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    1. 03-20-2020 04:21 AM #26
      Acura and Infiniti were arguably never up to even Lexus, let alone the almighty Germans. Lexus certainly had their moments-- many have been brought up above. Now, the begin and end all of Lexus are predator grill RX350s sold to people on their way to the nursing home. Simply put: they're the Buick/Cadillac/Lincoln of today (I forgot those three still exist). Cars like that certainly have their place, but when it comes to prestige and posters ending up on a dreamy-eyed teen boy's bedroom wall, forget about it. Absolutely no one dreams about an RX or GS/ES/LS. Their LC *could* change that; I could see it being the dream car of a spikey-haired Asian kid who lives off of energy drinks and drives a WRX.

      Me, personally, the only cars I liked that Lexus produced were their SCs from the 90's and 2000's, as well as all of the LX and GX except for the predator iterations. That. Is. it. Most any other car that Japan produced that I liked were from the 1980's, and they weren't from their luxury badges which were created out of thin air. They were the Datsun/Nissan Z cars, the Toyota Celicas from the late 70s, almost every two door Mazda and Subaru SVX. Japan hasn't made cars like that in many many years; Their luxo brands, forget about it.

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    3. 03-20-2020 05:39 AM #27
      Different battles. Lexus has established itself to be among the premier brands (at least in America and Asia). The Germans, meanwhile, are fighting each other tooth and nail, and that can only mean better products. Look at the performance race between the germans and you will see that they are on a whole other level. Lexus isn't even trying to compete in performance, just quality and reliability.

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      03-20-2020 05:53 AM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by Reisner View Post
      Different battles. [...] Lexus isn't even trying to compete in performance, just quality and reliability.
      that's pretty much my understanding as well. And lets be honest here; the real luxury is not having to worry about your vehicle breaking down. I'm pretty confident Lexus buyers' average credit score is probably 100 points higher than that of the average BMW buyer's since BMW is selling an image more than an actual car and luxury experience.
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      03-20-2020 07:00 AM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by Reisner View Post
      Different battles. Lexus has established itself to be among the premier brands (at least in America and Asia). The Germans, meanwhile, are fighting each other tooth and nail, and that can only mean better products. Look at the performance race between the germans and you will see that they are on a whole other level. Lexus isn't even trying to compete in performance, just quality and reliability.
      Yeah, I’d say that’s right. Every one of their cars is about a second slower to 60 than its German equivalent. That’s not a negligible difference. They pretty much conceded the yuppie market to the Germans. The Germans are hitting it harder than ever with A, C, GLA, GLB, GLC, 2, 3, X1, X2, X3.

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      03-20-2020 08:50 AM #30
      I'm probably biased, but I think people are being needlessly harsh on Infiniti. It's a popular internet car guy whipping boy. The reality is while Infiniti is kind of in shambles now, and most of their product is somewhere on the spectrum of old and bad, they were a force in the market. I think they pushed BMW to go turbo earlier than they might have otherwise, and they set off a HP war. The G35/G37 were good cars, as was the 2nd gen M and 1G/2G FX.

      And personally, even today I'd get a Q50/Q60 over most German competition, simply because while they are old, they are better value for the things I care about and can fix. They're reliable, they're fast, they're roomy and compared to all the cars I've had so far they have decent infotainment (with redundant physical controls). Only other car I'd consider in that class would be something like a G70. $50K for a turbo 4 banger just doesn't work for me.

      Internet orthodoxy is corny. Car A being worse than Car B doesn't make Car A not worth considering at all, or car B the best thing since sliced bread. I don't think there are any "bad" $40-60K cars on sale today.

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      03-20-2020 09:48 AM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by CTK View Post
      I'm probably biased, but I think people are being needlessly harsh on Infiniti. It's a popular internet car guy whipping boy. The reality is while Infiniti is kind of in shambles now, and most of their product is somewhere on the spectrum of old and bad, they were a force in the market. I think they pushed BMW to go turbo earlier than they might have otherwise, and they set off a HP war. The G35/G37 were good cars, as was the 2nd gen M and 1G/2G FX.

      And personally, even today I'd get a Q50/Q60 over most German competition, simply because while they are old, they are better value for the things I care about and can fix. They're reliable, they're fast, they're roomy and compared to all the cars I've had so far they have decent infotainment (with redundant physical controls). Only other car I'd consider in that class would be something like a G70. $50K for a turbo 4 banger just doesn't work for me.

      Internet orthodoxy is corny. Car A being worse than Car B doesn't make Car A not worth considering at all, or car B the best thing since sliced bread. I don't think there are any "bad" $40-60K cars on sale today.
      Your bias is definitely showing. Former Infiniti owner, check. Current Acura owner, check. Back to back cars from the companies sitting on the outside of the premium/luxury car market, check.

      My Infiniti is a great car that does everything well. I honestly have no complaints. But it doesn't offer the same experience an S4 or M40i or AMG 43 car does. It's not as polished, not as sharp. That is why despite the MSRP being comparable (at the time not against new models), the end transaction price is typically far less than the Ze germans. My car makes sense because I got more power than an S4 or 340i, but on a lease vs. lease comparison i'm paying nearly 50% less. If it weren't for that price discrepancy, I wouldn't be in the infiniti. There is a difference between purchasing a car because its worth it, and purchasing a car because it represents the better value. If you're the MFG with the value proposition in a luxury/premium market, you're not winning.
      Quote Originally Posted by DzlDub View Post
      Cars are ****ing awesome, anyone who doesn't want a car is a communist.
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      Current: 18' Infiniti Q50 Red Sport
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      03-20-2020 09:51 AM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by CTK View Post
      I'm probably biased, but I think people are being needlessly harsh on Infiniti. It's a popular internet car guy whipping boy. The reality is while Infiniti is kind of in shambles now, and most of their product is somewhere on the spectrum of old and bad, they were a force in the market. I think they pushed BMW to go turbo earlier than they might have otherwise, and they set off a HP war. The G35/G37 were good cars, as was the 2nd gen M and 1G/2G FX.

      And personally, even today I'd get a Q50/Q60 over most German competition, simply because while they are old, they are better value for the things I care about and can fix. They're reliable, they're fast, they're roomy and compared to all the cars I've had so far they have decent infotainment (with redundant physical controls). Only other car I'd consider in that class would be something like a G70. $50K for a turbo 4 banger just doesn't work for me.

      Internet orthodoxy is corny. Car A being worse than Car B doesn't make Car A not worth considering at all, or car B the best thing since sliced bread. I don't think there are any "bad" $40-60K cars on sale today.
      I agree.

      Infiniti was on track, but lost the plot or interest. Love how they escalated the HP wars too. AMSPerformace.com offers A LOT of tuning/upgrade options for current Q50. Not a bad option, IMO.

      I still love the looks of the FX, design was WAY ahead of its time. And now when we pine for N/A V6 & V8, VQ still sounds good.

      I wish Lexus would drop the 3.5TT V6 into everything & tune it like the Supra and give ze Germans a run for their money, but they don't. But the potential is there.

      All the above said, give me ANY out of warranty Infiniti/Lexus product over German. Hey, I can make that joke since I'm probably gonna buy a RS3 later this fall!
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      03-20-2020 10:12 AM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by lowlight View Post
      I agree.

      Infiniti was on track, but lost the plot or interest. Love how they escalated the HP wars too. AMSPerformace.com offers A LOT of tuning/upgrade options for current Q50. Not a bad option, IMO.

      I still love the looks of the FX, design was WAY ahead of its time. And now when we pine for N/A V6 & V8, VQ still sounds good.

      I wish Lexus would drop the 3.5TT V6 into everything & tune it like the Supra and give ze Germans a run for their money, but they don't. But the potential is there.

      All the above said, give me ANY out of warranty Infiniti/Lexus product over German. Hey, I can make that joke since I'm probably gonna buy a RS3 later this fall!
      Used prices reflect the sentiment of the bolded part of the quote. At least in my area, 2014-2016 RC-F cars, with more mileage, are priced the same as 2017-2018 M4's with half the miles. Even the CPO M4's are only 4-7K more than an out of warranty RC-F that is a year or two older.

      On another note, Lexus has a 3.5TT V6? Have I been living under a rock?
      Quote Originally Posted by DzlDub View Post
      Cars are ****ing awesome, anyone who doesn't want a car is a communist.
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      Current: 18' Infiniti Q50 Red Sport
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      03-20-2020 10:21 AM #34
      Different brands for different people (and different prices). I don't think Lexus wants to ape Mercedes, as they are selling plenty o' cars with their Lexus formula.

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      03-20-2020 10:25 AM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by GLI Dan View Post
      Used prices reflect the sentiment of the bolded part of the quote. At least in my area, 2014-2016 RC-F cars, with more mileage, are priced the same as 2017-2018 M4's with half the miles. Even the CPO M4's are only 4-7K more than an out of warranty RC-F that is a year or two older.

      On another note, Lexus has a 3.5TT V6? Have I been living under a rock?
      new LS




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      03-20-2020 10:36 AM #36
      Quote Originally Posted by GLI Dan View Post
      Your bias is definitely showing. Former Infiniti owner, check. Current Acura owner, check. Back to back cars from the companies sitting on the outside of the premium/luxury car market, check.

      My Infiniti is a great car that does everything well. I honestly have no complaints. But it doesn't offer the same experience an S4 or M40i or AMG 43 car does. It's not as polished, not as sharp. That is why despite the MSRP being comparable (at the time not against new models), the end transaction price is typically far less than the Ze germans. My car makes sense because I got more power than an S4 or 340i, but on a lease vs. lease comparison i'm paying nearly 50% less. If it weren't for that price discrepancy, I wouldn't be in the infiniti. There is a difference between purchasing a car because its worth it, and purchasing a car because it represents the better value. If you're the MFG with the value proposition in a luxury/premium market, you're not winning.
      Again I'm not saying Infiniti is on the level of BMW M or whatever. But an M340i costs like 50% more than a similarly equipped Q50RS. So I would hope it would be better. And IMO in the F30 generation........... they def weren't that much better. At least not driving normally on the street.

      And my overall thesis is the German brand proposition is so strong the only way for anyone else to come in is either to not compete directly (i.e. Lexus ES/RX) or to do the value play. I'd argue several auto makers have made cars as good as the German offerings, but the market was not willing to pay German prices for them. So the notion that nobody has ever made cars good enough is kind of a strawman. Plus the heavy lease subsidies the Germans do skews things too. BMW leases more than 3/4 of its cars in the US.... in that context, what does MSRP even mean? Everything comes down to lease terms.

      So yea Infiniti is not without its problems but I don't think it's as simple as "Infiniti bad Germans good". The fact that you went with an Infiniti speaks to that.

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      03-20-2020 10:41 AM #37
      Quote Originally Posted by masa8888 View Post
      new LS

      IMG]
      I had no idea, thought they were still using a V8 lump in there. I wonder how the engine behaves. One of my gripes with the 3.0tt, despite it's 400hp, in my Q50RS, is that its kind of boring. It makes gobs of power and pulls for ever, but it's....Idk, it feels like a an old lazy V8. If the v8 in the F cars was replaced by something like that it would be a loss.
      Quote Originally Posted by DzlDub View Post
      Cars are ****ing awesome, anyone who doesn't want a car is a communist.
      Disclaimer: Generally, I strongly dislike people.
      Current: 18' Infiniti Q50 Red Sport
      Prior Vehicles: 13' E92 335i M-Sport l 04' E46 330ci SMG l 04' MKIV GLI 1.8t 6spd

    14. 03-20-2020 01:05 PM #38
      Quote Originally Posted by ND40oz View Post
      Lexus lost the plot when they decided to follow their parent company's lead on hybrid everything. Instead of offering higher performing drivetrains across their lineups, they offered worse performing hybrid variants which offered little to no benefits over the standard drivetrain vehicles other then getting a blue Lexus badge to subtly announce that the owner spent a bit more to hold up traffic because the throttle mapping is tuned for economy.

      They still have a Performance category on the website, with 3 actual performance variants of the standard the lineup. They all share the 2UR-GSE is now 14 years old and it's received one major revision in 2014 which did give it a healthy bump in power. The only thing remotely close to that from the Germans is the N63 which is now on it's 4th major revision since its original release in 2008 and that doesn't include the S63 which has also have 4 different variants. They've also offered 4 different transmissions with S63 engine over the years, the ZF6, ZF8, DCT and the 6MT.

      For the BOF SUVs they didn't even bother doing anything different because enough people would continue to buy their recycled 20 year old products that doing complete overhauls wasn't worth it. By platform sharing with the parent company, any sale was a sale. They've been coasting on the badge and reputation for years and as long as people continue to buy them for that, that's all that matters.
      No one cares about performance.

      Anyone who goes focusing on performance will decline. Performance variants are whipped cream, you still need a full lineup of comfortable practical easy to live with cars as the bulk of sales.

      The hybrid thing was great at the start, but they failed to capitalize on it with full EVs and threw the brand recognition away.

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      03-20-2020 02:45 PM #39
      Quote Originally Posted by tejlab View Post
      No one cares about performance.
      Correct, no Lexus purchasers care about performance, if they did, they wouldn't buy a Lexus. Nor do they care about modern infotainment or modern amenities, because they haven't kept up in those departments either.

      Quote Originally Posted by tejlab View Post
      Anyone who goes focusing on performance will decline. Performance variants are whipped cream, you still need a full lineup of comfortable practical easy to live with cars as the bulk of sales.

      The hybrid thing was great at the start, but they failed to capitalize on it with full EVs and threw the brand recognition away.
      Yet BMW M GmbH had their best year ever in 2019, 135,829 vehicles sold.

      People care and that's why everyone is still playing catchup to the Germans. Having a good base vehicles from which those performance vehicles come pushes sales both ways.
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    16. 03-20-2020 03:40 PM #40
      Quote Originally Posted by worth_fixing View Post
      that's pretty much my understanding as well. And lets be honest here; the real luxury is not having to worry about your vehicle breaking down. I'm pretty confident Lexus, Audi, and Mercedes buyers' average credit score is probably 100 points higher than that of the average BMW buyer's since BMW subsidizes the living hell out of their leases so any 22 year old self-described "junior analyst" can have one.
      fixed

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      03-20-2020 04:34 PM #41
      Quote Originally Posted by tejlab View Post
      No one cares about performance.

      Anyone who goes focusing on performance will decline. Performance variants are whipped cream, you still need a full lineup of comfortable practical easy to live with cars as the bulk of sales.

      The hybrid thing was great at the start, but they failed to capitalize on it with full EVs and threw the brand recognition away.
      Performance goes all the way up and down the model lineup. It isn’t just the AMG, M, F Sport, etc. The vast majority of cars sold are going to be base model. Most Lexus base models are awful performers and that is going to be a factor for people.

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      03-20-2020 04:49 PM #42
      Quote Originally Posted by tejlab View Post
      No one cares about performance.

      Anyone who goes focusing on performance will decline. Performance variants are whipped cream, you still need a full lineup of comfortable practical easy to live with cars as the bulk of sales.

      The hybrid thing was great at the start, but they failed to capitalize on it with full EVs and threw the brand recognition away.
      Nope. 70 year olds who buy Lexus ES and RX models don't care. Margin dollars are made from performance and luxury cars, not "comfortable practical easy to live with" cars, and they elevate brand perception.

      It's pretty sad that in this latest economic boom era, selling $60k+ cars in any reasonable quantity has been nearly impossible for the Japanese manufacturers. Is the QX80 their biggest success? During the same time, Seiko was able to elevate Grand Seiko to a legit luxury watch brand competing with the Swiss and Germans with a high level of the desirability, while the Japanese auto manufacturers regressed.

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      03-20-2020 05:43 PM #43
      Quote Originally Posted by ND40oz View Post
      Correct, no Lexus purchasers care about performance, if they did, they wouldn't buy a Lexus. Nor do they care about modern infotainment or modern amenities, because they haven't kept up in those departments either.



      Yet BMW M GmbH had their best year ever in 2019, 135,829 vehicles sold.

      People care and that's why everyone is still playing catchup to the Germans. Having a good base vehicles from which those performance vehicles come pushes sales both ways.
      This is not a very convincing thesis... that's only ~5% of the 2.5 million vehicles they sold over that period. If that includes stuff like the M-sport stuff that's actually kind of pathetic. According to Cars.com about 40% of the new vehicles they have for sale have 4 bangers. Performance is not a priority for most BMW buyers, or luxury buyers period

      I'm gonna go full cynical and say most people buying ///M vehicles are just after another badge. Back in the day it at least required some kind of commitment..... now for better or worse it's very easy, so they can sell more. The bulk of luxury car volume are non-sport lease car specials that move mainly on badge. It is what it is. These stories we tell ourselves about the market being driven by what we like only leads to disappointment.

    20. 03-20-2020 05:46 PM #44
      Quote Originally Posted by ND40oz View Post
      Correct, no Lexus purchasers care about performance, if they did, they wouldn't buy a Lexus. Nor do they care about modern infotainment or modern amenities, because they haven't kept up in those departments either.



      Yet BMW M GmbH had their best year ever in 2019, 135,829 vehicles sold.

      People care and that's why everyone is still playing catchup to the Germans. Having a good base vehicles from which those performance vehicles come pushes sales both ways.
      Quote Originally Posted by Taco1933 View Post
      Performance goes all the way up and down the model lineup. It isn’t just the AMG, M, F Sport, etc. The vast majority of cars sold are going to be base model. Most Lexus base models are awful performers and that is going to be a factor for people.
      Quote Originally Posted by JackStraw79 View Post
      Nope. 70 year olds who buy Lexus ES and RX models don't care. Margin dollars are made from performance and luxury cars, not "comfortable practical easy to live with" cars, and they elevate brand perception.

      It's pretty sad that in this latest economic boom era, selling $60k+ cars in any reasonable quantity has been nearly impossible for the Japanese manufacturers. Is the QX80 their biggest success? During the same time, Seiko was able to elevate Grand Seiko to a legit luxury watch brand competing with the Swiss and Germans with a high level of the desirability, while the Japanese auto manufacturers regressed.
      I'm sure this is why BMW has expanded into FWD cars, and every available SUV/CUV niche they could find.

      The bulk of sales are with practical mainstream cars. That doesn't mean you don't have performance variants, but focusing purely on performance is suicide in this market.

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      03-20-2020 05:51 PM #45
      Quote Originally Posted by JackStraw79 View Post
      Nope. 70 year olds who buy Lexus ES and RX models don't care. Margin dollars are made from performance and luxury cars, not "comfortable practical easy to live with" cars, and they elevate brand perception.

      It's pretty sad that in this latest economic boom era, selling $60k+ cars in any reasonable quantity has been nearly impossible for the Japanese manufacturers. Is the QX80 their biggest success? During the same time, Seiko was able to elevate Grand Seiko to a legit luxury watch brand competing with the Swiss and Germans with a high level of the desirability, while the Japanese auto manufacturers regressed.
      Asian brands and American stuff that can't tow boats are capped at $50-60K. The only enduring exception is the Lexus LS, which was literally so good at launch it embarrassed the German competition. That never happened again and isn't a reasonable expectation for whole brands.

      Besides, $40-50K at volume is not a bad space to play in. You can make cars off mainstream platforms, etc. Expectations are lower. Less risky. I don't think it's all bad if you look at the numbers.

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      03-20-2020 05:58 PM #46
      Quote Originally Posted by CTK View Post
      This is not a very convincing thesis... that's only ~5% of the 2.5 million vehicles they sold over that period. If that includes stuff like the M-sport stuff that's actually kind of pathetic. According to Cars.com about 40% of the new vehicles they have for sale have 4 bangers. Performance is not a priority for most BMW buyers, or luxury buyers period

      I'm gonna go full cynical and say most people buying ///M vehicles are just after another badge. Back in the day it at least required some kind of commitment..... now for better or worse it's very easy, so they can sell more. The bulk of luxury car volume are non-sport lease car specials that move mainly on badge. It is what it is. These stories we tell ourselves about the market being driven by what we like only leads to disappointment.
      Considering BMW Group Automotive only had a 1.2% sales increase from the previous year, the M division made up a bulk of that increase. That's great news for buyers in this segment because it means it's an area they can expand.

      Quote Originally Posted by tejlab View Post
      I'm sure this is why BMW has expanded into FWD cars, and every available SUV/CUV niche they could find.

      The bulk of sales are with practical mainstream cars. That doesn't mean you don't have performance variants, but focusing purely on performance is suicide in this market.
      No one said they were focusing purely on performance, but having that aspect allows them to build better vehicles across the lineup. And that includes the UKL vehicles shared with Mini.
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      03-20-2020 06:07 PM #47
      Quote Originally Posted by ND40oz View Post
      Considering BMW Group Automotive only had a 1.2% sales increase from the previous year, the M division made up a bulk of that increase. That's great news for buyers in this segment because it means it's an area they can expand.
      A good catch, but this doesn't prove that customers actually care about performance. I still think it's about badging. I have said ///M stands for ///MSRP for most of its buyers and I stand behind that.

    24. 03-20-2020 06:33 PM #48
      Quote Originally Posted by ND40oz View Post
      No one said they were focusing purely on performance, but having that aspect allows them to build better vehicles across the lineup. And that includes the UKL vehicles shared with Mini.
      I would argue that BMW has shifted away from performance and driving dynamics as an overall brand decision to push for more volume, and in turn this has actually made their performance variants worse compared to their predecessors.

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      03-20-2020 07:30 PM #49
      Quote Originally Posted by tejlab View Post
      I'm sure this is why BMW has expanded into FWD cars, and every available SUV/CUV niche they could find.

      The bulk of sales are with practical mainstream cars. That doesn't mean you don't have performance variants, but focusing purely on performance is suicide in this market.
      Mercedes? Yeah, they’ve rounded out the bottom of their lineup. Lexus doesn’t even have any offerings in those segments.

      Edit: How could I forget about the UX and it’s 9 second 0-60. So it still gets trounced by a GLA. You’ve got to compete within your segment. Nobody expects a $30k car to keep up with a $50k car.
      Last edited by Taco1933; 03-20-2020 at 07:34 PM.

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      03-20-2020 09:15 PM #50
      Quote Originally Posted by CTK View Post
      Asian brands and American stuff that can't tow boats are capped at $50-60K. The only enduring exception is the Lexus LS, which was literally so good at launch it embarrassed the German competition. That never happened again and isn't a reasonable expectation for whole brands.

      Besides, $40-50K at volume is not a bad space to play in. You can make cars off mainstream platforms, etc. Expectations are lower. Less risky. I don't think it's all bad if you look at the numbers.
      Yeah, I mentioned before with the MDX and RX that there is certainly a big place for them and it's not bad to specialize in that range. I'm talking about it being sad more as a car fan that the Japanese have incredible craftsmen and a great culture for that stuff (as shown in the growth of Grand Seiko I mentioned), but they gave up on that direction too quickly IMO. I think Toyota could have even created a brand above Lexus doing more bespoke stuff.


      Quote Originally Posted by tejlab View Post
      I'm sure this is why BMW has expanded into FWD cars, and every available SUV/CUV niche they could find.

      The bulk of sales are with practical mainstream cars. That doesn't mean you don't have performance variants, but focusing purely on performance is suicide in this market.
      BMW expanded into FWD cars because they have three brands competing with VW Group's eight. They are trying to cover a lot of different segments and sub-segments with mainly just the BMW brand since Mini is pretty weak, and Rolls is so expensive but doesn't make sportscars. Vehicles like the A3, Golf, Q3, and Tiguan are super popular in Europe especially, and poorly packaged RWD platform cars was not the right approach to tackle these.

      You are not looking at performance holistically considering that the German 4-bangers are quicker than the NA V6 models from the Japanese, so even base models can be giving the consumer better performance. It's not just about the top end M, RS, and AMG cars. People like the performance in something like an A4 over an IS.

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