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Notes from the 2014 Lexus USA National Dealer Meeting

Lexus 2014 USA National Dealer Meeting

The Toyota Driver’s Seat blog has posted a recap of the recent Lexus USA National Dealer Meeting, which took place in Los Angeles and celebrated the brand’s 25th anniversary:

There were enticing previews of commercials for the RC and NX, coming to Lexus showrooms within the next two months. There was Akio Toyoda inspiring the crowd with his passionate message. There were plenty of light-hearted moments. But the overall message was clear: Be proud of what Lexus has done in the last 25 years, push to make the next 25 years even better.

All future product news was obviously left out of the article, but the featured parts of Akio Toyoda’s speech are worth highlighting in full:

“Welcome to the fulfillment of a dream, a vision, a belief that together we could create something truly meaningful,”  Toyoda said. “And that dream, ladies and gentlemen, is Lexus.”

“Although this is an important anniversary for us, in many ways I consider it a kind of rebirth,” he said. “An opportunity to say ‘Ok, now what?’ Or perhaps more importantly, ‘What if?’ What if we really go after the competition? What if we exceed every customer expectation and then some? What if we develop technologies no one has even thought of yet? And what if we make cars that literally take your breath away? To me, Lexus should be a canvas for automotive artistry.”

Toyoda-san continues to refine his vision for Lexus, and there’s plenty in his speech today that shows a minor correction in the brand’s direction.

The recent focus on performance and design has shifted to customer expectation and artistry, two characteristics that have been key pillars for Lexus over the past 25 years — in fact, almost all of the “what if” scenarios suggested by Toyoda-san are what made the very first LS 400 special.

(Really recommend reading the full article, there’s plenty of insight into how Lexus USA will approach the next year.)

Read more about the 2014 Lexus USA National Dealer Meeting

  • J
  • October 28, 2014
Message to Lexus: having focused on "performance and design", and "customer expectation and artistry" (whatever the last of those actually means...), please can you now focus on "handling and ride quality". I know this is more prosaic, but you'll win more fans if you engineer your cars to have both entertaining handling and a ride quality that can smooth out the bumpiest of roads. In particular, the CT, IS and NX all have poor damping, meaning they crash over potholes and send every ripple of the road through the cabin. Not very Lexus-like if you think about it.
    Haha You picked out the sporty cars. The sporty GS is quite rough versus the ES, and the fact that some still consider the GS a bit "mushy" shows that there is a necessary separation of duty, so I'm glad that the GS and ES coexist. There should be a cushier CT and NX for sure. I don't think a cushy IS is necessary because the ES 350 is priced right between the IS 250 and IS 350.
  • T
    Thomas Cahoon
  • October 28, 2014
    Yes! The 1998 LS 400 V8 got Ward's 10 Best for FOUR consecutive years! The 2006 IS 350 V6 earned the same recognition for THREE consecutive years! I wish Lexus can do the same again! And if possible... maybe create a naturally-aspirated engine that can challenge the current list of forced induction motors.
  • L
  • October 28, 2014
I smell something revolutionary coming next. Maybe the new LS? With the long life cycle of the current LS, having had 2 face lifts, the new LS can only be the LFA of luxury limousines.
    Fingers crossed! I really hope Lexus sticks to luxury with the "standard" LS, though. A good, new V8 would also be good for the GS. (=