Last post on Nov 25, 2013 at 11:27 AM
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
#3835 of 10348 Cincinnati as a micro example
Sep 04, 2005 (11:57 am)
The Queen City (not counting Dayton, the Gem City to our north) has one Infiniti Dealer and two Audi Dealers (just to use an example.)
While I can NOW hardly go one single day without seeing a "new" A6, I can go two weeks without seeing an Infiniti M35 or 45, sometimes even more.
Our lone Infiniti dealer is on our "north east" side of town, the two Audi dealers are on the north and "far eastern" sides of the city. One of the Audi dealerships has recently moved to a new $7,000,000 facility and car sales have increased from an average of 30 cars per month to 50 cars per month (mostly A4's I would guess.)
Plenty of 2000 - 2004 A6's are around. Infinitis, other than G35's are pretty few and far between.
For the record, I live on the north east side of the city and I would imagine someone on the south or west side would have to really really be motivated to buy an Infiniti M since it is possible for the distance to the dealer for some folks to be as far as 40 to 60 miles.
Cincinnati, then, probably has had more Audi (A6) sales than Infiniti (M) sales -- but perhaps because, in part, to a phenom known as "distance decay."
I can't prove it, but it would seem that if there were additional Infiniti dealerships (even one more) that the number of M sightings would increase.
The fact that the simple moving of the Audi dealership (one of them) some 16+ miles to the east has raised sales from 30 to 50 per month is an impressive feat.
Someone somewhere knows, for instance, how many BMW dealer locations are here in the US -- ditto for the other LPS cars. Cadillac, despite its sheer number of dealerships does NOT quite (yet) jump to the top of the list of LUX/PERF cars at least in the crowd that I frequent (30 - 50 somethings, married, degreed, professionals.) Usually (in this woefully inadequate group) Japanese cars of any pedigree (Lexus probably gets a pass -- and we do have more than one Lexus outlet here in greater Cincinnati/Northern KY) need not apply.
But, to fully disclose for those who don't know, Cincinnati is a GERMAN city with an annual Oktoberfest that is said to be second only to the one in Munich -- so our somewhat German car LPS bias (over the Japanese contenders) is not all that shocking.
A drive through the upper middle class neighborhoods here often finds lots of BMW's, Mercedes and Audis -- not to overlook the Volvos, VW's and the countless SUV's and mini-vans (from all manufacturers, perhaps notably Honda, Toyota and DC.)
Despite my personal belief that Audi's A6 "ought" to sell better than at last place -- perhaps, as suggested above, distance decay and market penetration do indeed play a significant role.
In contrast, one of the BMW dealers here in our fair city is the largest in the state of Ohio and at an orientation for new owners meeting, they disclosed they sell 1300 new cars per year (and there are two Cincinnati based dealerships in town.)
One of the BMW dealerships is owned by a mega dealer group (as at least one of the Audi dealers NOW is) -- and much as I personally like the family owned dealer atmosphere, perhaps mega dealers do, despite their often impersonal auras, "move more product." Lee I. himself says "the most important part is 'the deal'," perhaps has if to say, moreso than "the cars" themselves.
#3836 of 10348 Re: Sales [kyfdx]
Sep 04, 2005 (5:56 pm)
I think you are over-estimating the knowledge and interest of the average buyer.. The typical buyer doesn't read C&D, research their car on the internet, etc.. You do that.. I do that.. Most of the members of Edmunds do that... But, we are a very small percentage of the buying public, even for luxury cars..
Excellent point; and I agree completely. I tend to think that passion plays a major part in car buying. While passion no doubt involves brand prestige and loyalty it also involves a test drive - which is where availability plays a huge part. The typical buyer must get in and drive the car. This is especially true among buyers new to the LPS segment. Do not underestimate the fact that large numbers of these new buyers are leasers who are over-extended.
#3837 of 10348 Re: Cincinnati as a micro example [markcincinnati]
Sep 04, 2005 (6:35 pm)
Yeah Yeah Mark...I'm remembering the recent Iacocca TV commercial with the grand daughter... "It's like you always said Grampa..."If you can find a better car, BUY IT" (and many of us in here DID!)
(BUT He's STILL the greatest car salesman of our era even B4 Snoop Dog, )
#3838 of 10348 % of total August sales
Sep 04, 2005 (6:46 pm)
BMW 5: 17%
Lexus GS: 12%
Infiniti M: 21%
Audi A6: 23%
M-B has the most to lose if their car fails in the segment, followed by Audi who can use every A6 sale they can get, considering total sales for August were just 6,473. On the other hand, the GS is no big deal to Lexus.
#3839 of 10348 Re: % of total August sales [lexusguy]
Sep 04, 2005 (6:56 pm)
The low GS percentage is probably due to the fact that Lexus sells so many darn SUVs.
#3840 of 10348 Re: % of total August sales [lexusguy]
Sep 05, 2005 (3:16 am)
I don't think anybody realistically expects E and 5 to fail in this segment. They're the perennial leaders. No one expected M and GS to suddenly jump in front of the line. You don't turn decades of tradition and prestige on its head. But the Germans got to worry the newcomers will take an increasing slice of the pie, or get a rough equivalence, as happened in the class below.
It's very similar to the full size trucks and SUV's. Titans and Tundras win just by taking increasing pieces of the market. In the segment, the Japanese have almost of chance of eventually being on par with the market leaders. But in the luxury market, I'd say they stand of very good chance.
The scary thing for MB/BMW/Audi, they have only the luxury market. So if they lose a large piece of it, that'd hurt. Whereas Toyota and Nissan just dabble in it for even more profits.
#3841 of 10348 Re: % of total August sales [mariner7]
Sep 05, 2005 (6:49 am)
I just meant hypothetically, a big drop in E sales would hurt MB a lot more than say, the GS would hurt Lexus.
"The scary thing for MB/BMW/Audi, they have only the luxury market."
Thats not really true. DCX has Chrysler, Audi has VW, and BMW is going down market with the 1-series.
#3842 of 10348 Re: % of total August sales [lexusguy]
Sep 05, 2005 (7:04 am)
"BMW is going down market with the 1-series."
A 1-series, if it ever gets sold here, will not be mistaken for say a Corolla. It is a smaller BMW targeted toward the premium compact market, but still with a generous helping BMW attributes. The diesel version of the 1-series averaged a respectable 50mpg.
#3843 of 10348 topic
Sep 05, 2005 (7:42 am)
Let's don't get distracted from the fact that we are talking about Luxury Performance Sedans and not the other vehicles that our topical manufacturers produce ...
#3844 of 10348 Re: % of total August sales [mariner7]
Sep 05, 2005 (7:43 am)
The scary thing for BMW...they have only the luxury market.
They also have the Mini. It's not a large segment, but I see enough of them.