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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 23 Mar 2007, 12:33 am
aniramca@yahoo.com
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Default How are these Japanese luxury brands doing these days?

I am trying to gauge on how well are these three Japanese luxury car
makers doing at the present. It is my impression that the market seems
to cool down for them. Either they do not offer some appealing
products, the american cars are getting better and offer better
values, their Japanese siblings (Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda) are
more appealing and cheaper to the people, or they do not meet with the
high end luxury car's expectation. Is it any of the above?
Are they doing well in comparison to other car makers, particularly
the german car manufacturers? The Japanese luxury cars do not seem to
give a "shock and awe" products at the moment. Despite of the problems
and dissatisfaction toward quality of German luxury cars, Audis, Benz
and Bimmer seem to offer lots of exciting, new products. Am I correct
on this? Do young professionals, business type people prefer to get a
Bimmer than a GS or TL or a G35? Does Audi offer better products in
their S4, S6 and S8? Strangely, those products seem to have low long
term satisfaction from their owners. Do these people look for quality,
style, or sheer performance? Could Japanese car makers ever match the
performance of German luxury cars?
I noticed that Benz has a variety of products that they offer. The
Japanese counterparts only offer one type for each categories (Lexus
IS, GS, ES, RX, LS or Acura RSX,CSX,TL,EL, RDX and MDX, or Infiniti
G35, and M35?). Should these Japanese Luxury car makers try to go into
more product varieries?
Or... is it really that BMW engine is the ultimate driving machine?
I have not heard people raving about a Honda TL or EL. There are not
too many GS430 or 450h on the street. Infiniti G or M35 looks nice,
and solid, but they do not stand out in the crowd. They seem to be
too quiet these days... or run out of steam?
Just curious!

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Old 23 Mar 2007, 02:03 am
Brian Humphrey
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Default Re: How are these Japanese luxury brands doing these days?

<aniramca@yahoo.com> wrote...

>I am trying to gauge on how well are these three Japanese luxury car
> makers doing at the present..


You could accept what comes your way via Usenet - and do the copious math
yourself, or Google a few of the more well-respected purveyors of customer
satisfaction, such as:

http://www.jdpower.com/autos

-BH-


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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 25 Mar 2007, 07:54 pm
John Horner
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Default Re: How are these Japanese luxury brands doing these days?

Lexus is the top selling luxury brand in the US and continues to gain
market share. Acura's TSX has the highest resale value in it's class.

Those who are seeking the hottest/trendiest/flashiest vehicle and plan
to get ride of it by the time the warranty is over are still fawning
over European brands, but other than that bunch the market continues to
trend heavily towards the Japanese brands. Infiniti seems to be the one
Japanese brand which is chasing the trendy crowd.

John

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Old 30 Mar 2007, 10:42 pm
norak
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Default Re: How are these Japanese luxury brands doing these days?

Lexus has the highest sales in the US, higher than any other luxury
car maker, but in Europe people don't tend to like Lexus. It's hard to
know why, but in Europe automotive tastes seem to differ
significantly. E.g. virtually everyone in Continental Europe drives
with manual transmission and if you don't people look down on you. In
America most drive automatics. Lexuses tend to be more reliable and
refined than other luxury cars, so perhaps the difference in sales
reflect American consumers' utilitarianism and individualism versus
the European consumers' snobbery.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexus

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Old 31 Mar 2007, 09:53 am
ACAR
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Default Re: How are these Japanese luxury brands doing these days?

On Mar 23, 1:33 am, anira...@yahoo.com wrote:
> I am trying to gauge on how well are these three Japanese luxury car
> makers doing at the present. It is my impression that the market seems
> to cool down for them.

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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Old 01 Apr 2007, 01:50 pm
JXStern
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Default Re: How are these Japanese luxury brands doing these days?

On 22 Mar 2007 22:33:49 -0700, aniramca@yahoo.com wrote:

> The Japanese luxury cars do not seem to
>give a "shock and awe" products at the moment.


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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Old 02 Apr 2007, 09:05 am
kitzler
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Default Re: How are these Japanese luxury brands doing these days?

On Mar 23, 1:33 am, anira...@yahoo.com wrote:
> I am trying to gauge on how well are these three Japanese luxury car
> makers doing at the present.


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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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 02 Apr 2007, 05:57 pm
mcbrue
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Default Re: How are these Japanese luxury brands doing these days?

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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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 02 Apr 2007, 07:59 pm
JXStern
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Default Re: How are these Japanese luxury brands doing these days?

On Mon, 26 Mar 2007 00:54:57 GMT, John Horner <jthorner@yahoo.com>
wrote:

>Lexus is the top selling luxury brand in the US and continues to gain
>market share. Acura's TSX has the highest resale value in it's class.


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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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 02 Apr 2007, 10:57 pm
John Horner
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Default Re: How are these Japanese luxury brands doing these days?

JXStern wrote:

>
> 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.



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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