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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    The Uncertain Future of the Lexus GS and IS

      The rise of crossovers is to blame

    Lexus finds itself in a bit of a bind. With demand for crossovers growing, Lexus is doing a serious look at its product lineup and deciding what needs to be added and what needs to taken out.

    "We're more focused on maximizing the opportunities we have than comparing ourselves," said David Christ, the new general manager for Lexus to Automotive News.

    "Our product plan is what I would call a work in progress."

    The current focus for Lexus is the upcoming launches of the ES and the subcompact UX crossover. The ES is expected to keep current Lexus owners happy, but the new F-Sport package will hopefully bring in younger people - Lexus expects a quarter of ES sales to be the F-sport. The UX though is seen as what will bring the majority of young buyers to the brand.

    But this focus has Lexus doing "a strategic look" at two of their older models, the IS and GS. Both models are late into their lifecycles: IS was launched in 2013, while GS dates back to 2011. The two aren't big sellers either. In 2017, Lexus only moved 7,773 GS models and 26,482 IS models. Rumor has it that the GS could go away if the ES gets all-wheel drive. Christ wouldn't comment on that.

    "We can't do it all at once, but we're certainly evaluating both vehicles," said Christ.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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    Dropping cars isn’t how you get more sales.  There is no rule that says Alexus can’t keep every sedan and build 10 crossovers.  The real issue here is the GS is ugly, has a poor interior and dated powertrain sand the same can be said for the IS.  These cars just aren’t good.  I hope they drop them, more market share for Mercedes who continually invests in their sedans.

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    i think there was a blip that suggested all these lux carmakers needed BMW 3 sized cars to have a legit lineup.  Caddy even took the bait.  When it comes to brass tacks now, who even buys 3 series sized lux sedans and what brands do they really only look at?  

    I think the original CTS was a perfect entry level caddy and so to reincarnate that as a CT4 would make sense.  But if the new CT5 is a little larger, then i am ok with that being Caddy's entry level sedan.  What does that have to do with Lexus?  To me it means that IS was always a poseur even if it was a good car.  The ES was bread and butter but now crossovers may have supplanted ES buyers base.  And where does that leave the LS and the GS?

    To circle the wagons for Caddy and Lexus, they probably could survive on 2 sedans each.  CT5 / CT6 and GS / LS.  An IS and CT3 will always not sell like an A3/A4, 3/4 series, or C class.

     

    I think the other reason these smaller lux sedans proliferated so much last 15 years is the idea that young punks would buy / lease them and they were sort of the new age 'hey look how cool i am' cars.  That the younger set due to preference and urban living wanted smaller cars.  I don't think that logic carries through to Caddy and lexus like it does BMW and Audi.  And maybe never will.  And especially if neither is big in Europe.

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    That blip was around 2004 when Cadillac finally produced a car that handled very well and could compete on the track with a smaller 3-series.  The domestic haters needed a reason to dislike the CTS and thus the “It’s too big” mantra was born... and though the CTS was a perfectly capable and comfortable handler, the drum beat started for Cadillac to produce a “true” 3-series competitor... basically, do the CTS, but make it as cramped as a 3-series of the day.  The same drums are being pounded at the CT6, a car that competes with the 5-series, but is larger, more comfortable, and in more than a few ways, more advanced. But “OMG it’s 8 inches longer... there is no way it could possibly compete with a 5-series”. :rolleyes: Fun Fact: The CT6 Platinum has a turning radius and inch and a quarter smaller than the RWD 5-series. The CT6 without 4-wheel steering has radius slightly less than the AWD 5-series (20.0 v. 20.1)

    The original IS was sold as a Toyota in Japan and was renowned for its handling, but with tinny doors and no sound deadening, it didn’t fit the Lexus theme. Queue up the “we want a 3-series” drums and Lexus increased the weight, and started dumbing down the handling. 

    The first few generations of GS were fantastic vehicles. The I6 base models were melted butter smooth and with the legendary Lexus reliability.  But they weren’t “Teutonic”.... for those of you playing at home, that means “German”.  

    This has always been about moving goal posts so the whole industry has to copy what the popular kids are doing.  I’m sure the guy who bought a 10 year old Benz will be in here soon to give us his take on what new car buyers should do. (They’re shopping for a Corolla... he’ll tell them they should buy an S-Class)

     

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    Hmmmmm.

     

    They could merge the GS and IS and get a tweener sedan, and I'd like them to actually do that, because they don't need 2 sedans whether FWD or RWD that are almost the same length.

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    Some may recall that Infiniti went the other direction. They dropped the relatively popular I30 in favor of the M35 in a bid to look "credible" to the BMW-Über-Alles kids. Look where it got them.

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    3 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Some may recall that Infiniti went the other direction. They dropped the relatively popular I30 in favor of the M35 in a bid to look "credible" to the BMW-Über-Alles kids. Look where it got them.

    Had to look those up, completely forgot about them...the i30 was the Maxima variation, kind of Infiniti's ES equivalent I guess....for 2000s Infinitis the G35 and G37 are the ones I remember (US versions of the Skyline). 

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    15 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    Dropping cars isn’t how you get more sales.  There is no rule that says Alexus can’t keep every sedan and build 10 crossovers.  The real issue here is the GS is ugly, has a poor interior and dated powertrain sand the same can be said for the IS.  These cars just aren’t good.  I hope they drop them, more market share for Mercedes who continually invests in their sedans.

    Yea like everyone wants a crappy C, B or A class MB. Badge snobs with crap products is all that MB makes there in addition to the E-Class Taxi cab of the world with a 52% depreciation loss in the first 3 years.

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    1 minute ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Had to look those up, completely forgot about them...the i30 was the Maxima variation, kind of Infiniti's ES equivalent I guess....for 2000s Infinitis the G35 and G37 are the ones I remember (US versions of the Skyline). 

    Yes, the I30 was the ES equivilent, and IMHO, a nicer vehicle than the ES of the time. 

    2005_infiniti_i_manu_03.jpg 2005_infiniti_i_manu_09.jpg

     

     

     

     

     

     

    2004_lexus_es_330_base-pic-6228509891184683830-640x480.jpeg 2005 Lexus ES.jpg

    But they dropped that to try and pursue German car drivers who will never defect their brands and built this instead.

    2006 Infiniti M35.jpg

    The Lexus GS was still a pretty attractive piece at the time, but had just given up its inline 6 in favor of a V6.

    2006_lexus_gs_430_base-pic-238576478807836544.jpeg

     

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    16 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    That blip was around 2004 when Cadillac finally produced a car that handled very well and could compete on the track with a smaller 3-series.  The domestic haters needed a reason to dislike the CTS and thus the “It’s too big” mantra was born... and though the CTS was a perfectly capable and comfortable handler, the drum beat started for Cadillac to produce a “true” 3-series competitor... basically, do the CTS, but make it as cramped as a 3-series of the day.  The same drums are being pounded at the CT6, a car that competes with the 5-series, but is larger, more comfortable, and in more than a few ways, more advanced. But “OMG it’s 8 inches longer... there is no way it could possibly compete with a 5-series”. :rolleyes: Fun Fact: The CT6 Platinum has a turning radius and inch and a quarter smaller than the RWD 5-series. The CT6 without 4-wheel steering has radius slightly less than the AWD 5-series (20.0 v. 20.1)

    The original IS was sold as a Toyota in Japan and was renowned for its handling, but with tinny doors and no sound deadening, it didn’t fit the Lexus theme. Queue up the “we want a 3-series” drums and Lexus increased the weight, and started dumbing down the handling. 

    The first few generations of GS were fantastic vehicle. The I6 base models were melted butter smooth and with the legendary Lexus reliability.  But they weren’t “Teutonic”.... for those of you playing at home, that mean “German”.  

    This has always been about moving goal posts so the whole industry has to copy what the popular kids are doing.  I’m sure the guy who bought a 10 year old Benz will be in here soon to give us his take on what new car buyers should do. (They’re shopping for a Corolla... he’ll tell them they should buy an S-Class)

     

    Well I bought a 5 year old Benz, 5 years ago.  But nevertheless, you are right about the copy cat industry.  But that is the followers problem for copying the leader, not creating the next trend.

    Mercedes built the first luxury SUV, then everyone else jumps in, BMW had the 3-series, Lexus and Cadillac had to copy, Lincoln even tried copying the 5–series with the LS, now every sedan is a 4-door coupe because the Mercedes CLS did that in 04.  People laughed at BMW and Mercedes for crossover coupes, and he come Audi and Porsche with them and you know Lexus and Cadillac will follow.  

    Lexus has a dated lineup because there is no imagination or creativity in it and because the Lexus LX570 and GX460 latterly haven’t had an update since 2007.

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    1 hour ago, dfelt said:

    Yea like everyone wants a crappy C, B or A class MB. Badge snobs with crap products is all that MB makes there in addition to the E-Class Taxi cab of the world with a 52% depreciation loss in the first 3 years.

    The cars that Lexus would be dropping aren't A or B class cars. 

    Mercedes only makes one bad product, CLA. Everything else is competing for or already best in class. 

    6 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    now every sedan is a 4-door coupe because the Mercedes CLS did that in 04.

    I agree with that to a degree. But, I feel like the mainstream cars that are doing that has a lot to do with aerodynamic efficiency as they're a more "slippery" design and fuel economy is key for the Ford, Chevy, Honda, etc. buyers.

    8 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    People laughed at BMW and Mercedes for crossover coupes, and he come Audi and Porsche with them and you know Lexus and Cadillac will follow.  

    Well, they are the worst segment of automobile on the planet. Hideous.  Just absolutely HIDEOUS. 

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    9 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    Lexus has a dated lineup because there is no imagination or creativity in it

    Have you opened your eyes and looked at a Lexus? You might find them ugly but you can't say those front fascias aren't creative or imaginative

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    2 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    Have you opened your eyes and looked at a Lexus? You might find them ugly but you can't say those front fascias aren't creative or imaginative

    True...bold and violent.  Lexus is the leader in rage face styling, though Audi and others are catching up..

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    49 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    Have you opened your eyes and looked at a Lexus? You might find them ugly but you can't say those front fascias aren't creative or imaginative

    They are BIG FANS of the Predator Movies I think! :P 

    See the source image

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    17 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    Well I bought a 5 year old Benz, 5 years ago.  But nevertheless, you are right about the copy cat industry.  But that is the followers problem for copying the leader, not creating the next trend.

    No. It's the fanboi's problem for promulgating the idea that every car has to be exactly the same in order to compete. You are one of the most guilty of this phenomenon.  You cannot accept the fact that cars can be different sizes, favor comfort over handling, use technology in a different way than your pet brand.  You cannot admit that the CT6 is a competitor to the E-Class and 5-series because you can't get over the extra room it offers... somehow that disqualifies the car even though it is in the same price range.

     

    20 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    Mercedes built the first luxury SUV, then everyone else jumps in.

    No, they didn't. This is why you have no credibility. 

    Luxury SUVs released before or the same time the M-Class (1997):
    Acura SLX (1995)
    Oldsmobile Bravada (1990)
    Infiniti QX4 (1997)
    Land Rover Range Rover (1994)
    Jeep Grand Wagoneer (1980) - say what you will about the brand, it was definitely a luxury suv with its pricing. It cost more than a base Eldorado or Mark VII. 
    Jeep Grand Wagoneer (1993) - the Grand Cherokee based Grand Wagoneer was a separate nameplate and the luxury version. 

     

    33 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    BMW had the 3-series, Lexus and Cadillac had to copy

    No they didn't. People like you insisted they had to copy... that the only valid entry in that class had to be certain dimensions and certain suspension tuning, and certain number of gears in the gearbox.  You have repeatedly insisted that the old CTS and 3-series didn't compete because the CTS was 4 or 5 inches longer.  Well, you're flat out wrong.  I leased a CTS because I didn't want the cramped interior of the 3-series. I leased the CTS because it was a bit more compliant over these awful pittsburgh roads.  Cadillac went from near zero in that segment to selling 60k CTSes a year. They were taking sales from someone.

     

    37 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    every sedan is a 4-door coupe because the Mercedes CLS did that in 04

    There is no such thing as a 4-door coupe. What you're thinking of is a 4-door fastback and Cadillac was doing those way back when Germany was being turned into a pile of rubble.  Oldsmobile has done them multiple times, Eagle has done them, Rover has done them, Citroen has done them.  You even owned a nameplate that previously was a 4-door fastback. 

    46 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    People laughed at BMW and Mercedes for crossover coupes, and he come Audi and Porsche with them and you know Lexus and Cadillac will follow

    I laugh at the term as there is no such thing as a 4-door crossover coupe.  First, if we're going to call them that, then again, none of the Germans were first. Even if you don't want to count the AMC Eagle SX, there is still the Acura ZDX (2010) which came out 5 years before the GLE coupe and the same year as the X6.   Furthermore, if that Audi Q8 is a crossover coupe, then someone needs to send a memo to Infiniti about changing their marketing because they've been building that body style since 2002 with the FX/QX70. And then still, there is the Suzuki X90, an ugly looking SUV that by being 2 doors and 2 seats has more of a claim to the "crossover coupe" name than any of the modern vehicles.

    In short, Germany is in no way the leader for this completely misnamed body-style

    So still.... wrong all around.

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    Jeep Super Wagoneer would be the first luxury SUV, came out in 1966.

    Mercedes absolutely copied tons of features and types from others. Sometimes it took decades to follow the trends, sometimes they literally had to buy components from other OEMs. And they blatantly copied the 3-series- now it's their highest volume sedan. They massively fudge RE "inventing" the automobile and most lazy ass journalists just numbly nod along.

    The "4-door coupe" thing is a hoot- it's literally a fastback-esque 4-dr, nothing remotely new. The worst thing about it is the gross inaccuracy of the term.

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    4 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    I agree with that to a degree. But, I feel like the mainstream cars that are doing that has a lot to do with aerodynamic efficiency as they're a more "slippery" design and fuel economy is key for the Ford, Chevy, Honda, etc. buyers.

    Well, they are the worst segment of automobile on the planet. Hideous.  Just absolutely HIDEOUS. 

    Except the S-class is the most aerodynamic Mercedes and it has 3 box design so 4-door coupe must not do anything.  

    I do think SUV coupes are ugly but Mercedes and BMW have so Audi and Porsche want it.  And if the Germans do it then every other luxury brand will copy it.  

    And I have said before that I think the CT6 is more an e-class competitor than S-class competitor.  The E-class still has a better interior and more performance than the CT6, the CT6 has a larger back seat.  Customer can pick what matters most to them.   But then what is the CTS become, other than irrelevant?  From 60k sales a year to 12k sales a year, it is in the same boat as the Lexus GS.

    Edited by smk4565
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    37 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    ^ It's easier to make a longer vehicle have lower drag, all else being equal.

    "want" what? There's nothing there to 'copy'.

    I was literally scrolling down to type that and saw your comment. ????

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    1 hour ago, smk4565 said:

    Except the S-class is the most aerodynamic Mercedes and it has 3 box design so 4-door coupe must not do anything.  

    I do think SUV coupes are ugly but Mercedes and BMW have so Audi and Porsche want it.  And if the Germans do it then every other luxury brand will copy it.  

    And I have said before that I think the CT6 is more an e-class competitor than S-class competitor.  The E-class still has a better interior and more performance than the CT6, the CT6 has a larger back seat.  Customer can pick what matters most to them.   But then what is the CTS become, other than irrelevant?  From 60k sales a year to 12k sales a year, it is in the same boat as the Lexus GS.

    Your E-Class is the world's best in YOUR EYES, The only reason it is successful is the cheap purchases MB makes for the mass Taxi community to buy them. Otherwise just a Meh car, clearly no time spent in a CT6 as it is superior in many ways and equal in others to the E-Class.

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    5 hours ago, balthazar said:

    Jeep Super Wagoneer would be the first luxury SUV, came out in 1966.

    Mercedes absolutely copied tons of features and types from others. Sometimes it took decades to follow the trends, sometimes they literally had to buy components from other OEMs. And they blatantly copied the 3-series- now it's their highest volume sedan. They massively fudge RE "inventing" the automobile and most lazy ass journalists just numbly nod along.

    The "4-door coupe" thing is a hoot- it's literally a fastback-esque 4-dr, nothing remotely new. The worst thing about it is the gross inaccuracy of the term.

     

    2 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    Except the S-class is the most aerodynamic Mercedes and it has 3 box design so 4-door coupe must not do anything.  

    I do think SUV coupes are ugly but Mercedes and BMW have so Audi and Porsche want it.  And if the Germans do it then every other luxury brand will copy it.  

    And I have said before that I think the CT6 is more an e-class competitor than S-class competitor.  The E-class still has a better interior and more performance than the CT6, the CT6 has a larger back seat.  Customer can pick what matters most to them.   But then what is the CTS become, other than irrelevant?  From 60k sales a year to 12k sales a year, it is in the same boat as the Lexus GS.

    It's being downsized also to be a tweener car. 

    There is nothing at all wrong with the CT6 interior aside from seats that might be a bit too firm. Plus, it drives itself, has 4 wheel steering, and a plug in hybrid capable of 40+ miles of EV range. Benz doesn't.

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    4 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

     

    It's being downsized also to be a tweener car. 

    There is nothing at all wrong with the CT6 interior aside from seats that might be a bit too firm. Plus, it drives itself, has 4 wheel steering, and a plug in hybrid capable of 40+ miles of EV range. Benz doesn't.

    Which are all good attributes and in profile view the CT6 has good presence and looks good.  There are plenty of reasons to buy it.

    The E63 can do 0-60 in 3.0 seconds, that is the exact same time Car and Driver got for the Corvette ZR1.  Performances win for the E-class over the CT6.  But besides that the E-class has plenty of attributes to sell on too, that is why it has been the best selling mid-size luxury car for decades.  Plus the E-class has 4 body styles and 5 if you count the CLS, so that works in its favor too.  More choices for the customer = more sales.

    Lexus, Infiniti and Cadillac sedans aren’t bad cars, it is just to have a successful sedan now you need to be lights out good otherwise the sheeple will just buy a crossover.

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    4 hours ago, dfelt said:

    I believe except for the US market, most E-Class sales are still into the Taxi Business in Europe.

    And China.  Most of the E-classes are for livery use there.  E-Classes (Along with XTS) are even replacing Town Cars here in Pittsburgh for Black Car service. 

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    I would assume a lot of fleet sales, livery and rental sales will go to crossovers too in the future, just like what happened with police cars, you hardly see police cars anymore you see Police SUVs.  

    And if this fleet sale market is so huge, why did Cadillac or Lexus never get in on it?  Or Infiniti for that matter.  Instead all 3 are just cutting their sedan line up down to 2 cars probably, and I could see Infiniti with 1 sedan and Lincoln with zero.  These luxury brands are fleeing sedans like Ford and FCA have fled mid-size family sedans, they just can't compete anymore. 

    But once you give up on sedans, you better have some great SUVs if you are going to survive on one product.

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    On 6/15/2018 at 12:13 PM, Drew Dowdell said:

    No. It's the fanboi's problem for promulgating the idea that every car has to be exactly the same in order to compete. You are one of the most guilty of this phenomenon.  You cannot accept the fact that cars can be different sizes, favor comfort over handling, use technology in a different way than your pet brand.  You cannot admit that the CT6 is a competitor to the E-Class and 5-series because you can't get over the extra room it offers... somehow that disqualifies the car even though it is in the same price range.

     

    No, they didn't. This is why you have no credibility. 

    Luxury SUVs released before or the same time the M-Class (1997):
    Acura SLX (1995)
    Oldsmobile Bravada (1990)
    Infiniti QX4 (1997)
    Land Rover Range Rover (1994)
    Jeep Grand Wagoneer (1980) - say what you will about the brand, it was definitely a luxury suv with its pricing. It cost more than a base Eldorado or Mark VII. 
    Jeep Grand Wagoneer (1993) - the Grand Cherokee based Grand Wagoneer was a separate nameplate and the luxury version. 

     

    No they didn't. People like you insisted they had to copy... that the only valid entry in that class had to be certain dimensions and certain suspension tuning, and certain number of gears in the gearbox.  You have repeatedly insisted that the old CTS and 3-series didn't compete because the CTS was 4 or 5 inches longer.  Well, you're flat out wrong.  I leased a CTS because I didn't want the cramped interior of the 3-series. I leased the CTS because it was a bit more compliant over these awful pittsburgh roads.  Cadillac went from near zero in that segment to selling 60k CTSes a year. They were taking sales from someone.

     

    There is no such thing as a 4-door coupe. What you're thinking of is a 4-door fastback and Cadillac was doing those way back when Germany was being turned into a pile of rubble.  Oldsmobile has done them multiple times, Eagle has done them, Rover has done them, Citroen has done them.  You even owned a nameplate that previously was a 4-door fastback. 

    I laugh at the term as there is no such thing as a 4-door crossover coupe.  First, if we're going to call them that, then again, none of the Germans were first. Even if you don't want to count the AMC Eagle SX, there is still the Acura ZDX (2010) which came out 5 years before the GLE coupe and the same year as the X6.   Furthermore, if that Audi Q8 is a crossover coupe, then someone needs to send a memo to Infiniti about changing their marketing because they've been building that body style since 2002 with the FX/QX70. And then still, there is the Suzuki X90, an ugly looking SUV that by being 2 doors and 2 seats has more of a claim to the "crossover coupe" name than any of the modern vehicles.

    In short, Germany is in no way the leader for this completely misnamed body-style

    So still.... wrong all around.

    Original CTS and Lincoln LS were perfect size cars, but as you stated is correct. They were not as small as the 3 series and C of that time and thus the scorn. 

    Funny you mentioned the ZDX. I parked next to a pristine one the other day and thought to myself it ended up being a bit ahead of its due time. Would be a good used vehicle to seek and find. The mistake on the ZDX was some things were proportioned a bit badly. If they had increased the wheelbase on that thing 6-8 inches and had a better balanced greenhouse , it may have come off a lot better. 

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    The CTS and Lincoln LS were the same size of a 2002 5-series or E-class.  Yes that was a good size.  The problem was the Cadillac and Lincoln weren't as luxurious or as well built, or as powerful as those 2.  The M5 had a 500 hp V10 when the 400 hp CTS-V went on sale.

    The other problem was the Germans had small, medium and large cars, Lincoln and Cadillac just had a bunch of large cars and one mid-size.  The Continental, STS, DTS, Town Car, Mark VII, Eldorado of that late 90s, early 2000s era were all over 200 inches long, those were 7-series/S-class sized cars and some people just don't want a big car and why would 1 brand build 3 large cars, 1 midsize and 0 small car, it makes no sense.  Imagine today Chevy offering the Malibu, Impala, SS and Corvette and that is it for cars, and saying well if you want a Civic or Corolla, just cross shop a Malibu. 

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    People DO NOT buy vehicles that way.

    If they did, and the C-class was a"good size", why has it packed on 7-8 inches since?

    What makes NO sense is a luxury brand offering compact vehicles- who wants to pay premium pricing for a tiny car? If they did, the 1-series would sell more than the 3/4, and it's no where close.

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    Honestly this is literally a dollars and cents kinda deal. I don’t think they even sell the GS in Japan, and the ES sells way better in China too, who gives a crap about driving there!

     

    like really the GS sedan could probably fold because it isn’t a carrier of Lexus prestige anymore. 

    I think it just got lost naturally. Now there’s an F sport ES, the IS is still on an old platform... and the GA-L, like I really do not want to see a 3/4 LS 500 sausage turned into the next GS.

    the LS is already a tweener in terms of passenger space since that damn racy styling gives it only 97 cu ft. of passenger space compared to 115 in a 7 Series.

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    12 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    The CTS and Lincoln LS were the same size of a 2002 5-series or E-class.  Yes that was a good size.  The problem was the Cadillac and Lincoln weren't as luxurious or as well built, or as powerful as those 2.  The M5 had a 500 hp V10 when the 400 hp CTS-V went on sale.

    The other problem was the Germans had small, medium and large cars, Lincoln and Cadillac just had a bunch of large cars and one mid-size.  The Continental, STS, DTS, Town Car, Mark VII, Eldorado of that late 90s, early 2000s era were all over 200 inches long, those were 7-series/S-class sized cars and some people just don't want a big car and why would 1 brand build 3 large cars, 1 midsize and 0 small car, it makes no sense.  Imagine today Chevy offering the Malibu, Impala, SS and Corvette and that is it for cars, and saying well if you want a Civic or Corolla, just cross shop a Malibu. 

    This is exactly what I'm talking about with you insisting that cars if different sizes can't compete. They can and do compete. If the 2004 CTS had been the size of a 3 Series, I never would have bought it. The 3-series was never a consideration because it was way too small. The other car I looked at was one of the last Aurora's Cochran had in stock that wasn't a Final 500. Had I waited another 6 months, the 300C would have been an option. 

    By offering a larger car at the same price, Cadillac won a sale over BMW. 

    The CTS-V was clearly targeted at the M3, of which it beat in hp and torque, performance and price. 

    "Oh, the CTS-V is faster and handles better than the M3 and costs less.... But it has usable rear seat legroom and a decent sized trunk, so that must mean it competes with the M5 that costs $35k more!"

    Don't you see how ridiculous you sound?

    Cadillac's 5 series competition came in the form of the STS which got shit on for having a "dull" interior. No German car fan from that era has any business talking about dull interiors of other cars.

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    On 6/16/2018 at 3:32 PM, smk4565 said:

    I would assume a lot of fleet sales, livery and rental sales will go to crossovers too in the future,

    This is one market I would think stays wit cars because the marginal gain in fuel economy is worth it to the personal owner/driver. Regardless, I will be calling a ride service and I wouldn't care what I'm getting picked up in. It is what it is(the vehicle). 

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    17 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    This is one market I would think stays wit cars because the marginal gain in fuel economy is worth it to the personal owner/driver. Regardless, I will be calling a ride service and I wouldn't care what I'm getting picked up in. It is what it is(the vehicle). 

    I have noticed a couple times till this morning walking to work that I saw 2 different colored Lincoln MKT Town Cars being used by Lyft services. I do wonder as we go Hybrid across the board and EVs become more common. Will taxi / private car services go with CUVs for the interior space?

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    29 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    I have noticed a couple times till this morning walking to work that I saw 2 different colored Lincoln MKT Town Cars being used by Lyft services. I do wonder as we go Hybrid across the board and EVs become more common. Will taxi / private car services go with CUVs for the interior space?

    Do they really care about an extra inch or two of interior space for the back when losing 2-3mpg? Even 1mpg when you drive for a living adds up. I'm not saying it won't happen but I feel like it is less likely for the shift in this market. 

    Buuuuut most driver's are part-time and just use their own vehicle and if they already made the choice for a CUV then that is what it is. I think if they are driving a CUV it is because that's what they want for their personal vehicle and not for the driver service job. 

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    On 6/16/2018 at 4:32 PM, smk4565 said:

    I would assume a lot of fleet sales, livery and rental sales will go to crossovers too in the future, just like what happened with police cars, you hardly see police cars anymore you see Police SUVs.  

    And if this fleet sale market is so huge, why did Cadillac or Lexus never get in on it?  Or Infiniti for that matter.  Instead all 3 are just cutting their sedan line up down to 2 cars probably, and I could see Infiniti with 1 sedan and Lincoln with zero.  These luxury brands are fleeing sedans like Ford and FCA have fled mid-size family sedans, they just can't compete anymore. 

    But once you give up on sedans, you better have some great SUVs if you are going to survive on one product.

    Cadillac is in on the fleet market in China, that and the EV requirements are why the CT6 PHEV is built there. That's why there is an ATS-L, an XTS 2.0T, and there was an STS-L in China.  

    Your question regarding Lexus and Infiniti in China reveals your ignorance of history. The Chinese largely shun Japanese cars due to that little disagreement Japan had with China from 1931 - 1941.  The Chinese like Buicks because their former Emperor used them and they became a cultural status symbol. This is true even to today.  American and European cars are status symbols in China, the Japanese are parihas. Once you understand the cultural implications, then you see why Lexus and Infiniti have an uphill battle there. 

    In Europe, it doesn't matter if Mercedes is only producing Trabants, Germans will still buy them over any current Cadillac because they are culturally loyal.  Wash, Rinse, Repeat with the French and the CV2. 

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    44 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    Do they really care about an extra inch or two of interior space for the back when losing 2-3mpg? Even 1mpg when you drive for a living adds up. I'm not saying it won't happen but I feel like it is less likely for the shift in this market. 

    Buuuuut most driver's are part-time and just use their own vehicle and if they already made the choice for a CUV then that is what it is. I think if they are driving a CUV it is because that's what they want for their personal vehicle and not for the driver service job. 

    The MKT is popular with Lyft/Uber drivers for a different reason. It is the most efficient vehicle at the lowest price that fits into every single Uber/Lift car category.  They can be UberX, UberXL, Uber Black, Uber SUV.  The only other vehicles that can do that and match it on fuel economy would be the GLS diesel and possibly the Q7, but those are a lot more expensive, even used, than an MKT.  No other vehicle can hit all of the requirements while also being cheap to buy and cheap to fuel relative to its competition. 

    MKTs, with their big cargo areas, are also good for the coveted "airport runs".  If you have an MKT and get an Uber Black ping for an airport run, you probably just struck gold. 

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    4 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    This is exactly what I'm talking about with you insisting that cars if different sizes can't compete. They can and do compete. If the 2004 CTS had been the size of a 3 Series, I never would have bought it. The 3-series was never a consideration because it was way too small. The other car I looked at was one of the last Aurora's Cochran had in stock that wasn't a Final 500. Had I waited another 6 months, the 300C would have been an option. 

    By offering a larger car at the same price, Cadillac won a sale over BMW. 

    The CTS-V was clearly targeted at the M3, of which it beat in hp and torque, performance and price. 

    "Oh, the CTS-V is faster and handles better than the M3 and costs less.... But it has usable rear seat legroom and a decent sized trunk, so that must mean it competes with the M5 that costs $35k more!"

    Don't you see how ridiculous you sound?

    Cadillac's 5 series competition came in the form of the STS which got $h! on for having a "dull" interior. No German car fan from that era has any business talking about dull interiors of other cars.

    I don’t have issue with the CTS back then being mid size for 3-series money but what about the people that thought a CTS was too large?  The largest car my mom ever had was a Saab 9-5 and she thought it was too big.  For people that wanted a small car Cadillac and Lincoln didn’t have one until the ATS showed up.  My issue is not with the CTS it is with totally ignoring small cars which was a huge segment then and is now.

    The STS was too big and couldn’t perform like a German car and the interior quality was low, I actually thought the 1998-2003 Seville had a better interior.  That was a car set up to fail from the start, they even changed the design right befor they launched it to make it more bland. 

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    1 minute ago, smk4565 said:

    I don’t have issue with the CTS back then being mid size for 3-series money but what about the people that thought a CTS was too large?  The largest car my mom ever had was a Saab 9-5 and she thought it was too big.  For people that wanted a small car Cadillac and Lincoln didn’t have one until the ATS showed up.  My issue is not with the CTS it is with totally ignoring small cars which was a huge segment then and is now.

    The STS was too big and couldn’t perform like a German car and the interior quality was low, I actually thought the 1998-2003 Seville had a better interior.  That was a car set up to fail from the start, they even changed the design right befor they launched it to make it more bland. 

    And for people who want a large truck, Honda and Mercedes have nothing to offer.  You don't get a yuuuger segment than that.  Where's your scorn for Mercedes missing out on probably the most important and lucrative market in North America?

    I don't know what you mother was seeing, or if she was shopping with a tape measure.  The CTS is 2.4 centimeters longer than the 9-5 (I'm assuming the 2001ish model, the final 9-5 was nearly XTS sized), and less than half a centimeter wider. Furthermore, the 9-5 should feel larger inside due to the FWD packaging.  Thinking the CTS is too big compared to a 9-5 is just making an excuse for some reason to not like the car. 

    My own mother went the other way.  She had a 94 Bonneville and really liked the look of the CTS.  I tried to sell her on the Aurora instead, but she didn't want an Oldsmobile (brand snobbery, you might know about that).  I tried to tell her she wouldn't like the CTS because it would be too small for her.  Make sure the Cadillac dealer we went to was an Olds/Cadillac dealer.  I put her in a Sunburst Orange CTS on the showroom floor.  She immediately was disappointed.  It was too small.  She got out. I told her to try out this other car behind the CTS without telling her what it was. She got in and went "Ooooo, I like this". It was a black Aurora. 

    That one wasn't the one she bought, but she did end up in an Aurora.  She beats up her cars badly, but she got that one to about 170k miles before she sold it to an employee who promptly totaled it.  These days she drives Ford tough. Her King Ranch is well over 170k miles now.

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    2 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    And for people who want a large truck, Honda and Mercedes have nothing to offer.  You don't get a yuuuger segment than that.  Where's your scorn for Mercedes missing out on probably the most important and lucrative market in North America?

    I don't know what you mother was seeing, or if she was shopping with a tape measure.  The CTS is 2.4 centimeters longer than the 9-5 (I'm assuming the 2001ish model, the final 9-5 was nearly XTS sized), and less than half a centimeter wider. Furthermore, the 9-5 should feel larger inside due to the FWD packaging.  Thinking the CTS is too big compared to a 9-5 is just making an excuse for some reason to not like the car. 

    My own mother went the other way.  She had a 94 Bonneville and really liked the look of the CTS.  I tried to sell her on the Aurora instead, but she didn't want an Oldsmobile (brand snobbery, you might know about that).  I tried to tell her she wouldn't like the CTS because it would be too small for her.  Make sure the Cadillac dealer we went to was an Olds/Cadillac dealer.  I put her in a Sunburst Orange CTS on the showroom floor.  She immediately was disappointed.  It was too small.  She got out. I told her to try out this other car behind the CTS without telling her what it was. She got in and went "Ooooo, I like this". It was a black Aurora. 

    That one wasn't the one she bought, but she did end up in an Aurora.  She beats up her cars badly, but she got that one to about 170k miles before she sold it to an employee who promptly totaled it.  These days she drives Ford tough. Her King Ranch is well over 170k miles now.

    My mom had an 2002 9-5, she actually drove a CTS after I told her to give it a try, she didn't like Cadillacs then and still doesn't now.  After the 9-5 though she got an Audi A4 because she thought the 9-5 was too big.  I am just using that as an example, that some people don't want a mid-size car, just like in your example your mom wanted a full size car.   

    So you have to build 3 sizes of car, Cadillac in 2001 had 3 cards over 200 inches long and the Escalade, how do you only build 4 large cars and ignore the rest of the market?  Lexus seems to be going down that path now, build the ES which is Avalon size now and LS, an upper mid-size and a full size, because full size sedans are a hot segment to pour money into...

    Not sure how Mercedes is missing out on a market for large trucks unless you are talking pickups.  Not counting the vans (which a Sprinter is pretty large) they make a full size SUV.   I am not opposed to Mercedes building a full size pickup, I think they could do it better than Ford can.  I think if they took the X-class and modified it more for the American market it would sell.

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    I think it was pretty clear I am talking about F-150.

    Wait, you think Mercedes can out F-150 the F-150? Not Ram, not Toyota, and not Nissan have come close.  

    You think you have some brand loyalty with Mercedes, you haven’t seen F-150 buyers yet. They’ll laugh at that rebadged Frontier. 

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    Ideally, mainline brands in 2020 (Chevy, Ford, Nissan, Mercedes, etc) should build 2 sedans, small & mid-sized.
    The luxury brands should build mid- and full-size.
     

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    1 minute ago, balthazar said:

    Ideally, mainline brands in 2020 (Chevy, Ford, Nissan, Mercedes, etc) should build 2 sedans, small & mid-sized.
    The luxury brands should build mid- and full-size.
     

    I would like to add the Extended Length that they build for China to the US market for Luxury level cars. That would so get me back into a car. 

    CT6 - L V-Sport :metal: 

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    42 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    Ideally, mainline brands in 2020 (Chevy, Ford, Nissan, Mercedes, etc) should build 2 sedans, small & mid-sized.
    The luxury brands should build mid- and full-size.
     

    Yeah, these compacts that the lux brands are coming out with just scream status seeker, badge snob, fake.

     

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    5 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    Less people WANT cars smaller than mid-size. Almost anybody buying that small is doing so because they don't have money for something larger. 

    That is odd because the top 3 selling luxury products in the USA last year were the Lexus RX, 3-series and C-class.  And small sedans as a segment were about flat last year, while mid-size sedans dropped and large sedans got crushed.  Small crossover is the fastest growth segment.  So I am not buying into people don't want small cars, people deemed the CR-V and Rav4 too big so they had to get products smaller.   I don't see Honda or Toyota putting out stuff bigger than the Pilot or Highlander due to demand for big vehicles, and Toyota has let the Sequoia die on the vine because there is no point dumping money into a dinosaur that CAFE will kill off.

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    with regards to GM and the sedan market in the USA

     

    Cadillac:

    ATS was a great idea but it had less space inside than it should have.  And so unless there is a huge need in another market for a compact Cadillac (CT3) I think they don't need one for 2020.  I do think that any future compact Cadillac could be flexible on a RWD vs FWD chassis depending on execution.

    Upcoming CT5 IMO is likely to be in a slot between what we traditionally have considered CTS sized and STS sized.  At a minimum the interior needs to have more accommodations than the now current CTS.  But not much more, if any, larger physically.

    CT6 of course will continue and is 'large enough' I think.  My only thought on CT6 size is it could be wider by a couple inches inside. 

    If cadillac were to add a range topping sedan, it should be more to create a splash with a new design theme or to really break the mold.  For example.... Something Escala like, CT6 sized or larger, or something with a hatch.  Or something sexier than a Tesla  (or all of that).

    The CT6 is either replaced by the new design or coexists with it.  The CT6 is the old persons Caddy in that scenario then, and the new design is the young persons large caddy.

    Buick

    I still like the idea of a Verano but admit it doesn't have the sales legs anymore.  I do think since the Regal sportback is the entry Buick 'sedan' now, it is just fine for that, but they nice to watch prices and redo the packaging for greater value and equipment.

    Since the LaCrosse exists, in 2020 I have no issues with it carrying the large sedan torch for Buick, but I do think interior improvements and similar value and packaging propositions are in order.  With fewer sedan buyers, this car really should be increasing sedan market share based on value and ride comfort.  

    I really do think the Avenir could have rebooted the large sedan market at accessible price, and if they did that for 2020 (pipe dream) I would endorse it and might even sign on for it 'replacing' the LaCrosse unless the Lacrosse were repackaged to move downscale some and replace the Impala.

     

     

    Image result for buick avenir

     

     

    Chevy

    I still see the Cruze sedan being needed even if it is selling fewer copies.  This is a class of car for entry level new car buyers.  Cruze should grow a bit to be a size clone to match Civic if they redo it.

    Malibu needs to continue in this catch all midsize segment.  However, if Impala is discontinued then Malibu needs to increase some in size and offer more flexible packages to allow for larger engine choice easier etc.

    I think the Impala can literally continue in its current body 2-4 more years (with an interior redo), or it could be axed if Buick were to take on those sales with the LaCrosse.  If in 2-4 years sedans rebound then they can redo the Impala.  But i think the Impala name right now may be better off transferred to some kind of sexy large crossover which doesn't seem to be the sort of thing GM is capable of.

    If the LaCrosse or Avenir or combo of LaCrosse and Avenir could pick up lost Impala sales then it may be ok to kill the Impala.  Then sedans really do become more of an effective niche with a Buick tag on them IMO.

     

     

     

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    3 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    I think it was pretty clear I am talking about F-150.

    Wait, you think Mercedes can out F-150 the F-150? Not Ram, not Toyota, and not Nissan have come close.  

    You think you have some brand loyalty with Mercedes, you haven’t seen F-150 buyers yet. They’ll laugh at that rebadged Frontier. 

    The X-class I feel like is putting their toe in the water, it is obviously designed in a way to cut development cost by using the Navara platform and Renault diesel, but you can get the Mercedes diesel V6 also.  That is also a truck not designed for  America, it was designed for Europe and Middle East, where you have some people that want a pickup and want a German brand.  

    If Mercedes built a full size pick up from ground up, they absolutely would have a better truck than the F150.  They wouldn't start at the work truck level, they would probably start at $50k (or more) and compete with the Platinum and King Ranch trucks.

    They have a ladder frame from the G-wagen, make that bigger and they have a body on frame chassis, plus one of the best 4-wheel drive systems there is, and they can make optional the locking differentials off road suspension.  They have a 9 speed auto that can handle 630 lb-ft of torque, so they have the transmission.

    Engines:

    429 hp 384 lb-ft inline six  vs 2.7 ecoboost 325 hp 400 lb-ft

    463 hp 516 lb-ft V8  vs  3.5 Ecoboost 375 hp 470 lb-ft

    621 hp 738 lb-ft V12 or 603 hp 627 lb-ft V8  vs  Raptor V6  450 hp, 510 lb-ft

    And since they need a diesel, they can just borrow the Detroit DD5 engine 5.1 liter 230 hp, 660 lb-ft with 45,000 mile service interval, much more durable than anything in an F150.

    Interior to the level of a GLC or would be enough to beat any pickup on sale now, if it was E-class level then goodnight.  This would be really easy to put together.

    3 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    No, you don’t.

    So Chevy should dump the Cruze, Sonic and Spark and put all their efforts behind the Impala and Malibu?  2 car lineup?  Tell Chevy dealers they are losing the Cruze and see what happens.  The problem Cadillac and Lincoln had is they never had their "Cruze" and they didn't miss what they never had, until the German brands squashed them, Cadillac and Lincoln were 1-2 in luxury sales about 20 years ago, now they are like 7th and 8th place.

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    3 hours ago, balthazar said:

    Ideally, mainline brands in 2020 (Chevy, Ford, Nissan, Mercedes, etc) should build 2 sedans, small & mid-sized.
    The luxury brands should build mid- and full-size.
     

    See my other post, but the 2 of the top 3 selling luxury vehicles in the USA are small sedans, with a mid-size crossover being the 3rd.  And the XT5 is up there too, a mid-size crossover.  Look at CTS and CT6 sales or Continental sales, all dead in the water, Infiniti Q70 and Lexus GS, dead in the water with one foot in the grave.  The only full size luxury car that consistently sells over 1,000 units a month is the S-class, and most of the mid-sizers struggle to hit 2,000 a month unless it is a an E-class or 5-series.  Disregarding small luxury cars is a horrible idea.

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