Originally Posted by Jayhawk
To me, a Lexus is just an expensive Toyota--nothing more. Mercedes on the other hand is a prestigious and reliable automobile that people buy because the want the very best money can buy. You can't build prestige or history, and the reliability is obvious over the past 100+ years. After all, in Germany over 80% of all taxis are Mercedes E-Class, color beige. And that is because they are bulletproof! Many have over 300,000 miles!! I don't recall ever seeing a Toyota, Honda, Fiat, Citroen, Reno, VW, Audi or BMW taxi there. And I certainly never saw a Lexus taxi!! Here, there, or anywhere.
Jayhawk, you're making me and you probably will make AsianML laugh...real hard.
If MB is so good, what explains their decline in quality and reliability and customer satisfaction?
And I don't think people will be proud of driving a car that is used as a taxi in Europe.
And you have no idea what you're talking about. Toyota Crown Royals (I think they're called) are used as taxis in Japan, and they're basically different body-paneled Lexus LSs. Fiats and Citroens are used as taxis throughout Europe. Right smack in NYC, Honda Odesseys are used. BMWs (E60 5ers) are used for law enforcment in Germany as well as VW Passats.
ANd you do realize that majority of those MB taxis are W124s, or the last true MBs ever made. So of course they are going to last forever.
Oh, and there are cars that CAN last just as long as Mercedes can.
A good friend of mine had a mid-1990s Honda Civic and ran it past 340000 miles on one drivetrain. He lives in Vermont and has driven it through thick and thin.
In addition, I don't think current MBs are the best the money can buy. This is where the Japanese excelled, by making true bargains with quality cars. Lexus/Toyota are known for bulletproof reliability and values. That's why the introduction of the LS opened the eyes of the MB, because the LS cost half the amount as the S-Class and offered just as much as innovation and technology as the S-Class. And Lexus isn't the only one excelling in this aspect of the car market.
And who ever said that Lexus wasn't as prestigious and reliable as MB? Quite frankly, Lexus, or majority of the Japanese auto makers still hold the title as the most reliable automobiles in the world, but more particular, Lexus/Toyota are known for their bulletproof reliability and still surpass the Germans currently. And have you ever read up the amount of craftsmanship that goes into the manufacturing of the new LS?
Originally Posted by Jayhawk
Why don't you go drive a VW then and leave the real quality cars to those of us who know what we are talking about? asianml is definitely on something, but is not your "dot..." I'd suggest the two of you go have a beer together and make up more stories about the evil Mercedes Benz, but he's only about 12 and I suspect you aren't old enough to go into a bar either.
I've driven a W211 E500 Sport (compliments of my dad's friend), and I drive my dad's E60 545 and I've driven both pretty hard. The 545 was so much more of a pleasure to drive. The Mercedes felt too floaty and boaty and wasn't as responsive as the 545.
And I know the difference between a quality car and a crap car. Just drive a Kia Sephia or a Hyundai Accent and you'll know.
And yes, I have driven a VW, thanks. My sister has a 1999 VW Jetta Wolfsburg, and honestly its not that great to drive.
Another of my dad's friend owns a CLS500 and he says he had numerous problems with the transmission and the local dealer has given him hell and hes been back numerous times for the same problem.
All in all, I think you're just ignorant/narrow-minded about the advances with other automotive manufacturers and the decline with MB.
Originally Posted by Musikmann
Excuse me, but what were you smoking when you wrote this post? The Japanese carmakers are already copying Mercedes, namely Lexus. Admittedly, they seem to have improved on some of the Daimler innovations, but I don't give them much credit for that. Without degenerating into a geo-political debate, the Nipponese make good copies, but let's please see what they can do without their German and American "prototypes".
I will agree with your 2nd point that I left on here: I own a Plymouth Acclaim with a Mitsubishi engine, and it has been a good car, overall. The Chrysler-Mitsubishi marriage seemed like a good thing, while it lasted. Only time will tell whether, or not, the Daimler-Chrysler merger will bear edible fruit for both companies.
Well it's been known that the Japanese have been copying several innovations of the Germans, but that's for competition purposes. But the Japanese too have made their own innovations without the help of others.
The interesting part, asyou mentioned was that the Japanese copy, but they do it really well and it's true. The new LS460 just opened the eyes of MB and BM again with their own new innovations such as a self-parallel parking system, 8-speed auto, and they will be the first with a hybrid-V8. The Lexus LS also and still does hold the lowest drag coefficient in terms of aerodynamics and remains the quietest luxury car on the market.
And if you actually look into it, You'll find that japanese luxury makers feature similar central computer systems that the Germans introduced (like BMW iDrive, Mercees COMAND and Audi's rendition) and nobody has ever mentioned any problems regarding them in Acura, Lexus, Infiniti etc., particularly with the navigation systems and they all say they are EXTREMELY user friendly and they actually work.
But even then when the LS400 came out, BM, Caddy, MB all copied the LS since it changed the car business by offering affordability, reliability, luxury and innovation all in one sentence.
Little article from Automobile Magazine.