Lexus Tops in Customer Loyalty


Lexus & J.D. Power

J.D. Power’s has released a first quarter report on Customer Loyalty, a study that determines what percentage of car buyers stick with the same manufacturer when purchasing a new vehicle. In the study, Lexus lead the way at 48%, four points higher than BMW and nearly four points over Mercedes.

I find this to be a very impressive stat, honestly, and believe it speaks volumes on the pleasure of owning a Lexus. (Granted, the German manufacturers are right close to the same rate of return, but that doesn’t make it any less of a feat.)

[Source: Next Autos]

2009 Lexus IS Information & Photos


2009 Lexus IS 350

Official 2009 Lexus IS photos have surfaced today, along with a promise that the mid-cycle facelift will debut at the Paris Auto Show. Before getting to the photos, though, let’s do a full breakdown of the various nips & tucks:

Exterior

  • Revised front bumper with reworked lower air intake and fog lights
  • Expanded front grille
  • Integrated turn signals in the side mirrors
  • Revised taillight design with L-shaped reverse lights
  • New 17″ & 18″ wheel designs
  • New colors: Amber Pearl & Truffle Mica

Interior

  • New instrument panel center cluster design
  • Illuminated temperature gauge & side mirror controls
  • New color and wood trim combos: Ecru (with golden brown trim) & Light Grey (with Dark Grey bird’s eye maple)
  • Contrasting stitching on the door panels, console lid & seats
  • Carpets & Seat backs set to match color of upper instrument panel
  • DC outlet and AUX input positions switched (!!!)

Mechanical

  • Paddle Shifting function in D mode
  • New VDIM cutoff switch for the IS 250
  • Optional 18″ wheels on RWD models
  • Revised suspension tuning and steering

Here’s the first batch of photos, I’ll be adding more as time goes on:

Lexus USA August 2008 Sales Report


Lexus Logo

Lexus’ August sales numbers are in, and it’s not that bad, considering the year so far:

2008 2007 % Change
IS250/350/F 6,318 5,381 17.4
ES350 7,881 8,646 -8.8
GS350/460/450h 1,686 2,300 -26.7
SC430 187 298 -37.2
LS460/600h L 1,772 3,164 -44.0
Total Cars 17,844 19,789 -9.8
RX350/400h 8,969 10,032 -10.6
GX470 1,720 2,157 -20.3
LX570 748 221 238.5
Total Trucks 11,437 12,410 -7.8
Total Sales 29,281 32,199 -9.1

After that 24.6% drop in July, any decrease that doesn’t hit double digits has to be viewed as a good thing. The 17.4% jump in IS sales is surprising, and would be immediately attributed to the US dealership Summer Sales Event, except the same sale happened last year. Must just be a hot month for the sporty sedan.

The LX 570 continues to be a mind-boggling success — I would have never expected so many to be sold. I suppose it’s just proof that there’s an exception to every rule.

[Source: Lexus]

Lexus ES 350 Commercial: Perspective


This latest Lexus commercial for the ES is a riff on the automobile-as-art-piece, displaying a blown up cross section in what looks like an art gallery:

I loved this commercial tagline the first time around, and hearing it the second time makes me wonder why it isn’t played up in more commercials. Works really well.

Lightweight Lexus IS-F Planned


Lexus IS-F

Although it seems like a rehash of known information, German Dutch magazine Autotelegraaph reports that Lexus will not only release a coupe/convertible version of the IS in 2009, but that work continues on a lightweight IS-F. Motor Trend summarizes:

Autotelegraaph reports that Lexus has been channeling Lotus and already has a lightened test model running that applies a variety of techniques to bring down the weight and thereby bring up the performance. Unfortunately, Lexus also confirmed that there will be no GS-F or IS F convertible. The IS 350 C will be getting a hard top convertible, and Lexus hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a diesel powered IS.

Not that I don’t applaud the continued efforts into performance-oriented vehicles, but when you take into account the supressed sales in the US, I would think the focus would be on higher-volume models. Still, this could very well be a continuation of the IS-F’s grassroot beginnings, and there’s no real harm in boosting the performance profile of the company, that’s for sure.

[Source: Motor Trend]