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Old 09-11-2018, 07:21 AM
mick78 mick78 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Vienna, Austria
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mick78 will become famous soon enough

Originally Posted by paranoidgarliclover View Post

Marketing term:

Not quite. I very clearly remember the introduction of the original LS and the stir that it caused bc of the pricing (being a teen at the time will that for you). The original LS400, IIRC, had an MSRP of ~$35000-37000. The 300E had a base price of $47000; the 190E was ~$34000.

MB has historically given huge discounts off of MSRP (you could easily knock of $10000 off the MSRP for a 300E; the 190E could be had for under $30000 w/ a lot of haggling); I don't recall that being the case w/ the LS, so the actual transaction price were probably closer. Still, on paper, it looked like you were getting something close to an Mercedes SE (I think MB SELs were significantly longer) for only a little more than a COMPACT Mercedes.

The LS was also arguably better equipped (did any manufacturer pay the same level of attention to factory sound systems back then?) and more powerful than the 560. It was certainly more quiet.

Of course, one presumes that Toyota (and the Japanese government???) was heavily subsidizing the cost of the LS b/c MB tried to cut its prices and ended up simply cutting quality. And the rapidly escalating of the LS since then would also imply that Toyota couldn't really make much of a profit off of the original price (IMHO).
Yes, pricing did make an impact (however, Japanese had tried before selling large cars mostly based on equipment and price - e.g. Toyota Cressida, but those factors alone were not enough to make an impact or be remembered), but what really made an impact was that it was cheaper despite being as good in all measurable terms (not image), and better in terms of refinement;

Read into the Lexus development story, and pricing was never their main target - it was beating Mercedes at their own game, plus Japanese reliability. Pricing was chosen to make an impact there as well, but it was never the main goal, and nowadays a Lexus doesn't need to be cheaper necessarily (and you won't get German discounts, that#s for sure, on list price)
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