Last post on May 01, 2013 at 3:12 PM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Lexus GS 430, Acura RL, BMW 5 Series, Volvo S80, Audi A6, Infiniti M35, Infiniti M45, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Cadillac STS, Sedan
Aug 03, 2005 (1:24 pm)
. . .I read with some disappointment the July sales figures posted here on edmunds for the LPS group. Audi's A6, once again, was at the bottom of the list (in fairness, it is sometimes above the Acura's RL, but be that as it may the Acura and the Audi are lagging behind other German and Japanese players.)
So, with my tail tucked between my legs, I got fired up [again] at Audi of America's poor marketing and advertising. I cannot remember the last time I saw an Audi automobile advertisement on my TV. But you can't throw a stone without hitting your hi-def 58" 16x9 screen whilst it is displaying a BMW ad, an Infiniti ad, or the Led Zep er, Cadillac ad.
What the heck, I surf the web while watching TV with my nifty little 802.11 set up and lo and behold I come across this little URL:
Essentially Audi is on a roll -- a big time roll. They are thinking they will, for the first time ever sell 800,000 cars worldwide. They are also beating their chests on their increased German market share and proclaiming this will be the 12th YEAR(?) of gains in a row.
But sales in the US are actually lower this year.
Someone had posted that Audi outsells BMW in Germany -- I know this was a target (is a target) every year, as Audi and BMW in Germany are much bigger rivals than they are here. Several years worth of sales demonstrated that Audi would be #1, then BMW then Audi and so on. Yet it appears that Audi is outsold about 3 to 1 here.
The entire first 6 months report, which tells a very positive story (worldwide) can be accessed here:
Cliky Here and You're a Winner
Here is a distillation, more or less, if you care NOT to cliky:
"Audi achieved sales records in the first six months in 12 of 20 markets in Western Europe. Great Britain, the biggest European export market, with sales of 45,107 vehicles (41,805, up 7.9 percent), Spain with 28,674 vehicles (23,742, up 20.8 percent), Italy with 27,534 vehicles (26,688, up 3.2 percent) and France with 22,571 vehicles (18,451, up 22.3 percent) deserve a special mention.
Compared with the prior-year period, vehicle sales in Germany rose by 10.4 percent in the first six months to 126,093 (114,169) vehicles. At the same time Audi increased its market share to 7.5 percent (January - June 2004:
Sales in Western Europe were up in the first six months by 12.4 percent to 320,598 (285,160) vehicles. At 4.2 percent (January - June 2004: 3.7 percent), Audiís market share in Western Europe is at an all-time high. New sales records were set in 28 markets worldwide in the first half of 2005." -- Source Audi AG
I wrung my hands for months when I was about to pull the trigger for a new car about Audi of America's lousy (apparently) "go to market strategy."
Clearly whatever they're doing elsewhere resonates with the customers.
My wife muses (proudly) about the "little angles" that fly along side her BMW X3 -- now that is the advertising campaign that worked (for her at least) as did the wet tongue, frozen pole campaign.
This Lead Follow current campaign just doesn't resonate with 'Merican's apparently -- or if it does it just isn't "out there" enough to get folks to stop by and take a test drive.
The "Lexus Lady" says she didn't even consider the Audi -- and she apparently has no "reliability" issues with Audi in her experience base that kept her away.
As the saying goes, one million (or in this case 800,000) flies can't all be wrong!
Check out the links -- kinda rounds out the story.
#3374 of 10338 Re: Morphing. . . [msu79gt82]
Aug 03, 2005 (1:28 pm)
That's a good line!
#3375 of 10338 Re: Lots of facts. . . [markcincinnati]
Aug 03, 2005 (1:30 pm)
Yet Audi does much better in Europe. Go figure.
#3376 of 10338 Re: Ultimate Driving Experience [hpowders]
Aug 03, 2005 (1:47 pm)
Yes, I had a great experience with the dealership I bought my 530i at. I went in on a Sunday afternoon, just looking at an 05 530i, when a calm, relaxed young man greeted me, shared with me that the 06's would be out in a few weeks and that he had one coming in in the color and equipment I wanted. I told him what I wanted to pay and ended up getting the 06 at MY PRICE, not his. And yes, he gave me the keys, said to me, "have fun for a few hours" and when I got back, I was sold.
But not all dealers are like that - just read back through the postings on the "5 series buying experiences and pricing". You'll see what I mean. And by the way, I'm loving every minute and every mile I drive it. Can't say I've said that about many cars I've owned in my life.
#3377 of 10338 Re: So stipulated. . . [lexi300]
Aug 03, 2005 (2:24 pm)
I'm somebody that buys, rather than leases, my daily driver as well. I keep my daily car 5-6 years, and put a good 150K+ miles on it. My '96 LS400 had 156,840 miles on it when I finally sold it, and it never had a single unscheduled service visit. My current '01 LS430 recently passed the 90K mark, and its still tight as a drum. I plan to keep it for at least another two years, unless the '07 LS460 really knocks my socks off. The GS may not have moves like the M, but it offers peace of mind long after the warranty has run out, which is something you dont get with German cars.
#3378 of 10338 Re: Lots of facts. . . [markcincinnati]
Aug 03, 2005 (2:24 pm)
Just returned from a pleasant overnight trip to our state capital in Madison, a great university town with supurb hills, lakes, and narrow roads which put the driving skills through a few tests. The RL was supurb and my sweetie stayed calm as we blasted around a few hairpin curves testing the SH AWD. The car stayed on the road like glue. A fun little trip to a great town.
I couldn't help but think about all those potential Audi buyers in the USA who were following the lead of one of their staunchest long time buyers a few monthe ago and when he threw them a head fake pursuing the M35 sales came to a standstill at Audi. They will get back on track soon enough!
#3379 of 10338 Re: Ultimate Driving Experience [hihomike]
Aug 03, 2005 (2:31 pm)
Everyone who has shopped at least 2 dealerships can probably attest to at least one bad experience.
My best experience was several months ago at a Lexus place. I didn't like the car(GS430) but the man I was assigned couldn't be nicer. It was like I was talking to an old friend. No pressure at all. My experience with him was so good, I recommended a friend to him who eventually bought a GS430 from him. Last week, this wonderful salesman sent me a check for $100 out of the blue because I set up the sale for him. Even better was the terrific letter he enclosed with the check.
I will be seeking him out in a couple of years as my first stop in that complicated search for my next vehicle. I just hope next time, I like the car as much as the salesperson!
#3380 of 10338 Re: So stipulated. . . [lexusguy]
Aug 03, 2005 (2:37 pm)
I always lease my BMW's: high residuals, free maintenance; the perfect leasing car.
If leasing were banned tomorrow, I would probably compromise and buy a Lexus LS430 for the long haul.
Sometimes you gotta be practical!
#3381 of 10338 Re: So stipulated. . . [hpowders]
Aug 03, 2005 (3:26 pm)
agreed about the leasing benefits. Interesting comments about dealer experiences, and especially about the salesperson following up with a check for a referral. You must have really hit it off with him.
Since driving is an ongoing experience, the CONTINUED dealer relationship, most notably service, can have a pretty big effect. When I bought my beemer, I ran into one complete jerk, a sales manager in SF who lied about not having the car I wanted, even though TWO of them were on the lot at the moment, and the salesperson had tried to sell me either of them. I told myself to be mature, ignore the sales manager, and buy the car I wanted. I did buy at another dealership, over the internet to avoid the possible repeat interaction, then felt I had, for once, been more mature than I normally am.
Within 100 miles, I had a blowout, which would have to have been due to underinflation (I admit I did not bring my tire gauge with me when I picked up the car, and I drove fifty miles back home without checking even once!), or to a defective tire. In any event, the dealer wanted nothing to do with this. While they may not have been legally responsible, it was certainly a nice chance for them to make a good impression. Nonetheless, I bought a new tire myself.
For weeks I could not get the headlights to stay on for forty seconds after I left the car. Over the phone, the salesperson patiently (and then not so patiently) explained how I could turn off the car, then hit the brights lever. Although I insisted that I knew how to do this, he insisted equally fervently that I was doing it wrong. Finally, the dealer checked the car for me. Turns out they never did a presale check, which would have set the preferences so that this feature would be activated.
The third initial problem was that I had to leave the car for a three-day weekend, fifty miles from home, to have them set this silly preference that they should have set initially. And I got a Ford Fiesta to drive to a wedding.
Alright, just my initial experiences, but plenty of chances for them to do SOMETHING courteous. So nice salesperson or not, this kind of relationship can sour fairly quickly if they don't care about your happiness after you buy.
Sorry-you can all break out those fake violins now. And I won't tell how it got much worse after this. Unless you ask....
#3382 of 10338 Re: So stipulated. . . [janssen]
Aug 03, 2005 (4:33 pm)
Since all the other day people posting on Edmunds have left their day job computers and are on the way home/eating dinner(there's a sly commentary in there somewhere), I seem to be the only poster out there, so speaking for "the gang" please tell us, how much worse your experience got.
Funny how they can screw you on the service and then they beg you to give them good evaluations on the phone afterwards like their very lives depend on it. If they simply provided a humane service experience, the evaluation would easily take care of itself.
In NYC, the BMW staff all seemed to possess a phony courtesy which was so disingenuous, that it actually made me really uncomfortable.
I much prefer the Sarasota way. They are direct and to the point, talking like robots. No emotion. No small talk. Fine.
So when I met this diamond in the rough Lexus salesman talking to me like I was one of the humans, I was completely bowled over.
I really hope within the next 3 years Lexus can produce a less somnolent vehicle because I would like to give him my business.