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.
#9929 of 24723 Re: DEMLER/CHRYSLER CEO RESIGNS TODAY. [lexusguy]
Jul 29, 2005 (10:15 am)
They arent screwed together like they used to be though. Try a current S vs. an S420 and you can see the difference easily.
Thats true in that example if you're talking about the 1992-1999 W140 S-Class. I haven't seen anything built like that car or the SL from that timeframe, only the VW Phaeton comes close in sheer robustness, and it pays the price in weight.
However newer Mercedes like the SLK, CLS are built as good as anything on the market, and there is nothing shoddy about the CLK either. Only the E-Class could use an upgrade. The C-Class is much better than that awful 2001-2004 interior. The upcoming S-Class appears to be the biggest return to form yet as far as build quality is concerned, the detailing is awesome.
#9930 of 24723 Re: Just for the heck of it here's the next level down [merc1]
Jul 29, 2005 (10:33 am)
"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."
The story is that it has EVERYTHING to do with the type of the cars they build when it comes to styling, design, performance or sheer desirability, for the simple reason that their financial results are the only objective measure of their success in meeting customers desires. In the automobile business, customer desires are satiated by the product's styling, design, performance and sheer desirability rendered in a high quality and reliability vehicle in every market segment and price point a company addresses supported by the perceptions created through marketing.
You might have an opinion about MB and in fact, MB vehicles might best address your desires, and be #1 in your list and that's fine, of course. But there's no doubt at this point in time, that Toyota is the leading car company in the world.
We all recognize that MB and most other Euro makers need do a LOT of work to get their quality and reliability standards up to Asian and U.S. benchmarks. I think that if Toyota finds that it would be profitable to invest more money in a better, broader luxury, sporty product line, or build a bunch of cars on different platforms to satisfy a niche market, they will. And they'll do it right. Do I think that MB will fix its reliability and quality problems. I don't know, but the survival of the brand hinges on it in the long run because the real dent Lexus and Infiniti have put in the market is that a 'luxury' car that's unreliabile and low quality, really isn't a luxury car, after all.
#9931 of 24723 Re: Just for the heck of it here's the next level down [greenbelt]
Jul 29, 2005 (10:51 am)
Well I disagree completely because there is no way that what company earns dictate the design of their cars, it may dictate how well its built or how the specification comes out, but the design/styling and the way it handles/drives and the other nuances of a brand aren't determined by this in the least. When it comes to design, dynamics, styling etc. it comes down to what a company thinks a car should be for a particular segment, not how much money they earned last year. Some of the must hurting car companies in the world produce the most desirable cars on the planet and some of the most successful companies like Toyota/Lexus produce more snore boxes than anyone else. According your view Toyota/Lexus should make the most exciting and desirable products on earth with all the financial success they have, but it is just the opposite when I look in their showrooms.
If profits determined what a car is going to be like then Infinitis would be no different in character from Lexuses. It is a maker's philosophy that determines the fine points, not the earnings. Sure earnings translate directly into product development, but they are the sole factor nor do they determine what a car looks and drives like, the issue with Toyota/Lexus products.
But there's no doubt at this point in time, that Toyota is the leading car company in the world.
In some things yes, but they aren't even worth mentioning in design, styling, performance or desirability, at least not to the enthusiast. Sure the folks who walk around with a copy of Consumer Reports in their back pockets get a kick out of Toyota, but they imo simply aren't car people, they're consumers and are generally clueless about anything else concerning a car past reliability ratings.
The "truth of the story" is that if Toyota/Lexus weren't of such high quality they'd be nothing special because they are nothing to drive or look at and they sure don't have any performance advantages.
#9932 of 24723 Re: Just for the heck of it here's the next level down [greenbelt]
Jul 29, 2005 (11:49 am)
ďThe story is that it [profit] has EVERYTHING to do with the type of the cars they build when it comes to styling, design, performance or sheer desirability, for the simple reason that their financial results are the only objective measure of their success in meeting customers desires.Ē
If this is true, why donít they supply annual/quarterly financial reports in the showrooms? Why donít the sales people integrate financials into their sell? Why doesnít Toyota/Lexus flaunt their financial success in their car ads?
Answer: itís about product benefits; the Toyota product benefit is a reliable car for less; the Lexus product benefit is a reliable luxury car for less.
Toyota did not start at the top of the financial mountain; they didnít build an empire based on financial success if there was none to begin with. They had a philosophy as Merc mentioned, and through hard work and sound thinking this vision was manifest in the products. They EVENTUALLY achieved success by way of their products.
As Merc once alluded to also, unless a company shows signs of being a Daewoo or something, people generally donít give a hoot about financials.
Itís all about the PRODUCT, period. And if someone buys a car based on financials, man, are they shortchanging themselves. I donít crave chocolate ice cream because Ben and Jerryís is successful.
#9933 of 24723 Re: Just for the heck of it here's the next level down [merc1]
Jul 29, 2005 (11:54 am)
But there's no doubt at this point in time, that Toyota is the leading car company in the world.
In some things yes, but they aren't even worth mentioning in design, styling, performance or desirability, at least not to the enthusiast...
The key statement appears at the last part of the above quote "...at least not to the enthusiast" I know we've been through this before, but enthusiasts are few and far between, and no truly global player wants to simply cater to such a finite market, unless they are niche players themselves (Ferrari, Lambo, etc). Enthusiasts do not salivate at the thought of driving a base MB or BMW or Audi or Lexus. But at the thought of driving a Porsche, Ferrari, WRX/Evo/M/AMG/RS absolutely YES !!! These cars are the real enthusiast cars... Lexus is not for enthusiasts, so if you walk into a Lexus showroom looking for an enthusiast-biased car, you are in the wrong place.
So if Lexus wants to be like BMW, its not to create enthusiast-biased cars, but to create a lineup that will be continously refreshed, handle and drive pretty good, lavishly lathered up, have class-leading safety features, class-leading power ratings, and be far more reliable to boot. And Lexus is going about this methodically, as usual:
IS350: class-leading 306HP for a naturally-aspirated V6
IS500: class-leading 400+HP for a naturally-aspirated V8
LS600H: only luxury f/s sedan with a gas-hybrid V8 motor, pumping out 450+HPA
And more to come....
#9934 of 24723 Re: Just for the heck of it here's the next level down [oac]
Jul 29, 2005 (11:58 am)
"Lexus is not for enthusiasts, so if you walk into a Lexus showroom looking for an enthusiast-biased car, you are in the wrong place."
Oac... I hope you realize you just pitched Merc a hangin' curve.
#9935 of 24723 Re: Just for the heck of it here's the next level down [designman]
Jul 29, 2005 (12:00 pm)
I know... but he ain't got the swing to hit it out the park (yet)
#9936 of 24723 Re: Just for the heck of it here's the next level down [oac]
Jul 29, 2005 (12:20 pm)
The key statement appears at the last part of the above quote "...at least not to the enthusiast" I know we've been through this before, but enthusiasts are few and far between, and no truly global player wants to simply cater to such a finite market, unless they are niche players themselves (Ferrari, Lambo, etc).
The problem is that Lexus doesn't cater to them at all. They're as good as dead in that market. MB, BMW, and Audi do cater to the enthusiast on some levels, which is what you seem to want to ignore. Not everyone drives a "base" model from these brands, and enthusiasts don't salivate over anything from Lexus. Nothing, Zilch. Will that change with the IS? We'll see.
Lexus is not for enthusiasts, so if you walk into a Lexus showroom looking for an enthusiast-biased car, you are in the wrong place.
Finally something I agree with completely. So now is the time to quit trying to compare them to the Germans at every turn, but they aren't playing the same game at every level. To be "lavishly lathered up" sounds like a Cadillac from days gone by.
The IS350 has class leading hp but no manual transmission. This is the biggest boast about nothing Lexus could possibly make. Every other sports sedan in the IS350's market segment (except one) offers a manual tranny on their best engined models, except smarty Lexus. To suggest that class leading power ratings without a manual in the entry-level sports sedan class is some type of superior arrangement is severe lack of understanding of that class.
There is no IS500 or LS600h that anyone can buy today so that is just pure fantasy at this point and not worth mentioning like it already has some type of superiority or something. Clearly Lexus isnt' that desperate for props in the enthusiast market as to claim class leading hp numbers for a car that doesn't exist yet + not knowing what the compeition will have at that time. That is more than reaching...
#9937 of 24723 Re: Just for the heck of it here's the next level down [merc1]
Jul 29, 2005 (1:27 pm)
So now is the time to quit trying to compare them to the Germans at every turn, but they aren't playing the same game at every level...
Don't ask me not to compare Lexus to the German brands. Ask MB, BMW and Audi if they compare themselves to Lexus.... Ah ! See, these companies you defend so much don't play the game you so much hold up as important - enthusiast market. MB looks at Lexus and sees in it what they used to be - solid, quality, reliable, a brand you can trust... BMW looks over at Lexus and sees what it may want to be - solid, reliable, quality and aflush with $$$ to spend on building even better cars, and Audi is simply green with envy when it looks at Lexus. These talk about enthusiast is a smokes-screen to cover up the problems your fav brand has. So you pick up anything Lexus doesn't do well, and hold that up and say: A ha.. see, they suck in this, and suck in that... and are non-existent here... Anyone can say the same about any car company.... No one provides everything for everybody. What you need is to give Lexus its due props to start from scratch and become the envy of the industry in so short a time means something....
With Jurgen gone, MB will have some time putting back its house in order... It will take time and lots of $$$. BMW is unsure which direction to go with its styling (Bangled) and electronic issues (iDrive anyone?), and Audi can't even figure out which of its brand is the lux brand ? VW or Audi ??? Lexus, OTOH, is aflush with money, promising to conquer the world, and Toyota's charge to become world's numero uno in car sales by 2010 looked unstoppable. These are realities.... Lexus goes global soon and they are gonna get it done. MB better gets its house in order quick....
#9938 of 24723 Re: Just for the heck of it here's the next level down [oac]
Jul 29, 2005 (1:46 pm)
Ok, more of the same here because Lexus isn't the envy of the automotive industry by any means, especially the European automotive industry. In their home countries Lexus means nothing. No one said that MB or BMW provides everything to everyone, but the do provide more choices than Lexus by far and they're more exciting ones to boot. Lexus gets nothing from me for being the most boring and wannabe brand in the luxury car market. Until they come up something that I'd want they're irrelevant to me.
You act like no other luxury car is solid, safe and reliable. That is more Lexus fantasy than anything else. Audi is envious of Lexus? Ok, and Lexus must be envious of Audi's designs then because Lexus' look terrible and Audi is considered the industry leader in interior design and at the very least as good as Lexus in areas of fit and finish, if not better according to some.
If Lexus is the automotive industry they sure have a funny way of showing it by emulating Mercedes with their premier car and chasing BMW in two different segments, only come up short. Mercedes, BMW and Audi borrow nothing from Lexus in the way that Lexus visibly borrows from them, nothing at all.
Does Lexus lead in some areas? Sure they do. Does BMW and Mercedes lead in certain areas? Yep.
This theme about Lexus being all powerful and a leader in everything (which is how your posts always read) just plain nonsense.