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    1. Member The_Real_Stack's Avatar
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      03-24-2020 11:37 AM #101
      Quote Originally Posted by JackStraw79 View Post
      It doesn't "determine" it, but premium platforms are historically built on longitudinal architectures to accommodate larger engines that could come in high performance models. How many FF transverse $100k cars do you know?
      What’s “premium” about Audi hanging an engine out in front of the front axle?
      Quote Originally Posted by Volkl View Post
      My wife wanted a SUV with a manual transmission. I suggested a Wrangler, she said no way, too masculine

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      03-24-2020 11:40 AM #102
      Quote Originally Posted by The_Real_Stack View Post
      What’s “premium” about Audi hanging an engine out in front of the front axle?
      Go check out the new RS6 Avant and find out. I don't make the rules man.

    4. Member BluMagic's Avatar
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      03-24-2020 11:57 AM #103
      Quote Originally Posted by CTK View Post

      To be fair, I wouldn't bother with a Lexus crossover either- NX and RX are too slow, and the NX is cramped compared to its competition. But most luxury buyers aren't getting a crossover for thrills. RX hasn't remained #1 in its class with Predator face and all these problems for no reason.
      Loved my CT-200h but had to sell it because the front passenger would have to have their knees slammed against the dash to fit with a child seat behind.

      Shopping more recently (used), I chose a 3-series over a same year IS250 because the rear leg room in the IS is also tiny. In addition my basic 328ix will put bus lengths on an IS250 for the same price/mileage at the time and i still think it is quite a bit quicker than the newer is200t

      Basically you have to spend more $ on higher tier Lexus to get the space and performance of lower spec BMWs.

    5. 03-24-2020 12:07 PM #104
      Quote Originally Posted by bzcat View Post
      Lexus is more reliable no doubt. Statistic backs this up. But the issue here is the marginal difference. Germans are not unreliable, they just have slightly higher level of reported issues, which on average over the course of a typical 36 months ownership period may result in one extra visit to the dealer. In another word, it's not really a thing people care about. Lexus' bullet proof reputation is a selling point only for the super paranoid and they don't tend to buy a lot of new luxury cars. The original Lexus formula was value plus reliability. Now it is just reliability and that's not a selling point when Porsche is also at the top of JD Power survey.

      On the other hand, Lexus is able to achieve the statistical margin mainly by offering outdated infortainment system. People have to live with outdated infortainment everyday and they can do the mental trade-off really well. Lexus is basically a victim of its own success. They've internalized the low JD Power reported issue scoring system that they have elected to not innovate. This is why Lexus has yesterday tech inside, a 15 years old ladder frame SUV going up against unibody CUV, and rather ho hum powertrain under the hood. These things help ES and RX stay at the top of the class for JD Power scores but people don't really care that much the marginal difference in reliability. Audi or Mercedes offering aren't catastrophically unreliable like they were in the 90s and they have fancy toys and endless turbo charged torque. BMW is so boring now, they are basically like Lexus so what is Lexus got to do to stand out? Lexus doesn't have that answer either BTW, which is why they are floundering.
      BMWs are sh*t for reliability. They have lots of issues with the V8 engines (valve stem seals, turbochargers, etc.), lots of issues with electronics and electronic devices in the cars, plus they haven't fixed a lot of the issues they have had for generations- control arm bushings, cheap quality cooling system components, rear subframes, cooling fan issues, etc.

      Mercedes since 2009 has gotten much, much better. Audi has gotten much better. Porsche has been pretty good, but they still have some major flaws (aluminum frame components that fail in the 991 is a big one).

      VW still has a lot of issues and they have some of the worst dealerships in their network.

    6. Member Samson's Avatar
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      03-24-2020 12:16 PM #105
      Quote Originally Posted by CTK View Post
      It got enough backlash that BMW stopped doing it. Plus while Lexus might not have the redundancy of inputs your Infiniti does, they still have enough that you could probably avoid having to use the mousepad for anything critical. Again the infotainment in my TLX is one of the worst on the market.
      It wasn't so much the input device as it was the interface. I'm sure it's something that you adapt to, but it looks like **** and is overly complicated.

      Anyway, I'd wager the original question mostly comes down to marketing, magazine reviews, and lease deals.

    7. 03-24-2020 12:17 PM #106
      Quote Originally Posted by The_Real_Stack View Post
      Yup, that's what I was saying above. 180k or 250k reliability sounds great right up until you realize you don't want a car for 180-250k miles.

      Same thing I said about the 4Runner/Land Cruiser and 25 year reliability...who wants to own the same (prosaic mainstream) vehicle for 25 years?
      Maybe that's not the case for everyone, but I've seen quite a few rich old people buy a nice luxury car and drive it for years and years, probably because they don't drive that much to begin with. Old Benzes in immaculate condition with really low mileage was the archetype for this.

      If you like it, then why not? Not everyone feels the need to change cars constantly. I've had my V70R from new, nearly 16 years and 165k miles. I don't love it, but there aren't too many cars that can replace it in terms of performance and utility, and to a lesser degree, comfort (the seats are really nice).

      I don't care about infotainment, it's a huge distraction. If I can play the radio, stream music, make phone calls via bluetooth, that's about all I care about. I don't need the car to give me stock quotes or find me a restaurant, tell me what Kim Kardashian is up to, etc. I care a lot more about how the car drives and feels.

    8. 03-24-2020 12:25 PM #107
      Quote Originally Posted by CTK View Post
      OK, legit point.
      Like someone else said the RX and NX are the top sellers in their segments, and they are slow. Plus most German luxury cars are sold with the base engines. An E300 is not fast despite being turbocharged.
      People that buy an RX are not interested in buying something truly sporty or fast. They want something that's comfortable, well-packaged and high quality, which are all things that the RX and the ES do really well. 0-60 in 7s isn't slow- it's not fast, but it's not slow, more than enough for the average consumer.

    9. 03-24-2020 12:26 PM #108
      Quote Originally Posted by JackStraw79 View Post
      It doesn't "determine" it, but premium platforms are historically built on longitudinal architectures to accommodate larger engines that could come in high performance models. How many FF transverse $100k cars do you know?
      Does the Lincoln Continental count? It's AWD, but is on a FWD platform, has a transverse engine and costs over $100k depending on the trim level.

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      03-24-2020 12:37 PM #109
      Quote Originally Posted by t44tq View Post
      Does the Lincoln Continental count? It's AWD, but is on a FWD platform, has a transverse engine and costs over $100k depending on the trim level.
      Looks like you're the big winner! The limited edition suicide doors version of the Continental. That might be it.

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      03-24-2020 12:58 PM #110
      Quote Originally Posted by JackStraw79 View Post
      It doesn't "determine" it, but premium platforms are historically built on longitudinal architectures to accommodate larger engines that could come in high performance models. How many FF transverse $100k cars do you know?
      A lot to unpack here. In the US, Mercedes established itself as the benchmark premium luxury brand without performance engines. Between the US launch of the W123 that established Mercedes' brand in the US and the 500E- Mercedes first mainstream performance sedan- there was 15 years of good times for Benz. And again, only a very small percentage of luxury cars are the high end performance variants. The typical E-Class has the cheapo 2.0T.

      Plus, for ****s and giggles, give me a rough guesstimate on how many luxury customers you think know:

      - their car's brand
      - their car's engine orientation
      - their car's drive wheels (if it's not AWD)
      - their car's platform
      - the performance vehicles & engines on their car's platform?

      You really think people are picking a 3 series over a Lexus ES because it is on the CLAR platform with the M5 and M850i? You don't think it has more to do with the badge on the hood and the lease specials to boost sales? I honestly don't think most BMW buyers even know the M brand exists, and if they do they just see it as a trim level. I think you're projecting a lot of your beliefs as market facts

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      03-24-2020 01:00 PM #111
      Quote Originally Posted by BluMagic View Post
      Loved my CT-200h but had to sell it because the front passenger would have to have their knees slammed against the dash to fit with a child seat behind.

      Shopping more recently (used), I chose a 3-series over a same year IS250 because the rear leg room in the IS is also tiny. In addition my basic 328ix will put bus lengths on an IS250 for the same price/mileage at the time and i still think it is quite a bit quicker than the newer is200t

      Basically you have to spend more $ on higher tier Lexus to get the space and performance of lower spec BMWs.
      Lexus ES is cheap, huge and has been around forever. And was in line or even faster than the cheapest 3s until recently.

    13. Member BluMagic's Avatar
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      03-25-2020 03:15 PM #112
      Quote Originally Posted by CTK View Post
      Lexus ES is cheap, huge and has been around forever. And was in line or even faster than the cheapest 3s until recently.
      that is wrong wheel drive though and a tune alone on a 328 F30 puts you at stock n55 power with a bit less weight.

      Plus modifying a fancy camry doesn't seem fun. The aftermarket support is great, i love being able to be AWD in the winter and RWD in the summer by just plugging in my phone and hitting a button.
      Last edited by BluMagic; 03-25-2020 at 03:24 PM.

    14. 03-25-2020 03:49 PM #113
      Quote Originally Posted by t44tq View Post
      BMWs are sh*t for reliability. They have lots of issues with the V8 engines (valve stem seals, turbochargers, etc.), lots of issues with electronics and electronic devices in the cars, plus they haven't fixed a lot of the issues they have had for generations- control arm bushings, cheap quality cooling system components, rear subframes, cooling fan issues, etc.

      Mercedes since 2009 has gotten much, much better. Audi has gotten much better. Porsche has been pretty good, but they still have some major flaws (aluminum frame components that fail in the 991 is a big one).

      VW still has a lot of issues and they have some of the worst dealerships in their network.
      100 percent agree with this. Across the board, the german offerings have some level of reliability issues. Some worse than others obviously. Lexus reliability has been steady as has Infiniti. What they dont offer and have failed to truly market is the premium or luxury status that comes with ownership. People dont win the lottery and say I am going to run out and buy an Infiniti or a Lexus, hell place Acura there. They consider those brands appliance luxury. If you want to be safe, you buy those brands. To be honest, I have no idea what Infiniti does anymore? Nissan either doesnt care or just flat out doesnt know what to do with the brand.

      I am always reminded of the regional sales managers at my former company. Each month they came to my office for their sales meetings. Almost all drove a high end german ( S class, 7 series, a few A8s and one had a XJ jag. They had one lone manager that drove a LS 460. It always looked out of place sitting next to others and they even joked him. He eventually sold it and went to a 7 series. No doubt the 460 would have been a more reliable car long term, but it was an appliance.

    15. Member TangoRed's Avatar
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      03-25-2020 03:53 PM #114
      Quote Originally Posted by CTK View Post
      Like you said, BMW is basically Lexus now, yet BMW is selling like gangbusters. What can Lexus do to "stand out" when the cars basically don't even matter? A Lexus X5 or X7 would not take the crown from BMW.

      This thread kind of captures why the non-Germans can't win. German luxury brands = cool and cutting edge, even if the cars kind of aren't. Non-German brands = old and irrelevant, even if the cars aren't (see: Genesis). What would you to fix Lexus? Make the ES RWD with a stick and a V8?
      Lexus has enough equity here in the U.S. to still make major sales when the product is right. That's why the NX, ES, and RX are such strong sellers. If Lexus made a proper 7 seat, unibody crossover to go against the X7 it would fly off the lot. Toyota has truly struggled to get Lexus prepared for this decade; all of their indecision in the 2010s is coming to a head.

      Quote Originally Posted by 6cylVWguy View Post
      The numbers I was able to find show that the Lexus NX and RX sell in extremely high (for the luxury car segment) numbers---isn't the RX the top selling luxury SUV (seems that it's typically 1 or 2 in sales volume depending on the year). So clearly, the company is doing something right. They certainly can and do sell substantial numbers of vehicles. And from what I've seen of the 2019 numbers, given the greater number of models BMWs sells, that they only sold about 25k more cars than Lexus in 2019 isn't as impressive as you're suggesting. Particularly since a lot of Lexus vehicles, as pointed out, are older and using older tech. And that sales delta is even less when talking about Mercedes (passenger cars sales, FYI). Lexus isn't really that far behind, IMO. And given that a lot of Lexus vehicles are using shared platforms with volume toyota models, I would be willing to bet that Lexus is still making a very healthy profit. It's clear that Toyota spends their time and money on the vehicles that are volume sellers, while spending less on vehicles that aren't.
      Although their vehicles derive savings from shared platforms, one can't say they'd would be doing even better if they sold more vehicles north of $60k. This is here Lexus' product strategy suffers...and they sell less vehicles overall than the Germans to boot.
      Quote Originally Posted by Doug Butabi View Post
      And on the tenth day of the two thousand fifteenth year, TCL finds out about rich people.

    16. Member TangoRed's Avatar
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      03-25-2020 03:57 PM #115
      Quote Originally Posted by CTK View Post
      OK, legit point.


      BMW was charging a subscription fee for Android Auto and sales didn't budge. I don't think infotainment is that much of a dealbreaker.


      Like someone else said the RX and NX are the top sellers in their segments, and they are slow. Plus most German luxury cars are sold with the base engines. An E300 is not fast despite being turbocharged.


      Lexus is still killing Tesla in global sales without EV mandates and incentives, and is profitable without having to do stuff like sell carbon indulgences. Toyota will jump into the EV fray when they actually make sense to sell. IIRC they are pretty far along in R&D on mass production solid state batteries.

      Lexus obviously has room to improve but it seems like everyone is just projecting their own personal preferences as "reasons why 'the market' isn't interested". Most luxury buyers don't care about power or performance and are pretty accommodating with infotainment. Truthfully all Lexus has to do right now is ride out this recession- I don't think a lot of second/third tier brands are gonna make it. And as the last Q3, CLA and current 2"GC" show, people will basically buy anything with a German luxury emblem on the hood (particularly if it glows in the dark). What's the point in putting in more effort when the leaders in the segment are coasting on brand power?

      BMW's Android Auto charge was a scam, but that doesn't take away from the fact the overall infotainment system is worlds better to use than what Lexus is peddling. And it is a pain point for buyers; they're expecting the latest in connectivity as more and more car functions are absorbed by the infotainment system.

      People will buy almost anything with a Lexus badge too, for the record. The only time Lexus truly got caught out was the pathetic HS250h. And coasting on brand power? If that were the case, I highly doubt Mercedes would've invested so much on making the CLA/GLA far better than its predecessors and Audi wouldn't have gone to such lengths to improve the A3. They're still innovating even as they're creating their EV strategy.

      Quote Originally Posted by Ilikewaffles View Post
      I can trust a 250k mile Lexus GX to drive from Florida to Alaska and back without a hiccup.

      I wouldn’t trust a Mercedes ML or GL, BMW X3 or X5, any British car, Audi Q7, Touareg: whatever Euro Suv to do the same.
      Sure they might be able to do it, but not with the same confidence, and my friends that are German car nuts back me up on it.
      Even the ones that can fix anything themselves, 180k miles on a ML? That this was TIRED and needed non stop repairs; and I say this as a Mercedes fan too. 180k miles on a Lexus? it’s finally broken in.

      The Germans found out that nobody (aka an insignificant number of people who buy brand new) cares.
      Last edited by TangoRed; 03-25-2020 at 04:00 PM.
      Quote Originally Posted by Doug Butabi View Post
      And on the tenth day of the two thousand fifteenth year, TCL finds out about rich people.

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      03-25-2020 04:30 PM #116
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr Roo View Post
      I am always reminded of the regional sales managers at my former company. Each month they came to my office for their sales meetings. Almost all drove a high end german ( S class, 7 series, a few A8s and one had a XJ jag. They had one lone manager that drove a LS 460. It always looked out of place sitting next to others and they even joked him. He eventually sold it and went to a 7 series. No doubt the 460 would have been a more reliable car long term, but it was an appliance.
      I would assume all the managers leased their vehicles, and that their fleet is probably all Model S's if we're talking about today...I doubt they want to do a meeting at the service department lounge.

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      03-25-2020 04:34 PM #117
      Quote Originally Posted by TangoRed View Post
      The Germans found out that nobody (aka an insignificant number of people who buy brand new) cares.
      That'll be remarketing department's problem, in 3-4 years.

    19. Senior Member 6cylVWguy's Avatar
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      03-25-2020 04:50 PM #118
      Quote Originally Posted by TangoRed View Post
      If Lexus made a proper 7 seat, unibody crossover to go against the X7 it would fly off the lot. Toyota has truly struggled to get Lexus prepared for this decade; all of their indecision in the 2010s is coming to a head.
      Poor example. If a 3 row crossover was that essential to success in the SUV game, BMW would have done it WELL before last year.

      Although their vehicles derive savings from shared platforms, one can't say they'd would be doing even better if they sold more vehicles north of $60k.
      What are you trying to say here? What do $60k vehicles have to do with anything? Sales of Lexus vehicle frankly aren't that far off the others anyway. And in another thread on this forum, there was mention of a whole slew of new Lexus products on their way over the next, what, 18 months? I think the brand is in pretty healthy shape at the moment. Work to do? Sure, absolutely. But they're far more in the game than any other Asian competition. Genesis will give Lexus a run for the money in the future, IMO, but we're not there yet. Having said that, Genesis makes the most appealing luxury-oriented Asian offerings at the moment.

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      03-25-2020 04:54 PM #119
      Quote Originally Posted by TangoRed View Post
      Lexus has enough equity here in the U.S. to still make major sales when the product is right. That's why the NX, ES, and RX are such strong sellers. If Lexus made a proper 7 seat, unibody crossover to go against the X7 it would fly off the lot. Toyota has truly struggled to get Lexus prepared for this decade; all of their indecision in the 2010s is coming to a head.
      Like I think I said, I don't disagree there. Lexus needs a proper 7 seater. It would be a mint.

      Quote Originally Posted by TangoRed View Post
      BMW's Android Auto charge was a scam, but that doesn't take away from the fact the overall infotainment system is worlds better to use than what Lexus is peddling. And it is a pain point for buyers; they're expecting the latest in connectivity as more and more car functions are absorbed by the infotainment system.
      I think it depends on the customer.

      https://www.nbcnews.com/business/aut...ivers-n1034716

      Plus I think VWAG is making a huge mistake with its all touch controls.

      Quote Originally Posted by TangoRed View Post
      People will buy almost anything with a Lexus badge too, for the record. The only time Lexus truly got caught out was the pathetic HS250h. And coasting on brand power? If that were the case, I highly doubt Mercedes would've invested so much on making the CLA/GLA far better than its predecessors and Audi wouldn't have gone to such lengths to improve the A3. They're still innovating even as they're creating their EV strategy.
      Lexus doesn't have anywhere near the leeway of the Germans. Their RWD sedan sales are in freefall. As far as the CLA/GLA, I'm gonna go full cynical and say the only reason those are getting an upgrade here is because they're upgrading the ones they sell in Europe, and it just makes sense to sell one lineup globally. I don't think anyone who signed the dotted line on a CLA250 is that demanding. Dat emblem! It's a "**** it might as well" move, not a "****, Americans have really high standards for a $35K Benz" thing.

    21. Member TangoRed's Avatar
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      03-25-2020 05:42 PM #120
      Quote Originally Posted by 6cylVWguy View Post
      Poor example. If a 3 row crossover was that essential to success in the SUV game, BMW would have done it WELL before last year.
      BMW has been debating producing the X7 since the GLS launched in the mid 2000s. They did not feel that they would be able to command enough sales to make it viable. Now that the buying public is SUV focused, things have changed. This shouldn't be an unfamiliar story.

      Quote Originally Posted by 6cylVWguy View Post
      What are you trying to say here? What do $60k vehicles have to do with anything? Sales of Lexus vehicle frankly aren't that far off the others anyway. And in another thread on this forum, there was mention of a whole slew of new Lexus products on their way over the next, what, 18 months? I think the brand is in pretty healthy shape at the moment. Work to do? Sure, absolutely. But they're far more in the game than any other Asian competition. Genesis will give Lexus a run for the money in the future, IMO, but we're not there yet. Having said that, Genesis makes the most appealing luxury-oriented Asian offerings at the moment.
      This thread is about Lexus not catching up to the Germans is it not? The $60k+ range is exactly where Lexus is most absent. And yes sales are quite far off, 15k units isn't anything to sneeze at especially considering the bulk of sales are skewed towards cheaper models that need volume for profitability. As I said earlier, Lexus is in a very real malaise era (hopefully exiting now) which has been shown by their corporate indecision over the last decade. It's far out the norm for them. I agree on your comments regarding Genesis.

      Quote Originally Posted by CTK View Post
      Lexus doesn't have anywhere near the leeway of the Germans. Their RWD sedan sales are in freefall. As far as the CLA/GLA, I'm gonna go full cynical and say the only reason those are getting an upgrade here is because they're upgrading the ones they sell in Europe, and it just makes sense to sell one lineup globally. I don't think anyone who signed the dotted line on a CLA250 is that demanding. Dat emblem! It's a "**** it might as well" move, not a "****, Americans have really high standards for a $35K Benz" thing.
      The Germans haven't let their RWD sedans languish as Lexus as. If they did, I think sales would fall just as much. I'm just saying Lexus has some equity and if they were to properly relaunch their lines they would see a healthy sales increase. We can agree to disagree on the CLA. The CLA was criticized for the exact same attributes over in Europe as it was here and there's plenty of status seekers abroad. The A3 and 1-series hatch were a better overall drives and it that showed up in sales.
      Quote Originally Posted by Doug Butabi View Post
      And on the tenth day of the two thousand fifteenth year, TCL finds out about rich people.

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      03-25-2020 05:58 PM #121
      I wonder if it's a chicken/egg situation. With the GS in particular... IMO, in 2013 a GS350 was a much better car than an F10 528i or W212 E350. OK the infotainment sucked even 7 years ago but standards were lower then too. But it didn't catch on. Why put more money in when the RX/ES are easy cash cows. But even now I think there's still some value in a simple, reliable luxury car. Tech <> luxury which is the story the Germans are leaning heavy on.

    23. Member TangoRed's Avatar
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      03-25-2020 06:25 PM #122
      Quote Originally Posted by CTK View Post
      I wonder if it's a chicken/egg situation. With the GS in particular... IMO, in 2013 a GS350 was a much better car than an F10 528i or W212 E350. OK the infotainment sucked even 7 years ago but standards were lower then too. But it didn't catch on. Why put more money in when the RX/ES are easy cash cows. But even now I think there's still some value in a simple, reliable luxury car. Tech <> luxury which is the story the Germans are leaning heavy on.
      I thought the 2013 GS350 was a great car as well, if a bit ugly. They were behind from the start with that car in my opinion simply because they didn't have many variants and lacked aggressive lease support. They only had a niche hybrid GS450h and GS350 against the E-class, which had the coupe/convertible/wagon padding sales as well as the E350 Bluetec, E550, and E63 AMG sedan variants. Through a couple of Lexus insiders I learned they almost cancelled the GS earlier (signalling a lack of future investment) and now in present day the next-generation GS turned into the 2021 Toyota Mirai.

      I see your point on having a luxury car where the tech is secondary and not overwhelming in its presence. I think this is the route Genesis is taking to good effect with the G80 and GV80. We'll see how well they fare in comparison tests and sales charts.
      Quote Originally Posted by Doug Butabi View Post
      And on the tenth day of the two thousand fifteenth year, TCL finds out about rich people.

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      03-25-2020 06:54 PM #123
      The body variants probably helped with the numbers but MB has admitted to having too many of them. I'm pretty sure the E class convertible is dead.

      I think Genesis will do numbers and maybe even pass Lexus once they get their **** together. But today the selling point of "luxury" is largely in the status of the brand. Genesis will never be able to surpass the Germans in that metric. Nobody will. And it doesn't look like there's anything the Germans can do to destroy their brands. The dark period of the late 90s- early 00s showed that.

    25. 03-25-2020 09:30 PM #124
      1st off, w/ regard to catching up to the Germans, wouldn't exactly include Audi as Audi has long lagged behind its German brethren w/ regard to higher-end sales (for a long while, they were a distant 4th behind Lexus).


      Quote Originally Posted by The_Real_Stack View Post
      What’s “premium” about Audi hanging an engine out in front of the front axle?

      That's why sales of the A6 and A8 have been a fraction of that of the E/S Class and 5/7 Series.

      Also why Audi doesn't offer the A7 and A8 (and now A6) in FWD form here in the US and why they have done better selling CUVs (less of a stigma being FWD-based for a CUV than for a sedan, in addition to not needing to be as performance-focused) than sedans.




      Quote Originally Posted by Elite_Deforce View Post
      Infiniti never did particularly well. Lexus has always been popular. I think people keep them longer because they are genuinely more reliable.
      Only area where Infiniti did better than Lexus was w/ G/Q50/Q60 sales compared to IS and RC sales (some of that can be attributed to the ES also being the Lexus stable, but even if it weren't, think that the G/Q50 would still outsell the IS due to other factors like interior space).




      Quote Originally Posted by JackStraw79 View Post
      Lexus got too deep into selling based on reliability to be able to take the technology and performance leaps that premium buyers pay higher transaction prices for.

      Acura and Infiniti got too deep into to relying on being the cheap option for people who want a better brand than their neighbors Honda, Nissan, Toyota etc. but don’t want to pay for a BMW, MB etc.
      Lexus was no different in being the cheaper option or as one can put it, being the value equation.

      Not only were the Lexus RWD models priced below the RWD Germans, they increasingly relied on cheaper FWD models for sales.

      If anything, it was Infiniti which tried to compete more directly w/ the RWD Germans by also having RWD CUVs - the original QX50 and the FX/QX70.

      Problem was, the Infiniti RWD CUVs were more like coupe-CUVs in body-style (more like an X6 than an X5) which cramped interior space while being pricier than the Japanese FWD competition - hence, being niche sellers like the X4, X5, etc.

      More below.



      Quote Originally Posted by Samson View Post
      At least when it comes to Infiniti, it seems like they have just sort of given up. The 1st/2nd generation G35/37 and the M35/37/45/56 were competitive and even better than "the Germans" in some respects. They were the more entertaining, more reliable, less expensive, and less refined options. Then they sort of dropped the ball. I've owned two modern-ish Infinitis (the horror), and I can't say that anything they sell currently appeals to me all that much. Then again, nothing BMW or Mercedes makes does either. I'm curious how their plan to electrify everything turns out. Maybe they can make an electric motor feel like a VQ... make it not particularly smooth or efficient. If so, sign me up.
      Infiniti has always been a financial albatross around Nissan which is why Ghosn had seriously considered killing the brand some years ago, before he looked for ways to cut R&D costs (such as the ill-advised hook-up w/ Daimler).

      But agree that they were the more enthusiast-focused brand in comparison to Lexus, more geared towards chasing BMW than MB.

      But due to poorly thought out products/execution (such as the FX/QX70 and original QX50) which led to poor sales, they set their eyes lower and went w/ the cheaper FWD option - the QX50 switching to FWD and the JX/QX60 basically replacing the FX/QX70.

      Personally, really liked the original G35 coupe and FX and consider them to be the high-point of Infiniti.



      Quote Originally Posted by Samson View Post
      I'm not sure that Lexus didn't "catch up". The RX sells 2x more than the next best X5, the ES outsells the 5-series, and the IS... well, that doesn't sell. Those things went downhill after the first generation IS300.
      That's largely due to the price/value equation.

      The RX is priced like the X3 and not the X5 (and can option up the X3 significantly higher than the RX) and the ES, despite being based on a full-size FWD platform (shared w/ the Avalon) is priced alongside the IS.

      If the RX were priced like the X5, sales would plummet.

      That's the reason Toyota/Lexus didn't raise the price of the ES significantly when it switched over from the Camry to the Avalon platform; they knew that doing so would have a significant impact on ES sales (also didn't want to step onto the toes of the GS).

      The rest of the full-size FWD lux competition is priced in the mid-size segment (XTS, RLX, MKS/Continental, S80, etc.), but the ES remained priced in the entry-level/compact segment.

      Acura actually thought that they could charge a premium for the RLX (being priced about $5k higher than the XTS and Conti), but they couldn't have been more wrong.





      Quote Originally Posted by bzcat View Post
      Infiniti is so irrelevant now it's not even worth talking about.

      Lexus seemed to have lost focus after about 2010 or so. The brand became dependent on RX to move volumes but Toyota kind of sat on its butt while competitors lapped it. Why did it take Lexus 17 years after Acura MDX and 12 years after Audi Q7 to put a 3rd row in the RX? And why despite all those years of watching the market evolve and expand, the 3rd row of RX is uninhabitable for people with legs?

      Lexus became overly dependent on sales of their cheaper FWD models - the RX, ES, NX and now UX, as sales of their RWD sedans have basically collapsed.


      Quote Originally Posted by bzcat View Post
      The LS also shows sign of this Lexus malaise. It's not class leading in any particular way and it is also not a bargain like it was.
      This started when Toyota/Lexus extended the shelf-life of the LS to 11 years, and not really bothering to upgrade the powertrain during that length of time, placing the LS further and further behind the German competition.

      Was a real mistake to not replace the LS w/ an all-new model in a timely manner, w/ that mistake exacerbated by the LS 500 adopting a 4-door coupe roofline which cramps rear space/headroom (the ES has more space/headroom at the rear) and dropping the V8.



      Quote Originally Posted by bzcat View Post
      The only Lexus that has continued to deliver and resonating with buyers is ES and that is kind of the problem with Lexus... it totally aced the mid size luxury sedan game but midsize sedan (sedan in general) is a dying segment (both metaphorically and literally... traditional luxury sedan buyers are old). Why is there no ES 4 door coupe? Where is the Lexus EV? It's not a brand that younger people entering the luxury car segment today want to buy.

      Not at the same price-point as the E Class or 5 Series, so can't really say that they have aced the mid-size segment.

      At one point, however, the GS was a solid 3rd in sales in the segment, but the lack of continued investment sealed the fate for the RWD midsize Lexus.




      Quote Originally Posted by S4cabriofox View Post
      ^What bz and Tango said.

      Infiniti was never within spitting distance of BMW and Benz, but Lexus was on top in the 2000s. I remember when my mom got an ‘04 RX330 right when they came out. It was one of the first cars (in the US) with a backup camera, adaptive xenons, a pano roof, and IIRC a power tailgate. Toyota was really leading the pack in terms of tech and convenience. The LS460 felt like a victory lap; in 2007, it was wild to see a car with an 8spd transmission that could park itself.
      The FX was superior to the RX.


      Quote Originally Posted by S4cabriofox View Post
      Then what happened? I can’t think of a single trend-setting or segment-leading Lexus product released since. The third RX, HS, CT, and IS C are best forgotten. The GS, GX and LX are ancient. They were a decade late to the compact CUV class and they still don’t have a proper three-row crossover - let the GX die already. They’ve dumped hundreds of millions into developing two excellent flagships that nobody is buying (LC and LS). They don’t have a relevant halo product - they sat and watched while the R8, SLS/GT, NSX, and i8 were out to play. While their chassis are much improved, they don’t have the motors to compete with the S/43/M Sport lines, let alone the full-fat German performance offerings.
      The reason why Toyota/Lexus has been slow to invest in their RWD sedans/coupes is the lack of ROI due to the US having been the only real market (which has since dwindled).

      Lexus doesn't sell many of its RWD offerings in Japan and they spent too much of their resourced directed at RWD to the slow-selling LS 500 and LC.

      The GS is pretty much good as dead and depending on which report to believe, the IS either is getting a new iteration soon (via the help of BMW) or the current gen will get extended (via a 2nd refresh) until Mazda is done developing their upcoming RWD chassis and I6 engine.

      Otoh, the Toyota Crown series is a strong seller in Japan (and China) and w/ the apparent demise of the GS, will likely mean that the Crown and LS will start to share components (in order to justify keeping the LS around).
      Last edited by CP1; 03-25-2020 at 09:42 PM.
      Why you wouldn’t (buy an Optima SX):

      Because you have your eyes on the Frigidaire Limited Edition Camry that you saw last weekend at the neighborhood Autoplex
      .
      - LeftLaneNews

    26. 03-25-2020 11:22 PM #125
      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.
      Wouldn't exactly say that when Lexus can't match the Germans at the higher-end of the market, including in Japan.

      Lexus' ATP is far below that of MB and BMW.



      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.
      Btwn Infiniti and Lexus, Infiniti definitely had more of the attention of the enthusiast w/ the G35/37 and FX.




      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.
      Lexus buyers tend not to care about performance.

      Which is why Lexus hasn't really tried to compete head-to-head w/ AMG and M, and why the widely panned IS250 (even by Consumer Reports) made up over 80% of IS sales at one point.

      Lexus actually has a TTV8 in the works, but it's likely too little too late (much like the Blackwing engine for Cadillac).



      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.
      Both M and AMG have seen sales keep going higher and higher, and they are profit-drivers.

      When the bulk of your sales are cheaper FWD models w/ little want to opt for a higher performance variant, the margins remain slim (which is why Lexus hasn't been making much $$, if at all, if that report from that MT writer is accurate).

      GM priced the base C8 Stingray at a loss, but they are counting on most buyers to load up on options and/or pick the higher performance variants to turn a profit.
      Last edited by CP1; 03-25-2020 at 11:26 PM.
      Why you wouldn’t (buy an Optima SX):

      Because you have your eyes on the Frigidaire Limited Edition Camry that you saw last weekend at the neighborhood Autoplex
      .
      - LeftLaneNews

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