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.
#9910 of 24726 Re: Just for the heck of it here's the next level down [syswei]
Jul 27, 2005 (6:57 am)
I wasn't talking about Lexus at all in my post. I'm just saying that performance seems to be of over-riding importance to you, and the S is taking a step backward in the styling department...will BMW start to become more appealing to you than MB?
My point is that there is any room to talk about styling from the Lexus supporters. The S going backwards in styling is of course your opinion, not sure I share it yet...I have to see the car in person. No BMW won't become any more appealing to me, its still MB, Audi and then BMW. BMW lost their #2 spot on my list starting with the 2002 7-Series. I prefer the way Audis are made by far, but BMW's dynamics are still tops withing the German luxury 3.
#9911 of 24726 Re: Just for the heck of it here's the next level down [oac]
Jul 27, 2005 (7:07 am)
All I can say is read Lexusguy's last post Oac. You're talking about taxicabs in Europe, yet when anyone here mentions sales of MBs and BMWs in Europe it doesn't matter. I mean honestly how many different ways are there to talk around the issue here?
MB and BMW are domestic cars over there so of course they'd used them for taxi duty and the 5-Series is very popular as a police car in certain EU countries, and for good reason.
If you can't see that BMW is about sport first by driving them then there is nothing else I or anyone can say for you to see that.
Colleges are using the Lexus book to teach business graduates... The TPS is legendary and well respected... Talk about leadership and innovation in the industry
Nobody is saying Lexus isn't successful, but this reads like it came from a Lexus marketing brochure. Really irrelevant to what we were talking about, but it is made to fit any type of discussion when Lexus comes up short in other areas.
Nobody is benchmarking Toyota behind quality, Toyota isn't even an afterthought when it comes to design, dynamics or safety...the Euros are the benchmarks there. Lexus has made a career of mocking and chasing MB and now BMW, they're the ultimate wannabe brand. True, TPS is the industry standard for sure, but everything else with Toyota is hardly anyone's standard.
#9912 of 24726 Re: Just for the heck of it here's the next level down [merc1]
Jul 27, 2005 (7:27 am)
Nobody is benchmarking Toyota [beyond] quality...Lexus [is] the ultimate wannabe brand.
I think the automotive world is benchmarking, or at least chasing, Toyota when it comes to hybrid powertrains.
#9913 of 24726 Re: Just for the heck of it here's the next level down [syswei]
Jul 27, 2005 (7:33 am)
I think the automotive world is benchmarking, or at least chasing, Toyota when it comes to hybrid powertrains. ..
Oh yeah I forgot about that one. Toyota is king there for sure, even Honda can't sell their hybrids at the same pace for some reason.
#9914 of 24726 Re: Just for the heck of it here's the next level down [merc1]
Jul 27, 2005 (7:38 am)
Just from a business assessment again because a lot of people seem to forget making autos is a business. Merc, your comments yesterday about MB or whoever not caring about profits first was as far out in left field as I've ever seen you be. They don't get any more purist then that. Do you have any idea how jealous any auto maker is of Toyota's profits and margins. They'd die to have those numbers.
Now on the business end please tell me how building a performance car or cars with no long-term basis of a foundation in great cars from a new entrant in the lux field makes any sense. Infiniti failed miserably right from the get go. Now they are finally getting their act together but it took 15 years. So you are criticizing a company for following a sound business path. Phase two will be their entry into the higher performance arena and they've put plenty of signals out there. It doesn't mean they become a performance brand. That's not happening as it makes no business sense. That market is infitesmally small. Knowing Toyota they'd put out a new brand sold in Lexus dealerships (ala Scion) to go into that market.
Everyone covers up their shortcomings around here. You run from quality surveys and try to minimize quality issues because they have become big-time MB shortcomings. The Lex crowd runs from performance because it has yet to make a tuned car. But you sometimes act as if MB is/was a performance car company. Hardly. They make a tiny sliver of performance cars and much of it has developed 100 or so years after they followed a solid conservative business plan. In fact MB was so conservative that AMG was formed independently and had to be bought out over a long period. They still only own 60 or so percent of it. But you rip Lexus for following a similar plan (and jumping on the highest growth segment - SUV's) for all of 15 years. MB's whole foundation is built on quality, reliability and safety and two of those pillars have taken a hit lately and a lot of people have now noticed.
#9915 of 24726 Re: Just for the heck of it here's the next level down [ljflx]
Jul 27, 2005 (7:56 am)
Sorry, but I find all this business stuff to be a grand excuse for Lexus not having built a performance car. There is no way in the world that every other luxury car maker going would be doing this if it was such a bad business move. No way. I don't buy that at all. They have all this money and they can do whatever they want, yet all they have is dull sedans and suvs.
What I said about profits is what I've always said and nowhere did I say that MB doesn't care about profits. Never said anything like that, thats nuts. You're putting words into my post. I said that buyers don't care about that when they go to buy or when they're test driving a car. Only the people who follow Lexus care about this stuff when we're talking about the cars themselves, like it actually has something to do with the way a car drives. I mean really is it possible to have a discussion about cars without what Toyota made last quarter? To always bring that up for a answer to everything is just really tired. I see a car on the street that I like and research it and uless the company is in danger of going out of business, why in the world would I care what their profits were last month? That is ridiculous.
Everyone knows that on the industry side Toyota's profits are the big story, but what does that have to do with the type of cars they build when it comes to styling, design, performance or their sheer desirability? Nothing.
Infiniti failed due to a poor marketing plan that at the start showed rocks and trees instead of their cars and a total lack of brand focus. The previous generation M45 and Q45 (Q41 really) just plain sucked and the J30 and I30/35 were just either too weird or showed too much of their Nissan roots (I35) to be hits. Infiniti being the shadows all this time had nothing to do with them building a performance car with a history, it was due to series of bungling mistakes in marketing and not having a clear product mission. Now they have a completely related group of performance cars that look alike and share the same theme in how they're supposed to drive, at least in the lower and mid segment. Now they're hot, only the Q45 is from their old think school. It will be very intesting to see what they do with the next one, assuming there will be another Q.
German cars in general and peformance is not just about high hp and AMG/Motorsport models either. The mags never refer to even the everyday Benzes or BMWs as being "Buick-like" when it comes to dynamics either. Lexus' are soft and their steering is not on the same level as the average German car either. This has been said about the LS, RX, SC, and ES. Only the GS and IS escape this, but when compared to true sports sedans they come up short everytime. There is feel to a German car and a sense of control that a Lexus lacks and when I factor in how poorly styled they are, they miss the boat big time with the enthusiast crowd, which of course you'll say doesn't matter.
The only reason I point out SUV sales is because reading the posts here you'd think everything Lexus sells is red hot in sales and that simply isn't the case.
Nobody is saying Lexus should become BMW or Infiniti, but they aren't even MB or Audi when it comes to offering something for a buyer looking for a driver's car. Didn't say MB was a peformance brand, not by a longshot. FYI, AMG is 99% owned by DCX, they bought the rest of it years ago. What this has to do with anything I have no idea.
The new IS has a the very least a chance of becoming the second Lexus in history that appeals to me, after the original SC coupe. Everything else is utterly forgettable.
#9916 of 24726 Re: Just for the heck of it here's the next level down [merc1]
Jul 27, 2005 (8:13 am)
buyers don't care about [profits] when they go to buy
I used to agree with you on that. And I still think it's true for most buyers. But for me at least, after reading some MB horror stories (I think on the Luxury Performance Sedans board) a few months ago, I changed my mind. It seems to me that if I buy an MB and have some sort of problem, MB's profit situation may lead them to basically maximize short-term profits by not spending the money to rectify the problem to my satisfaction. Whereas a company enjoying healthy profits is more likely to "do the right thing"...namely sacrifice short-term profits in return for longer-term customer loyalty.
#9917 of 24726 Re: Just for the heck of it here's the next level down [syswei]
Jul 27, 2005 (8:19 am)
I didn't know you ever agreed with me on that. I would have always expected you to care about this, as it seems to be a major part of the Lexus lure.
There are horror stories for every brand under the sun here, because this is mesg board and its the place for such things.
Most buyers would never look that far into to come up with such a grand assumption. I think reliability surveys turn off far more MB and other Euro intenders than their profit statements.
Though the reverse can also be said. A company that is hurting can also have great motivation for getting this right to get out of a unhealthy profit situation and likewise a company rolling in dough can get big headed and start getting careless with details. There is no rule about this either way.
I see MB doing whatever they can to make things right, even recalling cars on their own just to check things to be sure, which was the reason for that last recall to check voltage/battery components.
#9918 of 24726 Re: Just for the heck of it here's the next level down [merc1]
Jul 27, 2005 (8:45 am)
I can't remember all the details, but one of the stories that led me to that conclusion was from an MB owner who repeatedly had his tailight short out...the dealer gave him a very hard time about fixing it under warranty (saying that it was just old bulbs or normal or something), and it appeared (or maybe he was told by the dealer? I can't remember) that the dealers were under pressure from the corporate level to rein in warranty expenses.
I do agree and see that MB does do voluntary recalls, however.
#9919 of 24726 Re: Just for the heck of it here's the next level down [syswei]
Jul 27, 2005 (8:52 am)
That sounds like poor dealer service to me plain and simple. I can't imagine a service telling a customer that MB corporate is putting them under the gun on something like that or any other type of warranty repair, that is ridiculous. He should have found another dealer and/or contacted MB corporate. A service rep saying something like that should have been brought to the attention of the higher-ups at the dealership too.