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.
#8682 of 24726 Re: ljflx [ljflx]
Mar 25, 2005 (11:05 am)
Interesting points, as always.
I do think you're looking at from just a hp/price standpoint and I think it will take more than that and a fuel economy edge to crack the market at the high end, especially on a proposed 600hp car. Mercedes has played their hand as far as the S600 and S65, you're right they aren't going to get any cheaper. However we really need to see what the S-Class in general brings to the table as far as performance, it could be lighter, better geared or anything...better than the current generation, thus improving its performance also. As far as what a S600 or S65 costs now its the same situation as the LS430 vs the S-Class or the 7-Series, on paper the value of the LS should have stopped the sales of the S-Class, but it hasn't far from it. It will be the same thing when this super hybrid appears. Mercedes' isn't going to lose the ability to sell S600s or S65s just because a Lexus may come close to the performance at a cheaper cost - there is much more to that in this class and especially at these prices. The whole car has to be right and appeal to the enthusiasts buyers that care about 600hp. This is where the current LS also loses out to the enthusiasts. I hardly see the next LS being some great looking car with class leading dynamics, but again that is pure speculation at this point and just my opinion.
You mention Scion, I don't see the relevance here. Nissan is gunning for that just like Infiniti is dashing any hopes of Lexus being a sports sedan at least with the GS/M situation so far. I don't think Toyota and especially Lexus can just look at competing with Germans anymore. They'd better watch their back because Infiniti is out to erase any notion of a Lexus being sporty in the entry and mid level sedans sector.
Toyota is ahead in hybrid tech for sure, but technology in general I don't think so. BMW, Mercedes, Audi all push that far more than Toyota does by not being scared to introduce it to the market, for better or worse. I'm not talking about just hybrid tech either, which is what you seem to think is more important above all else.
Interesting take on BMW. BMW and Mercedes have been competing for years and years and yet Mercedes still holds the card worldwide. Mercedes does and BMW follows. Now that Mercedes has shown the R-Class, BMW has announced a new vehicle (to be know as the V5) to compete. Mercedes did a ML in 1998, BMW does a SUV in 2000. Mercedes is hardly in the shadow of BMW. These two have been complimenting each other in product for the last 40 years and when DCX's MB unit is back to health BMW's small advantage will be gone like it has been all these years. It wasn't until MB got into trouble did BMW pull ahead in some markets, but with their idrive/styling they imo lost the chance to detrhone MB, especially at the upper ranks. Watch this new S blow the 7-Seires away, not hard to do if the 5-Series/E-Class situation is anything to go by. BMW is slipping more than you'd like be believe. The 5-Series is no longer the segment leader in the press' eyes. Getting beat by the E-Class at every turn, not to mention the Infiniti M as a "sport" sedan. I've never seen a 5-Series place 3rd or 4th in a comparo, let alone a brand new 5-Series. Yes the 5 is still the drivers car, but the Infiniti has seemed to match that and the A6/E-Class aren't stylistically challenged and the E has all traditional buttons, no idrive. The 7-Series had a mess of an introduction. The new 3-Series has more competition than every before, even Lexus. BMW's slight advantage on the reliablity charts and sales are their only advantage and at some point Mercedes' product onslaught will catch up with them, imo. Their new styling theme has turned off a many of buyers around the world, but so far they've managed to gain new buyers I guess with certain models, not all. I think if MB feels the heat from Lexus so will BMW they are more or less in the same competitive boat. Especially since Lexus thinks they have a sports sedan in the GS, the IS hasn't been driven yet so the verdict is a long way out on it. Hoever the lack of a manual in the IS350 is big mistake. I can't believe that after the way the previous IS300 hit the floor with a thud because of not having a manual Lexus would do the same thing over again. Here is what I meant by execution as opposed to just saying that Toyota has so much money and can do what they want. All the money in the world is pointless if the execution is off. Everyone else in the IS' segment offers a manual, even stodgy old Mercedes, but they've seemingly decided not to on their top IS model. The GS isn't a 5-Series competitor either like Lexus promised. From what I've seen on the GS boards buyers either love or leave it over a variety of issues. Hardly the second coming of the mid-size segment, the Infiniti M beat them too it.
I don't see BMW being bought by anyone. The family that owns them, I can't think of the name right now, probably wouldn't go for it unless BMW was in deep, deep trouble. If I'm not mistake I think BMW had one of their best years ever last year?
Overall I think between Mercedes, Lexus, BMW and Infiniti the ones that will have the most trouble are Cadillac (already running into price resistance on their XLR and STS) and Acura, the latter which is challenged to get past their entry-level and barely mid-level image. Audi, however hasn't shown their hand just yet, the A8 is only the start. Watch Infiniti and Audi too. Everything isn't hybrids you know.
BTW, did you take that trip yet? If so did you rent the 300 or the Pacifica? Really curious to know what you'd think of either. Anway, see you all Monday.
#8683 of 24726 Re: ljflx [merc1]
Mar 25, 2005 (11:42 am)
The Quandts are the family and have a 55% or so controlling interest. I would say a long-term alliance is more likely. BMW and Toyota actually bring plenty to the table for each others needs to form such an alliance. This stuff is going to be very expensive. I'd separate out ground breaking new platform technology changes from new and innovative technology brought to existing platforms. Big difference. This is manufacturing so development costs like the ones we are talking about here can only be handled by the giants that are highly capitalized. If it were computer technology there would be room for a smaller guy to shock the system. But it doesn't happen in heavy manufacturing.
Trip is a month from now.
I don't necessarily think that any entry to the S600 space or even the space above that (Bentley etc.) is anything more than just another car choice. That is a small market but you have to be in it if you are dead serious about playing at the exalted levels. The thing is that price on the Lexus (personally though I think it will be over $100K) is pretty close to highly optioned S500's. I think Audi has price issues too. No one I know will ever think of going beyond A8 territory in price. Audi just lacks the name here.
Lastly - it would be hard to imagine that two different dealers in two locations had spec data like that from any source but Lexus themselves. I think that car or a 550HP version of it, along with the LF-A is coming to market. We'll see.
#8684 of 24726 MB vs Lexus pricing
Mar 25, 2005 (12:19 pm)
MB is certainly giving Lexus a lot of pricing room for a higher level car than the LS430. I recently was in the market for a high-end vehicle and seriously considered the LS430 and the S500. I ended up buying an LS430 with the Custom Luxury package. MSRP is about $67,000. The MSRP of an S500 equiped similarly would be about $98,000. I liked the S500 better than the LS430 in some important ways, but in most respects the LS430 is a superior vehicle, imo, not even considering price. I could see a market for a Lexus with a price just below $100K, but what features would such a car have that would justify the price? More power, sure, but how much could they charge for that, especially if it is achieved via the hybrid route.
Mar 25, 2005 (3:03 pm)
-anybody in the market for a $100k+ car, and wants to whine about mpg, needs to have all their money taken from them, their shirt pulled over their head, and beaten soundly. Just kidding. No really
-One of the reasons BMW sold so well last year is they had a nasty lease deal on the 3-series, and Mercedes wasn't willing to give much chase to it. The 3-series BTW, has become the choice of discerning sorority girls everywhere. When you absolutely, positively have to appear hardworking and successful before your fellow sisters, accept no substitutes... Daddy's buying!
-The 300C and Magnum w/hemi are brilliant.
-Make a trip up to your local Bimmer dealer and look closely at the materials inside the new 5 and Z4. Or better yet, find someone in a 6 month or year old one, and see how well it's holding up. Yeesh. At least the new M went in the right direction.
-With all the choices in the luxo world these days, the oldest tradition in the car business, Mercedes-Benz, is still, IMHO, the most interesting.
The ES330 is perhaps the ugliest, ill-proportioned luxury car I've ever seen.
#8686 of 24726 oh yeah, one more
Mar 25, 2005 (4:21 pm)
-The new lexus GS looks like a 5/4's maxima
#8687 of 24726 Re: talking points [stroudman]
Mar 25, 2005 (4:42 pm)
The ES330 is similar to a C or E class Mercedes just much better equiped more refined and yes does offer significent Luxury features...But it is not a high end luxury car which is what we are talking about here....It's subjective beauty is not relavent...
The Electric motor in a hybrid not only adds good MPG but also tremendous power....isn't that what guys want that can afford an over $100,000 car.
The S class Mercedes is more interesting looking but that beauty is only skin deep...I would also note that the guy that can afford that price car often does not need to show off his wealth...He doesn't need a showy every day driver...There are lots of sporty Showy sports cars he can put in his garage as a toy.
#8688 of 24726 Re: oh yeah, one more [stroudman]
Mar 25, 2005 (4:44 pm)
I thing the GS is a Beautiful Car...but Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...Sales will determine if the public like it or not.
#8689 of 24726 Re: ? [princeabubu]
Mar 25, 2005 (6:02 pm)
Weren't you shopping for a car? Did you ever buy?
#8690 of 24726 Re: talking points [stroudman]
Mar 25, 2005 (8:04 pm)
Stroudman, your concise bullets were a nice change from the multiparagraph, dense tomes that preceded you. I truly don't have a clear idea where they stand on the points they raised. Maybe not so incidentally, I agree with all of your points and liked the sociology. I wouldn't want to have a customer base composed of Tri Delts and mid-20's people working in financial services. They will turn on a dime to the Next Coolest Thing.