Virtual Lunch with Lexus USA General Manager Mark Templin


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This Friday, Lexus USA Vice President and General Manager, Mark Templin, will be taking part in a special online chat on Facebook & Twitter, and will be available to answer any questions you may have about Lexus, past, present or future.

Even better, Lexus has asked me to provide a question to start off the chat, so it’s time to put on your thinking caps and leave a comment with any questions you would like to ask Mr. Templin. From there, we’ll choose our favorite, and I’ll send it off to the question queue tomorrow night.

You can also submit questions on Friday via Facebook & Twitter — the question period starts at 12pm PST/3pm EST and will be open to everyone.

(Thanks Nancy!)

Update: Great questions from all of you — in the end, these two questions were chosen:

* Are there plans for an upgraded infotainment system that meet or exceed the features seen in competing products like Ford’s Sync (Voice text-messaging, full Bluetooth contact syncing, Internet connectivity)? – Edited from a comment by Clif Payne

* The Lexus quality & recall issues over the last year coupled with fierce and more nimble competitors has shaken my once unyielding defense of brand Lexus. What does Lexus plan to do to revitalize its current owner base and bring those who are jumping ship back into the fold? – A comment from Lenzy King

No guarantee that both questions will be answered, but it was too hard to choose between them.

Comments


  • MIKE DELORCA

    I would like to know if Lexus has plans to expand the Model line up. I think tha added versions of the LS, GS,IS and even the ES into possible coupe versions is needed to carry the brand further to compete with MB,BMW and even Audi. Please keep up the great work so far and continue to add sport versions. Expand the SUV line up as well. Please give us your feedback.

  • http://www.apptitudestudios.com Braden Schlosser

    Usually car companies change up body styles every 4-5 years to remain fresh and new, I’ll even go so far as to say desirable, in the public eye. However, Lexus has kept the IS line relatively unchanged, with the exception of the introduction of the convertible. My question: When is Lexus planning on re-doing the IS sedan line and will they be hybrids as most new lexus “sport” hybrids, or retain a real sense of sportiness?

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    Great questions so far! :-)

  • http://LexusEnthusiast Rory Whitefield

    Guys, Mark is unlikely to give out too much info on future product.

    My question is: “Sales Incentives: It is being reported that Lexus is outspending BMW, Audi and Mercedes on incentives for the first time ever in Q4 to ensure Lexus remains the Number 1 luxury brand in the US. Is this not a short-sighted move that will end up doing longer term damage? It’s very difficult to come off the incentive drug once you’ve started.

  • Nahed Ahmed

    Lexus make great cars, no doubt. But given that the Lexus brand appeals to a much older demographic, isnt Lexus jeopardising themselves by becoming a niche brand in the future as younger generation of drivers are establishing their loyalties with performance orientated brands like BMW, Mercedes, Audi. How will Lexus counter this potential threat and secure their long term viability ?

  • Clif Payne

    Lexus has long been noted as an innovator and yet in some areas they seem to be behind the technological curve. Many manufacturers have bluetooth systems that will extract the phone book from any phone, even on their base models, and Lexus vehicles can only do this on navigation equipped models and then only with smart phones. Similarly, new systems like Ford’s sync will allow one to send text messages by voice command and Lexus does not have anything this sophisticated. Also it is not possible to add a DVD player at the dealership on any Lexus model. The new systems require the most expensive option packages to have DVD and then it is not possible to play a CD at the same time as a DVD because they use the same system. It is also not possible to play two different DVDs or games at the same time even thought they have two screens. The technology exists to easily add a dual play DVD and yet Lexus has made it almost impossible to do so. Why is Lexus so far behind the current state of electronic technology?

  • Nahed Ahmed

    Lexus need to be less conservative with the design of their cars and implement more creativity,innovation and desirability on the exterior as they do so much on technology and engineering. Will future Lexus cars be as appealing in design as german and italian rivals ?
    Also, Lexus need to compete in further segments to match what rival luxury makers are offering. Why do Lexus not offer coupe variants of their sedans. Also, I agree the RX is a great SUV. But Lexus should use its success as an opportunity to offer a larger and smaller sibling of the RX Just like BMW X6 and X3. Does Lexus have any plans for such offering ?

  • Nahed Ahmed

    I was keen to purchase the Lexus CT200h. But after finding out that the horsepower on the car is not great, it is just too slow for me. Will Lexus be offering a more powerful engine variant of the Lexus CT200h ?

  • Lenzy King

    I’ve been a loyal Lexus owner for the last 10 years (An ES300, ES330, LS460 and now a HS250). The Lexus quality & recall issues over the last year coupled with fierce and more nimble competitors has shaken my once unyielding defense of brand Lexus. Just last week I placed an order for a 2011 Audi A8 and will no longer be considered a Lexus owner. Audi simply resonated more closely with my needs and desires that Lexus has been unable to fulfill of late. What does Lexus plan to do to revitalize its current owner base and bring those who are jumping ship back into the fold?

  • http://TLE Shane From Australia

    Question : when the current LX is updated / facelifted in due time … are they planning on offering a diesel option. I understand the North American market may not be interested as much as others but Europe and Australia would be very keen.

    Secondly – i would like to say that Lexus has been doing a fantastic job of maturing as a luxury brand over the past 5 yrs and derivatives such as ‘F-sport’ & ‘F-series’ has certainly help to propel that maturing process although the HS is an orphan.

    All-in-all, keep up the good effort as i have become a keen Lexus fan and want to see the brand remain highly competitive in the future.

    Cheers

  • MARAZ

    How will the next GS improve its position in a mid-size luxury sedan market dominated by the the BMW 5 series and Mercedes E-Class, and will there be any GS-variants (coupe, GS-F)?

  • http://TLE Shane From Australia

    att : Nahed Ahmed – In recent years, Lexus has been slowly developing more exciting cars to capture the younger audience such as the IS series aswell as ‘F-sport’ and ‘F-series’ derivatives.

    Lexus is still a young brand with only 20 yrs of motoring history but what they have achieved in that relatively short period is nothing short of remarkable. There is no denying Lexus has established itself a rightful reputation for engineering impeccably high quality cars that are ‘arguably’ second to none however having achieved this they are now in a position to broaden the brands horizons and that is exactly what Lexus has began to do – give them time.

    Introducing the F-series (IS-F & LFA todate) aswell as ‘F-sport’ options is a great beginning to what i believe we will be seeing much from the brand in the future. I also reserve no hesitation to suggest we will see more subtance in each ‘next generation’ model such as the due replacements of the current ES, IS and GS.

    Personally … i am happy with the direction Lexus is navigating.

    Cheers

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    Rory Whitefield wrote:Guys, Mark is unlikely to give out too much info on future product.

    My question is: “Sales Incentives: It is being reported that Lexus is outspending BMW, Audi and Mercedes on incentives for the first time ever in Q4 to ensure Lexus remains the Number 1 luxury brand in the US. Is this not a short-sighted move that will end up doing longer term damage? It’s very difficult to come off the incentive drug once you’ve started.

    It’s true that Lexus has more than doubled their October incentives, but they still trail BMW & Mercedes substantially, here are the average October 2010 Incentives:

    * Mercedes: $4,389
    * BMW: $3,179
    * Lexus: $2,152

    Source: Bloomberg

    Still a very valid question, though! :-)

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    Clif Payne wrote:Why is Lexus so far behind the current state of electronic technology?

    I like this question — though I would probably take it from a different angle:

    “When can we expect an upgraded infotainment system that meets or exceeds the features seen in competing products like Ford’s Sync (Voice text-messaging, full Bluetooth contact syncing, Internet connectivity)?”

    :-)

  • Nahed

    @Shane From Australia:
    I am a huge fan of Lexus, but certain areas they must improve on. Lexus must now start to inject some desirability with emotion in their cars, as well as being a great drivers car. Lexus cars are criticized for its boring driving experience. But i agree with you. Lexus realise this by introducing the F Series. Its a step in the right direction. I love the IS-F and the new LFA. I sure hope Lexus can bring some future cars that will really p**s the germans off :-D

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    Nahed Ahmed wrote:I was keen to purchase the Lexus CT200h. But after finding out that the horsepower on the car is not great, it is just too slow for me. Will Lexus be offering a more powerful engine variant of the Lexus CT200h ?

    Chances are that any engine questions will be unanswered — that’s been my experience over the years. :-)

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    Lenzy King wrote:What does Lexus plan to do to revitalize its current owner base and bring those who are jumping ship back into the fold?

    Great question, Lenzy.

    Sorry to see you go, but it looks like you’re jumping into a fantastic vehicle. Enjoy the A8! :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/LexusandThePursuit WorldofLuxury

    @krew: and stop-and-go adaptive cruise control! I need that!

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    Ok, after thinking it over, I’ve sent in these two questions:

    * Are there plans for an upgraded infotainment system that meet or exceed the features seen in competing products like Ford’s Sync (Voice text-messaging, full Bluetooth contact syncing, Internet connectivity)? – Edited from a comment by Clif Payne

    * The Lexus quality & recall issues over the last year coupled with fierce and more nimble competitors has shaken my once unyielding defense of brand Lexus. What does Lexus plan to do to revitalize its current owner base and bring those who are jumping ship back into the fold? – A comment from Lenzy King

    Thank you everyone for participating — remember you can also participate live tomorrow on Facebook & Twitter.

    :-)

  • Lenzy King

    @krew:

    Thanks, Kevin, for selecting my question! Regardless of what car is in my garage, I’ll always be a fan and follower of The Lexus Enthusiast!