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.
#9034 of 24726 Re: Merc1 [stroudman]
Apr 21, 2005 (9:01 am)
But isn't that exactly what you just did with your point about Toyota?? We are not talking Corolla here we are talking LS430, a car hardly made for the lowest common denominator. Let's get real.
OAC - what I said about the MB S is what I feel personally and what I am hearing from others. The brand has lost stature since 2001 when I was shopping. Does anyone think they are as high and mighty as 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 15 years ago?? I certainly don't nor does anyone I know. It's funny this Lexus group of friends I know drive BMW's, Jags and Lexus and a few have old world MB's because that was when they made great cars. The ones that have or had the newer models were dis-satisfied and switched or are about to.. Does it mean they want a common car. Of course not but relative to what they paid they are/were not happy. But what the heck.
I'll say again I think a larger car than the current car - whether it looks it or not - combined with an I-drive type of technology will not play out well with spouses and the I-drive doesn't play out well with anyone anyway. That's not an attack on MB, it's an opinion I have. When you have faulty electronics you should be looking to fix what is broken not add more tech inventory to go wrong.
#9035 of 24726 Re: Merc1 [ljflx]
Apr 21, 2005 (11:29 am)
Actually, my point isn't to include corollas. When your flagship car is at a $60-65k pricepoint, there are more people able to buy it, than if it were priced in the high $70's on up. Whether you think the pricepoint is justified or not in either case, is your opinion and mine. Japanese brands are selling their flagship cars at much lower pricepoints than the Euros, so, within the luxury "denominator" it will sell (appeal) to the largest audience. It's vanilla. Because you could pay more for a car and choose not to doesn't mean everyone else has the same option. Some folks are maxing out their budget at the LS pricepoint, but would drive (or at least consider) a 7-series or an S-class if it didn't cost them any more. Every day I see people get very excited about a car only once they realize it fits their wallet.
-I do agree about the electronics. I think Daimler has made some bad decisions lately, and putting in an I-drive type control in the new car is among them. I think they should relinquish the tech war, and get back to simple solidity.
-More than half of the 7 cars I see driven in my area are driven by females, so they can't all be afraid of the technology, tho.
-The folks who are either mourning or musing over the recent fall of Mercedes are talking about cars whose problems took 2-4 years to make the front page. The suits at Daimler said by '06 they would have these problems corrected, and so far, they seem to be doing so. So it will take a while to get that word out, as well.
#9036 of 24726 stroudman
Apr 21, 2005 (11:46 am)
Since you're an MB sales professional, I'd be curious as to your take on the JDP non-quality-related survey results. For instance, go to http://www.jdpower.com/cc/auto/jdpa_ratings/FindJdAwards.jsp and add the 2004 A8, 7, S, and LS to the list. Ignoring all of the quality-related categories and looking only at the categories of performance, comfort, features/instrument panel, and style, it really appears that S (and A8) owners aren't all that happy with their cars, after they've made the purchase, as compared to 7 and LS owners. What are your thoughts as to why that might be?
#9037 of 24726 Re: Merc1 [stroudman]
Apr 21, 2005 (3:00 pm)
Some folks are maxing out their budget at the LS price point, but would drive (or at least consider) a 7-series or an S-class if it didn't cost them any more.
Interesting supposition. Do you have any data to back up this claim? I have seen 'average yearly income of buyer' data on different models but not specifically for the three models you mention.
I believe that the same folks that can afford $65K for a car can afford $75K for a car. Those folks that make $150k plus a year place value very high on their list. Most of them become wealthy because of this mindset among others.
As to Mercedes telling their employees they expect by '06 they would have these problems corrected, well, what would the suits say otherwise? Certainly not the hard truth! "It may take us several years to correct the penny wise and dollar foolish path the top management chose so as to run up their sales stats and stock options in the short term."
Apr 21, 2005 (3:29 pm)
I don't know the income stats for lux buyers, but lets get real. A buck fifty for family income in a major metro area is far from wealthy. The average family making 150K is stressed out to just pay the bills and given housing costs in no way do they have S Class disposable income. Two public sector employees (a policeman say working some overtime and a school teacher with an advanced degree) are quickly closing in on 150K for a combined family income. Over 20 Boston policeman and 35 Mass State Troopers last year made over $200,000. None of them are driving 7 Series, S Classes or whatever.
My insurance agent tells me that the lux cars he sees are almost 100% leased or bought by the owner's company. (As a related point, the dealer principal of the MB dealership in ME told me that he doesn't have a very profitable operation because the MB customers in ME all BUY their cars, not lease them. And the leasing is where the money is for a variety of reasons.) My impression is that here in the Northeast the lux market is not as large as it is elsewhere because a lot of people under 60 are in 55K SUVs. There was a statistic a few years ago that the Chev Suburban owner had the highest family income. He of course need the Sub to pull all his toys around.
#9039 of 24726 Re: stroudman [syswei]
Apr 21, 2005 (4:58 pm)
I used to sell VW prior to MB, so I would bet the Audi people found their fit and finish honeymoon to be over quickly, and replaced with squeaks and rattles, and check engine lights as well: apple don't fall far from the tree.
with regards to Benz, not a lot of rattles or squeaks, but check engine lights, maybe. I think some of them are "new money" that go out and buy what they think is the biggest, most prestigious luxury car without doing any significant scouting beforehand. These cars aren't for everyone, and so maybe they found that out after spending 6 months in their car. I've heard a lot about how upset all these people are with their S cars, but in three years I've sold maybe 25 of them, both new and CPO, and NONE of them have had any serious issues. My entire owner body in that car are happy as clams. I also don't put a whole lot of stock in these surveys. I also sold Isuzu back in the day, and the trooper was a good, average SUV from the old school, but CR went after them and are probably one of the main reasons Isuzu is all but TU now. Otherwise, I think the folks who are most intolerant of the slightest inconvenience tend to kick up the most dust about it.
-the front seats on the S sit too high. Even when they are adjusted all the way down, it still feels like they should go lower. Unless you're really tall, though, it really doesn't matter.
-the cupholders suck. Bad.
-The nav system, while easier to use, is now mediocre rather than downright sorry.
-The S is long on back seat, but short on trunk. Some folks probably didn't learn just how much on the test drive.
-and I could go on about all of the S-class' inadequacies, there are some. But at the end of the day, I lose a little business to the Toyotas, but I also get people who come back after a while, and want another Mercedes. They always say the same thing: "It just ain't the same, nothing else rides like your car, and I want back in." That's good enough for me.
#9040 of 24726 Re: Wealthy at 150K? [blckislandguy]
Apr 21, 2005 (6:31 pm)
Defining 'wealthy' is a fool's errand here but your knowledge of police income in Mass. is something I could use at a party. Who mentioned anything about major metro areas by the way? You admit 'I don't know the income stats for lux buyers' but then spout off extraneous information. Get real. Insert $250,000 if that helps you see the point.
The point was about those people wealthy enough to afford an LS are likely as able to afford an S or 7 series automobile but choose an LS for better reasons in addition to the $10K or so price difference.
If I am wrong, which is certainly possible, then I'd wonder -Do the super wealthy (those that buy the S/7 series cars over the just wealthy LS buyers) purchase old school for different reasons?
Apr 21, 2005 (6:35 pm)
That sure was a good post....I think a good salesman makes the buyer have more confidence in a car, even if the car has a few problems....I have had an inportant , serious problem in each Lexus I have purchased over they years---like the beginning-- A bit of trouble to get fixed, but the dealership and people were so nice that the problem is quickly forgotten....I wish you luck , and would think your customers are lucky people Tony ps I don`t think I would be buying any expensive car if I were making one hundred fifty.
#9042 of 24726 Tony, what if it was 2001?
Apr 21, 2005 (6:53 pm)
Income and educational levels of affluent consumers driving luxury cars
"Fixing Cadillac," Newsweek, May 28, 2001
If you wonder who is behind wheel of luxury cars, here are some interesting statistics:
luxury car median age household income % of college graduation
Mercedes-Benz 52 $186,236 71%
Lexus 50 $151,711 69%
BMW 45 $149,609 69%
Acura 48 $107,261 61%
Lincoln 59 $113,656 49%
Cadillac 62 $106,701 46%
Just found this on a google search.
#9043 of 24726 Re: Tony, what if it was 2001? [00boxsters]
Apr 21, 2005 (7:41 pm)
Interesting stuff, thanks!