: The logic of luxury.



I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-29-07, 01:26 PM
At work this morning, we had a Hyundai XG350 come in off our used car lot for some minor work. For those who don't know, the XG350 was Hyundai's first real nice luxury type car. It was Hyundai's first foray into the entry level luxury world, and it's indeed a nice car. Anywho, I was sitting in it, and looking in it, and I was thinking "This is nice, but anyone can afford this....where's the exclusivity of owning a nice luxury car if anyone can afford one, even if new?" I mean it's nice that there are cars like this...so you don't have to be wealthy to afford a luxury car, but doesn't it sorta water down the luxury car field and feeling?

Just something to ponder over...

creeker
12-29-07, 01:34 PM
Quite the opposite,if hyundai can do it it for a good price and put out a comparable product,the other guys might have to try harder to please the buying public,it's called competition.

AMGoff
12-29-07, 02:16 PM
Spot on creeker...

Chad, were you a little bit older, I could surely see you saying the same exact thing about a Lexus/Infinity/Hackura... "Who does Toyondan think they are... they can't compete against the Germans, or the British, or heck, even Detroit... who would buy this watered down 'luxo-Jap' over an MB?" It's all cyclical.. the Koreans are doing the same thing the Japanese were 15 years ago. However, the only mistake I can see them making is not making a separate luxury marque.

The XG was a decent first try, but nothing more than a shot across the bow. The Genesis is going to be the first real attack. What will happen is people will see it and think "I can get a car that's 92% of a Lexus for 50% of the cost." That will mean that Toyandan will either really have to up their game to justify the extra cost or will have to become far more competitive with their pricing - it's a win-win for everyone. It won't matter at all for those who only buy a name... but for everyone else it'll be fantastic because not only will the price of admission for a luxury ride go down, but it will force the price of all lesser cars to come down as well. Everyone should be able to ride in luxury if they so choose without it having to cost an arm and a leg.

Honestly though, were I ever to buy an Asian import, at the rate things are going I'd be hard pressed not to buy Korean.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-29-07, 02:22 PM
I think I'm being misunderstood....

The main point I was trying to make was Isn't it "anti luxury" to make luxury cars that are cheap to buy, own and maintain? Whether it be American, German, English, Lebanese, Korean or Japanese.

Maybe it's just me, but some of the charm of owning a luxury car is having a car that some may not be able to afford, or maybe they're scared of the upkeep/ repair costs, etc etc, and the rarity of the car it's self. Because when I think of luxury cars, and I mean real luxury cars, I think of expensive repair/maintenance costs, a high level of prestige/history and a certain snob appeal that comes with the nameplate.

RightTurn
12-29-07, 02:28 PM
I get what you're saying Chad...agree. "Luxury" or no...it's still a Hyundai.

Lord Cadillac
12-29-07, 02:32 PM
Life is short. It's only fair for everyone to have the ability to afford a vehicle that's comfortable for themselves and their family or whatever passengers they have. Does it water things down? Sure. But that's just the way it goes. Yes, the XG series was the first luxury attempt by Hyundai. The Azera was second, has done well, and the third is the Genesis - and now they finally have a design, inside and out, to go along with their luxury car.

The price of driving in luxury is get absolutely RIDICULOUS. A Mercedes S-Class costs $110,000.00 with the features you'd expect in a full-size luxury car. That's B.S. That's far more than our parents paid for their homes 40 years ago. It's real B.S. A well-equipt Lexus LS is like $80k and if you want their full-size SUV, it's around $90k. Hyundai coming along and offering NEARLY what these expensive cars offer for HALF the price - is a VERY GOOD THING in my opinion.

And don't forget that Kia will also get an even LESS expensive version of the Genesis sedan...

Lord Cadillac
12-29-07, 02:33 PM
And a Lexus LS460L is still just a Toyota.. But what's "just' a Toyota mean?

An S550 is just a Mercedes. A 750li is just a BMW. An XLR is just a Cadillac...

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-29-07, 02:50 PM
Sal, you bring up a good point. I am by no means a rich man, and realistically, an S Class is way out of my league, and if my priorities weren't so out of whack, (:D ) I wouldn't own one. The cost of repairs have driven me to the poor house for the time being, so thankfully I live at home and can accomodate $1,000 a month in repairs (ok, so it was only 1 month out of the 4 I've owned it), because if I lived on my own, I wouldn't be able to maintain that car to the level that I do, even with working 50 hours a week.

As you can probably tell by now, value is the least of my concerns, atleast when it comes to the car I own. I'm much happier walking out of my house every morning and seeing the tri-star perched on top of my hood than I would be if I walked out of my house every morning and saw the "crooked-H" perched on top of my hood, even if it means exhorbitantly expensive repair costs.

Life is short, buy what you want.

I guess if value was a big concern of mine and I wanted a luxury car, I would have bought a Park Avenue, or a Maxima, or an XG350 or a Passat, etc etc...

But it is nice that there are so many levels of luxury cars....to accomodate all buyers...

Cadillacboy
12-29-07, 03:17 PM
The logic of luxury is like dolby pro logic if we say hyundai is a real luxury car ....Image is everything . LOL that's very snobbish logic :p:

77CDV
12-29-07, 03:19 PM
Life is short. It's only fair for everyone to have the ability to afford a vehicle that's comfortable for themselves and their family or whatever passengers they have. Does it water things down? Sure. But that's just the way it goes. Yes, the XG series was the first luxury attempt by Hyundai. The Azera was second, has done well, and the third is the Genesis - and now they finally have a design, inside and out, to go along with their luxury car.

The price of driving in luxury is get absolutely RIDICULOUS. A Mercedes S-Class costs $110,000.00 with the features you'd expect in a full-size luxury car. That's B.S. That's far more than our parents paid for their homes 40 years ago. It's real B.S. A well-equipt Lexus LS is like $80k and if you want their full-size SUV, it's around $90k. Hyundai coming along and offering NEARLY what these expensive cars offer for HALF the price - is a VERY GOOD THING in my opinion.

And don't forget that Kia will also get an even LESS expensive version of the Genesis sedan...

Just so, Sal. And, if you look back in the mists of history, Cadillac first rose to prominence by offering all the goodies and style of the ubermakes of the day (Peerless, Pierce Arrow, Marmon, Packard, Franklin, etc.) at a fraction of the price. It didn't hurt that Cadillac had GM to back it up financially. When Lexus first came out, they built an S-Class near-equivalent for a good $15K less. It didn't hurt that they had Toyota to back them up financially. Now Hyundai is playing the same game. If all you want is the goodies and you don't give a rip who makes it (and most folks don't anymore), why wouldn't you buy the Hyundai?

Lord Cadillac
12-29-07, 03:28 PM
Some people cannot afford the "name" - but now everybody can afford the "amenities". And it isn't even a perfect world...

gdwriter
12-29-07, 04:00 PM
I remember sitting in an Azera at the Portland Auto Show last January (standard cloth interior vs. leather), and thought, "this is like a Korean Buick."

urbanski
12-29-07, 04:11 PM
is your idea of "luxury" dependent on what others percieve as luxury? read "i gotta have a BMW to look good and luxurious".
how many of the luxurious 100K S-classes you see are paid for? how many Porsches and BMs are dragging payment books behind them? lots i bet.

my idea of luxury is a paid for late-model car that pleases me to drive, while not giving one **** what others think of what i'm driving :)

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-29-07, 04:32 PM
True, unabashed luxury to me, is: the amenities, the feel, the name, the prestige associated with the name, the pedigree of the brand and it's history, the cache and the "hey, wow, look at THAT car" factor.

The thing with many of the more value oriented luxury cars is that they lack the "feel" that luxury cars have. It's not something you can touch, but you definitely know it's there when a car has it.

RightTurn
12-29-07, 05:20 PM
And a Lexus LS460L is still just a Toyota.. But what's "just' a Toyota mean?

An S550 is just a Mercedes. A 750li is just a BMW. An XLR is just a Cadillac...

:umno: A Lexus LS460L is a Lexus. If Hyundai was trying to create a luxury brand, they should name it something other than Hyundai IMO. Taking a page from other manufacturers' books (Nissan/Infiniti, Toyota/Lexus, GM/Cadillac, etc.) and come up with a true "luxury" line separate from the "economy" line image. I agree that any car mfg can produce an upscale model, but perception of true luxury is what keeps us all loving Cadillac. It's the name association, cachet, etc. that holds the appeal and makes people willing to part with obscene amounts of money to own one.

Did that make sense to anyone? :lol:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-29-07, 05:58 PM
And that's what makes me like the Fleetwood Brougham a lot more than a Caprice!

Night Wolf
12-29-07, 06:32 PM
I don't see what the big deal is, cause honestly I don't see many XG350's around.

I bought my 1996 Town Car for $3,500, that would put it right in line with a.... 1998 Toyota Corolla.....yet.... there is still a difference there... a typical 1998 corolla shopper isn't going to be interested in a Town Car, and a typical 1996 Town Car shopper isn't interested in a Corolla.

While I like alot of things about luxury cars, the thing I dislike the most is the stigma that goes with luxury car brands, the yuppy stuff etc...

Kinda why I like the Town Car alot... dosn't shout out anything or have a certain "following" with it, its just a great car, old school in design, looks great and just works.

AMGoff
12-29-07, 06:48 PM
It's all relative... however, in reality it all really boils down to the "feel" of it. If car-A has more or less all the same amenities, comfort, and power of car-B then it really doesn't make a lick of difference how much the car costs or what badge is glued to the back of it. If someone wants to pay extra for what amounts to nothing more than a badge and a name and has the means to do so then that's on them and there's nothing wrong with it... but really it's only a name. As others have also pointed out, I personally think that anyone who pays extra for nothing more than a name is doing so for the sake of what others will think. "History, pedigree, blah blah, yadda yadda," accounts for nothing more than marketing gimmicks and convenient excuses for those who buy into it.

Like I said, it's all relative because it boils down to one's perception of what "luxury" is. Frankly, I'm not one to waste my money on again, nothing more than a name when I can get a car with all the same features and creature comforts for much less money. And the biggest reason for that is that I'm more concerned with my own ass than I am about what others think of me.

By extension... it always cracks me up when I see people driving around in really expensive cars and yet their homes are pretty much shit-holes. I mean really... what sort of priorities are those? I'd much rather have a nice home and a POS car than the other way around. Again... it comes down to some people are more concerned with putting on a show for others... because you know, way more people will see me riding around in my "phat" car than they will at my house.... Talk about absurd logic.

Sandy
12-29-07, 07:50 PM
A friend has a 2007 Hyundai Azerra "Limited" in black with black leather.
It is totally georgous ! Soft luxury leather black seats, beautiful light wood interior trim,
beautifully designed door panels an a dash panel similiar to a German luxury car.
Full width taillamps, and a Mercedes-esque grille. On the back it says A Z E R R A
and under that LIMITED. On the other side it says HYUNDAI. He took that off !
Nobody knows what it is. I would buy one in a heartbeat. I would not buy any
other foreign car, 'cause I don't believe in that. But, that Azerra is really neat.
A wood trimed center console with the wood on the SIDES of the console and
brushed aluminum on the top, seperated my chrome, it's simply breathtaking.

Destroyer
12-29-07, 08:08 PM
Life is short. It's only fair for everyone to have the ability to afford a vehicle that's comfortable for themselves and their family or whatever passengers they have. Does it water things down? Sure. But that's just the way it goes. Yes, the XG series was the first luxury attempt by Hyundai. The Azera was second, has done well, and the third is the Genesis - and now they finally have a design, inside and out, to go along with their luxury car.

The price of driving in luxury is get absolutely RIDICULOUS. A Mercedes S-Class costs $110,000.00 with the features you'd expect in a full-size luxury car. That's B.S. That's far more than our parents paid for their homes 40 years ago. It's real B.S. A well-equipt Lexus LS is like $80k and if you want their full-size SUV, it's around $90k. Hyundai coming along and offering NEARLY what these expensive cars offer for HALF the price - is a VERY GOOD THING in my opinion.

And don't forget that Kia will also get an even LESS expensive version of the Genesis sedan...
Dont mistake and misuse the term "luxury". Its akin to having a hang down, the Benz and Bentley, BMW, etc. win by default just because of what they are. The dont have to be more luxurious or faster or even better but they do have to carry the badge that makes them "luxury" and shows the world the driver has made it. A Hyundai just cant do that, even IF they ever built a car more luxurious and better than the big boys. Its all about the money and nothing about Hyundai says money.

MN-STS-LOVER
12-29-07, 08:25 PM
A Hyundai is still a Hyundai! and always will be. I give them alot of credit for how far they have come! The first ones (mitsu's) couldn't get out of their own way! They may be really nice new..but let's see how they ride in 70K miles? and they will always have that Asian ride vs. the Germans and Americans. Just having pieces and parts does not equate to "Luxury"

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-29-07, 11:17 PM
Adam, I hope that wasn't a poke at me, because it's different for me. I say my priorites are out of whack jokingly, because I live at home, so I can't have a nice car, yet a shitty dwelling. The plan was to buy a newer car, pay it off, and then move out, so I wouldn't have to deal with expensive repairs and make rent payments (haha...knock on wood....).

I'd like to have a nice (just nice...not extravagant or anything crazy like that) 1-2 bedroom apartment or condominum in the near future in a nicer neighborhood in the suburbs, and have it filled with nice furnishings (again, just nice, nothing that's insanely expensive or over the top)... (aside from what I've got now) just a nice sized TV, leather couch, a nice Mac laptop, bookshelfs, a few nice tables, a nice queen sized bed, etc etc, and two of my favorite cars...the Merc and a nice older Lincoln or Cadillac...

Because, aside from family and friends, the most important possession I would have, aside from the residence, would be my car(s), and I've been a car guy since I was a kid, and if I can afford to have two cars I really like and a nice place to live, then I know god damn well that I'll do it.

77CDV
12-29-07, 11:41 PM
Kinda why I like the Town Car alot... dosn't shout out anything or have a certain "following" with it,
Have to disagree with you there, Rick. Here in LA, the Town Car says, "Taxi!":duck:I don't see any of them anymore that are private cars. Sad, but true.

And for Chad, I understand you. I, too, would rather have a modest dwelling and really awesome cars than vice versa because at the end, the house is only a tax deduction that also happens to provide shelter and a place to shower and shave. The cars are a passion. And the house just can't take you on really great road trips.:)

creeker
12-30-07, 12:13 AM
A Hyundai is still a Hyundai! and always will be. I give them alot of credit for how far they have come! The first ones (mitsu's) couldn't get out of their own way! They may be really nice new..but let's see how they ride in 70K miles? and they will always have that Asian ride vs. the Germans and Americans. Just having pieces and parts does not equate to "Luxury"

Maybe we will keep track of how many head gaskets they blow,or maybe their not sophisticated enough?.

MN-STS-LOVER
12-30-07, 12:54 AM
Maybe we will keep track of how many head gaskets they blow,or maybe their not sophisticated enough?.

Well I have had no HG problems (knock on wood)! and I'll lay odds that if they made a Hyundai with 300hp...they might blow one now and again also.

hueterm
12-30-07, 01:33 AM
Adam, I hope that wasn't a poke at me, because it's different for me. I say my priorites are out of whack jokingly, because I live at home, so I can't have a nice car, yet a shitty dwelling. The plan was to buy a newer car, pay it off, and then move out, so I wouldn't have to deal with expensive repairs and make rent payments (haha...knock on wood....).

I'd like to have a nice (just nice...not extravagant or anything crazy like that) 1-2 bedroom apartment or condominum in the near future in a nicer neighborhood in the suburbs, and have it filled with nice furnishings (again, just nice, nothing that's insanely expensive or over the top)... (aside from what I've got now) just a nice sized TV, leather couch, a nice Mac laptop, bookshelfs, a few nice tables, a nice queen sized bed, etc etc, and two of my favorite cars...the Merc and a nice older Lincoln or Cadillac...

Because, aside from family and friends, the most important possession I would have, aside from the residence, would be my car(s), and I've been a car guy since I was a kid, and if I can afford to have two cars I really like and a nice place to live, then I know god damn well that I'll do it.


:duck:
(I'm probably going to get in trouble from some on the following, and :highfive: from others...)

While not speaking from personal experience -- you are forgetting one (no -- 2+) things that will very possibly blow all of the above out of the water:



1.) wife
2.) kid(s).



Given your age, neither of the above are probably an immediate concern. However, most women are not going to live in some apartment somewhere (with or w/o kids) so you can have a high end luxury car that needs frequent expensive repairs -- and even more so -- some "old"/"grandma"/"pimp" car.

Not saying it's right/wrong or fair/not fair, but most wives/mothers would see you in a 1995 4 cylinder Taurus (if such a thing exists) with cloth seats and an AM/FM radio sans cassette player -- if it would get you into a house w/a larger kitchen, extra bathroom, or extra bedroom.

Just something to keep in mind...

hueterm
12-30-07, 01:45 AM
Have to disagree with you there, Rick. Here in LA, the Town Car says, "Taxi!":duck:I don't see any of them anymore that are private cars. Sad, but true.

And for Chad, I understand you. I, too, would rather have a modest dwelling and really awesome cars than vice versa because at the end, the house is only a tax deduction that also happens to provide shelter and a place to shower and shave. The cars are a passion. And the house just can't take you on really great road trips.:)

Believe me, I like nice cars as much as anyone, but there has to be a balance at some point. I wouldn't want a $500K house (a "normal" $500K house -- not an LA/SF $500K house) and a total beater car, but some people do.

On the other hand, I remember (since I have always loved these cars) when I was in high school, almost every morning when driving to school, I would drive past a guy leaving in a brand new HOT 1987/1988 560SEC AMG. For the most part this was a blue collar, lower middle class area, and this was the only car in the driveway (so I don't think it was his girlfriend's house, etc.). The car cost over twice what the house was worth. I'm sorry, but that's just insane.

And usually (I say usually given the overall market today) a house is an appreciating asset. Most cars (unless they're a true collectible) are depreciating assets.

Night Wolf
12-30-07, 02:02 AM
No doubt Town Cars are used as taxis in places.... to me, that just confirms the durablility and longjevity of the car.... but when they do get beat down it makes them look bad... honestly, I have only seen 2 Town Car taxis in the ~10 months I've lived here in GA, so I am not worried about that.

About the house vs car thing.... yeah, I'm sorry, I just don't agree on that... but I'm not gonna go there, as far as I am concerned there is no comparison, at all. Among all the obvious, all you have to do is look at the simple facts.... one asset gains value over time while the other looses value.

Jesda
12-30-07, 04:39 AM
I've mostly seen Town Cars used in upscale hire-car services. Taxi fleets tend to utilize retired police cars.

MN-STS-LOVER
12-30-07, 01:22 PM
[QUOTE=Night Wolf;1344430]No doubt Town Cars are used as taxis in places.... to me, that just confirms the durablility and longjevity of the car....

In Europe they drive Benz and Beemers as Taxis for that reason. They could ware out 3 or 4 Opels of Fords vs. 1 Benz or Beemer, so from a cost perspective it makes sense.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-30-07, 01:24 PM
:duck:
(I'm probably going to get in trouble from some on the following, and :highfive: from others...)

While not speaking from personal experience -- you are forgetting one (no -- 2+) things that will very possibly blow all of the above out of the water:



1.) wife
2.) kid(s).



Given your age, neither of the above are probably an immediate concern. However, most women are not going to live in some apartment somewhere (with or w/o kids) so you can have a high end luxury car that needs frequent expensive repairs -- and even more so -- some "old"/"grandma"/"pimp" car.

Not saying it's right/wrong or fair/not fair, but most wives/mothers would see you in a 1995 4 cylinder Taurus (if such a thing exists) with cloth seats and an AM/FM radio sans cassette player -- if it would get you into a house w/a larger kitchen, extra bathroom, or extra bedroom.

Just something to keep in mind...

True, but I meant in the near future, not ten years down the road.

I guess it's just personal preference, but I have no desire to get married or settle down with anyone at this point in my life, and I can't see myself getting married for 6-7 years. I wanna move out, live by myself for a while first, before I'd ever settle down...and that's the part of life I was talking about earlier. Because honestly, I haven't thought any further ahead than that.



And usually (I say usually given the overall market today) a house is an appreciating asset. Most cars (unless they're a true collectible) are depreciating assets.

Well, not if you live in a trailer park and have a 1931 Duesenberg sitting next to your double wide.... :D

LS1Mike
12-30-07, 01:32 PM
And usually (I say usually given the overall market today) a house is an appreciating asset. Most cars (unless they're a true collectible) are depreciating assets.

I totally agree, I mean go ahead and spend money on the newest car. That is your choice, but for me I will keep the WS6 and make it the way I want it, there is no way way I could get the money I put into it back out of it.
However with a house 99% of the time what you put in you get back and then some.

CadillacSTS42005
12-30-07, 02:07 PM
idc if they stick the finest things money can buy into that lil Hyundai...
its still got the style and class of an over sized piece of Tupperware...
i hate econoboxes..

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-30-07, 02:18 PM
In the mainstream public's eye, a Hyundai will never be a luxury car because it's a Hyundai. Just like a Crown Victoria isn't a luxury car because it's just a Ford, no matter that it's got 90% of the content of a Town Car at 50% of the cost.

But for those who don't care about name or cachet, these cars are an excellent bargain, and a very wise financial decision, because they offer most of the expensive car's features at a cost usually 25-30% lower. And they're cheaper to own in the long run too.

That's where Toyota, Honda and Nissan really did a good thing...they made luxury cars comparable to their European competition, and sold them at 70-80% of the cost of the European car, and then even made a fancy sounding brand to market the cars with. That is what Hyundai needs to do!

It's interesting to note that the originators for the most part used a last name as the company names (Cadillac, Benz, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lincoln, Buick, etc etc) whereas the "imposters" used fancy sounding made-up words to instill a sense of luxury and exclusivity. Take for example Lexus....it sounds wonderful...fancy, exotic, exclusive, but it's nothing more than a word made up and chosen in a boardroom meeting of Toyota chief officers back in the mid '80s. Acura and Infiniti are the same way too....heck, even Escalade is like that too..

AMGoff
12-30-07, 02:27 PM
Adam, I hope that wasn't a poke at me, because it's different for me. I say my priorites are out of whack jokingly, because I live at home, so I can't have a nice car, yet a shitty dwelling. The plan was to buy a newer car, pay it off, and then move out, so I wouldn't have to deal with expensive repairs and make rent payments (haha...knock on wood....).

I'd like to have a nice (just nice...not extravagant or anything crazy like that) 1-2 bedroom apartment or condominum in the near future in a nicer neighborhood in the suburbs, and have it filled with nice furnishings (again, just nice, nothing that's insanely expensive or over the top)... (aside from what I've got now) just a nice sized TV, leather couch, a nice Mac laptop, bookshelfs, a few nice tables, a nice queen sized bed, etc etc, and two of my favorite cars...the Merc and a nice older Lincoln or Cadillac...

Because, aside from family and friends, the most important possession I would have, aside from the residence, would be my car(s), and I've been a car guy since I was a kid, and if I can afford to have two cars I really like and a nice place to live, then I know god damn well that I'll do it.

It certainly wasn't... it just so happened that the thought was thrown in toward the end. Your situation is entirely different as you still live at home. Being as that is, there's no reason you shouldn't be driving whatever you want right now... it may be the only time for quite a while that you'll be able to do so... even if you bought a badge :lildevil: At the very least you bought used badge so it's not quite as bad. Again.. I just don't personally buy into the whole badge thing... a car is luxurious based on it's amenities not by it's name.

The second half of my previous comment still holds true... I simply can't understand why some people would blow all their money on their car while living in a not-so-nice home. It's plain absurd... if I had $3-4-500 a month to spend it would be on fixing up my house or saving to buy a new one and not on my car. Again, I know I like having a nice house... and I would gladly drive around a Pinto if I had to in order to do so. Even though we're in a much more comfortable spot now than we were when we first started out I still have to make a few sacrifices here and there... I'd love to have a brand new STS or even a used XLR and we could swing it if I really wanted to but then we'd have little money to do everything else we like to do. I simply can't justify an expensive car... the most I have paid and will ever pay for a car is $25K whether be new or used... and that's fine by me because I've been fortunate enough to pick up some really great cars at or under that amount. I just can't see the point of spending anything more than that for what amounts to a consumer expendable.


A Hyundai is still a Hyundai! and always will be. I give them alot of credit for how far they have come! The first ones (mitsu's) couldn't get out of their own way! They may be really nice new..but let's see how they ride in 70K miles? and they will always have that Asian ride vs. the Germans and Americans. Just having pieces and parts does not equate to "Luxury"

People said the same damn thing about the Japanese and now look at how things are.. some people hold Lexus as the de facto luxury car now.

Products and perceptions don't change overnight... it's incremental. Yes, a Hyundai is just a Hyundai... but they've gotten better with each succeeding generation. It's absolutely mind-boggling how far they've come in such a short amount of time. Again, the Koreans are where the Japanese were 10-15 years ago and with the exception of people like me, you rarely hear "a Toyondan is still a Toyondan!" At the rate things are going, in ten years time Hyundai (or whatever possible brand they come up with) will be putting out cars as or more luxurious than the Japanese, thoughts of '89 Excels will be a thing of the past, and will be talking about the Chinese "pretending" to make entry-level luxury cars.

Humans are inherently shortsighted... people won't care what cars Hyundai made in the past as long as they're riding in a car that looks, rides, and feels like a Lexus. In this "me too" society which we live, a manufacturer doesn't have to reinvent the wheel in order to be successful... they just have to copy what people are known to like. Just look at the Genesis and it's resemblance to the Lexus, because of which they are going to sell a butt-load of them. Why? Because it will look close enough, ride close enough, sound close enough, and feel close enough all while costing no where near close enough.

Just remember, those already predisposed to buying Asian will have no problem buying Korean once they really start pushing some luxurious products. These are the same people who bought Lexus' because they were "close enough" to a Mercedes without costing as much.

No one will care that it's "still a Hyundai" because no one will care to remember what Hyundai used to make.

AMGoff
12-30-07, 02:42 PM
In the mainstream public's eye, a Hyundai will never be a luxury car because it's a Hyundai. Just like a Crown Victoria isn't a luxury car because it's just a Ford, no matter that it's got 90% of the content of a Town Car at 50% of the cost.

But for those who don't care about name or cachet, these cars are an excellent bargain, and a very wise financial decision, because they offer most of the expensive car's features at a cost usually 25-30% lower. And they're cheaper to own in the long run too.

That's where Toyota, Honda and Nissan really did a good thing...they made luxury cars comparable to their European competition, and sold them at 70-80% of the cost of the European car, and then even made a fancy sounding brand to market the cars with. That is what Hyundai needs to do!

It's interesting to note that the originators for the most part used a last name as the company names (Cadillac, Benz, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lincoln, Buick, etc etc) whereas the "imposters" used fancy sounding made-up words to instill a sense of luxury and exclusivity. Take for example Lexus....it sounds wonderful...fancy, exotic, exclusive, but it's nothing more than a word made up and chosen in a boardroom meeting of Toyota chief officers back in the mid '80s. Acura and Infiniti are the same way too....heck, even Escalade is like that too..

Again, see my comments about people's shortsighted nature. They won't care ten years from now whatsoever.

Chad, you know I think you are well beyond your years... being much more thoughtful and insightful than most your age.... however... this is one of the few times where age really does come into play. While I don't doubt that you have been a car guy for quite sometime... the fact remains you were in diapers when the Japanese rolled out their "luxury" cars. Everyone said they would fail, that there was no way the Japanese would know how to build a luxury car let alone execute it properly to satisfy western tastes.... that no one in their right mind would ever buy one over a European or even an American model... and that the whole thing might even lead to their ruin.

Flash-forward to today and see how things are.... people don't care about the econo-boxes they put out in the 70s-80s... they don't care about how completely absurd the idea was of them making luxury cars... they just don't care. They made the products, stuck with them, and continued to refine them with each subsequent revision... and people responded.

Hyundai will do the same thing... they're already doing it. There was a time not all that long ago when people wouldn't even think of buying one even as an everyday car. Now there are people who swear by them and wouldn't think of getting anything else. How did they do that? The same way the Japanese did... and they're going to do the same thing with their more upscale cars.. and it too will work. It's not like they're doing this blind... there's a tried and true method - keep making things better, market them, and people will buy.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-30-07, 02:52 PM
The second half of my previous comment still holds true... I simply can't understand why some people would blow all their money on their car while living in a not-so-nice home. It's plain absurd...

I come from a middle-upper class neighborhood and family. As a visual, I'll say that the house I live in is about 2100 square feet....split entry, built in a big subdivision in 1985 in a nicer suburb of St Paul. The town I live in is a pretty nice town...we've got houses ranging from probably $200,000 now to $1,000,000 now, or in other terms, 1500 square feet to maybe 5-6000 square feet, depending on area, and the vast majority of the town was built in the '80s....but some of it dates back to the '50s, and our town was incorporated in '74. We have no ghettos, no real rough neighborhoods, and I'm very thankful of where I come from.

Anywho, the vast majority of cars in my subdivision are late model Chevys, Pontiacs, Toyotas, Nissans, Hondas, etc etc...just mainstream 20-30k cars....not many newer M-Bs, Acuras, Lexuses, etc etc. In the development that backs up to mine, the houses are all 3-4k square feet, and they were all built in '99-'00...those are where we start to see the newer 3 Series, A4's, TL's, etc etc parked in the driveway. Now I haven't yet found a development in my town where you'd see a lot of late model S Classes, or 7 Series, or A8's parked in the driveways, but on my way to work, I'll drive through this neighborhood where all the houses are in the $750,000 - $1,000,000 range and that's where I'll see people pulling out of their driveways in their S Class, XKR or Range Rover, etc etc.





the most I have paid and will ever pay for a car is $25K whether be new or used... and that's fine by me because I've been fortunate enough to pick up some really great cars at or under that amount. I just can't see the point of spending anything more than that for what amounts to a consumer expendable.

Same here....I feel no need to have a brand new car. It's not like a brand new car isn't gonna break or anything. They still will, but they're covered under warranty, so you won't have to pay, but it's still frustrating or unnerving when you have to make multiple trips to the dealer for repairs.

I don't think I'll ever buy new....used for me. Let someone else take the hit on depreciation and I'll pick it up in 5-7 years after depreciation kicks in fully. I'm not a rich man, and I would have never been able to afford a Mercedes or Cadillac new, so I like to indulge myself with these nice cars, even if they're a bear to keep up.

I pay a considerable amount a month for the loan payments ($12,000 over two years), so I can pay it off quickly, move out and improve my credit score while the car is payed off. If I had moved out and then decided to buy the car, I could have paid it off over 4 or 5 years and cut my payments in half or more! And still be able to make rent payments.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-30-07, 02:55 PM
Hyundai will do the same thing... they're already doing it. There was a time not all that long ago when people wouldn't even think of buying one even as an everyday car. Now there are people who swear by them and wouldn't think of getting anything else. How did they do that? The same way the Japanese did... and they're going to do the same thing with their more upscale cars.. and it too will work. It's not like they're doing this blind... there's a tried and true method - keep making things better, market them, and people will buy.


So basically, what you're trying to say is that the XG350, Azera and Genesis are sorta like the Cressida of the '80s....the nice, upscale car that came before the seperate luxury marque was introduced?

Night Wolf
12-30-07, 03:11 PM
So basically, what you're trying to say is that the XG350, Azera and Genesis are sorta like the Cressida of the '80s....the nice, upscale car that came before the seperate luxury marque was introduced?

Thats exactly what he is saying.

Asian guy from work has an old Cressida, swears by them, I6 and RWD... pretty cool IMO, I've been in it a few times... I liked it.

Destroyer
12-30-07, 03:17 PM
However with a house 99% of the time what you put in you get back and then some.Tell that to the hundreds of thousands of people in some stage of foreclosure in FL right now. You guys are both right but the housing market needs some stability first.

Night Wolf
12-30-07, 03:49 PM
I guess things are just different for me.... I grew up in a low income family, I don't count my father and his parents, because it was like a different world to me, and nothing ever trickled down, which I am thankful of.

My mom never made alot of money, after the divorce, which I was 13 months old, so I don't even remember any of that, she lived in pretty bad apartments, but its what she could afford and she was on her own..... in 1991 she bought her 960 sq. ft. house, the house I grew up in that we just sold last year, that house was nothing specialm looked dumpy when she got it and needed alot of work.... parked in the gravel driveway was a 1984 'Vette....Chevette.

Growing up we never had anything new, everything was hand-me-down or thrift store...slowly my mom and Rich (who had his own houses he got in rough shape and fixed up) fixed up that little house. We sold it last year as their "dream" house on 10 acres has just been completed, for the first time they actually bought new furnature and retired the '87 and '89 Fleetwood Broughams and got a '98 Park Ave.

Fancy things do nothing at all for me, when looking at houses, the realtor lady kept trying to push a new house crammed in a subdivison on me, besides being on the very high end of my price range, she kept saying all the new stuff it has... just rambling off a list that I am sure I am not the first to hear.... new tile, new granate counter, new hardwood, new blah blah blah..... sorry, none of that does anything for me, nor does the word "new" When you see these things, they are all crammed into subdivsions, all cookie-cutter, its like, this is my house, and my neighbors house is right there, about 25 feet from mine, his house is the same as mine, but my tree in my front yard is slightly bigger. just rows of these things... people like it tho and they buy into it.

Very different to what I am used to, in NY we had land, there was no subdivsions, my moms house was on 1 acre of land off a road.... that was it.

I like nice things, and I like to take care of what I own.... I like my Town Car, mostly because it was cheap to buy and cheap to own, I equally like my basic simple, much cheaper Isuzu truck. I've got my own furnature, but its all hand me down stuff, but its mine and it does its job.

Alot of guys at work are now into this TV thing, who can buy the biggest TV, while still living in an apartment.... Sorry, I just don't see the logic there, I've got the same 25" Sanyo TV with only a coaxial input that my mom got me for Christmas over 10 years ago.... sure I could fill up this house I am renting with new stuff and a 50" LCD TV, but IMO that is flat out pointless, I'd rather move this next to worthless stuff I have into a house that I own and go from there.... which is what I plan on doing.

I'm a car guy too, but I already relaized that I get just as much joy from working on and driving my '94 Isuzu Amigo, as I have from any other car I've owned, I just like cars.... and.... I must say, while looking at houses, I just can't help but feel like once I get a house, most of my time and money will go into that, not the car... and rightfully so, the house will gain in value over time, not go down, not to mention isn't as easily destroyed. But I just see myself putting alot of money into my cars every month.... and... when I get a house, I can't see putting that money into a car when I can put it into a house.... and working on a house intrests me just as much as working on a car :)

But, I'm not into all the fancy and flashy things, cars or houses, none of that matters to me, I enjoy the simple things in life. I enjoy my job, have a 401k started, enjoy my old used cars, my basic furnishings and look forward to owning a simple house not crammed in a subdivision or back to back in a city grid pattern, like nearly all the houses I was looking at. Just the idea of owning my own place and not paying rent alone is worth it, for the first time I wont have to be limited on what I can and can't do in the place I am living at etc.... feels good :)

LS1Mike
12-30-07, 04:13 PM
There are in that situation because they live beyond their means or took an arm and forgot it was coming due.

Destroyer
12-30-07, 04:26 PM
There are in that situation because they live beyond their means or took an arm and forgot it was coming due.
It is part of the problem thats for sure. Everyone in Florida became a rockstar overnight when the properties were on the uprise. Many thought the arms would be ok cause hell, the properties were going up 15-20% a year anyway. What the state has learned in a most painful way is that what goes up does indeed come down.

Sandy
12-30-07, 06:04 PM
My parents had $$$$. My Dad was an attorney, specializing in Real Estate and my Mom was a Patent Attorney. I grew up in a big beautiful home, in an affluent community. We had new Imperials, Cadillacs & Lincolns. We lived well.
But...... They died. I was a good kid, never in trouble. But... I did not do well in school. Actually, I stunk!! It was all I could do, to just pass. So, by the luck of a lottery win or something similiar, I got into a college. I promptly flunked out. So..... I folllowed my love = Cars, and went into the car business. Sales. Sales Suck, but I didn't know THAT then. Soon, I was in it too long to get out.... age comes up fast!! Well, you cannot live well on a car salesmans income. It's not dual lawyer's income! :hmm:

So, my wife & I bought a 2 family house. It's in an "okay" neighborhood, that more/less boarders a not too good neighborhood. The income rent pays my taxes, utilities, gardner/snow plower and outta pocket small repairs. So, we live pretty decent. That includes my 6 cars ! But, there are hard times, now & then.
Our son is like my folks, but even moreso ! Straight A's 8 semisters in a row, all through college, voted Most Likely to suceed in his (big) class, President of the accounting society, VEEP of his Frat, and on & on.... Just passed his 4th part and is now a certified public accountant ! Working in NYC (first, ever job) at a starting salary or $58,000. Saving his $$$ and I may sell a car or two to help him out, he is planning to go to Law School and become a Tax Attorney.
So, we raised a great kid that could achieve what I could not. My folks would be proud, if they could see.
Living in a so so nothing community, didn't hurt him. He had loving parents.
That is THE most important.

77CDV
12-30-07, 11:44 PM
Living in a so so nothing community, didn't hurt him. He had loving parents.
That is THE most important.
Amen to that, Sandy!

Jesda
12-31-07, 03:09 AM
I live in a shoe.

lawfive
12-31-07, 04:12 PM
'Luxury' is one of dem aesthetic thingies and is therefore a subjective determination based on the frame of reference of the beholder, full stop.

Possible candidate luxury criteria from posts above:

How many truly sybaritic features does the car offer? Even here, we have problems as one man's rich Corinthean leather is another man's slippery seat. And given any two hedonists, one may demand a higher standard of audio and navigation system performance and the availability of a digital ashtry, while the other couldn't care less about that kind of technology and instead wants more wood, more leather, quad zone HVAC, less road noise, and the cushiest possible ride.
Is the car priced out of range of the unwashed masses? Stated another way, can luxury truly be luxury if the everyman can afford it?
I'll add the tradeoffs between luxury and performance under a fixed cost point. I favor performance over luxury every time, and since I'm now in a luxury performance car (and looking forward to the next iteration of same) I have to wonder how many of us would trade the Alcantra wood (or whatever it's called) and carbon fiber trim for a few more ponies or more responsive steering. Does doing that de-lux my Caddy? Or should I just be willing to pay more and get both?Hard for us to agree across the board on what luxury is.

Oh, and I'm just kibitzing here. Before I bought the CTS-V, I equated "Cadillac" with "boat."

MN-STS-LOVER
12-31-07, 06:18 PM
People said the same damn thing about the Japanese and now look at how things are.. some people hold Lexus as the de facto luxury car now.

Products and perceptions don't change overnight... it's incremental. Yes, a Hyundai is just a Hyundai... but they've gotten better with each succeeding generation. It's absolutely mind-boggling how far they've come in such a short amount of time. Again, the Koreans are where the Japanese were 10-15 years ago and with the exception of people like me, you rarely hear "a Toyondan is still a Toyondan!" At the rate things are going, in ten years time Hyundai (or whatever possible brand they come up with) will be putting out cars as or more luxurious than the Japanese, thoughts of '89 Excels will be a thing of the past, and will be talking about the Chinese "pretending" to make entry-level luxury cars.

Humans are inherently shortsighted... people won't care what cars Hyundai made in the past as long as they're riding in a car that looks, rides, and feels like a Lexus. In this "me too" society which we live, a manufacturer doesn't have to reinvent the wheel in order to be successful... they just have to copy what people are known to like. Just look at the Genesis and it's resemblance to the Lexus, because of which they are going to sell a butt-load of them. Why? Because it will look close enough, ride close enough, sound close enough, and feel close enough all while costing no where near close enough.

Just remember, those already predisposed to buying Asian will have no problem buying Korean once they really start pushing some luxurious products. These are the same people who bought Lexus' because they were "close enough" to a Mercedes without costing as much.

No one will care that it's "still a Hyundai" because no one will care to remember what Hyundai used to make.

All I said is that a Hyunai will always be itself. I have nothing against rice. I own rice and love it. I will pit my Seqouia against the best GM and Ford have to offer. One of my favorite cars is the '86 Maxima. A friend had one and that was one of the best cars ever. All the goodies and more than the Americans and much cheeper. However, it was still a Nissan...barely (Datsun) I never bashed the quality....just the fact that it will never be a Beemer or Benz or Caddy or Lincoln.

And I notice the conspicuous lack of Rice on you car list.....

hardrockcamaro@mac.c
12-31-07, 06:49 PM
Lexus don't sell well here in Europe, unlike in the USA they lag behind BMW etc.

Not because of euro snobbery or anything, the cars (while good on paper) lack two important qualities:

1) Character. Sorry but they're bland as anything.

2) And this is most important, heritage. Toyota started a new division and called it Lexus to sell upmarket cars. The brand has no heritage. There is nothing that makes it special. The cars are probably more reliable than a Mercedes, they may even be quieter and better equipped. But until they've been around for several decades they will just be a Toyota.


Buying a luxury car, at least over here, isn't about just what electrical features it has but also the brand.

It's like buying a fine watch. Casio can release a watch for 80% of the price of a Rolex and it will be more accurate but that isn't the point.
You're buying an image and prestige. And all the climate controlled seats in the world don't prestige make.

LS1Mike
12-31-07, 08:27 PM
Lexus don't sell well here in Europe, unlike in the USA they lag behind BMW etc.

Not because of euro snobbery or anything, the cars (while good on paper) lack two important qualities:

1) Character. Sorry but they're bland as anything.

2) And this is most important, heritage. Toyota started a new division and called it Lexus to sell upmarket cars. The brand has no heritage. There is nothing that makes it special. The cars are probably more reliable than a Mercedes, they may even be quieter and better equipped. But until they've been around for several decades they will just be a Toyota.


Buying a luxury car, at least over here, isn't about just what electrical features it has but also the brand.

It's like buying a fine watch. Casio can release a watch for 80% of the price of a Rolex and it will be more accurate but that isn't the point.
You're buying an image and prestige. And all the climate controlled seats in the world don't prestige make.

Very well said. I totally agree with the heritage thing.
Luxury is always different to certain people. Like power windows, door looks, cruise control, power seats and leather is enough for me. Anything elese is extra. I pefer performance to luxury. Having said that, my WS6 has to many options for what I want it to be. Traction control and 12 disc CD changer just add weight.