these sort of things contribute to the buyer's decision. I just picked up a Financial Times detailing MB's profit and reliability issues..Are you saying this has NO impact whatsoever on the public? Why would a reputed newspaper like the Times bother to report it then? Regardless of what you say, people to pay attention to the likes of the FT, Consumer Reports and JDP. Every time one of their surveys come out it's plastered all over the media. People don't just blindly buy cars just because it's "Pretty."
Actually people do think like that..It was a primary reason for the demise of Pan Am..Much of the flying public "worried" whether it was safe to book with them. Travel agents hesitated to book on them. Eastern was another example in the Lorenzo years..They were fined for various safety issues and paid dearly for it in terms of bookings..Like it or not, negative media reports do affect people's thinking..If Lexus were to have repeated recalls I'd think twice about it.
Actually that Fuel Pump and Transmission issue is a known one, they recalled a bunch of LS430's last year...If you want to go that route, you'll still see Lexus trumps every German nameplate in that respect. Oddly enough Lexus took each car back did the repair and returned it cleaned with a full tank of gas..If that wasn't enough a $200 gas card was sent to each customer..I just got an apology from Lexus about the '02 I traded b/c of some issue with the Lexus Link that I never even knew about..With that apology came a $50 gas card!! That's called committment to the customer. Lexus stands behind their product, pure and simple.
Feb 14, 2005 (7:50 am)
"But these sort of things contribute to the buyer's decision. I just picked up a Financial Times detailing MB's profit and reliability issues..Are you saying this has NO impact whatsoever on the public? Why would a reputed newspaper like the Times bother to report it then? Regardless of what you say, people to pay attention to the likes of the FT, Consumer Reports and JDP.
We've been over this before too, and saying that people pay attention to JDP and CR is a given, but that doesn't have anything to do with a company's corporate health. Yes a many people do use CR and JDP in the buying decisions. Yet even with all the JDP and CR stuff "plastered all over the media" BMW and Mercedes both had record years in this very country last year? Either some here take these surveys too seriously or thousands of buyers couldn't care less. What is the explanation behind this? Some people actually buy BMWs, Audis, and MBs because that is the car they want knowing full well what the surveys say. There is proof of that right here on Edmunds for all three brands.
I myself would have expected MB in particular to suffer a sales drop back in 2002-2003 when it seemed like every month there was a new damaging article about quality, but they didn't.
Nor is there is there any evidence to support that a bad press in the WSJ/FT about a car company's balance sheet or earnings has stopped buyers from buying a Mercedes, VW, Chrysler or any other troubled car company. Absoulutely none. Again except for maybe Isuzu and Mitusbishi. The former, Isuzu has been reported to be leaving by several sources, though they say they aren't. That type of press would deter me from buying one of their cars for sure, but to say that is happening with MB is pure fantasy.
People worry about flyng has nothing to do buying a car.
The Times reports and publishes a story because they can. They also do it for the same reason anyone else does, because this is a hot subject to them....still doesn't mean it matters or that everyone considers it the bible.
Now if there is some survey and/or evidence that buyers are monitoring the corporate health of a company and/or it plays a role in their buying decision I'd like to read about it. Not the reliability surveys, I'm talking about the balances sheet, CEO changes and corporate health stuff so often hyped here, making a difference in actual buyers decisions. Where is the proof of this mattering so much? It surely isn't in the 2004 sales totals for BMW or MB.
If this were so true then buyers would have ignored Audi, Nissan, and now Chrysler's newest products to the point where they wouldn't have been able to turn themselves around or at least start to do so.
#7500 of 24723 financial performance
Feb 14, 2005 (8:48 am)
imho both side here have some valid points. I mostly agree with merc1 that financial performance has little impact on most people's current buying decisions, except in those cases where one might question whether the company will be around in 5-10 years to service your car, which isn't the case with MB. However, there might be a very few potential buyers who might wonder, "if I buy an MB now, will corporate profit pressures somehow affect me down the road? Might MB find some way to cut costs/increase revenue in a way that hurts me after I buy the car?" For instance, what if MB raised parts prices significantly in order to shore up the bottom line, and I needed some replacement parts?
It is also true, as others have pointed out, that near-term profitability issues may impact what happens, product-wise, down the road. For instance we could see cost cutting in R&D, or fewer product variations, or more parts sharing with Chrysler, that might not be welcomed by MB buyers.