Lexus ES: Sixth GenerationUSA

Lexus Aims for 50k ES Sedan Sales Per Year in USA

Lexus ES 300h

Lexus has high hopes that the new 2019 Lexus ES will appeal to a wider range of buyers with the release of the first-ever ES 350 F SPORT — here’s how the difference in demographics was presented during the sedan’s launch in Nashville last month:

Lexus ES Demographics

(As for the ES 300h buyers, Lexus expects them to follow the typical hybrid buyer, with a higher education level and a higher income.)

Together, all three ES variants will sell an estimated 50,000 units per year in the USA. This number is well below the five-year average of 64k, and signals a belief at Lexus that car sales will not rebound in the near future.

Another interesting detail is the split between the standard ES, ES F SPORT, and ES hybrid:

Lexus ES Variant Breakdown

Here’s a video for those interested in watching the full presentation from Lexus USA vice-president of marketing Cooper Ericksen:

Comments
Audi's longitudinal FWD with the flywheel, torque converter and gearbox behind the front axle is good, while RWD is even better for the enthusiast.
However, enthusiasts make up only a very small number of buyers.

True, that the Germans are mainly purchased for their badge and styling, rather than their RWD and front double wishbone suspension to maximise grip.

ES is not a driver's car with FWD, nor cheap single lower link MacPherson strut front suspension, but ES is probably more attractive than ever, and so spacious - hence it successfully sells to the mums & dads in the mass public - without Toyota Motor Corporation having to go to the expense of RWD with front double wishbone suspension.

ES has the weight of the flywheel, torque converter and gearbox - all in front of the front axle.
RX has a FWD-based AWD/4WD system where the rear wheels are passively activated only when the front wheels slip.
For ES transverse engine to have a Full Time FT AWD/4WD system like the Germans requires a complicated set up, where the transverse gearbox drives the center differential.

It would be great if TMC can keep going with 5GS as a halo model for enthusiasts like Sakura.
Normally, if the Crown is there, then is always potentially a 5GS, because such reskinning with sportier suspension wouldn't take much time, nor cost much.
I notice that the new Crown does not have 3.5L V6 TT.
Just as the last LS had an extended 11 year model cycle, I suspect current GS & IS may have its life cycle extended to 8 years.
It doesn't seem that 5GS is ready for release in 2019, but maybe 2020 5GS and 2021 release of 4IS - then a 3.5L V6 TT will be ready and more refined too.
peterharvey
True, that the Germans are mainly purchased for their badge and styling, rather than their RWD and front double wishbone suspension to maximise grip.
Not really true. M3/M4 has MacPherson strut. And many 'cheap' Japanese had double wishbone all round, even for FWD cars.
S
peterharvey
Audi's longitudinal FWD with the flywheel, torque converter and gearbox behind the front axle is good, while RWD is even better for the enthusiast.
However, enthusiasts make up only a very small number of buyers.

True, that the Germans are mainly purchased for their badge and styling, rather than their RWD and front double wishbone suspension to maximise grip.

ES is not a driver's car with FWD, nor cheap single lower link MacPherson strut front suspension, but ES is probably more attractive than ever, and so spacious - hence it successfully sells to the mums & dads in the mass public - without Toyota Motor Corporation having to go to the expense of RWD with front double wishbone suspension.

ES has the weight of the flywheel, torque converter and gearbox - all in front of the front axle.
RX has a FWD-based AWD/4WD system where the rear wheels are passively activated only when the front wheels slip.
For ES transverse engine to have a Full Time FT AWD/4WD system like the Germans requires a complicated set up, where the transverse gearbox drives the center differential.

I have a feeling that the ES will only reach a certain limit in sales.
Eg, at their best, they sold about 80k units/year USA.
To get more sales, Lexus will still need RWD with double wishbone front suspension.

It would be great if TMC can keep going with 5GS as a halo model for enthusiasts like Sakura.
Normally, if the Crown is there, then there is always potentially a 5GS, because such reskinning with sportier suspension wouldn't take much time, nor cost much.
I notice that the new Crown does not have 3.5L V6 TT.
Just as the last LS had an extended 11 year model cycle, I suspect current GS & IS may have its life cycle extended to 8 years.
It doesn't seem that 5GS is ready for release in 2019, but maybe 2020 5GS and 2021 release of 4IS - then a 3.5L V6 TT will be ready and more refined too.
Great post! I fully agree.

Enthusiasts do make up a low number of buyers and the average consumer is the main target. This is why I believe the Lexus ES got a lot of attention. The Lexus ES is Toyota's cash cow main demographic seller, much like their Camry, Avalon, RAV4, RX, and NX type vehicles. I predict their UX will be an insane seller too.

TMC can definitely keep the 5GS around. BMW keeps some cars around that sell less than 2-3K units per year. This is what makes lots of car enthusiasts like BMW. They sell stuff for the masses and for the little. I believe Toyota needs to do this. In my opinion, if Lexus wants to retain their Lexus IS consumer base, a GS is a must. The Lexus GS is seen as an upgrade to the Lexus IS because its a bigger car, better luxurious and with similar RWD handling dynamics. The Lexus ES just can't fill this void, not even with AWD, since it'll be a transverse AWD set up.

It wouldn't be an extension for the Lexus IS but it'll be an extension for the GS though. The 2G Lexus IS had 8 model years, so the 3G Lexus IS can definitely just follow what they did with the 2G Lexus IS.
If this happens, this gives room and time for Lexus to extend the GS timeline and maybe introduce a 3.5L V6 TT onto the GS for MY2021. And then the IS will be MY2022 (which will the 3G Lexus IS an 8 year cycle from 14-21).

Levi
Not really true. M3/M4 has MacPherson strut. And many 'cheap' Japanese had double wishbone all round, even for FWD cars.
The difference between Porsche and BMW M cars having the Macpherson strut is the Germans are using it to cut cost without any of the negative draw backs of it. Porsche and BMW reworks everything to make sure their cars handle great without feeling the draw-backs of Macpherson struts.
The Lexus ES, Avalon and Camry does not have this rework. Nor it should because its not a track/sporty car.
Sakura
The difference between Porsche and BMW M cars having the Macpherson strut is the Germans are using it to cut cost without any of the negative draw backs of it. Porsche and BMW reworks everything to make sure their cars handle great without feeling the draw-backs of Macpherson struts.
The Lexus ES, Avalon and Camry does not have this rework. Nor it should because its not a track/sporty car.
I have driven the A6 3.0 TDI. Had Quattro, double wishbone suspension. I have never driven a worse executive sedan (for the price). Harsh ride, week handling. Overpriced rubbish. I am not aware the the ES will compete against M3s and 911s.


By the way, the Acura Vigor that competed against the Lexus ES (XV10) had FMF-L layout, better than Audi's FF-L layout, and double wishbone front suspension, it was very sporty. Look where it is today, and where the ES is!
Those look like the best value rear seats in the car industry. I hope buyers will appreciate the car for that, compared to anything alternative.
S
Levi
I have driven the A6 3.0 TDI. Had Quattro, double wishbone suspension. I have never driven a worse executive sedan (for the price). Harsh ride, week handling. Overpriced rubbish. I am not aware the the ES will compete against M3s and 911s.


By the way, the Acura Vigor that competed against the Lexus ES (XV10) had FMF-L layout, better than Audi's FF-L layout, and double wishbone front suspension, it was very sporty. Look where it is today, and where the ES is!
Well - according to car magazines - the Audi A6 handles pretty good.
Confident handling, zesty V-6 acceleration, spacious and well-built cabin.
The A6 is a quietly athletic car. Its suspension keeps body roll in check easily in high-speed corners, but its steering wheel broadcasts precious little information from the front wheels. Still, the A6, especially with Quattro all-wheel drive, is predictable and easy to drive quickly on twisty stretches of road. When driven sedately, the A6 coddles its passengers with a ride that even our scarred, winter-beaten Michigan roads can’t perturb.
Source: https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2017-audi-a6-in-depth-model-review

We Like: The subtle, sophisticated style and predictable handling.
Source: http://www.motortrend.com/news/audi-a6-2016-motor-trend-car-of-the-year-contender/

The 2017 Audi A6 is a fun car to drive, especially considering its size and heft. Not many midsize luxury sedans forge such a gratifying connection with the driver. One demerit is the car's overly light and numb steering feel under normal circumstances, but we've found that the effort level in the Sport mode is much more to our liking.
Source: https://www.edmunds.com/audi/a6/2017/

Audi A6 handling from reviews have been positive.

I never said the ES will compete against the M3s and 911s. That was something you alluded to when you replied to me with this:
Not really true. M3/M4 has MacPherson strut. And many 'cheap' Japanese had double wishbone all round, even for FWD cars.
because I was talking about how the Lexus ES has MacPherson struts.

I'm just merely stating. Just because M3/M4 has MacPherson strut doesn't mean they handle the same as the Lexus ES. The M3/M4 and Porsches were built to handle well and everything was reworked not to have the downsides of MacPherson struts.
Levi
Not really true. M3/M4 has MacPherson strut. And many 'cheap' Japanese had double wishbone all round, even for FWD cars.
As cheap single lower link MacPherson strut compresses and rolls, the tires naturally exhibit positive camber and the car and the tires lean - thereby diminishing grip.
Double wishbone provides geometry to help keep the tires perpendicular to the road surface to maximize grip.
However, double wishbone is less critical when vehicles are "firmly" sprung, because firmly sprung vehicles don't have much compliance nor roll in the first place to increase the positive camber of the tires to reduce grip.
It is the regular 3 Series sedans with a compliant ride where the springs "compress", and double wishbone front suspension is used to try to attain negative camber to maximize grip.

View attachment 2895

Levi
I have driven the A6 3.0 TDI. Had Quattro, double wishbone suspension. I have never driven a worse executive sedan (for the price). Harsh ride, week handling. Overpriced rubbish. I am not aware the the ES will compete against M3s and 911s.

By the way, the Acura Vigor that competed against the Lexus ES (XV10) had FMF-L layout, better than Audi's FF-L layout, and double wishbone front suspension, it was very sporty. Look where it is today, and where the ES is!
I last drove an A6 3.0T Supercharged AWD in 2014.
Very powerful engine.
Nice ride; much more compliant ride than my GS.
Because of that compliance, around corners the A6 had plenty of body roll - however the AWD would grip, grip and grip - it was limpet like!
Not a bad car at all.

I totally agree with you regarding the Acura Vigor with great specs including a longitudinal front mid-engine FWD and double wishbone suspension.
Compare that with ES with simple transverse FWD and cheap single lower link suspension, and look at where the Acura Vigor is now?
It's firstly the badge, secondly the styling, maybe thirdly the interior space, and maybe fourth might be engine performance that sells; especially for success of the ES, E Class and 5 Series.
The Acura Vigor totally lost it in the styling, and things worsened when the TL reverted to conventional transverse FWD with cheap single lower link suspension.

For sales to mums & dads and the mass market, the ES is great.
As a genuine driver's car - the ES is not designed to be such.
R
  • R
    RAL
  • June 22, 2018
Welcome new member! @peterharvey
Sakura
Well - according to car magazines - the Audi A6 handles pretty good.
....

Audi A6 handling from reviews have been positive.
lol... and so does 2019 ES, according to the magazines. Which in the case ES you ignore completely.

Not to mention that 5 german articles I read about 2019 ES in past week all talk how it has fine interior with quality materials and workmanship, as well as good suspension.... and all to the point say it will compete with A6, E class and 5 series.


@peterharvey did you get banned from CL finally?
peterharvey
I have a feeling that the ES will only reach a certain limit in sales.
Eg, at their best, they sold about 80k units/year USA.

Keep in mind that E Class & 5 Series are breathing on ES's back with peak annual sales of 69k & 57k respectively.
Thus, to get more midsize luxury sales, Lexus will still need RWD with double wishbone front suspension.
are you trying to say that their goal of 50k/year in the US is somehow not good enough or something?
S
spwolf
lol... and so does 2019 ES, according to the magazines. Which in the case ES you ignore completely.

Not to mention that 5 german articles I read about 2019 ES in past week all talk how it has fine interior with quality materials and workmanship, as well as good suspension.... and all to the point say it will compete with A6, E class and 5 series.

@peterharvey did you get banned from CL finally?
Why you putting words in my mouth? I didn't ignore the reviews. I have clearly stated, and this is about the 5th time you made me repeat myself, that the Lexus ES handles pretty well and better than predecessors but its not a handling king - like the Civic Type R.

Please refer back to what I said:
The Lexus ES is an amazing luxury car that handles better than its predecessors - it doesn't need to be some handling king. It doesn't need to be powerful either. Its good at being a comfortable-luxurious-reliable car.
This means - that I was trying to challenge your narrative that you think the Lexus ES / ES F-Sport is an insanely good handling car. All I'm saying is - the Lexus ES is handles well but not good like other handling cars are better step-up for it.

spwolf
are you trying to say that their goal of 50k/year in the US is somehow not good enough or something?
I don't think Pete was saying 50K/year sales are bad. I think hes saying that if the Lexus ES wants to do better than 50K/year sales - it needs to do more.
Sakura
Why you putting words in my mouth? I didn't ignore the reviews. I have clearly stated, and this is about the 5th time you made me repeat myself, that the Lexus ES handles pretty well and better than predecessors but its not a handling king - like the Civic Type R.

Please refer back to what I said:


This means - that I was trying to challenge your narrative that you think the Lexus ES / ES F-Sport is an insanely good handling car. All I'm saying is - the Lexus ES is handles well but not good like other handling cars are better step-up for it.



I don't think Pete was saying 50K/year sales are bad. I think hes saying that if the Lexus ES wants to do better than 50K/year sales - it needs to do more.
Nobody is saying ES is insanely good handling car, it is just that you keep finding reasons to disqualify it as competition to other cars in the class... and then you end up comparing it to the Type R, M3, etc, etc.

And nobody is putting words in your mouth either, you keep doing that yourself :)
S
spwolf
Nobody is saying ES is insanely good handling car, it is just that you keep finding reasons to disqualify it as competition to other cars in the class... and then you end up comparing it to the Type R, M3, etc, etc.

And nobody is putting words in your mouth either, you keep doing that yourself :)
I felt like you implied it in your post so I challenged it. Good on you for clearing it up.

I was drawing a comparison of how the Lexus ES is well balanced handling car but no-where as good as a Type R. The point of this was to challenge you. If you didn't imply the ES is a handling-god, then there is no story here.

No. I'm not "finding" reasons. Its my opinions - that the Lexus ES does not compete with the A4, 3, C, A6, 5, or E. The ES is similar to none of these cars except for price within the A4, 3, and C. However - price can't be the only part to what car competes with what car.

Its your opinion that the Lexus ES competes within that segment. By the way - I have listed my reasons why the Lexus ES don't compete there. Want to list reasons why you think the ES competes with the A4, 3, C, A6, 5, and E?
Sakura
I felt like you implied it in your post so I challenged it. Good on you for clearing it up.

I was drawing a comparison of how the Lexus ES is well balanced handling car but no-where as good as a Type R. The point of this was to challenge you. If you didn't imply the ES is a handling-god, then there is no story here.

No. I'm not "finding" reasons. Its my opinions - that the Lexus ES does not compete with the A4, 3, C, A6, 5, or E. The ES is similar to none of these cars except for price within the A4, 3, and C. However - price can't be the only part to what car competes with what car.

Its your opinion that the Lexus ES competes within that segment. By the way - I have listed my reasons why the Lexus ES don't compete there. Want to list reasons why you think the ES competes with the A4, 3, C, A6, 5, and E?
It certainly does not compete with A4, but it does compete with A6 and other cars in the class... I suggest you go to the dealership and talk to the people there what are they cross-shopping ES with.

As to why I think that, it is because I live in Europe, and your competitors do not exist here. As I mentioned several times so far, all European magazines are calling it A6/E/5 competitor, and I personally think it is delusional to thank that majority of people buying base models of these vehicles are buying it for RWD or handling characteristics, and even then that they are not drastically different from new ES.

Now if we are talking about higher end of the market, like 540i or 535d, then it is another story, but these days those buyers are in minority, especially in Europe, where these vehicles are mostly sold with 2.0 tdi engines.
^
Lexus ES will also compete against Camry in Europe which just go announced as Avensis replacement. Very weird decision by Toyota. Why now?

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