Sales ReportsUSA

Lexus February 2018 Sales Report

Lexus NX USA February Sales 2018

USA

Lexus USA has reported 19,265 total sales for February 2018, a 5.1% increase over last year — here’s the model-by-model breakdown:

MONTH Year to Date (*DSR)
2018 2017 % CHG* 2018 2017 % CHG*
CT 0 458 -100 3 851 -99.7
IS 1,524 1,684 -9.5 2,971 3,107 -6.3
RC 186 495 -62.4 347 942 -63.9
ES 2,685 2,709 -0.9 5,325 4,880 6.9
GS 534 536 -0.4 1,009 958 3.2
LS 548 294 86.4 664 574 13.3
LC 128 0 0 304 0 0
LFA 1 0 0 1 0 0
Total Cars
5,606

6,176

-9.2

10,624

11,312

-8.0
NX 4,263 3,514 21.3 8,468 28.1
RX 7,238 6,676 8.4 13,976 12,196 12.3
GX 1773 1527 16.1 3,362 2,945 11.8
LX 385 445 -13.5 749 979 -25.1
Total Trucks 13,659
12,162
12.3
26,555
22,598
15.1
Total Sales
19,265

18,338

5.1

37,179

33,910

7.4

Please note, all percentages are calculated by the Daily Sales Rate (DSR), which takes into account the number of days in the month that dealerships could sell cars. February 2018 had 24 selling days, February 2017 had 24 selling days.

The 2018 LS started arriving in dealerships in the last half of February, and its impact can already seen on the bottom line with an 86.4% sales increase. It was also another record month for the NX and Lexus SUV lineup in general, with a 12.3% climb.

Here’s Lexus USA general manager Jeff Bracken on the month:

“Lexus kept its momentum going with another strong month in February. NX, both gas and hybrid, had its best-ever February while our LUVs also delivered another record month.

We’ve now launched our all-new 5th-generation LS and LS hybrid sedans, so we expect a very strong first quarter. These new models will be followed by 10 additional new or updated models, so we’re very optimistic about the year ahead.”

Comments
Second month of RX L being in market, and the GX is up 16%.



Say what you want, but canning the GX would be a stupid move for Lexus. They need to stick to the same formula, use the Prado chassis, update it substantially with new engines/exterior/interior and keep selling them until they can't anymore.

As the market shifts to CUVs, their ES/GS philosophy can be transferred to RXL/GX. Different strokes for different folks.
Is it too early to drop a comment on LS numbers? :)
mediumhot
Is it too early to drop a comment on LS numbers? :)
it is never too early.
Gecko
Second month of RX L being in market, and the GX is up 16%.



Say what you want, but canning the GX would be a stupid move for Lexus. They need to stick to the same formula, use the Prado chassis, update it substantially with new engines/exterior/interior and keep selling them until they can't anymore.

As the market shifts to CUVs, their ES/GS philosophy can be transferred to RXL/GX. Different strokes for different folks.
as people already said, they dont compete really.... I think GX has been performing good for a long time now in the US, long enough for them to notice, just the question is where it stands worldwide and how to make it more attractive in GCC countries as well as Russia and China.
not to mention when looking at stock numbers, there simply arent enough RX350l's to go around, they need to make more.
Solid month for the SUVs again... Who sold the LFA? lol.....

Note the RC and LC almost sold a similar amount!
He said there will be another 10 new or updated models in Lexus lineup this year

So other than RX-L , LS
We have at least 10 new or updated
We can say
UX & UX-h
ES & ES-h


So 6 remaining
Guessing game
The fact that the LS has more sales than the GS, is ultimate proof that Lexus is letting the GS die off this generation, then to revive it into a much better car.

Otherwise, the sales figures look good. :thumbsup:
mikeavelli
Solid month for the SUVs again... Who sold the LFA? lol.....

Note the RC and LC almost sold a similar amount!
I knew the LC would have numbers similar to the RC, I guessed it
RC needs an update and new engines, which unfortunately probably won't happen.
maiaramdan
He said there will be another 10 new or updated models in Lexus lineup this year

So other than RX-L , LS
We have at least 10 new or updated
We can say
UX & UX-h
ES & ES-h


So 6 remaining
Guessing game
RC is getting a facelift, but nothing that can be easily seen except for the 10" nav.
F1 Silver Arrows
The fact that the LS has more sales than the GS, is ultimate proof that Lexus is letting the GS die off this generation, then to revive it into a much better car.

Otherwise, the sales figures look good. :thumbsup:
Problem with this is that you are breaking the consistency, it's the same pitfall LS lineup is now running into. If they wanted to maintain the sales to reflect 2007 they should have released current or similar LS back in 2013 not 2018. They will have a hard time to build up the sales numbers with current LS cause most of the customers have left for another brand. With GS it's just going to get worse, they went from 3rd best selling premium midsize car to few units above Q70, you don't recover from that overnight. You recover from that in two model generations if you are lucky, like A6. Same fate is waiting for IS as well unfortunately, that poor thing will not go back to 3,000 units anytime soon.

Lexus is experiencing sudden death with RWD cars not because cars are not popular (tell that to Germans and Genesis) but most likely because they do not have sufficient funds or manpower to develop RWD platform products and Toyota reskins at the same time. I've said it before many times company like Lexus cannot afford to have a decision vote if they are going to develop RX-L or RC convertible, that's something Jaguar has to deal with not Toyota. If you are Toyota you build both and you build them right away. Otherwise you end up seeing your 3 year old RC plummet to under 200 units while Infiniti is selling 4 times as much and Audi is selling 9 times as much. Excuse that coupes are not popular anymore won't fly.
^Such a great post. Consistency is key, and it's where Lexus really, really struggles. There is a lack of commitment that is very obvious in product planning... then as consumers lease/purchase cycles come up for renewal and there is nothing (new) to purchase, they go elsewhere.
mikeavelli
Note the RC and LC almost sold a similar amount!
This good for the LC but honestly this is not this good also because the RC numbers are already very low than the estimated numbers
It would be smart for Lexus to consider either putting the NX on GA-L, or building a smaller premium compact RWD crossover to catch IS and RC buyers who are wanting an SUV. Not sure the NX has enough grit to attract those folks.

Oh wait, I'm about to start talking about an Active AWD system again... :scream:
I think it's fair to say the first half of the 2010s is a 'lost generation' for Lexus sedans. The only thing that kept them selling is a really fresh look. The problem is that TGNA is like the Boeing 787 of Toyota. It's their most revolutionary concept in two decades but also a gigantic drain on resources. So unfortunately new projects are either put on hold (as in LS and BoF) or rushed with little thought (as in IS and GS).
Sedan is only part of the picture, just think about how many opportunities they missed with crossovers.
Subcompact: 4 years late
Compact: just made it in time
3-Row mid-size: 3 years late, the fact they even debated about the decision to make it is perplexing.
Full-size: Current model is a decade old, replacement still 3 years away. Competition already selling 3k a month.
Luckily the crossover boom did not fully kick in until 2016 so they successfully salvaged the situation. But they still have missed opportunities for at least 50k crossovers in US alone.
mediumhot
Problem with this is that you are breaking the consistency, it's the same pitfall LS lineup is now running into. If they wanted to maintain the sales to reflect 2007 they should have released current or similar LS back in 2013 not 2018. They will have a hard time to build up the sales numbers with current LS cause most of the customers have left for another brand. With GS it's just going to get worse, they went from 3rd best selling premium midsize car to few units above Q70, you don't recover from that overnight. You recover from that in two model generations if you are lucky, like A6. Same fate is waiting for IS as well unfortunately, that poor thing will not go back to 3,000 units anytime soon.

Lexus is experiencing sudden death with RWD cars not because cars are not popular (tell that to Germans and Genesis) but most likely because they do not have sufficient funds or manpower to develop RWD platform products and Toyota reskins at the same time. I've said it before many times company like Lexus cannot afford to have a decision vote if they are going to develop RX-L or RC convertible, that's something Jaguar has to deal with not Toyota. If you are Toyota you build both and you build them right away. Otherwise you end up seeing your 3 year old RC plummet to under 200 units while Infiniti is selling 4 times as much and Audi is selling 9 times as much. Excuse that coupes are not popular anymore won't fly.
problem is that you are factually wrong:
1. Sedan and Coupes are overall dropping sales heavily. It is objective stats, not something imaginary.
2. Every company, including the richest one in the world (TMC), has to focus on something. Lexus chose to focus on what sells - ie SUVs. If anything, they should have done that earlier.

Growth has to come organic. Lexus has added RC, LC, NX, UX in past 3 years. Thats 4 completely new model additions to the brand. Now they sell CT, UX, NX, IS, ES, RC, GS, LS, LC, RX, GX, LX. Thats 12 model lineup.

Lexus can not have the most models, most engines, most options, freshest lineup in every category, phev, ev, petrol, diesel, mild 12v, mild 48v hybrids, full hybrids all together in every model and beat everyone in everything including 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, X6, X7, A/B/C/E/S and billion others. They cant compete with everything anyone ever put out.

If sedans are doing bad for Lexus compared to BMW & MB, then BMW & MBV SUVs are doing horribly against what is essentially a small player worldwide - Lexus. RX alone can outsell 5 models from german trio. NX kicked butt from the moment it appeared. LX has no competition at all, its sales better than LS for many years - BMW or Audi dont even have such vehicle, MB's is old and outsold in all the important markets. UX is likely going to become bestseller from the moment it arrives.

Lexus does not need to sell GS, IS and RC at any cost. They should focus on what market wants.


As to the LS, I think people in this thread have to realize that this is few days of sales for LS.
Gecko
It would be smart for Lexus to consider either putting the NX on GA-L, or building a smaller premium compact RWD crossover to catch IS and RC buyers who are wanting an SUV. Not sure the NX has enough grit to attract those folks.

Oh wait, I'm about to start talking about an Active AWD system again... :scream:
Well they already announced "better" fwd based awd system, thats what we will get in future NX and RX too, it can be only more advanced than the one in UX.

Thankfully, TNGA handles well, after trying out C-HR for few hours, I have no problem with ES/NX/UX/RX being based on similar platform.
spwolf
Well they already announced "better" fwd based awd system, thats what we will get in future NX and RX too, it can be only more advanced than the one in UX.

Thankfully, TNGA handles well, after trying out C-HR for few hours, I have no problem with ES/NX/UX/RX being based on similar platform.
I just think about the person in an RC 350 or IS 350, and what that shopper wants in the future. Probably something like 325-350hp, F sport package (as most IS/RC are equipped), strong cornering and braking. Is Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD the right system for that much output in a FWD-biased performance offering? I guess we don't know yet...
Gecko
I just think about the person in an RC 350 or IS 350, and what that shopper wants in the future. Probably something like 325-350hp, F sport package (as most IS/RC are equipped), strong cornering and braking. Is Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD the right system for that much output in a FWD-biased performance offering? I guess we don't know yet...
Yeah, but everything has its consequences. They are not going to change the winning combo and make it more expensive and have less space.

But lets see what they did with UX compared to the NX (more expensive vehicle) - upscale interior, new more advanced awd system, and brand new hybrid. Thats really nice. I would expect similar things for new NX in 2 years or so.

I understand your POV - enthusiast, it is just not realistic for these vehicles... but I guess thats why LF-1 is coming for those who want LC in RWD form and are willing to pay for it.
C
I'm not surprised with the RC's tanking. It's in desperate need of a better engine and more tech to at least remain viable.

GX continues to surprise me the last 2 years or so.

I do expect RX sales to be in the 11-12K mark starting in Q2 if the RX L will have made any impact.
corradoMR2
I'm not surprised with the RC's tanking. It's in desperate need of a better engine and more tech to at least remain viable.

GX continues to surprise me the last 2 years or so.

I do expect RX sales to be in the 11-12K mark starting in Q2 if the RX L will have made any impact.
Sales are best looked at % wise... RX is up 12.3% this year, despite the competition and drop in sales across the industry. These are two of the slowest months, so they wont be 12k now. Complete lineup is up 7.4% so far this year, also excellent number.

p.s. I checked out inventory and there are "no" RX-Ls in stock (10 to 1 for regular RX), just less than a month's supply of RX's... it seems RX is in tight supply still, 3rd year in.

I wonder how much of the sales RX-L will end up being, it might be much more than Lexus thought!
mediumhot
Problem with this is that you are breaking the consistency, it's the same pitfall LS lineup is now running into. If they wanted to maintain the sales to reflect 2007 they should have released current or similar LS back in 2013 not 2018. They will have a hard time to build up the sales numbers with current LS cause most of the customers have left for another brand. With GS it's just going to get worse, they went from 3rd best selling premium midsize car to few units above Q70, you don't recover from that overnight. You recover from that in two model generations if you are lucky, like A6. Same fate is waiting for IS as well unfortunately, that poor thing will not go back to 3,000 units anytime soon.

Lexus is experiencing sudden death with RWD cars not because cars are not popular (tell that to Germans and Genesis) but most likely because they do not have sufficient funds or manpower to develop RWD platform products and Toyota reskins at the same time. I've said it before many times company like Lexus cannot afford to have a decision vote if they are going to develop RX-L or RC convertible, that's something Jaguar has to deal with not Toyota. If you are Toyota you build both and you build them right away. Otherwise you end up seeing your 3 year old RC plummet to under 200 units while Infiniti is selling 4 times as much and Audi is selling 9 times as much. Excuse that coupes are not popular anymore won't fly.
Thank you!
mediumhot
Problem with this is that you are breaking the consistency, it's the same pitfall LS lineup is now running into. If they wanted to maintain the sales to reflect 2007 they should have released current or similar LS back in 2013 not 2018. They will have a hard time to build up the sales numbers with current LS cause most of the customers have left for another brand. With GS it's just going to get worse, they went from 3rd best selling premium midsize car to few units above Q70, you don't recover from that overnight. You recover from that in two model generations if you are lucky, like A6. Same fate is waiting for IS as well unfortunately, that poor thing will not go back to 3,000 units anytime soon.

Lexus is experiencing sudden death with RWD cars not because cars are not popular (tell that to Germans and Genesis) but most likely because they do not have sufficient funds or manpower to develop RWD platform products and Toyota reskins at the same time. I've said it before many times company like Lexus cannot afford to have a decision vote if they are going to develop RX-L or RC convertible, that's something Jaguar has to deal with not Toyota. If you are Toyota you build both and you build them right away. Otherwise you end up seeing your 3 year old RC plummet to under 200 units while Infiniti is selling 4 times as much and Audi is selling 9 times as much. Excuse that coupes are not popular anymore won't fly.
I applaud you for your response. Your reasoning has a lot of depth.

Lexus (and to a greater extent Toyota) has been resting on their laurels for the longest time ever. They have been completely lazy with their planning, and the biggest problem are their bean counters. If Toyota is single-handedly the largest automotive company in the entire world, so much so, they can easily buy out nearly half of the automotive companies exist today, then why the hell don't they spend on making their cars better?

At the high end of TMC, bean counters do not spend energy on what we want for them to focus on, and focus more towards hybrid technology, practical and safe vehicles. For the former, despite much R&D, they still do not have anything revolutionary battery technology to compete against heavy hitters like Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, and quite soon, Porsche. Their main excuse for being so lackluster whether we want to admit it or not is to focus on reliability, to which I say is a good thing, but seriously? To take so many years not to make a 3 row RX? To not update that poor dinosaur of a GX? What about that amazing GS, that helped Lexus solidify their reputation as a legitimate luxury company, which are also extremely capable in a performance testing. Does reliability testing take that long to build a competitive vehicle to bring the fight to the Europeans, the Americans (not going to even consider Genesis because they're a joke, Lincoln is more legit, but that's my opinion).

Here's what I see is what's going on, as I have been saying for the longest time ever, Lexus is its own entity now, they literally share nothing philosophically with Toyota. But in order to have Lexus to be able to survive, they need the R&D from TMC, and as we know, TMC is shying away from making enthusiast driven vehicles. No, the Supra was only a desperate attempt because of all the uproar. I bet if the demand was smaller, they wouldn't even think about building a Supra. Do you remember why they axed it? Emissions? Seriously? Yeah...... no. If you guys still are able to make crazy gas guzzling V8's then surely you were able to pursue the Supra.

Mercedes-Benz/AMG/Maybach/and their racing teams need Daimler. Audi needs Volkswagen. And BMW? Well, they're not competent anymore so I won't include them here. Same thing for Lexus. They need greater power to build the vehicles that we want but it is simply not happening.

As we all know, TMC is fearful of making vehicles that may not make the best sale at the end of the day. Problem is that they never tried it once to see what happens. They always take really small steps at a time, to which I say is a huge shame. Once they do release a model, and in some where they cheapen out, they just let the car die. Why not make it better? Examples are the Corolla, Yaris, Tacoma, 4Runner, Tundra, Sequoia and for Lexus models like the RC, CT, IS. They foolishly expect that people will buy their cars just because of reliability. It's time for them to wake up, fire themselves up so damn hard, and to splurge in order to give everyone hell. They need to realize that people won't wait a decade for them to finally build something competent. One can only dream though. Their way logic is something that has always puzzled me so much, but ultimately I still love TMC for what they do.

Point is, if they realize what they are doing wrong, I will single-handedly prove you guys wrong that they will have sales like before once again. Lexus is always that company that has the most attractive offers, and will always undercut competitors in terms of price, and go eons higher in terms of what a luxury car company is capable of. While Toyota has a lackluster lineup (exception being Camry, Avalon, Tacoma, 4Runner, 86, Prius), you should NEVER count out them out (and a greater extent to Lexus), because like the year of 1989, they will set their ground once again, and will send everyone into oblivion. That is, if they play the right cards. I am sure they will, because they will realize what potentials the cars like GS, GX, IS, RC, and LS had, and I dearly believe that they won't fall for the same mistake ever again. No longer do we want those days. We want the days where Toyota/Lexus were always that one company you can count on. Not just reliability, but competitiveness in all aspects too.
spwolf
problem is that you are factually wrong:
1. Sedan and Coupes are overall dropping sales heavily. It is objective stats, not something imaginary.
2. Every company, including the richest one in the world (TMC), has to focus on something. Lexus chose to focus on what sells - ie SUVs. If anything, they should have done that earlier.
Since it's always easier to crap onto someone then give the praise let's switch sides a bit. Whomever convinced Toyota heads that LC model needs to be made right now is someone who understands how premium brands work. No matter if you sell watches, purses or cars principle is the same: you have to have a expensive flagship products (not one but more than one) that don't sell but they do bring in people to see them and then walkaway with less expensive product in their hands. That's how Louis Vuitton works, that's how Prada used to work before they became outlet brand and so on. Lexus now has two flagship products LC and LS which is fine now but here is the problem. These two flagship models are now in damage control rather than in brand prosperity mode because they are making up for the time when Lexus didn't have relevant emotional flagship products at all. That's been going on since 2013 when original 4LS became an obvious facelifted mutant (you cant fool people) and SC took a well overdue sunset ride. That period of half a decade has killed the Lexus car sales I guarantee you. Together with global sedan trend of decline in sales Lexus has ended up in position that BMW sells more 5 series than whole Lexus RWD sedan portfolio and almost more than whole RWD vehicle portfolio including RWD SUVs (GX had great month so it saved the situation a bit). Like I said LC and LS are salvaging the situation right now and what Lexus needs is proper RWD models (even SUVs) that cannot come soon enough so LC and LS can sell them. At least they have the foundation right this time.

Here is another good thing Lexus is doing. Another rule in consumer goods sales in general is that you have to protect your best selling product in this case RX. You protect your product by offering more products around it to complete the product lineup. That's exactly what Lexus has been doing to RX, they offered GX then NX and now RX-L and UX. They have cornered their RX from all sides as their centerpiece, they have made the whole product portfolio around it with similar products just in case someone cant' afford RX or someone needs something a bit bigger, etc. That's how you support and protect your best selling products. RX will only sell in greater numbers in the future, unless they botch some generation with bad product. That is the reason why E-class has E-class coupe and CLS at the same time, as the best selling Mercedes product they have shielded it from all the sides by investing and inventing the markets around it. Conclusion is you need more models in order to save and propel the sales of your best selling products. Lexus is trying to tie in LC and LX into LS to spark the LS sales once more but it's going to be uphill battle. If we are being real Lexus is on hold right now waiting for Mercedes to botch one of the upcoming S-classes and then take over again. No matter how good new LS is, and it's very good, that simply doesn't matter once you gave away your piece of the pie to someone else who has as good of a product as you do. It takes time to take it back.

Best example how markets go up and down is Concept Limitless. For years Infiniti had the paw on flagship RWD SUVs with FX50. They have inspired the whole another market of coupe like SUVs with it and they let if fade away. They didn't have any supporting products around it so they have ended up with no flagship of their own, they didn't recognize the trend and they didn't follow up with more SUVs to shield it (EX was everything but an SUV). Luckily for them they were able to shove QX60 in-between and save the SUV sales, but QX60 is no flagship everyone is drooling over, it's their RX like pedestrian vehicle. Point is Infiniti has withdrawn from RWD flagship SUV game while Lexus is going into it 15 years later. Infiniti thinks FWD Renault/Nissan platform sharing will save them but it will not, they will be struck in the limbo with a prospect of downhill rather than moving into tier 1 with Audi cause they don't have emotional flagship products like Lexus and Audi to give proper rep to Nissan reskins.

And one last thing, while it's stupid to comment on RX, 3 series, E class sales as those are pillars of foundation for each brand we can comment of sales of other models. Since SUV is the game as we can all see let's talk about how Lexus is not SUV sales bulletproof by any means. NX is the second best selling Lexus model and it has sold over 4,000 units. But so did the Q5, X3 was close to that number and GLC outsold it. It's far away from solid grounds for Lexus on anything but RX. Here is my interpretation why NX is not the sales king of it's class: once again Lexus was late in product planing and development. Had they had NX a generation ago market would have been a lot different by now I guarantee you. It took them 3 generations of RAV4 as the best selling small SUV for someone to take notice that they can put premium badge on it. Same story follows the UX but market UX will play in is really plagued by bad products and poor sales numbers so it stands a chance to take over. If it can beat next gen Q3.
mediumhot
Best example how markets go up and down is Concept Limitless. For years Infiniti had the paw on flagship RWD SUVs with FX50. They have inspired the whole another market of coupe like SUVs with it and they let if fade away. They didn't have any supporting products around it so they have ended up with no flagship of their own, they didn't recognize the trend and they didn't follow up with more SUVs to shield it (EX was everything but an SUV). Luckily for them they were able to shove QX60 in-between and save the SUV sales, but QX60 is no flagship everyone is drooling over, it's their RX like pedestrian vehicle. Point is Infiniti has withdrawn from RWD flagship SUV game while Lexus is going into it 15 years later. Infiniti thinks FWD Renault/Nissan platform sharing will save them but it will not, they will be struck in the limbo with a prospect of downhill rather than moving into tier 1 with Audi cause they don't have emotional flagship products like Lexus and Audi to give proper rep to Nissan reskins.
I like that. If that's so, then why hasn't Lexus pursued a RWD ES for this generation? What about the next generation GS? A next generation IS? How about convertibles while you're at it too? If they execute it right and don't be fearful of trying, they would actually do a good job. Where they could have diversified their portfolio and strengthened their lineup, enforcing a RWD family of cars. I have the same thoughts for RX and NX too (UX should stay FWD, as it serves a proper purpose for a urban city crossover).

I am not disagreeing with your points whatsoever, but Lexus needs to realize that this is an important step to take, not only to separate themselves from Toyota, but to even solidify their identity as a true luxury marque.
mediumhot
And one last thing, while it's stupid to comment on RX, 3 series, E class sales as those are pillars of foundation for each brand we can comment of sales of other models. Since SUV is the game as we can all see let's talk about how Lexus is not SUV sales bulletproof by any means. NX is the second best selling Lexus model and it has sold over 4,000 units. But so did the Q5, X3 was close to that number and GLC outsold it. It's far away from solid grounds for Lexus on anything but RX. Here is my interpretation why NX is not the sales king of it's class: once again Lexus was late in product planing and development. Had they had NX a generation ago market would have been a lot different by now I guarantee you. It took them 3 generations of RAV4 as the best selling small SUV for someone to take notice that they can put premium badge on it. Same story follows the UX but market UX will play in is really plagued by bad products and poor sales numbers so it stands a chance to take over. If it can beat next gen Q3.
NX is big success by Lexus. It is not possible for them to 2x outsell the competition, it does not exist in vacuum... their is RX above it, and there are many of competition vehicles.

In the US, Lexus NX is #1 compact luxury crossover for 2017, it sold better than Q5 and X3 and GLC... NX and RX beat MB/BMW/Audi by 2x.

You are not being realistic when it comes to the sales, it is not magic, it does not exist in a vacuum.

Same goes for UX when it arrives. I am sure Lexus will be super happy if it sells 25k per year in the US. It does not exist on its own - it competes first against all other Lexus and Toyota vehicles of similar price, and then with competition as well.

Infiniti as a brand is much smaller than Lexus. Their and Acura's problems are much bigger, and you cant expect them to develop same amounts of models as Lexus or german 3.

As to the "being late", all of the manufacturers would love to be able to develop 10 brand new vehicles every year. But it does not work that way. Just like Lexus was "late" with NX, MB had really horrible GLK on the market when NX came out (and that gen X3 wasnt better either). And heck, today you have "all-new" GLE with most of interior designed in 2002. So even MB cant simply redesign whatever they want at any time - their best selling SUV's interior has most of the HVAC panel designed first in early 2000's, it is likely their most profitable vehicle worldwide and yet they could not afford interior redesign.

Gotta be a bit realistic about sales and how vehicle development works. In last 4 years Lexus had brand new NX, RC, LC and now UX... likely LF-1 is coming soon enough. They will have 13 models worldwide by 2020.
The sedan arena has never been more competitive as well and as stated in here the IS/GS need more of a power bump and more updates. I also feel strongly the new face-lifts didn't help with sales and to some took a step back in the looks department.

I just washed our cars today and my folks came over. When I was done I realized we had 3 Lexus SUV's and 1 Lexus car. Twenty years ago it was 4 Lexus cars. Ten years ago it was two cars and two sedans. Now its 3 to 1 SUVs to cars.
mikeavelli
The sedan arena has never been more competitive as well and as stated in here the IS/GS need more of a power bump and more updates. I also feel strongly the new face-lifts didn't help with sales and to some took a step back in the looks department.

I just washed our cars today and my folks came over. When I was done I realized we had 3 Lexus SUV's and 1 Lexus car. Twenty years ago it was 4 Lexus cars. Ten years ago it was two cars and two sedans. Now its 3 to 1 SUVs to cars.
Hey man, you just wait. Once gas prices shoot up to the stratosphere, you will end up getting 3/4 sedans and at best 1 SUV and won't even bat an eye towards the one occurrence of the SUV craze that we once had.

And to your earlier point, I have also been stressing that for the longest time ever.
mediumhot
Whomever convinced Toyota heads that LC model needs to be made right now is someone who understands how premium brands work. These two flagship models are now in damage control rather than in brand prosperity mode because they are making up for the time when Lexus didn't have relevant emotional flagship products at all.
Very true. The LC is their most successful flagship program since the original LS400. But just to add to your point, the 'showroom appeal' of the LC and 5LS is undermined by the fact that Lexus doesn't really offer a compelling sedan lineup. So people shopping for cars will walk in and don't find anything of interest. ES shoppers are likely to buy an ES even without these two flagships.

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Here is my interpretation why NX is not the sales king of it's class: once again Lexus was late in product planing and development. Had they had NX a generation ago market would have been a lot different by now I guarantee you. It took them 3 generations of RAV4 as the best selling small SUV for someone to take notice that they can put premium badge on it.
As @spwolf correctly pointed out, I think it's not a matter of NX not being competitive enough but rather the RX has no real competition. The NX does not exist in a vacuum, but the RX sorts of does. Before the crossover boom there was no room for compact-size premium SUVs: it was considered an oxymoron. But before somebody shout "oh but the X3 has always been there", I should point out that the X3 was considered mid-size when it was first introduced and was never sold at compact-size prices. It only became 'compact' (despite growing in size) because the average size of vehicles has been growing. The NX came at exactly the right time; it made no sense to make it one generation earlier since it would be barely smaller than the 2RX so there won't be enough differentiation between the two.

We shouldn't take RX's dominance for granted in every other segment. And it's unfair to assume every Lexus SUV has to be as dominant as the RX: the competition hasn't figured out that their mid-size premium SUVs are $10k too expensive for the intended audience and such flaw in pricing structure is true for every major market. In fact BMW could introduce a X5 30i for $6k less but still fails to compete against the RX since for that price one can get a nicely optioned 450h. That 10k gap comes from a transverse-FWD platform which is inherently cheaper than a longitudinal RWD/AWD platform. For that reason any suggestion that Lexus make its mainstream SUV lineup RWD-based should be ignored.

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I like that. If that's so, then why hasn't Lexus pursued a RWD ES for this generation? What about the next generation GS? A next generation IS? How about convertibles while you're at it too? If they execute it right and don't be fearful of trying, they would actually do a good job. Where they could have diversified their portfolio and strengthened their lineup, enforcing a RWD family of cars. I have the same thoughts for RX and NX too (UX should stay FWD, as it serves a proper purpose for a urban city crossover).

I am not disagreeing with your points whatsoever, but Lexus needs to realize that this is an important step to take, not only to separate themselves from Toyota, but to even solidify their identity as a true luxury marque.
As I've pointed above, any suggestion to make NX/RX/ES RWD should be disregarded because it violates the No.1 reason why these were so competitive in the first place: being transverse-FWD based and thus inherently cheaper. If there's any doubt, ask why even BMW made the X2 transverse-FWD.

Now could Lexus have made the new ES RWD? Technically nothing stops them from doing it because we know there is a mid-sized TNGA/GA-L sedan, the who-knows-how-many-generations Crown. Which recipe would any reasonable designer/engineer choose: the tried-and-true Avalon-based FWD ES? or the never-so-successful Crown spin-off RWD GS? In fact one can argue the ES is the main project with the Avalon being the byproduct. But the GS has always been an afterthought of a unique vehicle with a very small market (which it holds a monopoly of). See the problem? The GS is based on something that does not need to compete against anyone.

You have to take corporate politics into account: if you were a Lexus team leader (based in USA) would you want full authority over your most important sedan project, or listen to someone in Aichi and hope that guy knows how to make a car that competes out of Japan?

Again, the premium quality and identity has nothing to do with drivetrain layout, at least not for mass market vehicles. Longitudinal RWD is a must for flagships because they need big engines (which won't even be true in a few years), and for sports cars since it's so much easier.

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Hey man, you just wait. Once gas prices shoot up to the stratosphere, you will end up getting 3/4 sedans and at best 1 SUV and won't even bat an eye towards the one occurrence of the SUV craze that we once had.
Not gonna happen. This is THE sedan-apocalypse because crossover is a better body style in any way imaginable. The MPG penalty SUV pay today is way less than 10 years before and is only getting smaller with the overall trend of electrification. An electric SUV sells no matter how expensive gas costs. SUVs are here to stay.

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