How are these Japanese luxury brands doing these days?

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On Fri, 11 May 2007 21:32:02 -0600, "Kikune Mikutamo"


"Stack up against"? That entirely depends on personal preference, doesn't it?
It's a matter of taste. I'd much rather drive my GS430 than an M3. Otherwise, I'd have bought an M3.

Comfort is a positive attribute to me.

You're way out on that limb. This whole concept of "driver's car" is a little fuzzy to me - is it more desirable to have a harsher suspension, hard seats and more noise in everyday traffic conditions? I don't race on public streets, and like most M3 owners, my car will never see a racetrack.
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I agree, everyone has their own tastes, likes and dislikes.
Hmmm, so a "driver's car" equates to racing on public streets? I suspect many of those who prefer a "driver's car" want a car that communicates what it's doing, and one that is dependably responsive to their input.
I think your statement about a "driver's car" concept being fuzzy is a bit disingenuous, though. You know what we're talking about, and you know, however good your Lexus is, that it doesn't fit the bill in that respect. If those attributes don't matter much to you, fine. Just don't pretend that there's something wrong with people who do appreciate them, or that your vehicle is superior. It isn't.
How's this: a driver's car is fun to drive, for those who enjoy that sort of thing?
For others, we have Buicks ...
And Lexus ...
Sorry, Buick owners, that was unfair.
Ha ha.
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wrote:

Maybe that's why the lease pricing has gotten better since introduction, a good record is probably worth $10/20 per month.
J.
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On Mar 23, 1:33 am, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

snip
IMHO, in the USA, the only one having a significant cool-down is Acura. Honda decided to invest more in light trucks than in cars so all Acura has to offer are warmed-over, FWD Accords (Acura TL and TSX), an over-priced RL and SUVs. Their SUVs may be good all weather highway vehicles but they're too late to market. On the other hand, you can make quite a good deal on a TL.
Lexus (Toyota's luxo-brand) is doing very well with new products in the pipeline. Infiniti (Nissan) is attempting to meet BMW's performance standards with their G35/G37 sedan/coupe and M35/M45. As another poster explained, those who lease a car for the life the warranty are probably still buying BMW but those who hold onto a car longer are probably going to buy from either of the more reliable Infiniti or Lexus brands. MB and Audi both are attempting to address significant quality control issues.
YMMV
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On 22 Mar 2007 22:33:49 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I saw an article that says Lexus is going to introduce some super-lux models so yes, they seem to agree with your basic observation.
Acura, just doesn't seem to care, they make money on what they have even without an NSX for image, but really what did the NSX ever do for TL sales?
I still wish Honda/Acura would put out some V8 vehicles, but the RL body is probably just a little tight for it, and the cost of building on a new body is too high. They'd probably sell some in SUV bodies, but high powered FWD utilities vehicles wouldn't shock or awe anybody. But hey, an S4000 (or Acura badge whatever) to go against the X8 ...
... would harsh their fleet mileage, too.
J.
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JXStern wrote:

I doubt we will ever see V-8 powered Hondas. Honda's view seems to be that the V-6 is all the motor any street car ever will need. Remember that Honda is led first and foremost by engineers, everyone else is supporting cast. The engineers see a future where more fuel efficiency is needed and don't see any reason to make bigger more fuel thirst engines. They really don't care that this means ignoring certain market segments. Toyota and Honda obviously have different operating principles. Toyota is focused on the mission to provide a vehicle for every purse and purpose, as Alfred Sloan of GM's great years famously said. Honda is a rifle shot competitor which takes as it's prime directive "being a company society wants to have exist". Honda thus puts it's speculative money and effort into small jet airplane development and robot development while Honda's products are rifle shots at particular market segments. It is interesting that in Japan Honda is now the #2 automaker behind Toyota after unseating Nissan from that spot. Considering that when Honda first moved up from motorcycles to automobiles the Japanese government tried to stop them this is a very interesting development. Also, Honda has far fewer base designs and models than does Toyota. Basically Honda has the Civic platform, the Accord platform, the Odyssey platform, the Fit platform. It is truly stunning how many successful products they spin out of those.
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wrote:

Well I know, and that's probably true, now that they're finally getting into turbos, too, if only with the 4 so far here in the US, ... but I can still wish!

Yeah, I grok marketing, at least a little. I admit, from an engineering point of view, there's little need.

Yah.
Yes, well, I support and admire Honda for their vision, but even so, as a skeptic or cynic or something, and this is a marketing and finance perspective, they simply target the highest-return segments.
But note there have been and are exceptions, the NSX being the biggest, but I wonder if the S2000 turns a profit, either. Doubt it. A V8 would come in under the same heading, only it would probably cost much more.
If Honda ever decides to open a product branch of $100k++ automobiles, that would justify the V8. No straight 5's or V10's, please, it just ain't natural! And not having a straight six, I can't see them jumping to a V12. Just as well. Unless they want to get into $200k++. Y'know, something for Paris Hilton to drive to the store to pick up some cookies, and run out of gas in on the way home.
J.
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On Mar 23, 1:33 am, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Don't know your age group, but when I was a kid in the fifties, an Oldsmobile super 88 was the supercar, way before the Pontiac Bonneville appeared on the scene. Why? Because it performed close to a muscle car of the sixties, otherwise the drive train was identical to a Chevy's.... would I buy a supercar today, yes, I would opt for a Mercedes, had two in fact before my Lexus GS300.... why did I pick Lexus or rather Japanese over the Germans, because (1) Everything was included essentially in one package, no funky long list of options especially like on a GM or BMW product, also (2) Going back to the dealer is expensive, and Japanese cars essentially are change the oil and rotate the tires... if you need a (3) Higher resale value, which may be moot when talking about the Germans, but certainly a propos when thinking of a domestic product...
/N.
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Lexus is a great disappointment if you have ever driven a Mercedes. It is a noisy, rough, small car engineered for show, not go. It is not even civilized. It is just not a luxury car. But it is about 30,000 cheaper than a Mercedes which accounts for its popularity. The thing that got me to buy one was that my wife has had two of the mini-ES cars and they have not needed much repair. The first one, a 1993, blew its tranny which was normal for that year. The second one has rotten brakes, but so does my crappy LS430. The Mercedeses needed constant repair. Every 3 years they stranded me beside the road. But the Lexus needs constant oil and service - every 5000 miles. And then some little motor burns out or something, so you go to the stealership just as often as with a Mercedes. Am probably going back to the Mercedes and buy a little dodge neon to put in the trunk or something. At least the Mercedes is engineered for go and it does go when it isn't broken. And the Mercedes is comfortable and logical and does not have blind spots engineered in.
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Many of these reliability problems you cite may just be individual variation. You can have a look at the reliability surveys, which take into account many people's experiences with cars, and this gives better results because it doesn't overstate the experience of a few people.
With regards to the noise, the Lexus LS460's interior has sound rating of about 20 decibels. On an average car it's about 40 decibels. Which Mercedes were you referring to when you said the Mercedes is quiete?. You need to specify the model, not just the brand because different models are different even if they share the same brand.
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