Last post on May 02, 2013 at 12:57 PM
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Lexus, BMW, Mercedes-Benz
#14 of 21 Lexus still stumbling
by steve_ HOST
Mar 12, 2013 (4:56 pm)
And guess who's running and gunning?
"Six years ago, Audi trailed both of its German rivals in sales and cachet, and nowhere more so than in the U.S. Since then, it has nearly doubled its U.S. model lineup and prodded its American dealers to invest some $206 million in sleek and airy new showrooms over the past three years. Along the way, it has crafted an image as the upstart alternative to its more blue-blooded premium rivals, tapping into a luxury ethos that's favored the high, yet minimalist, design typical of Audis. "We have put a lot of work in recent years toward winning over the U.S.," said Audi Chief Executive Rupert Stadler."
Audi Races for Luxury Crown (WSJ)
#15 of 21 Re: Lexus still stumbling [steve_]
Mar 12, 2013 (5:50 pm)
Funny, Audi and MB are in the same dealer group in my town, and when I bought my car, the MB salesman was badmouthing Audi pretty hard. I like some of the styling, but I don't like the popup nav screens, and they seem to lease more expensive than the competition. Also the fact that a 4cyl FWD A6 exists here is kind of kooky.
Still an amazing comeback though, 20 years ago they were effectively dead. The brand must be thanking its lucky stars for China.
Ad also mentions that the acceleration debacle caused Lexus to lose prestige. Nah, that wasn't it.
#16 of 21 Re: Lexus still stumbling [fintail]
Mar 12, 2013 (9:03 pm)
I believe that China is now MB's biggest market, although Audi may have been helped more by China.
The base engine in the 5er is also a turbo-4, but the fact that it's RWD may give it some additional luxury status. Would you feel differently about the 4 cylinder Audi if Quattro were standard?
#17 of 21 Re: Lexus still stumbling [hpmctorque]
Mar 13, 2013 (7:09 am)
Audi is far and away the strongest upmarket brand in China, helped by getting in early (and I don't recall any Chinese copycars of Audis, that might help). I want to say it outsells MB there by triple. The brand also appeals to what used to be the BMW demographic, and I won't elaborate any more on that (watch TopGear)
I don't see the point of an Audi if it isn't Quattro - what sets the brand apart without it? The design is pretty, but there's still a lot of VW parts bin stuff in some models. Quattro needs to be standard across the range. But maybe that's just an enthusiast's opinion, as they seem to sell anyway.
Oh, and speaking of China and Lexus both, I read the upcoming BYD S7 will be evolutionary from the S6, which is a shameless copycar clone of the 04-09 style RX. The S7 will be an 10+ style.
#18 of 21 Re: Lexus still stumbling [fintail]
Mar 16, 2013 (6:55 am)
I agree with you on the Audi Quattro matter for myself; the two go together. Audi, though, has apparently decided that it doesn't want to lose sales to those who don't need or want the extra expense, complexity and weight of the Quattro system. You don't see many Subies in FL and southern GA, AL, LA and Puerto Rico.
A couple of years ago I got into a conversation with an employee of what he claimed is the largest Audi dealer in FL. As an aside, he happened to be an Austrian who not only sounded like Schwarzenegger, but looked as though he could have been Arnold's younger brother. Among the things he told me is that FWD outsells Quattro by a large margin at his dealership. Most of the Audis they buy for inventory are FWD. Why? Many of the customers are retirees who mostly drive locally. They want a luxury brand, but don't want to pay for a feature they don't need. Any travel to the snowbelt is during the warm months. They choose Audis for their exterior styling and tasteful interiors. For some, Audi's small price advantage over BMW and MB is icing on the cake. The advantage that Quattro offers on wet roads is only appreciated by some aggressive drivers.
I realize that the geographic area and demographic I'm talking about qualifies as a niche market, but it's a significant niche.
#19 of 21 Re: Lexus still stumbling [hpmctorque]
Mar 16, 2013 (8:27 am)
It might also be for cheaper prices - a base FWD A6 is surprisingly cheap (undercuts 5er and E by thousands), which makes better leases and sales, as so many of these things are leased. Good way to improve sales volumes. In my area (lots of rain, little snow), probably 95% of A6s I have seen on the lot are Quattro. But in drier areas, what you say is probably true and then some. A sale is a sale.
#20 of 21 back in MB's court
by steve_ HOST
May 02, 2013 (10:40 am)
"Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz extended its lead over BMW AG in the U.S. luxury sales race, with a 5.8 percent gain in April.
Sales for the Mercedes brand rose to 23,635 in April, led by gains for the C-Class sedan and M-Class sport-utility vehicle. The BMW brand posted a 10 percent increase in April to 23,225, the Munich-based company said Wednesday in a statement."
Mercedes extends lead over BMW in U.S. with gain in April (Detroit News)
#21 of 21 One other surprise for April
May 02, 2013 (12:57 pm)
Acura outsold Audi...