Future Taste of Lexus Events Cancelled

Taste of Lexus

Beginning this year, Lexus USA will be replacing their annual Taste of Lexus travelling test drive events with a series of three separate tours, as they try to bring the focus back on the vehicles and not the event itself:

“People were coming because we were giving three to four hours of entertainment value.” As a result, he says, the percentage of lead generation that Lexus was getting from the program wasn’t as strong as it had been. “We were getting lots of owners,” he [Brian Bolain, national interactive and automotive events manager] says.

Instead of one tour in the summer, surrounding Lexus vehicles with epicurean and prestige brands, Lexus will now do three separate tours during the course of the year, each focusing squarely on the cars. The tours will also use an “intercept” approach: instead of Lexus creating its own event and doing mass mailings to generate its own traffic, the company will do “pop ups” that bring its vehicles to venues owned by complementary brands.

Bolain says the first tour, featuring the new performance-tuned IS-F and GS 460 sedans, will comprise four racetrack components. The test-drive will visit eight markets.

It seems the main problem was that owners were making up the majority of the event visitors, in some cases it was as high as 75% owners vs. potential customers. The article also mentions that the first tour, featuring the IS-F and GS 460, will be visiting locations like high-end fitness centers, a strange venue if I’ve ever heard one.

Really, it’s events like Taste of Lexus that can keep current customers in the fold, and it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to drop it entirely. Why not run the tours concurrently?

[Source: Marketing Daily]



  1. I much prefer it this way, the taste of lexus event i went to had bunch of 18 yr old with absolutely no intention of buying abuse the cars like no other. Blasting hip hop at max while power sliding, it's a shame to abuse such nice gestures from Lexus. The event is there as marketing tools not a theme park.

  2. As someone who's never attended, I thought it would be a great way for customers, both current and prospective, to give the cars a shot without the pressure to buy, but If it's like you say, then discontinuing it makes a lot more sense.

  3. I think this is a negative for Lexus. While I agree that it may appear that the majority of attendees are current Lexus owners, there is something to be said about Lexus owners hanging out with other Lexus owners. It's fun to share the experience of owning with others. To me their approach will expose Lexus to new customers, but will they really show what the Lexus experience is all about, I doubt it.

    Plus I wonder what percentage of current Lexus owners buy another Lexus as a result of attending one of these events to see a new or different Lexus outside of the typical dealer experience.

  4. Yeah, jsp, this was definitely my thinking. The new direction could lead to more generated sales, but it's doubtful that it will bring the same sense of community.

  5. i guess they don't believe in trying to plant any "seeds" for the future…
    one of the only reasons i keep the possiblity of a BMW in my future is because of the BMW drives…i have the idea if an IS350 from that one taste of lexus 2006, but it is just a blip compared to the way BMW has registered in my driving sensory monitors.

  6. Hey there jrong,

    You might want to look into the Lexus Performance Driving Academy as an alternative to the Taste of Lexus events.

  7. I went last year since I wanted to replace my 03 lexus and it was a nice event but not what I thought it was going to be. I complained since they didnt have any literature on the new cars, they said go to the local dealer and then they didnt have a give away like the used to. They gave money to plant trees, to me Lexus looks like the great donor since they gave the money instead of a $5.00 umbrella I would have used often.

  8. Joseph Bongiorno

    I own a ‘06 IS and just purchased ‘09 RX 350AWD.Yes,I’m a two Lexus vehicle owner who was looking forward to attending my first Lexus event.Also looking forward to the Taste of Lexus $750 coupon.That coupon and the event may have had me purchase an ‘09 IS 350.
    Now I just may stay with my ‘06 or maybe look into the new redesigned ‘09 Audi A4.

  9. Joseph Bongiorno

    No Lexus Performance Driving Academy events in my area too.

  10. I was hoping to go last year, but i was never given the tickets. I then had to go to the dealer to test drive the IS250 and the IS350. I ended up buying it a few months later.

    I was looking forward to attending taste of lexus 08 but i guess that isnt happening. I would have liked to test out the LS460 or the GS450 since those or most likely my next upgrade choice.

  11. That’s because in past Taste of Lexus events, they invited owners first. Non-owners can only participate if they have room (you’re told you’re on a backup list when you sign up - which from a marketing perspective, is a bit of a turnoff to the potential customer). Of course their events are up to 75% existing customers!

  12. Joseph Bongiorno

    Oh well,I would have loved that $750 coupon to use on the new GS 350AWD I just bought.

  13. We couldn’t attend last year but were looking forward to this year’s event. Hope to purchase 2 new vehicles this fall and thought that this would be an excellent way to check out the ls460 and rx350 while chatting with other Lexus owners.

  14. For your information I was the one who was blasting the music. I’ve been coming since I owned my 1st Lexus 4 years. my 1st Lexus was a 2003 Used ES300 and subsequently bought an RX300h as a result of coming out to the event.  I have followed the event from Atlanta to New York and have never had a problem with the music I still have my tags I still have the Videos and still have the great memories it was really a great event!  I like the 1st one that I went to where I was able to test drive the SUV's on the Dirt road simulations and obstacle course. We ever had a chance to see how the Lexus Vehicles Faired against other Luxury vehicles. 

    Edited by admin: Thanks for your comment, but I didn’t think it entirely appropriate. There’s no proof the first commenter was talking about you, and I don’t think it’s necessary to become defensive.

  15. But mostly the only people invited were Lexus owners!  I don’t get it.  They wanted new buyers yet owners were the only ones invited????  Where is the sense in that?

  16. The comment from Anonymous of Sunday, August 3 was a good observation, which you strangely, left unanswered.  Anonymous poses a good question, which still deserves an answer from you.  He (or she) rightfully asks, why Lexus laments the lack of non-owners, when only owners are invited?  It makes little sense that the automaker shoud expect a larger percentage of non lexus owners to attend a function to which they’ve not been invited. (??)  Please explain the rationale.  Further, you accused the writer who admitted to “blasting the music,” of being “defensive.”  On the contrary, it was you (or whoever responded) who seemed unnecessarily defensive in their reply. If “Music Blaster” weren’t the offending party, as you pointed out, then your reply should have at the very least, included a “thank you for your loyalty over the years.” I counted at least two Lexus which they’ve owned and multiple trips to your events.  Seems a “Lexus thanks you,” was certainly in order.  Yes, I too am a Lexus owner who now feels slightly unappreciated and unwanted at your wonderful former, “Taste of Lexus” events.

  17. Hello Iris,

    There seems to be some confusion, this website is unaffiliated with Lexus, and I really don’t have any information as to why the Taste of Lexus events were canceled or why only owners were invited.

    (Also, the edited comment above included personal threats and the commenter’s phone number, so an edit was obviously necessary.)

    As always, if you have any issues with Lexus, the best course of action is to contact them through their website.

  18. I have attended 2 Lexus events and I am getting ready for my third.  My last 3 cars were BMW 330ci, Acura TL A-SPEC and a BMW M3(current).  I am looking for a family car and the RX350 and GX 470 are near the top of my list.  I am also considering a BMW X5 4.4. My wife drives a Mercedes ML, which I utterly despise. The last event we attended did not have any GX’s for us to drive. I thought it was a great idea for Lexus to offer these events, otherwise I would not have considered owning a Lexus. I am quite happy with BMW, although disappointed with Mercedes. This gives us the opportunity to drive the vehicles without the pressure of a salesman.

  19. Who say’s The Taste of Lexus is canceled?  I have my Invite for Sept 5-7th and I already signed up.  So it’s happenning here in the Rose Bowl in pasadena, ca. 

    go get edumacated at

  20. looks like there are some lexus events just not in our area ? I’ve been going for 5 yrs now.. I was looking forward to it and as a customer I buy every three years. I’ve heard that some of the other luxury cars have show events, I think I’ll do a search for them.  Alltogether bad idea to cancle this event.

  21. I have attended 5 of these events they have sold me into the Lexus Genre. I will miss these events to test drive trully amazing cars!

  22. I’ve gone to a few Taste of Lexus events.  The first event I’ve ever gone to I was invited by a friend which was an owner.  It’s because of that event that I bought not one but two Lexus vehicles the following years.  It’s sad to hear that they will cut it all together.  What they should had done was ask the Lexus owners to bring someone who is not a Lexus Owner yet to enjoy the LUXURY that Lexus has to offer at a great value.  Nixing the event altogether and touring at Fitness centers is a total dis-service… NOT ALL OF US VISIT THE GYM!

  23. You make a very good point, K, and I certainly agree with you. Who knows, maybe Lexus will bring them back!

  24. Bring back the “Taste of Lexus” event. This was an excellent event that brought Lexus owners together as one, and also recruited some future Lexus owners. This also introduced Lexus as a “Life Style”, not just a vehicle.

  25. Over the years I have attended several events. My first was in Seacaucus NJ in 1999 when the new RX came out. I had a blast driving the trucks throught the mud (it rained). Lexus has alot of guts bringing not only there cars but also the compitition. I always had a good time.

    Over the years I purchased several cars some Lexus (2009 RX350) and some not. I must agree the focus should be on the cars and less on the food ect.
    The gifts are nice but there should be more literature available on the cars.
    I must agree there are some with not intention of buying (young kids). But alot of seriour buyers attend and do bring kids. You never do know who is actually going to purchase. I remember reading a story about a Ferrari sales man who helped out a customer in his showroom that “did not seam like a serious buyer” nobody wanted to help him (heavy tatoos, long hair, ext.). This salesman helped the customer who purchased several cars this freinds bought several cars and so on. The salesman was the top sales man in the country for several years.
    As is turned out this guy was a rock star and he told his freinds and they all bought from this salesman.
    Botton line: A little effort goes a long way, Do not judge a book by the cover and you never know

  26. Interesting story, thanks for sharing!

    You’re absolutely right, there’s a real danger when companies begin focusing on the peripherals rather than their core business, but I think in this case it’s more that Lexus needs to rethink these events. I don’t think they’re gone for good.

  27. I was just googling to find this season’s Taste of Lexus in the DC area and found this site.  I have to comment (only a year late).  I have to agree with JSP.  Lexus should be thrilled to know that the attendance of the event was a majority of current owners.  As a lexus owner myself, I attended to witness new technology and ensure that the Lexus quality was unfailing.  As a result my confidence in my next purchase being a lexus was constantly renewed. I thought Lexus would be joyful knowing that in filling in the survey a. I was a current owner and b. I would buy from lexus again. So by changing this event, I gather that Lexus would rather make new owners than keep existing ones.  sad

  28. Does anyone know if there will be Taste of Lexus in the Southern California area anytime soon?

  29. Absolutely agree, I’m sure that Lexus will be looking at bringing this back in some way this year, just waiting to see what shape it takes.

  30. No news yet, but I’ll be sure to post any new information as it becomes available.

  31. That would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Krew!