MyRide’s Video Review of the Lexus LX 570

MyRide managed to snag one of the incredibly rare Lexus LX 570’s just long enough to film this video review:

A nice overview, to be sure. I’ve grown into a huge fan of the new look LX. More than anything, the absolute cocoon it provides is a significant upgrade, it’s more like a luxury tank than an SUV.

Toyota’s Audio Interview with Lexus USA GM Mark Templin

Lexus General Manager Mark Templin

Toyota’s Open Road blog has posted a short audio interview of Lexus General Manager Mark Templin & Toyota President Jim Lentz discussing the company’s low sales in June and what it means for the car maker:

Here’s an interesting excerpt from GM Templin on Lexus moving forward:

The good news is that we retained our position as the #1 selling luxury brand, so we feel like we’re doing a pretty good job in a really tough market of doing the best we can do to take care of customers and make profits. We’re also excited about the next couple of months, because all of a sudden, we’re going to enhance our incentive programs a little bit, and we’ll begin our summer sales event on July 25th, which always gives us a big boost during the month of August. And, I think we’ll make it through some tough times in the luxury industry, and we’re doing it in a way that’s going to support the growth of Lexus in 2009 and beyond.”

The #1 position in the US luxury car market is obviously a very important distinction, and one that Lexus is going to fight tooth and nail to maintain. As noted this weekend, Lexus currently has a 5,198 unit advantage over second-place BMW, so it’s still anyone’s guess just how 2008 is going to play out.

Hilarious Lexus IS-F Commercial with James Sloyan

This commercial featuring perpetual Lexus voice actor James Sloyan in the passenger seat of an IS-F as Scott Pruett takes a lap around the track is just about perfect:

This is a definite payoff for using the same voice actor since the very first commercials.

(Anyone want to hazard a guess as to what James is saying right there at the end?)

Lexus USA’s 2008 YTD Sales vs. BMW, Mercedes & Audi

Lexus Logo

With the year-to-year decrease in Lexus US auto sales becoming more and more pronounced, I thought it might be a good idea to do some number comparisons as a way to get some perspective.

First thing, here’s the raw facts of Lexus’ first-half sales when compared to the competition:

Manufacturer YTD 2008 YTD 2007 % Change
Lexus 136,711 160,202 -14.1%
BMW 131,513 144,579 - 9.0%
Mercedes 119,279 118,240 0.9%
Audi 45,023 45,711 -1.5%

Even with the 14.1% drop in sales, Lexus is still managing to stay ahead of BMW. Admittedly, Lexus’ percentage change is the highest of the group, but it’s not entirely unexpected.

Right from the start, it was clear that Lexus USA wasn’t expecting 2008 to be a banner year. General manager Mark Templin even went as far to say “If I sell 1,000 more cars this year, I’d be happy.” This would indicate that there was a scheduled holding pattern in effect, due to the current economic climate in the United States.

It’s unfortunate, then, that the latest updates to the Lexus lineup are the most expensive. The LS 600hL, the LX 570, and the IS-F are all big-budget vehicles, and aren’t the type to boost the unit numbers. Contrast this to BMW’s introduction of the 1-Series, and the dropping gap between the two companies makes complete sense.

One thing’s for sure, it’s going to be a real competition to see who ends up on top this year.

Lexus Canada Model Price Reduction

Lexus Canada Price Reductions

TPP commenter Jesse P.S reminded me of something that was lost in the shuffle of the RX prototype video and the June sales reports — Lexus Canada dropped their prices significantly on July 1st. Here’s the table:

Canadian Model Price Reductions
Vehicle Old MSRP New MSRP
2008 IS 250 $36,550 $31,900
2008 ES 350 $42,900 $39,900
2008 SC 430 $86,100 $78,200
2008 LS 460 $85,800 $80,100
2009 RX 350 $44,350 $42,950
2008 GX 470 $68,500 $65,800
2008 GS 350 AWD $65,250 $61,000
2008 GS 350 RWD $52,900 $51,000
2008 LX 570 $101,400 $84,600
2008 LS 600h L $125,400 $119,400
2008 RX 400h $55,050 $53,650
2008 GS 450h $71,100 $69,200

This is a stark a market correction as I’ve ever seen. The LX 570 alone sees a cut of $16,800. Even with the smallest reduction (which happens to be the bestselling RX 350) the price is still reduced by $1,400.

(Being a Canadian, my only complaint is that the current apple of my eye, the GS 450h, wasn’t brought more inline with the US price of $55,800. Still, I’m sure potential LX owners are pretty happy about the news.)

[Source: Lexus Canada]