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.
#9883 of 24723 Re: Just for the heck of it here's the next level down [blckislandguy]
Jul 25, 2005 (7:28 pm)
Point well taken and I think there is a 50-50 relationship on lease vs buy in most lux cars. Remember a lot of people take that lease deduction for business. I think there are a couple of points made here that really explain some resale issues. Designman has said a number of times now that performance buyers put reliability lower on the totem pole. I see his point and buy into it. So BMW reliability can slip but resale values will hold up because BMW's legend is built on performance and even used car buyers are buying into that performance. It's still delivering on its legacy. MB's legend is built on high level reliabilty that was always the highest in the land. Bulletproof and MB often went together in the same sentence throughout the 60-'s 70's and 80's. That reliability has slipped terribly in the last 10 years and its resale values have slipped with it. MB is no longer delivering on its legacy. The public gave them a 3-5 year grace period hence the high resale values in 2001 that I was getting on a lease deal. The MB retention values after three years supported those lease residuals at that time as I checked them closely in 2001. I do this everytime a lease is up and a renewal is at hand. But that grace period is over. Lexus is built on the same principles as MB and is delivering spectacularluy. Hence its resale values are rising as is its brand strength. Audi - need to look to Europe. I don't ever see Audi being big here and I don't ever see them getting out of BMW's shadow anywhere. But my view may be slanted by the US take on Audi. Infiniti is up and coming in the performance segment and because it is not yet a global player it has a lot more maneuvering room than Audi in its strategies. Audi, unfortunately has to also deal with a sick VW strategy that is further undermining it. Anyway that's my business view of this. Merc likes to look at the real cars from a purist standpoint and what real car folk are saying and I respect that. But the business goings on have a large future impact that is subtle at first and overwhelming over time. Nuff said.
Jul 25, 2005 (7:42 pm)
To me, one of the most interesting things that has happened in auto residual values lately is the "Ghosn effect" on Infiniti vehicles. Previous easily forgotten Infinitis such as the I, J, and Q have all had awful residual value. Then comes G35, and all of a sudden, it retains value better than the Lexus IS300. The Infiniti M also retains value better than the RL and GS. The turn around has been startling.
#9885 of 24723 Re: ljflx [lexusguy]
Jul 25, 2005 (11:26 pm)
This would all be good except the flagship Q45 is even worse than the bottom dwelling A8 in brand recognition and sales. Infiniti is building its brand from the bottom up G35, while Lexus built it top down from the LS400. Until the so-called *Ghosn effect* extend beyond the G/M to the Q, I see Infiniti remaining in Lexus' shadow, IMO.
#9886 of 24723 Re: Just for the heck of it here's the next level down [blckislandguy]
Jul 26, 2005 (5:53 am)
the true cost of ownership. Remember the cost of owning something is not what you paid for it, but rather the difference between what you paid for it and what you sold it for later.
I would add maintenance costs to the total cost of ownership. Combine MB's reliability issues with their abandoning their free maintenance program and TCO looks pretty bad.
#9887 of 24723 Re: Oac—the operative term—true driver [ljflx]
Jul 26, 2005 (6:16 am)
"This is really telling as an LS430 ultra is about equal to a stripped S430 in comparable features."
When I comparison shopped the LS430 Mod Lux (not Ultra) had more features than the S500. I don't see the comparison in features between an Ultra and the S430 as being anywhere near equal.
Many thousands of dollars of extras including parking sensors, HID, front and rear seat packages and many others are necessary to bring the S430 close to the LS.
#9888 of 24723 Re: Oac—the operative term—true driver [stevestein]
Jul 26, 2005 (6:55 am)
Remember the S500 has a costly air suspension only available on an ultra. I thought I remember the S430 and S500 having a few things that an ultra didn't have as well but I'm not sure anymore. But in 2001 I had added the CD player, the xenons, heated seats and one or two other things that the ultra had but the S430 lacked. When all was said and done the Ultra was $71K and the S430 was $77K. Didn't matter as the biggest thing the S430 lacked was the power output of the LS430. That's why I dropped it almost immediately for an S500 in a real world comparison. The S500 did have most or all of those S430 options as standard equipment. I'm not sure about the CD player though. I vividly remember thinking how stupid that a 6 unit CD player wasn't standard on a lux car like the S430 or the E430.
#9889 of 24723 Re: Just for the heck of it here's the next level down [ljflx]
Jul 26, 2005 (8:28 am)
It is true what Designman said about performance buyers not putting reliability at such a high priority, but what I've tried to explain here is that a lot of European car buyers have always put reliability behind performance, design and other things that are largely irrelevent to Lexus buyers. Sure the average E and S-Class buyer expect reliability, but it isn't the end-all like it seems to be for every Lexus owner. People who buy, VW, Land Rover, Saab, Volvo, Audi, and now Mercedes have never put reliability as their number 1 priority, if they did the sales of these cars would never continue.
You keep saying that Lexus was built on Mercedes' priciples. Beyond quality that statement isn't even close to being true. Lexus doesn't innovate nearly as much nor do they work as hard on safety. Mercedes was founded on those things, plus motorsports of all kinds...something Lexus doesn't begin to address. I'll give you that Lexus appears to have Mercedes' mastery of longevity with their cars.
Merc likes to look at the real cars from a purist standpoint and what real car folk are saying and I respect that. But the business goings on have a large future impact that is subtle at first and overwhelming over time.
True, but they go hand in hand. You can have all the business success in the world and the other group won't care one way or the other. Lexus is the perfect example of that. There isn't one lust object for the enthusiast anywhere in their lineup and they seem incapable of producing one. All the money and profits in the world don't mean a thing when you saddle your supposed to be sporty cars with needless electronics that kill the fun, and they don't look like anything.
Execution is the key, not just wads of cash. Infiniti is the perfect example of this.
#9890 of 24723 Re: Just for the heck of it here's the next level down [merc1]
Jul 26, 2005 (9:22 am)
"... lot of European car buyers have always put reliability behind performance, design and other things that are largely irrelevent to Lexus buyers..."
Really ? You speak for *lots of European car buyers as well as Lexus buyers* ! I can tell you the primary reason I own an LS, and that is due to its comfort, luxury, quality, smoothness, refinement and power. All of these combined with excellent customer service and excellent reliability are just icing on the cake for me. If any other car had these features, regardless of what the insignia resides on the hood of that car, I'd buy it in aheartbeat. But alas, only Lexus comes close to meeting ALL of these features I desire in a family sedan.
"There isn't one lust object for the enthusiast anywhere in their lineup and they seem incapable of producing one..."
There is no lust object for the enthusiast in Lexus' lineup, you say ? Here is a question for you: The greater proportion of car *enthusiasts* buy the likes of WRX/STi/Evo/M/AMG/RS/Porsche/Ferrari/Lambo/etc... OR they buy mainstream MBs, or Bimmers, or Audis ? Hmmmmm !! That is an easy answer. Its the former, of course. But to hear you speak about lack of enthusiast lust for Lexus is to suggest that Lexus' competition tunes all their cars to the minutia entusiast market... Maybe you forget the primary mission of MB USA - luxury first. Ditto Lexus. That it wants to add sportiness via the IS is a way to expand market and build from ground-up.
"Execution is the key, not just wads of cash. Infiniti is the perfect example of this"
That is correct, but who exactly is executing best amongst the lux car makers today ? I'd say Lexus is. MB is trying to figure out the kinks in their quality and reliability armor, BMW is saddled with controversial styles and diminishing handling prowess, Audi remains invisible in the NA market, while Lexus simply rolls on. There are far more things coming from Lexus-land than there are of MB and/or BMW in the next couple of years. Yeah, do the count; which manufacturer has more products rolling out in the next couple of years ? MB, BMW, Jag, Audi or Lexus ???
BTW, Infiniti ain't executing anything better than Lexus. Infiniti's performance-inclined M twins is doing as well as Lexus' luxury-inclined GS twins. In fact, sales YTD has the latter beating out the M twins.... So how exactly is Infiniti executing better than Lexus ?
#9891 of 24723 Re: Just for the heck of it here's the next level down [oac]
Jul 26, 2005 (9:38 am)
Oac you continually miss the point. I said in the entire lineup of MB or BMW, not just their sedans like you're stuck on. There are Motorsport cars for BMW and AMG cars for Mercedes. There are coupes, convertibles, roadsters, more choices than Lexus has with all their boring sedans and SUVs. They have one 2-door car, the SC430 it has been proven over and over again to be a 2-door LS430, even Lexusguy will tell you that.
Mercedes and BMW aren't just about sedans and suvs like Lexus, was my point.
Single track themes here, Lexus executes on quality and misses styling and so far sportiness, two things they said they would deliver on. Where did you get that BMW is facing dimished handling prowess? I'd really like to read about that because I certainly haven't experienced it.
There are far more things coming from Lexus-land than there are of MB and/or BMW in the next couple of years. Yeah, do the count; which manufacturer has more products rolling out in the next couple of years ? MB, BMW, Jag, Audi or Lexus ???
Judging by what has been confirmed I'd say that it is a tie between BMW, Mercedes and Lexus. They all have lots of product coming and Lexus doesn't have any more of an advantage than Mercedes or BMW does. Only in your mind does such a thing exist. Face it Oac all three of these brands are leaders in the luxury car market in one way or another and all this Lexus is gonna take over the world stuff is just pure fantasy.
BTW, Infiniti ain't executing anything better than Lexus. Infiniti is performance-inclined hence the M twins. Lexus is luxury-inclined hence the GS twins. Both are doing fabulously well in sales, and the GS twins are beating out the M twins in sales. So how exactly is Infiniti executing better than Lexus ?
They're hitting their target - BMW far more than Lexus stated they would. Goodness get off sales they don't mean as far as the GS being a true BMW competitor at BMW's game. Lexus stated BMW was the target, but Infiniti hit it Lexus didn't with the GS, we'll see about the IS. The 1998 GS sold well too, for 18 months then was forgotten.
#9892 of 24723 Re: Just for the heck of it here's the next level down [merc1]
Jul 26, 2005 (10:16 am)
I said in the entire lineup of MB or BMW, not just their sedans like you're stuck on. There are Motorsport cars for BMW and AMG cars for Mercedes. There are coupes, convertibles, roadsters, more choices than Lexus has with all their boring sedans and SUVs...
And how long has BMW or MB being building cars versus Lexus ??? Ahhhh ! Right.... You see how pointless your argument is ???
Single track themes here, Lexus executes on quality and misses styling and so far sportiness, two things they said they would deliver on.
Misses styling and so far sportiness ? Styling is subjective, so that is just your view. Sportiness also has some subjectiveness to it. The Edmund's review of the GS430 and M45 showed how sporty BOTH cars are. Of course you are too biased against Lexus to see anything good in it. WRT Lexus execs statements on this BMW-thingy ! It appears you and many Germancarfans take a literal interpretation of the words. Rather you need to understand the context of the statements and read between the lines to understand what is being said. Just a little more deeper thoughts on the words will show the real intentions...
They're hitting their target - BMW far more than Lexus stated they would
Yeah right ! The GS hits its target and buyers are speaking loud and clear. You don't agree that it hits its target despite its sales success (that word again), except that which YOU define is the GS' target. Dream on buddy.... Lexus is counting the $$$ and smilling all the way to the bank while you get hung up on nothingness...