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Motortrend Talks to Akio -- Future of Lexus

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Old 08-26-11, 09:56 AM   #16
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we are all smart people here so I hope we can realize what is marketting and what is reality.

GS was never even close to being killed off.

I dont see whats the problem with ES vs GS. Not many people cross shop them. If Lexus makes ES good enough to take GS buyers, then it will also take 5 series and E class buyers.
Good friends of ours just chose an ES over the GS. The story is, the husband bought a brand new 2010 GS350 for his wife during the lexus Holiday event (big red bow and all) and the wife had the opportunity to go back to the dealer and pick whatever color she wanted even after he picked one to surprise her with. After going back to the dealer she looked over the ES and realized it was just as roomy, had nearly the same features, and was thousands less. Guess what they ended up driving away with

The ES does cannablize GS sales.
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Old 08-26-11, 10:11 AM   #17
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I'll start with the positives. What I see is Akio is going to take Lexus truly global and not rely on the USA so much. That is a great thing and that means Lexus vehicles will have to drive different. They will have to offer more versions, diesels and continue to evolve into a full luxury line. I think Akio knows Lexus has TREMENDOUS potential as it is revered worldwide and respected. They have huge opportunities for growth. What is great is him saying he wants to be the BEST not sell the MOST. He gets it. If you build the best, sales will come, that is how Toyota/Lexus grew.

Lexus has continued to separate from Toyota over the years and Akio wants to take that to the next level. He understands Lexus has to think for Lexus. He is probably confused by the next role for the brand since Lexus stands for quiet, comfort, quality first over sport, fun, interesting. He is going to have to merge the two together, attracting new buyers and no alienating loyal ones. The fact is Lexus is hugely successful making a lot of plush vehicles.

The article though is still full of anti Lexus fluff. First off why a paragraph about the ES 250? I mean WE ALL know that was a quick stop gap car until the ES 300 came along. The ES has been the best selling sedan in class since 1992 with the 3 series sedan most years. No mention of that? Why are they talking about some silliness from 20 years ago?

I also don't get the "oh Lexus relies on the RX" bit. It has gone down, it used to be 50-55% reliance on the RX. In the years 2005-2008 it was down to 40% and under 40% some months! Now the RX is newer and the sedans are older so the ratio is back in the RX favor. Then the competition for the most part is similar. Hell the G25/37 accounts for 60-65% of INfiniti sales? I don't get the media picking apart Lexus and not picking apart everyone else.

The ES is quite the car isn't it. First Lexus tried to position it sporty but that didn't work, people bought it for comfort. Lexus brings the IS over to battle the 3 and make the ES a true baby LS. The ES sells like hotcakes while the IS sells up and down but still respectable. The GS is costlier and smaller and it doesn't seem to say obvious reasons why its better, though it is. The ES is bought b/c its an ES, it has a now 20 year history of success. People ove

My idea which I stated before was to make the HS the luxury entry level car and the IS the sporty one. Make the GS the sporty mid level car and move the ES up to luxury mid size. Though the rise in price might alienate buyers.

Overall great read!! Thanks bit for the email

For awhile I was worried about Lexus future but Akio seems to really get it and he has a VESTED INTEREST to see the company succeed b/c it bears his name. I just hope Japan can control their YEN which is wrecking havok on exporters and they have a minimum of natural disasters. Lexus is by far THE luxury brand from Asia

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Old 08-26-11, 10:35 AM   #18
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^ The stunning thing is that while they run down the RX, every other Lux maker out there is trying to best it, and have been unsuccessful so far.
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Old 08-26-11, 10:58 AM   #19
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Is the RX really 40% of sales? I thought the ES + RX combined was 40%. Damn, Im not helping that statistic
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Old 08-26-11, 11:01 AM   #20
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^ The stunning thing is that while they run down the RX, every other Lux maker out there is trying to best it, and have been unsuccessful so far.
It's MotorTrend, what can you expect ?
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Old 08-26-11, 11:12 AM   #21
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Lexus is in trouble? I do not think so. GS's V6 is not silky smooth? It feels super smooth in my IS350, is there any difference between the two? Let's see how smooth it could be for the new 328's 2.0L turbo I4 and C250's new 1.8L turbo I4. Do that guy know how much weight the new GS has been cut compared with last generation? Does he know that more speed in the transmission also means more weight? Does he know that both 5-series and E-class are approaching or has already exceeded 2 tons while the new GS is still well under that number? RX sales accounts for 45% fo total Lexus sales, yeah, so? Does he know how many 328i sedan are running on the road for BMW? E-class retails for $48k-$87k, I bet 80% of those are under $60k, and a large portion of those are actually in leasing. As far as the European market, this is what I think. Losing something you had in the past is one thing, never had one is another. It is not like Lexus has lost a great share of market in Europe compared with last year, they have NEVER done well in those countries. If you say Lexus is in trouble due to this reason, then you have to say they have been in trouble from the beginning. The writer of this article is an anti-Lexus person, and I reckon he is driving a European brand vehicle.
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Old 08-26-11, 11:19 AM   #22
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^^ I believe when Lexus introduced the 8 speed in the LS in 07, they said that the 8 speed was actually lighter than the 6 speed it replaced.
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Old 08-26-11, 11:41 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spwolf View Post
we are all smart people here so I hope we can realize what is marketting and what is reality.

GS was never even close to being killed off.

I dont see whats the problem with ES vs GS. Not many people cross shop them. If Lexus makes ES good enough to take GS buyers, then it will also take 5 series and E class buyers.
Good post.

If you’re looking at a GS chances are you also looked at the 5 \ E \ A6 and you’re looking at these cars for a reason.

If you’re looking at a GS and end up an with ES chances are you don’t know why you wanted the car other than it’s a luxury car \ price \ looks or something.

People cross shop the models above for a reason….
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Old 08-26-11, 12:03 PM   #24
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I also don't get the "oh Lexus relies on the RX" bit. It has gone down, it used to be 50-55% reliance on the RX. In the years 2005-2008 it was down to 40% and under 40% some months! Now the RX is newer and the sedans are older so the ratio is back in the RX favor. Then the competition for the most part is similar. Hell the G25/37 accounts for 60-65% of INfiniti sales? I don't get the media picking apart Lexus and not picking apart everyone else.
I don't see this so much as an attack as it is simple math. Lexus is a huge success in the US but it doesn't hold as much relevance as BMW and Mercedes in most of the rest of the world. China is emerging as the largest consumer nation in the world and they seem to have a hunger for luxury cars. Lexus is hardly a blip while the Germans hold the pole position there. This is what Mr. Toyoda seems to be keenly aware of. In order to have equal presence in the world market Lexus will have to diversify its product offerings to suit each of those markets. I believe that is what we'll be seeing more of if Akio has anything to say about it.

Outside the U.S. and Japan, Lexus is pretty much a bit player in the luxury sector; a distant also-ran to the German brands that dominate the space with much broader product ranges. Mercedes, BMW and Audi each sold 586,000, 609,000 and 623,000 vehicles in Europe alone last year. Lexus? Just over 17,000. Lexus has no big coupes or convertibles, no small crossovers, no sports cars (apart from the hugely expensive and largely irrelevant LFA), no wagons, and – crucially for Europe – no diesel engines. The IS-F is not a bad sport sedan, but it barely makes a ripple in the luxury-performance segment dominated by squadrons of AMG Benzes and BMW M cars.

And the U.S. sales numbers flatter to deceive: Lexus is overwhelmingly reliant on a single model, the lux-by-numbers RX crossover that retails for between $39,000 and $47,000, and accounts for 45 percent of total sales. To the end of July, Lexus had sold about 13,000 vehicles with a base price of $50,000 or more. By contrast, Mercedes-Benz’s best seller over the same period – accounting for 26 per cent of sales – was the E-class, which retails for between $48,000 and $87,000, and the company sold twice as many vehicles with a base price of more than $50,000 than Lexus.
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Old 08-26-11, 12:15 PM   #25
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I don't see this so much as an attack as it is simple math. Lexus is a huge success in the US but it doesn't hold as much relevance as BMW and Mercedes in most of the rest of the world. China is emerging as the largest consumer nation in the world and they seem to have a hunger for luxury cars. Lexus is hardly a blip while the Germans hold the pole position there. This is what Mr. Toyoda seems to be keenly aware of. In order to have equal presence in the world market Lexus will have to diversify its product offerings to suit each of those markets. I believe that is what we'll be seeing more of if Akio has anything to say about it.

Outside the U.S. and Japan, Lexus is pretty much a bit player in the luxury sector; a distant also-ran to the German brands that dominate the space with much broader product ranges. Mercedes, BMW and Audi each sold 586,000, 609,000 and 623,000 vehicles in Europe alone last year. Lexus? Just over 17,000. Lexus has no big coupes or convertibles, no small crossovers, no sports cars (apart from the hugely expensive and largely irrelevant LFA), no wagons, and – crucially for Europe – no diesel engines. The IS-F is not a bad sport sedan, but it barely makes a ripple in the luxury-performance segment dominated by squadrons of AMG Benzes and BMW M cars.

And the U.S. sales numbers flatter to deceive: Lexus is overwhelmingly reliant on a single model, the lux-by-numbers RX crossover that retails for between $39,000 and $47,000, and accounts for 45 percent of total sales. To the end of July, Lexus had sold about 13,000 vehicles with a base price of $50,000 or more. By contrast, Mercedes-Benz’s best seller over the same period – accounting for 26 per cent of sales – was the E-class, which retails for between $48,000 and $87,000, and the company sold twice as many vehicles with a base price of more than $50,000 than Lexus.
didnt edmunds or kbb came out with average luxury price for 2011 in luxury category and it turned out that Lexus has bigger average price than Audi? So it is definetly not bad.

As to the rest of the world... it is slow process, wont happen anytime soon. They just finished up japan, now they are moving up. For markets like Europe or China, lack of local factories will make them not a huge player.

But at the same time, Lexus has an luxury of not being an huge player in every market... Toyota can sell their products instead. For instance, Crown is sold in China and Japan, and if you would add Toyota RWD sales in Japan and Asian to the Lexus, you would raise Lexus sales by 20% world wide. Crown series outsells everything but ES and RX in Lexus lineup.
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Old 08-26-11, 02:04 PM   #26
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I could easily be off on this, but I think we've heard the same pitch for the last 12 years from Lexus/Toyota. "...we'll make it sportier, we'll inject life into this and that, we'll make our cars stand out more..." Haven't we heard this a million times before? This is just a different person saying the same thing. Lexus's role is pretty much set right where the bread and butter sales are and I don't think they are that willing or desperate to change it too much. And I don't think they should. It's a successful business with a solid following. Akio's words are what enthusiasts and the press wants to hear, so he's saying it.
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Old 08-26-11, 03:15 PM   #27
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I could easily be off on this, but I think we've heard the same pitch for the last 12 years from Lexus/Toyota. "...we'll make it sportier, we'll inject life into this and that, we'll make our cars stand out more..." Haven't we heard this a million times before? This is just a different person saying the same thing. Lexus's role is pretty much set right where the bread and butter sales are and I don't think they are that willing or desperate to change it too much. And I don't think they should. It's a successful business with a solid following. Akio's words are what enthusiasts and the press wants to hear, so he's saying it.
yes of course, it is marketing :-).

At the same time, reviewers that reviewed GS all said it handled great and some mentioned that it was better handling than F10 (and IS-F), something that no Lexus managed before.
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Old 08-26-11, 07:24 PM   #28
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I don't see this so much as an attack as it is simple math. Lexus is a huge success in the US but it doesn't hold as much relevance as BMW and Mercedes in most of the rest of the world. China is emerging as the largest consumer nation in the world and they seem to have a hunger for luxury cars. Lexus is hardly a blip while the Germans hold the pole position there. This is what Mr. Toyoda seems to be keenly aware of. In order to have equal presence in the world market Lexus will have to diversify its product offerings to suit each of those markets. I believe that is what we'll be seeing more of if Akio has anything to say about it.

Outside the U.S. and Japan, Lexus is pretty much a bit player in the luxury sector; a distant also-ran to the German brands that dominate the space with much broader product ranges. Mercedes, BMW and Audi each sold 586,000, 609,000 and 623,000 vehicles in Europe alone last year. Lexus? Just over 17,000. Lexus has no big coupes or convertibles, no small crossovers, no sports cars (apart from the hugely expensive and largely irrelevant LFA), no wagons, and – crucially for Europe – no diesel engines. The IS-F is not a bad sport sedan, but it barely makes a ripple in the luxury-performance segment dominated by squadrons of AMG Benzes and BMW M cars.

And the U.S. sales numbers flatter to deceive: Lexus is overwhelmingly reliant on a single model, the lux-by-numbers RX crossover that retails for between $39,000 and $47,000, and accounts for 45 percent of total sales. To the end of July, Lexus had sold about 13,000 vehicles with a base price of $50,000 or more. By contrast, Mercedes-Benz’s best seller over the same period – accounting for 26 per cent of sales – was the E-class, which retails for between $48,000 and $87,000, and the company sold twice as many vehicles with a base price of more than $50,000 than Lexus.
And as I stated its simply math people want to only use when its to slander Lexus. Where is the articles and praise saying "Lexus used to depend on the RX more and has steadily dropped"? Where are the articles saying the A4 accounts for 50% of Audi sales sometimes, Infiniti as I mentioned, Caddy's SRX etc? Why just Lexus and the RX??

Then to make it more silly, Lexus themselves years ago said "we will expand the portfolio to depend less on the RX" and they have done that and continue to do so. I hope when the RX is older and when the new Lexus sedan debut and the ratio works in the sedans failure Motor Trend says "Lexus RX now only 30-35% of sales" but I won't hold my breathe.

Lexus will NEVER dominate in Europe. NEVER. They might get 100-200k max. Europe is way too image conscience and 50% of sales in Germany are fleet German cars. Lexus won't offer 20 diesel engines, it won't happen. Sales in Europe are up I think 50% this year and there was no mention of that either.

Lexus sales in Japan were **** poor initially and now I think they are #1 or #2 and again that wasn't mentioned either.

Where is the part in the article saying "though the Germans rely on much higher incentives and their lease rates"? Isn't that relevant? I would assume a Mercedes has a higher transaction price just by looking at the lineup. Lexus has 2 100k + cars, Mercedes has maybe 10. As you stated its the math.

My post isn't to defend Lexus, its to be BALANCED, something SORELY LACKING IN AUTOMOTIVE JOURNALISM. I don't even think enthusiasts write for these companies, they seem to lack basics or their bias kicks in overdrive.

Lexus has opportunities which I stated as did Mr. Toyoda. Its encouraging to see the CEO aware of this and wants to be directly involved in Lexus for the future.
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Old 08-27-11, 12:19 AM   #29
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In my opinion Mr. Akio Toyoda please grow and maintain the Lexus brand worldwide. Keep the LFA halo car by introducing the convertible version (another 500 worldwide) and bring back the SC.

LFA C (Convertible)

SC 350 (Europe & China)
SC 450h
SC 460
SC F

GS 250 (Europe & China)
GS 350
GS 450h
GS 460
GS F

IS 200d (Europe)
IS 250/350
IS 250C/350C
IS 250/350 Sportcross (Bring back the wagon)
IS 350h/450h
IS F

ES 240 (China)
ES 300h
ES 350
ES 350 C (Two Door Coupe based on Toyota Solara)

CT 200h/300h

HS 250h

RX 270 (China)
RX 350
RX 450h

GX 460

LX 570

and of course all current versions of the LS...
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Old 08-27-11, 05:35 AM   #30
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In my opinion Mr. Akio Toyoda please grow and maintain the Lexus brand worldwide. Keep the LFA halo car by introducing the convertible version (another 500 worldwide) and bring back the SC.

LFA C (Convertible)

SC 350 (Europe & China)
SC 460
SC F

GS 250 (Europe & China)
GS 350
GS 450h
GS 460
GS F

IS 200d (Europe)
IS 250/350
IS 250C/350C
IS 250/350 Sportcross (Bring back the wagon)
IS 350h/450h
IS F

ES 240 (China)
ES 300h
ES 350

CT 200h/300h

HS 250h

RX 270 (China)
RX 350
RX 450h

GX 460

LX 570

and of course all current versions of the LS...

I pretty much concur with that lineup, except that I think the HS can be replaced by an ES hybrid. Also, not sure how an IS sedan hybrid would work out due to interior space issues, but a hybrid IS wagon would be cool.

Oh.. daddy needs a roadster, c'mon, make it happen Lexus.
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Old 08-27-11, 05:35 AM
 
 
 
 
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