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Lexus Opens Brand Experience Center in Tokyo Shopping Mall

Lexus Meets Tokyo

Part boutique, café and vehicle showroom, Lexus Meets is a new brand space inside Tokyo’s Midtown Hibiya shopping center. Here’s a quick tour of the place, courtesy of the Lexus UK blog.

The first section is the Steer and Ring boutique, stocked with a range of products, including the Crafted for Lexus collection.

Lexus Steer and Ring Boutique

The Lexus Meets café is called The Spindle, and its designed around a massive spindle-shaped light. There is a variety of food for lunch, including a full deli picnic and a Spindle Ale craft beer.

Lexus Spindle Lunch

The Touch and Drive area is for vehicle test drives — customers can reserve a model through a kiosk or by using a smartphone app. The driving routes through Tokyo are customized depending on the time of year, and vehicles can be borrowed for one or two days depending on availability.

Lexus Test Drive Tokyo

Lexus Meets is open from 11am-9pm, with The Spindle Cafe open until 11pm.

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This sort of thing is interesting.

I think luxury brands are starting to realize that as technology improves and cheaper cars can also enjoy complex body shapes and designs, and as we move towards a world of mini living rooms on wheels, that becoming a lifestyle brand will help keep product selling just as much as the xmas bow ties, great customer service, and reliability already do. Also helps create the image of a company that cares about execution across everything it does, but Lexus and Toyota will have to keep working to keep that image.

Still, it seems to be a message at a bit of a crossroads with what they are doing with the lineup, or at least the pace of new vehicles.

I have been waiting for years for some of these rumored vehicles to come out, then you hear about the LCF being delayed for the convertible, like its impossible for TMC to execute on both, and then we have the LY starting to sell, as a rebadged minivan gets announced for China. Now there are talks of more and more low end vehicles planned, while a senior Lexus employee talks about how the media could motivate the next LFA.

Cheaper "luxury" vehicles aiming at the lower end of the market + increased focus on Lexus being a high end lifestyle brand = we recognize that there is a small group who has effectively hoarded the vast majority of global wealth, so we need some super high end stuff for them, and mass produced status items for the rest.

I just wonder how long they expect some people to wait around on new models and features. Sure, the germans are likely to fall behind in the electrical race to some extent, or at least see a reemergence of the stereotype of unreliable German electricals and engineering, but in the interim they are still offering exciting solutions where the gimmicks outweigh the downsides for the potential market.

I just wish it felt like a more cohesive strategy, instead of it feeling like Lexus USA is trying to convince the parent company to do things like the LF1 limitless, which would finally produce a Japanese alternative to the Range Rovers, Cayennes, and other high end luxury SUVs in the market (let's be honest, the GX and LX exist due to their economic benefits of badge engineering, and a seemingly die hard marketplace of customers, not because they provide a similar experience to the aforementioned alternatives).
 
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mikeavelli

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Fabulous Idea. Mercedes started one in London and it came to Atlanta. A small space probably not more than 1500 square feet but packed with two cars, some cool videos showing and merchandise. I left impressed. They then had one at Phipps Plaza across the street (sorry first one was at Lenox Mall).

As you all have stated, its a great way to let people experience a brand without it being singularly related to cars.
 
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