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.
#9224 of 24723 My Journey to the LS430
May 03, 2005 (4:14 pm)
Purchased used MB in 1978, took Military BX European delivery of 300D in 1980, had to wait 18 months from date of order to delivery at factory. Traded in 1990 for a 1989 MB 300E (a lease return with some damage repair unknown to the dealer), 1993 traded for another 1993 (New) MB 300E. 1995 traded for new GMC Yukon, 1998 traded for new GMC Yukon. 2001 started looking for replacement for Yukon and concentrated on the Toyota Avalon (short road test). Went to Lexus dealer to see what they had that would compare to the Avalon in case the Toyota dealer would not give me a fair deal on the Avalon. Lexus was out of stock on ES300 (end of year), the GS & IS didn't really turn me on (difficult to enter for a tall guy). Salesman suggested we test drive a 2001 LS430. I was hooked after the test drive and traded them my Yukon and Chev S-10. I have never looked back and am on my fourth LS430. Not sure what was the trigger, prestige, overall performance and feel of the LS430, or what. I never looked at BMW, MB, Etc. I was interested in a reliable, comfortable, good performing, quiet, a good touring car, dealer service and a company that would stand behind their warranty without any hassles. I have not been disappointed. Just thot you might be interest in one customer's point of view and the history of purchases. I once viewed a Ford Motor Co movie that they show to their sales persons to motivate them. The main theme of the movie was that you (the sales person) are not just selling the car today, but perhaps several cars in the future. If the customer's sales/ownership experience is a good one, he/she may return many more times to purchase cars in the future. If the customer is unhappy, you may not see him again.
#9225 of 24723 Re: My Journey to the LS430 [rgsw]
May 03, 2005 (6:12 pm)
A good story. Four LS cars in 4 years? Could be a record!
May 03, 2005 (6:54 pm)
Could it be that part of the reputed 7K difference in price between the TLC and an LX might be not status but customer service/loaners, etc.? According to surveys and an article in a recent Barons, Toyota is developing a bad rep on the sales floor with high pressure, come ons, etc. Kind of like an urban Chevy dealer. Surely, some of the price premium for a Lexus is not just status but also the hand holding and good customer service that goes along with it. IMHO I couldn't imagine bringing in a TLC to the average Toyota dealer for serious service.
#9227 of 24723 Re: merc1 [syswei]
May 03, 2005 (10:26 pm)
I'm sorry but at this point I'm tired of reading the various spins:
"Just as we can't measure how important price is to the average S or LS buyer."
" I mean, do we know for a fact how many potential S buyers bought an LS because they could afford an LS but not an S?"
"Just as we don't know for a fact how many potential LS buyers chose to buy an S because the LS wasn't prestigious enough for them."
The first two are just spins on what I've said all along, of the circular talk society ilk. The last one is just plainly the same thing you've been trying to say and I still think its nonsense. Price is real thing that makes a difference. Prestige is just a perception and it depends ultimately what the buyer can afford in the first place. Prestige means absolutely nothing, nada unless the buyer can afford either car, which goes back to your points 1 and 2. Back to square one it seems!
The LX and TLC is both a good and bad example. Its a good example because its the same truck being sold to those fooled into thinking they're getting some exclusive for that Lexus badge, yes that is Lexus' prestige at work on those who want a Toyota product either way.
Its a bad example because their price gap isn't nearly as large as the S vs. LS and the TLC is dud anyway. I don't ever remember it selling in any great numbers until it got its wood trim and "L" badge.
"So while we can't directly measue the impact of either price or prestige, it is indeed possible that at the S/LS level, prestige could be "worth" the 12-20k you keep talking about."
Repeating this doesn't make it so. I guess you'll never understand that to some that prestige you speak of simply can't be afforded.
#9228 of 24723 Re: sales volume [ljflx]
May 03, 2005 (10:41 pm)
Sales as always are an interesting thing - without the hype that is.
The 3-Series is so important to BMW because if it weren't for their SUV sales they would have come up short big time. The 5-Series has outsold the E-Class for the second straight month and it appears that its because of the CLS, but some of that is no doubt due to all the new competition in the segment, mainly the A6 and GS. The Infiniti M doesn't seem to have done a thing to the 5-Series as 5-Series sales have actually increased! That is amazing. What I was shocked to see at MB was the increase of the S-Class and G-Class, two of the senior most models they have at this point. Naturally the SLK and M-Class were way up over 4/04.
I don't think anyone here is disputing that hybrids will be hot or that Toyota is way ahead on that front, but to me this GS450h makes the current GS430 look pointless. That GS460 had better be some kind of improvement over the GS430 otherwise Lexus will be killing off one of its own models.
Also, the Chrysler side of DCX is on a roll also, with the Chrysler division itself doing extremely well. Toyota isn't the only regular brand doing well. GM is lost, and Ford is somewhere in the middle.
#9229 of 24723 Re: sales volume [merc1]
May 04, 2005 (5:32 am)
How 'bout diesels? BMW is releasing their first US diesel in 2007. I personally can't wait. Gas mileage of a hybrid without the complicated electronics.
#9230 of 24723 blckislandguy
May 04, 2005 (5:58 am)
You raise an interesting point I hadn't considered. However I would distinguish between pre-sales and after-sales customer service. The pre-sales more professional approach is worth something but imho not that much in dollars.
The after-sales loaners etc. are worth something...but are paid for not in the 7k upfront but with higher service prices, imho. My local Lexus dealer charges $90-95 for a simple oil change. Denny Clements made a speech awhile ago saying that Lexus dealers have the highest profitability in the US. I believe that's coming primarily from service.
#9231 of 24723 Re: merc1 [blckislandguy]
May 04, 2005 (5:58 am)
I am one who took the LX470 over the TLC and the reasons were simple. At that time the fully loaded TLC was only $4K shy of the LX470 in price. If you were leasing the difference was even smaller. The LX470 had a better and more luxurious interior, better and more comfortable seats, an air suspension, the up/down height adjustment switch for entering and exiting (for which grandparents are extremely grateful), the incomparable ML stereo and finally a noticably more luxurious and noticably quieter ride. The TLC rides fine and is not noisy but the LX takes it to sedan luxury quality and the TLC is no match for that. It's like the difference between a near lux ride and a lux ride. Throw in Lexus service, the first two service appointments on the house, add in Lexus prestige and it's a no brainer. They may look the same to the non-buyer and the non-buyer may think the Lexus buyer is being had but it's the other way around. Now if you want to hold down the price (which the LX doesn't allow) and go for a less optioned TLC than its another story. But the LX has (or at least had in the past) things that the fully loaded TLC lacked (for not a lot more price) and only people who have REAL experience with both vehicles or are REALLY in the market for an LX seem to know this.
May 04, 2005 (6:03 am)
I think ljflx and Pat are right, I guess I give up trying to get through to you on this point. My parting shot...
Now that the S350 is available at dealers, we won't have to scrounge around for sales data showing how it is selling vs the S500. With a $21k price difference fewer people can afford the S500, so it will just have to sell fewer units than the S350, right? Who cares what the real numbers are?
#9233 of 24723 kdshapiro
May 04, 2005 (6:07 am)
I posted a few days ago that the June Car & Driver has a column about diesel prospects, pointing out that 2006 clean air standards will make diesel cars more expensive in the US, and predicting that with the higher vehicle cost (and diesel fuel already slightly more expensive per gallon), drivers will be looking at 200,000 mile breakeven times. So if economy is part of the reason for buying diesel, I would look at a E320 CDI this year.