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
#3892 of 10348 2006 Lexus GS300 regular vs super
Sep 09, 2005 (7:38 am)
I've been putting in super since day one, now at a bit over 5,000 miles I am trying regular for the first time with a fillup yesterday- after 40 miles, no noticeable difference. See the below. I use my car primarily to commute to the office, no racing or any type of high performance driving.
• How thirsty? GS 300 RWD is rated 22 miles per gallon in town, 30 on the highway. GS 300 AWD is 21/27. GS 430 is 18/25. Premium fuel is necessary to get advertised power. Regular is OK but cuts horsepower 2% to 6%, Lexus says.
#3893 of 10348 What do Germans know that we don't?
Sep 09, 2005 (8:28 am)
I'll be in Munich later this month (Oktoberfest, don't you know?) -- and it will be perhaps my 20th visit to Germany. I almost always wander into a couple of car retail outlets whilst I'm "in country."
I have found that -- based on MSRP -- Audis and BMWs and Mercedes retail prices are closer THERE than they are here.
Earlier this year, I moaned and groaned about the lease price differential between an A6 and a 530. The 530 was (and remains) more from the MSRP perspective. Then -- 7 months ago perhaps -- the lease per month on a thousands more 530 was over $100 less than an A6.
Subvented leases, bumped residuals, etc etc etc aside, at MSRP, the BMW 530 and the Audi A6 3.2 shows the Audi at a several thousand dollar advantage IF you option them as closely as possible. The disparity widens if you attempt to configure "option identical" Audi A6 3.2's vs BMW 530ix's.
Yet, when you go to Germany and price cars, the prices are closer together -- depending on how you look at it, Audis cost more or BMWs cost less.
Go with this for just a second. Politics aside, Germans and Americans are "modern" countries. We have similar access to information and products. And, we have similar wealth that would allow us to acquire LPS cars with an eye toward preference rather than mono-vision favoring the least cost product.
So. . .I saw this:
LPS sales (for August) numbers for Germany:
Total LPS cars sold: 15,723
Audi A6 = 5,739
Merc E = 5,601
BMW 5 = 2,749
The rest = 1,634
The rest = Lexus, Jaguar, Saab, Volvo and a cast of plaster.
In the US Audi or Acura seem to fight tooth and nail to see who can be last on the list.
Using the basic rules of price's ability to effect demand, wouldn't you think that since Audis are closer in cost to their German cousins IN GERMANY than they are here, that Audi would be at even a greater disadvantage over its rivals?
Once again, I wonder how much of Merc and BMW's market penetration and performance is due to the number of retail outlets?
Who knows how many Audi, BMW and Mercedes dealers there are in the US?
Inquiring pea brains want to know.
#3894 of 10348 Re: What do Germans know that we don't? [markcincinnati]
Sep 09, 2005 (9:51 am)
Do you know the YTD sales of those cars in Germany?
More than # of dealers (although I suspect this has to do with it to an extent), I honestly think that it has more to do with "brand" image in the US.
1) Americans LOVE luxury brand names. MB and BMW has a much higher status cachet in the US relative to Audi.
2) MB and BMW, relatively speaking, do not have the brand status in Germany that they have in the US. In Germany, people probably don't differentiate THAT much between Audi, BMW and MB in terms of status. All three makers sell a LOT of decontented, downmarket cars in Europe, like the A class, etc.
3) The A6 is the newest model out of the 5 and the E. Domestic (in this case German) shoppers tend to go for the "newest" thing out.
4) I would think that because of adverse weather conditions in Germany, the fact that most A6's are Quattro gives it an advantage over the 5 and the E, most of which are RWD.
just my 2 cents
#3895 of 10348 Re: What do Germans know that we don't? [jrock65]
Sep 09, 2005 (9:57 am)
"MB and BMW, relatively speaking, do not have the brand status in Germany that they have in the US."
I believe you're right. Surprisingly they have that brand status in Japan.
#3896 of 10348 Re: What do Germans know that we don't? [kdshapiro]
Sep 09, 2005 (9:59 am)
And Asia in general. They love MB's and BMW's over there.
#3897 of 10348 Re: What do Germans know that we don't? [jrock65]
Sep 09, 2005 (12:51 pm)
I agree with jrock.
I think outside Germany, the brand image of MB & BMW far outweighs Audi. Heck I've friends who live in UK who clamor for the E rather than either the 5 or the A6...
As such you see far too few A6 sized cars in europe, compared to the state-side. They are much more into the 3's and C & A4 & A3's... You do see a heck lot of A3's though, don't you?
As an A6 owner, though not the latest avatar of it, I'm simply not passionate about it's ownership. I like the overall wholesomeness of the entire package, and i think the interior is far more personable than most others despite the irritating excess of buttons and switches. However, it just doesn't make me passionate about it. Now of course, if the plethora of things that break doesn't reign in anytime soon, i'm looking to boot the thing out of my life.
on the other hand, i'm irritated as hell by the little issues and the # of trips i have to make to the dealer for the 3 series convertible. i'm pissed by the gremlins in my car. it also has a fairly boring interior. but man the delicious drive... now that's a car that makes me smile, just by firing up the lovely inline 6 engine and oh la la, the drive.... yumm yumm good.
#3898 of 10348 Re: What is the best LPS? [frisconick]
Sep 09, 2005 (1:20 pm)
I won't bore you with the whole story but I own an '03 SL500. Most wonderful car I've ever owned. Most unreliable car I've ever owned. Local Sales Manager sympathized with me and called the car **expletive deleted** yet will do nothing to satisfy a 20 year customer. Regional Manager made promise to repurchase car and reneged. Same manager made promise to make payments for time car was in service. Reneged.
Prior to that owned a '00 CLK430. Not as unreliable as SL but still had plenty of visits to service for electrical problems.
When the current version of the C-Class was introduced over 30 percent of it's owners reported significant electrical problems within the first year of ownership.
The prior version of the ML-Class was the worst car Mercedes-Benz has ever put on the road. My local service advisor indicated that they could run a profitable service shop working on ML's alone. There were few of those vehicles that made it any significant time without electrical problems, window problems, and air conditioning problems.
The last E-Class? Sumptuous ride, wonderful materials, and for the most part very classy. Reliability? Ask the many frustrated E owners and you'll know the answer.
For almost three years now M-B has stated that they understood that they needed to return the quality of their vehicles to the standards they had set the previous 90-odd years. Long term reliability tests have not indicated that they have effectively done this. Rather than an improvement in quality, '04 vehicles actually showed more problems per vehicle than the '03's.
Perhaps the greatest indignity and the one I found most amusing was former CEO Jurgen Schrempp's adventure in attempting to drive back to the office in Mercedes-Benz's home city of Stuttgart. Mr. Schrempp found that the navigation system misguided him three straight times in his attempt to get to the office. It's sad that the navigation supplier couldn't manage to get the info right for M-B's home city, and it's even sadder that it took Mr. Schrempp three times to figure out it was wrong. I'm afraid the company has suffered from this same inability to recognize significant problems for some time now. It pains me to make these comments because I've respected what this company has done and had great experiences with M-B autos prior to the last two. I for one, however, will no longer pay premium prices to be their beta tester.
#3899 of 10348 Re: What do Germans know that we don't? [markcincinnati]
Sep 09, 2005 (3:06 pm)
I would be curious to know how the A8 does in Germany vs. S and 7. In most areas of the world the A8 seems like it is the unwanted step child ridiculed by the BMW and Benz, no matter how good the A8 actually is.
Sep 11, 2005 (7:25 pm)
I picked up my new M35x this weekend. Got a very satisfying deal from a highly classy dealership in NJ. I have only driven it home and docked in the garage. I will continue to use my '00 Maxima until I am ready to part with her, a loyal and faithful partner for five years. I know the M will be a dramatic improvement to my Max, but my love for Nissans (had '90 240SX and '79 280Zx first car ever) led me to choose over the soft Lex and Accordesque RL. I know my choice is best and can't wait to roar up and down my block day after day in my new M. Infiniti has separated itself from the other boring brands in the LPS market and is superior to its BMW and Merc competitors. It will take a carmaker like Porsche or Mazrerati to make a car to compete with this new M.