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In response to "the sky is falling" articles on the Lexus LFA

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Old 05-26-11, 04:11 PM   #1
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Post In response to "the sky is falling" articles on the Lexus LFA

They don't want the LFA, they really want Beige Camry's

I was actually PM'd by a member here (he can say who he was if he liked) yesterday and we talked about the LFA and about posting it to which I replied "don't worry, it will spread like wildfire" which is exactly what is happening. Sometimes I wonder does Lexus/Toyota have a shooting range below their executive meeting rooms when articles (I say article loosely) like this comes out. I am pretty sure they had to raise the ammo budget considering all the anti Toyota/Lexus articles the past year and a half, if not longer. I am certain this company and most of us will recognize a legitimate point made in a news article giving a fair and balanced analysis why the LFA or Lexus needs work. Sadly that is few and far between.

Red S badge Journalism?

At this rate I am beginning to think these auto sites are not really auto sites in the sense of informing the reader of facts then sprinkled with opinion. Instead they all seem to be turning into their versions of the National Enquirer ripe with attention grabbing headlines and titles, photoshopped pictures, and a complete spinning of what was actually said by an auto representative. It seems the best article is the one that gets the most hits and is linked all across the internet, from car forums to FB (if you don't know what FB is maybe someone printed it out for you and gave it to you in person).The reader can't make up their mind, b/c their mind is made up for them by the author with this supposed "news". Then comes the best part sometimes, the comment section under these articles, filled mostly with trolls and people that lick salt off the kitchen counter.In between those gems (and honestly some comments are quite funny)you will find maybe one or two sane people who actually write something astute and intelligent and it makes the actual article seem like utter rubbish (thanks TG). Then this article gets linked onto a car forum (mostly by people that don't read and just want to help bash the brand), where more hilarity ensues from more salt lickers mixed in with a few people that can agree or dispute with the article in a mature fashion.


Journalism is supposed to push boundaries and provoke thinking and get people to ask the real questions. It is supposed to appeal to the sane, not the salt lickers. Journalism is not supposed to rile up natives with familiar baiting themes unless you are some left/right wing slanted arena. You know one thing I can respect about the Euro writers, the now gone Sports Car International (by FAR the best auto mag, shame they are gone) and a few writers here. They will tell you honestly what they hate and why they hate it. Some of it is trivial, like "I just hate the brand" where some of it is professional "I do not like how the car drives". At least you know where they stand when they review the car! So when they review something they probably won't like and don't like it, well you can attribute some to bias. If they love something they usually hate, you know the product is pretty damn good.

I hate Lexus

The LFA is the latter. A car from a parent company that has been ripped to shreds by every blogger on the planet for being beige and boring and losing its sporty offerings. A car from a parent company that is best known for the Land Cruiser, Camry the Toyota Production Method in business (hey Porsche remember us). A car from a company called Lexus only 20 years young, best known for the LS and RX, two best sellers who are more about luxury and keeping the driver happy then trying to get them to church around that corner .7 seconds faster. So lets all get it out our systems, scream it to the world, "what the hell is the Lexus LFA doing here"? Scream it out the window, slap your mother, kick that ball into a tree. It doesn't make sense does it? Your head about to explode huh? I know......

Exploding Heads and the hate of Success

Ten years later heads are still exploding. I am absolutely confident that if the Lexus LFA was a BMW LFA, a Honda/Acura LFA, a Cadillac LFA, a Infiniti LFA, you know brands with no car in this class, the LFA would be praised by these internet auto news site and bloggers. You see you might not know it (that means you Lexus owners) but they hate you. They hate the fact that Lexus is credible with the Germans. They hate that 9 out of 10 times, Lexus succeeds at what they do. They hate that Lexus follows companies but hate even more when Lexus leads and innovates. They hate that a Lexus is comfy and boring but making owners happy. They hate that Lexus trophy case for awards is so big that it has its own building. Then then hate when Lexus gets sporty and interesting still making owners happy. Notice I said owners, because the most vocal anti Lexus people are non-owners, most who hate it even though their mom has a RX, their Uncle a LS, their girlfriend an IS and their bully in school a GS.

Can I get a hall monitor?

So once we get past this we can better understand these sensationalist articles written seemingly in haste without much thought or oversight. I bring up oversight b/c the New York Times or any credible media outlet could not publish these articles or they risk being a laughingstock and losing their credibility and readers. The editor would demand facts to back up the claims and basis for opinion. Opinion without any basis of facts equates to complete rubbish from a credibility standpoint. Sadly it goes back to the "salt lickers' b/c they don't question anything written, they just run with the Anti-Lexus bashing which leaves the few sane people scratching their heads. The article is then linked by someone and viola!, thousands read rubbish and a firestorm erupts and the website is happy with the traffic. Scary how that internet works isn't it.

Don't hate, congratulate

Only the most rabid Lexus fan will say the LFA is perfect and they will be wrong. It is not, it has flaws and has some questionable things like any car made. Did it take ten years to appear? Yes it did. What happened to giving credit and kudos to those that persevere? What happened to giving a hand to those that dedicated their life to something that on paper makes no sense to an accountant? How many times have you given up on something far easier? Some people writing comments on these sites give up when they can't open a new bottle of peanut butter. Here is a company dedicating their best to a car that everyone knows will lose money from a company with no experience building exotics and they still go forward. Here is a company that give a big middle finger to those that helped ruin the financial system and continued with the product after 2008 (instead of Honda blaming Lehman brothers over and over for their canning of the NSX). They made no excuses, they built the damn thing. It is finished, complete, done. How many developments or subdivisions in your town are 1/4 or 1/2 done? So enough with the "oh it took ten years" talk. What the hell have you produced after ten years of dedication? Products like the Veyron, LFA, GT-R, etc should be celebrated for arriving, not for how long they took. You want to write an article, how about writing about the companies that aren't building exotics, supercars or gave up on them. Don't beat up the ones that deliver a product, beat up the ones that don't.

Lets dumb down cars!

Is the price insane? For most people yes it is. I think it is. Going home shopping the last year or so I can buy a small town for 375k in this depressed housing market. However, if I went with this mentality though I am disrespecting the LFA and any exotic sold in this price range. Logic is out the window and this is a world I don't fully understand as I am not in this world, I am a moon orbiting it. I once read the average buyer of a Mercedes SLR (yes the one that didn't meet sales goals and didn't get any of this blogger sensationalism) was so wealthy it was like the average American buying an $18 shirt. Is $375,000 a lot to ask for a Lexus, hell yes it is. Do 500 people or so think it is worth it? Seems headed that way. Some people probably feel its a bargain! It's all about perspective and most of us writing, reading on these sites have no true understanding of what it is to be able to afford a $375,000 car. Its easy to say its too expensive, most can't afford it with a 30 year FHA loan! Why is it so expensive? Well the sane ones have done the reading and it is a lot of reading. You cannot read about a company taking a year to do a steering wheel only to reposition it later and wonder why it costs so much. What other car has a bespoke V-10 in only 500 vehicles? Its not shared in thousands of other cars ala BMW, Audi/Lambo etc. No its in 500 and the sound is glorious. The sound itself is worth 50 grand (this is my opinion, take note bloggers). If I owned a LFA, I would open a "rev stand" and charge $5 to rev the engine for a minute. I would also sell towels for $2 since there might be bodily fluids lost. What other car company weaves its own carbon fiber in-house? It is not done by anyone else, Toyota does it themselves. Guess what, this is also a new process for them (in regards to carbon fiber, not weaving). Instead of people giving credit and kudos, they want to say "it should be cheaper" and "why did they leave aluminum". I guess we should tell the Egyptians "hey you took too long with the pyramids, you should have used a different material"! This is part of our new age supposed car enthusiasts and bloggers, anyone that can login the internet and start typing, "hey lets encouraging dumbing down something instead of embracing and celebrating moving to another level"!! Let's not build a 2,000 foot tall skyscraper, lets build a 1,000 foot one. You guys wouldn't last 3 minutes at an engineering meeting for a project in Dubai with this small thinking.

Lexus has the track record of success

Mercedes had a Carbon Fiber SLR, and it cost around $475,000. The new SLS is aluminum and its $250,000. Surely some of this cheaper cost is due to it not being built of carbon fiber. Everything from the LFA is from the ground up. It was a completely new effort from a company (Lexus) who's sportiest car is the IS F and before that IS 300/GS 400 and from a parent company who did race in F1 but discontinued the Supra here in 1998. Lexus should be congratulated for stepping out of its shell and going completely bonkers with the LFA, not ripped apart for its price and building it. Its not the first time we heard this though:

1989-no one will buy a 40k Lexus period
1992-no one will buy a Lexus coupe
1995-no one will buy a 50k Lexus sedan
1997-no one will buy a 55k Lexus SUV
1998-no one will buy a Lexus to battle the 5 series or a car based SUV
2001-no one will buy an IS over a 3 series
2002-no one will buy a 60k convertible Lexus
2006- no one will buy a Lexus hybrid
2007- no one will buy a 100k Lexus hybrid
2008- no one will buy a 60k Lexus to battle the M3 or 85k SUV
2010-no one will buy a HS (they were right on this one!)
2011-no one will buy a 375k Lexus exotic

Seems the track record is pretty good to me. Now there is no doubt that leaping from 100k to 375k is well, quite a leap. Mercedes has a 180k or so S65 to the 250k SLS. Lexus has a much larger jump and a much larger challenge with much less prestige and heritage However putting it in perspective, Lexus more than any other Asian brand has pushed the envelope and taken it to the Germans like no one else from Asia. Now they are taking it to the Italians and other supercars like no one else before from Asia. Quite frankly, Lexus has some ***** on them.

Start spreading the bad news

So now the original blog from MotoAuthority was linked to Jalopnik and they do what is expected of them. A sensationalist title to get attention with a amateur article trying to link the Jaguar XJ 220 to the LFA, to rip Lexus for not "learning from Jaguar". Mind you just this week on the show "Speedmakers" on the Speed channel, Jaguar stated themselves (when talking about the 3 Japanese luxury brands) "Lexus, did it right"! So if anything Jaguar is learning from Lexus today. Now let me see here, Lexus didn't promise customers a V-12 then make a TT V-6. Lexus didn't promise 220mph and reach it. Lexus also has a plan in place to ensure the LFA "halo" is not wasted as evidenced by the LFA team working on the 2011 IS F which is faster around the track as well as the pretty much confirmed GS F coming. Lexus also isn't broke (its one of the most valued brands even though its still small and young) and going to be bought by Ford. I agree both cars were made by luxury car companies and put them in a new arena but the two companies are in vastly different positions then and today. Outside of them both being supercar exotics from luxury brands, the comparisons pretty much end. How this got past any editor is beyond me.

Commend or Camry

Its getting old and tiring to read the same themes in all these auto news sites and forums. Who is John Galt?? Where is the fact based, thought provoking critique of the LFA and of Lexus where you can then value an opinion of a writer? Where did all the thought provoking mature writers go and please don't point to the magazines that sell their souls to their advertisers (another reason why Sports Car International was so amazing, only Lotus advertised on the back cover so opinions could truly be honest). The trend is already happening, the sane ones are posting less and finding other places to go, leaving the salt lickers to rant, rave and give you that much valued traffic. Maybe some of these blogs and news sites need to learn about the "Quality not Quantity" principle? I implore people to recognize solid work (Winding Road is a good read) and ignore these sensationalist blogs only out to get your attention for 10 seconds and to appeal to your dislikes. Challenge yourself to read about the "why's" behind a car instead of letting some blogger sum it up for you in an unfair fashion. Welcome diversity, congratulate perseverance, thank companies that produce. If these author's truly want their way and believe what they are writing, damning an exotic Lexus supercar who may or may not reach 500 units based on amateurish hypothesis, well we might as well move into their future where Accountants rule, passion is dead and we live in a world full of cars that sell, make logical sense but they hate. Beige Camry's.


Mike
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Old 05-26-11, 04:17 PM   #2
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Nice rant, lol!
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Old 05-26-11, 04:31 PM   #3
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You got my support Mike!
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Old 05-26-11, 05:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1SICKLEX View Post
A car from a company called Lexus only 20 years young, best known for the LS and RX, two best sellers who are more about luxury and keeping the driver happy then trying to get them to church around that corner .7 seconds faster.


Mike
Excellent rant Mike

I was talking with my wife the other day, (in our NSX), that we no longer have a lexus in the household.

I told her if it weren't for lexus, I don't know what luxury car would we be driving.

I must say that I am proud of Lexus for being so young to hit the tier 1 market, unlike the pathetic acura and infiniti.

by the way, these magazine so called writers aren't even worth the effort to read anymore
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Old 05-26-11, 08:54 PM   #5
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Well said.

I want (always did) LFA to build a legacy that will remain as one of the best exotic supercars of all times. That is why I always stress on every aspect of impressions including the performance and handling numbers since results go a long way towards establishing that legacy.
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Old 05-26-11, 11:29 PM   #6
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Excellent post. It's amazing how often Toyota and Lexus get pissed on for making "boring" yet when they make a pure awesome super car, it's still **** on. Damned if they do, damned if they don't.
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Old 05-27-11, 12:20 AM   #7
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I guess, this story illustrates it best. The story of two admittedly haters/bashers from Corvette forus who went to an LFA track event and their reactions after having driven the car speak for themselves. Key is, they drove the car:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fR1CTBRQnvk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMwYHVRdg5A









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Excellent post. It's amazing how often Toyota and Lexus get pissed on for making "boring" yet when they make a pure awesome super car, it's still **** on. Damned if they do, damned if they don't.
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Old 05-27-11, 06:05 AM   #8
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Default The problem is

I believe 'They' wanted a fun to drive AND CHEAP Lexus supercar.

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Old 05-27-11, 06:12 AM   #9
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First, very nice rant! I applaud passion and yours was very passionate. Let me begin by saying that the LFA is a magnificent piece of engineering. Sadly, most of us will just read and write about this car. However, I believe that auto manufacturers need to and should manufacture "halo" cars because such ultimately benefits the breed. The truth of the matter is that Lexus needed such a car more than any car company...Lexus cars had become boring. I'm sorry, but that's how I see it and I have owned 6 Lexus cars (still have one of them). It's still true that Lexus makes quality cars that are dependable and that last, but what about cars that perform and stir passions by just the sight of them? This is certainly the case of the LFA...it's sex on wheels, but I like sex for me (not to simply watch it being enjoyed by someone with a huge wallet) and that's what I hope the LFA will lead to. This forum is a testament to brand loyalty for Lexus; I just think it's time for Lexus to be paying back such loyalty and not just by manufacturing a car for the priviliged few.
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Old 05-27-11, 09:28 AM   #10
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First, very nice rant! I applaud passion and yours was very passionate. Let me begin by saying that the LFA is a magnificent piece of engineering. Sadly, most of us will just read and write about this car. However, I believe that auto manufacturers need to and should manufacture "halo" cars because such ultimately benefits the breed. The truth of the matter is that Lexus needed such a car more than any car company...Lexus cars had become boring. I'm sorry, but that's how I see it and I have owned 6 Lexus cars (still have one of them). It's still true that Lexus makes quality cars that are dependable and that last, but what about cars that perform and stir passions by just the sight of them? This is certainly the case of the LFA...it's sex on wheels, but I like sex for me (not to simply watch it being enjoyed by someone with a huge wallet) and that's what I hope the LFA will lead to. This forum is a testament to brand loyalty for Lexus; I just think it's time for Lexus to be paying back such loyalty and not just by manufacturing a car for the priviliged few.
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Old 05-27-11, 10:55 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone for the support and comments.

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Originally Posted by LeslieRC View Post
First, very nice rant! I applaud passion and yours was very passionate. Let me begin by saying that the LFA is a magnificent piece of engineering. Sadly, most of us will just read and write about this car. However, I believe that auto manufacturers need to and should manufacture "halo" cars because such ultimately benefits the breed. The truth of the matter is that Lexus needed such a car more than any car company...Lexus cars had become boring. I'm sorry, but that's how I see it and I have owned 6 Lexus cars (still have one of them). It's still true that Lexus makes quality cars that are dependable and that last, but what about cars that perform and stir passions by just the sight of them? This is certainly the case of the LFA...it's sex on wheels, but I like sex for me (not to simply watch it being enjoyed by someone with a huge wallet) and that's what I hope the LFA will lead to. This forum is a testament to brand loyalty for Lexus; I just think it's time for Lexus to be paying back such loyalty and not just by manufacturing a car for the priviliged few.
I lol'd when I read that! Great post and lets hope Lexus does indeed trickle down the goods with future products.
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Old 05-27-11, 11:20 AM   #12
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Great post
It was a very interesting read and I can only agree with what you wrote in such a passionate and understandable way. Some bloggers should really read and learn from it
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Old 05-30-11, 01:15 AM   #13
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Excellent post!
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Old 05-30-11, 01:23 PM   #14
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I don't care if I'm "wrong," but to me the LFA is perfect. It's amazing to me that the design of the car was shaped largely by the need for an aerodynamic form rather than aesthetics and it still turned out to be, in my opinion, the most beautiful supercar out there right now. The only fault of the LFA to me is that I don't have one. :P

I like the line that if this was the BMW LFA, the media would be singing praises without restraint. Since in reality it's a Lexus, the media has held back because...it's a Lexus. If anything it should be praised for BEING a Lexus! For being a Lexus that ignored the company's values and stepped out of its boundaries. For being a Lexus that's not a Lexus.
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Old 05-30-11, 05:31 PM   #15
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The LFA has had more than its fair share of favorable press and in my opinion they tried to create too much of a buzz way too early, including the gleeful pronouncements of its tremendous success, which also turned out to be premature. Now what's left? The press can't keep praising it because that's old news. Someone is raising some critical issues, and so what, those issues are valid and have been on the minds of many. Time will tell if it's on point or not.

The magazines are only a small part of the exotic sales equation, so there is little to fret about anyway. As you move up in prices, the magazines have less and less influence. In the $400k range, the market is surprisingly small and very tightly held within a community with no more than two degrees of separation covering at least 90% of the owners. It's that small. Had Lexus done more to tap directly into that group, I'm certain the car would have achieved greater sales numbers much sooner.

Part of what I read on these forums and in articles is that everyone seems to be searching for their own version of the truth about ever exotic launched without cross referencing data. How many McLaren's are supposedly "sold" by now? It's in the thousands. I have my doubts.

Ambiguous unsubstantiated data is what brought me to this forum in the first place, but it definitely swings in the other direction here and there has been a lot of other equally misinformed brand bashing here so it goes both ways. Some can't understand why the LFA isn't getting a fair shake while those same individuals naively bash other brands where they hold zero actual experience in type.

I've seen over and over where the press was recently reprinting the factory line that all LP700s were sold for the next year. Had those authors made a few calls directly to dealers, they would have found out that this was hardly the case. Same with those equally lofty claims about the LFA's "sold out" production prior to June 2010. When a few of of us dared question the sales status of the LFA, we were also called trolls when in fact we were merely searching for the truth.

People have a tendency to only want to see what they need rather than what actually exists. That's dangerous if you're seriously contemplating the purchase of an exotic because you're almost always guarantees disappointment unless you can sustain your own delusion.

Who cares if others bash the LFA at this point. Word will eventually get out among exotic buyers and they will sort it out regardless of what's in the press. You all probably saw the article about the journalist fed up with Ferrari using their clout to sensor the media. Is that what you want with the LFA? You really think that will sell cars or improve the brand?

So far Lexus has earned its reputation fairly as far as I'm concerned. They are not known for performance cars, because if we're being honest, they have not been strong in that area until the IS-F. I'd hardly call my former LS460L a cornering wonder. Yet they build fantastic quality and they are known for that and have earned that reputation. Few still think of it as sub-quality to the European counterparts. Lexus has a brand image to overcome with the LFA and that doesn't happen over night.

Reality check: The LFA has only been in the hands of ACTUAL owners a mere four months!!!! You seriously expect the car to have a reputation already??? It takes years of opinion leaders influencing others before you're going to get that image to turn. Look at how many millions Cadillac has spent trying to shed the image of the blue-hair brand!

About twenty SEROUS exotic owners got to drive the LFA this weekend while I was hosting the LFA here and all went away far more impressed than they were expecting. Not one said the car performed worse than they expected. One 458 owner was extremely impressed. They are the opinions that matter. They are the ones who will cement the image of the LFA, not some guy who never written a check for any exotic in his life.

I'd be the first to admit that I two have come a long way in my views of the LFA. My skepticism isn't focused on one brand but all brands who also advertise in the very magazines that are holding themselves out as objective journalists. They are not and even though some think one brand should receive more praise than another, in my opinion, they are rarely objective enough.

Most journalists are not exotic owners and only occasionally get to drive exotics. They ALWAYS praise how fast they are when the car they normally drive is a Volvo. They are also on a quest for personal relevance and never ever want to sound out of fashion and Lexus has never ever been a fashion brand. Sorry! I'm on my fifth Lexus and think I know the difference. Even under the broadest definition, the LFA is the *only* model that qualifies as "exotic" and therefore hasn't yet earned that distinction.
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