The Truth About Cars » bmw 7-series The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 10:00:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » bmw 7-series Cain’s Segments April 2014: Luxury Flagships Thu, 08 May 2014 13:36:10 +0000 Porsche_Panamera_2013_Facelift3

The impact of Mercedes-Benz’s W222 S-Class has been keenly felt in America’s luxury car sector. The S-Class’s most direct rivals have been shunned in favour of the venerable Benz over the last seven months. And yet there’s no denying that big luxury SUVs have cast a shadow over these flagship luxury cars, nor is there any point rejecting the idea that Tesla’s Model S is stealing market share.

Among the traditional players in its category, however, the S-Class rules the roost. In April, specifically, S-Class volume was up 73%, and sales were 168% stronger than the volume achieved by the second-ranked Lexus LS, sales of which moved up by twelve units, year-over-year.

Sales of the third-ranked 7-Series were down 23%. 7-Series volume has tumbled in seven consecutive months, incidentally. In September, just as Mercedes-Benz USA dealers were readying the new S-Class and sales of their big car had fallen 58% to just 387 units, BMW USA reported more than 1700 7-Series sales for the first time since June 2010. The 7-Series must also battle the more attractive and similarly-priced 6-Series Gran Coupe in BMW’s own showrooms. Sales of the whole three-pronged 6-Series lineup are up 63% to 4610 units year-to-date, although April sales slid 36% to 483.

The drop-off to the S-Class’s remaining European competitors is significant. Porsche sold 517 Panameras in April, 1983 so far this year, little more than a quarter of what the S-Class accomplishes. And while that April Panamera mark is up slightly compared with April 2013, its well off the pace achieved in each of the previous three Aprils. Panamera sales reached their highest annual levels in 2010, the first full year of availability, when 7741 were sold. Porsche is on pace for fewer than 6000 Panamera sales in 2014.

A8 sales figures continue to surprise reviewers who often favour the big Audi. April volume was down 5%. Relative to sales of Audi flagships, A8 sales in 2013 were particularly high at 6300 units, but the steady decline over the last eight months indicates a less exciting 2014 year end number from Audi. (A8 sales had increased, year-over-year, in seven of 2013’s first eight months.)

The Jaguar XJ, a car which attracted 10,552 buyers in 2004 even when the S-Type was generating annual sales above 10K, is simply not a nameplate with that kind of popularity these days. 2013 sales marked an eight-year high, but at 5434 units, XJ sales were half what Jaguar had achieved a decade earlier. XJ volume is up 21% over the last two months; up 19% since the S-Class began crushing rivals in October.

Yet the XJ’s decline from those highs a decade ago is not unique in this class. Even if Mercedes-Benz USA sells 20,000 S-Class sedans in 2014, a lofty goal indeed, that’ll be down 35% from the level achieved in 2006, the year the GL-Class SUV arrived. BMW sold more than 20,000 7-Series sedans as recently as 2003, but they’ll be lucky to sell 10,000 in 2014. 10,000 Lexus LS sales are within the realm of reason for 2014, but that’s well off the annual average rate of 26,668 sold between 2004 and 2008, the last time Lexus sold more than 20,000 copies.

And what of the Tesla? Presumably some, if not most, Model S buyers were in fact going to buy another car had the all-electric Tesla not been available. At the low end, the Model S may align itself more closely to the E-Class and 5-Series than the S-Class and 7-Series, but we mention it here for the sake of clarity. The Automotive News Data Center estimated at the beginning of May that Tesla sales totalled 8066 units through four months, but even’s 5400-unit U.S. estimate for January-April is on the high end of many guesses reported in the electric car blogosphere. Tesla says the company delivered 6457 units, globally, in the first three months of 2014.

Don’t forget Kia.

The K900 found 260 April buyers; 365 since it went on sale in March. Hyundai Equus sales were up 9% to 285 in April; up 12% to 1203 over the last four months. Mercedes-Benz also sold 2045 CLSs so far in 2014, a 12% drop, and Audi A7 sales are up 7% to 2922. Maserati has reported 3332 total sales in 2014, a 342% year-over-year increase, but sales aren’t broken down by specific models.

4 mos.
4 mos.
Audi A8
443 468 -5.1% 1,617 1,929 +9.4%
BMW 7-Series
674 871 -22.6% 2,556 3,209 -20.3%
Jaguar XJ
369 323 +14.2% 1,578 1,568 +0.6%
Lexus LS
712 700 +1.7% 2,679 3,560 -24.7%
1,909 1,103 +73.1% 7,278 4,180 +74.1%
Porsche Panamera
517 501 +3.2% 1,983 1,885 +5.2%
3,966 +16.6% 17,691 16,331 +8.3%
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Kia K900 To Debut at LA Auto Show Tue, 29 Oct 2013 15:16:28 +0000 20120527_kia_k9_1Over a month ago, we brought you news on the upcoming arrival of Kia’s rear-driven K900 sometime in early 2014. If you can’t wait to see the car in the flesh, however, the car will make its debut in November during the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The brief press release issued by Kia claims the K900 (otherwise known as the K9 in its home market, and the Quoris in export markets not known as the United States) will allow the automaker to “take value to new levels of sophistication,” positioning the car as their flagship among the Fortes and hamster-piloted, Lady Gaga-blasting Souls normally found on the lots.

Though the release didn’t specify beyond stating that the K900 will have either a V6 or V8 driving the power to the back, the flagship sedan will possess a 3.8-liter V6 pushing 240 horses out of the stable with a larger V8 bringing 420 wild stallions to the party, both attached to an eight-speed automatic.

The K900 is set to take dead aim at the BMW 7 Series, just in time for your next high school reunion under the serious moonlight. Price of admission is expected to be between $50,000 and $70,000, with a big campaign to debut during Super Bowl XLVIII in February 2014.

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Audi to Go After S Klasse and 7 Series More Directly With Next A8 Mon, 05 Aug 2013 14:49:41 +0000 bmw-7-series-mercedes-benz-s-class-audi-a8-comparison

Bloomberg is reporting that Audi will reveal the next A8 sedan at the upcoming Frankfurt auto show in September and that Ingolstadt’s flagship will more get upgrades so it can more effectively compete with the next generation S Class from Mercedes-Benz, which is currently being launched.

While Mercedes-Benz may be the target of the new A8, it is BMW that Audi has set its overall sights upon, seeking to supplant the Bavarian luxury car maker as the #1 marque in that segment. Audi says that it will sell more than 1.5 million vehicles globally in 2013, a benchmark the company originally expected to reach two years from now.

Though Audi has seemingly gone from strength to strength and is in second place among luxury brands, it’s still lagging behind M-B and BMW at the top of the luxury sedan segment, selling 38,600 A8s last year while BMW sold over 59,000 7-Series cars and Mercedes sold a bit over 80,000 of its S Class.

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For Sale: Bullet-Proof 2000 BMW 750iL Wed, 04 Jan 2012 21:16:48 +0000

When friends and colleagues ask our counsel on whether or not to buy an older V12 BMW (it happened more than once) the standard answer is always an emphatic “no”. Most people cannot handle the idea of two ECUs (for twice the complexity and repair bills), and for the average Joe looking for a prestigious ride on the cheap (an oxymoron if there ever was one), a V12 BMW is bankruptcy on four wheels.

But when an ad for a car proudly touts the ability to withstand “.357 MAG., 9MM AND .44 MAGNUM AND EQUIVALENT HANDGUN AND LIGHT SUBMACHINE GUN BALLISTICS“, suddenly it becomes very hard to ignore.

Towards the turn of the millenium, BMW offered its own factory armored 7-Series, known as the Protection series. Built between 2000 and 2001, most of them appear to be the big V12 variety but a V8-powered 740i variant was also offered. Now, Bring A Trailer is bringing you the chance to own your very own armored 7-Series, after digging up this Craigslist ad out of Houston, Texas.

In armored car parlance, the ability to stop this level of small arms fire is known as “B4″ protection. A car like the 750iL protection is mainly meant to protect against violent crime like robberies and car jackings. At the time of production, this was conceivably what most private citizens in dangerous locales would need. Nowadays, armored cars are more ubiquitous in dangerous locales, but so is the level of firepower and the severity of incidents. Mexican criminal elements (among other actors) now have access to military grade assault weapons, not to mention grenades and other weapons, and a B4 vehicle could be woefully inadequate. BMW offers a current model 760iL that can stop multiple rounds from an AK-47 or M4 type rifle – a sign of just how far things have come.

According to the ad, the 750iL comes with heated front and rear seats, a nav system, park distance control and of course, special wheels for the run-flat tires. The windows look suitably thick, a morbid reminder of just what this car is built for. At $36,500, the car is on the high side for a 12 year old BMW 7-Series, but the vendor is also willing to trade for a boat or an RV.

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