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
#7473 of 10348 Re: [rich545]
Jun 07, 2006 (11:54 am)
Anyway, I'm just trying to figure out the root cause for Audi's relatively poor sales compared to the rest of the LPS group. I think there is a lot more to it than a lack of dealerships
An interesting comparison is Audi and Infiniti. Neither has a huge amount of dealers, neither has much if any "badge effect" compared to the tier 1 players, and neither has been seriously competitive in the US market for very long. Audi perhaps since 1996, while Infiniti didn't pull out of the also-ran club until 2003, and yet the G and M are much bigger sellers than the A4 and A6. Why is that?
Jun 07, 2006 (12:04 pm)
The Audi was the runner up for me, too. But, the deal Audi made me, AFTER I told my long-term salesman that my wife had actually ordered and taken delivery of a new BMW and that I had ordered and placed a deposit on a new M35X, was too good to pass up.
Indeed, perhaps the Infiniti was the runner up but the price, before Audi's actions, was too good to pass up for a car that was such a close second to the Audi.
Today, based only on what could be had today, not rumored, not pre-announced, no spy shots, etc, I would have Audi, BMW and Infiniti on my final three list.
If all three were the same price (reasonbly close), the BMW would win solely due to the fact that it can be had with a stick. Otherwise, I would probably choose the Audi, the Infiniti and the BMW in that order.
Yet, if the Infiniti pulled out a great lease deal that bettered the Audi, I still think my ability to perceive substantial differences is not so great as to be overcome the financial incentive -- hence, I would then go with the M35X.
The interior, fit and finish, etc, of the Audi "leaves the other two on the trailer" (to quote CSABA CSERE from Car and Driver.)
And, great as the Infiniti is, it still hasn't quite figured out the balance between road feel, performance and ride quality.
The BMW, despite its obvious strengths seems to have a stark and somewhat cramped interior. It is, frankly, the most dated of the three.
But, OH the BMW with the stick shift - - - darn, excuse me while I clean this drool off my face.
Jun 07, 2006 (12:24 pm)
Who "counts" today as a tier 1 player?
I would assume all the LPS crowd (here) are top tier regardless of the monthly numbers.
I saw the bubble diagram recently which placed, as I recall, all these in the Premium Bubble, Volvo (I think) in the near Premium bubble (but overlapping the premium bubble) and Saab (and others) in the near premium bubble.
The trouble with the bubble, so to speak, is that the cars in the bubbles are not all in the center of the bubble but are spaced apart from each other, apparently signifiying that Saab is "just barely" a near premium offering, while some other one -- Acura, perhaps, is in the Premium bubble but just barely, kind of thing.
The question is, who determines top tier and who is in it today?
#7476 of 10348 Re: [markcincinnati]
Jun 07, 2006 (12:50 pm)
I dunno, Mark, but my 3 Series, when I had it, sure felt like a top tier to me, at that time. It was by far the nicest vehicle I had and to me, it felt like top tier.
Now that is not to say that it is perceived as top tier in the market. Obviously the 5 and 7 Series would be considered higher tiered than the 3.
I think the point is, top tier to me may not be top tier to you or to Joe Driver down the street sipping his Starbucks.
I buy what I like and what fits my needs and wants. If it does it with luxury and performance, I feel like I have a top tier vehicle - the critics be darned.
#7477 of 10348 Re: [markcincinnati]
Jun 07, 2006 (12:54 pm)
I would assume all the LPS crowd (here) are top tier regardless of the monthly numbers.
When I said "tier 1", I meant the status and weight behind the badge and the brand in the US market, not sales numbers, or necessarily indivudual vehicles. All of the cars discussed on this board, from the E to the RL, all qualify as being genuine LPS's. However, the Mercedes badge and the BMW badge carry more weight than anyone else, certainly more than Audi and Infiniti.
Some people will buy a Mercedes just to have the vaunted 3-pointed star on the hood, and all of the tradition that goes with it. I don't think anyone buys an Audi or Infniti just for the badge. Yes they are luxury brands, and I dont think nearly as many people would be willing to pay the same money for an identical car with a VW or Nissan badge on it. Thats why the Infiniti brand was created in the first place.
Jun 07, 2006 (1:04 pm)
So, BMW and Mercedes are tier 1, period. Is this what used to be said when it was said something was the "Cadillac of. . .fill in the blank?" Perhaps at that time, the top tier contained ONE marquis -- Cadillac and Imperial and Lincoln were luxury cars but couldn't command the "status" of the Caddy?
#7479 of 10348 Re: [markcincinnati]
Jun 07, 2006 (1:15 pm)
I would rank the brands in just terms of "badge effect" in the US market like this:
Tier 1: Mercedes, BMW
Tier 2: Lexus, Cadillac
Tier 3: Audi, Infiniti, Acura, Jaguar
This is just MO. I think 10 years ago when Jaguar had V12s, it would be at the top level. Sadly, not anymore.
#7480 of 10348 Re: Perhaps I'm an anomaly. . .(rant) [markcincinnati]
Jun 07, 2006 (1:17 pm)
Wouldn't it be nice if actual defects-per-mile figures were available from disinterested sources? Broken down by functional (beside the road dead) vs. inconvenience (oh my, the rear sunshade won't roll down)?
Yeah, and we can all flap our arms and fly to the moon (credit Charles Shultz).
How often, and how, cars break down appear to be closely-held secrets by those who know -- the rest of us speculate. We base our speculations on what we read & what we hear, or (if we're worthy) what we've experienced.
I've experienced phenominal mechanical reliability from every Asian vehicle I've driven, for well upwards of 100K miles (each). I've been led to believe I won't experience that from the Huns (it's okay, I'm one), based on watching and listening.
Where's the solid data? Defects per million miles, types of defects per million miles, that sort of thing? CR crap doesn't cut it in my world any more than it does in yours. Either way, trustworthy data regarding DPMO (defects per million opportunities) for each car brand, broken down by type of defect, would put many brands on notice, and others on an upward sales trend.
I'm not holding my breath, though many wish I would.
So far, it's all anecdotal. Bring real data.
Perception is (often) reality. I'm nearing 100K miles on a car I bought just over six years ago, and I may well be driving it a year or two from now. I buy cars, while most in this segment lease. You've been through the A8 (with the brake rotor thing), the Allroad & now the A6 in the same time period. Ray (from another board) has been through two LS's & a VW w/ the W engine, plus the Pontiac I think he's driving now. Long-term reliability is a concept, not a relevant feature, to people who have to be bribed just to change the oil.
That said, my #1 choice for my next car is a BMW 3, followed by a G35 coupe. The G35 paint quality seems to have been an issue of late, so the BMW moves up even higher. Both can be supplied with manual transmissions.
Hoping for the best. . .
#7481 of 10348 From personal experience
Jun 07, 2006 (2:31 pm)
I've owned BMW's since 1982. The old ones were simpler, but generally more reliable cars.
When I say reliable, I'm NOT talking about how fast brake rotors wear out. I'm talking about parts that fail sooner than they do on almost any other brand. Examples: radiator necks that breakoff at 50kmiles, ABS system controllers that fail catastrophically at 60km (BMW said this is about the expected lifetime), AC condensor fans that fail at 55kmiles. Wheel speed sensors that fail (all 4) at 60kmiles, MAF's that fail twice before 40k miles, etc.
There's a large BMW club in the USA, and they can provide you with plenty of feedback on the poor reliability of modern BMW's. Now, in all fairness, my sisters E46 has been great (I've been talking about the 5 series).
#7482 of 10348 Re: From personal experience [bfeng7]
Jun 07, 2006 (2:51 pm)
What am I missing?
"There's a large BMW club in the USA, and they can provide you with plenty of feedback on the poor reliability of modern BMW's. Now, in all fairness, my sisters E46 has been great (I've been talking about the 5 series)."
There was a lot of commonality between the parts on my E46 and my E39, and both were extremely reliable. I'm having a difficult time understanding how the 5er is less reliable simply by virutue of the fact that it is a "5" instead of a "3".