Discussion in 'Lexus Lounge' started by krew, Nov 12, 2018.
Lexus Considers Trimming USA Vehicle Lineup
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I am going to assume the CT and GS as you mentioned. The LC and RC are getting updates.
I would not be surprised if RC is a "one and done" and Lexus' passenger car lineup just becomes IS- ES- LS- LC. If the trend towards light trucks continues, it is hard to justify another RC or "IS coupe."
With LC and LS struggling, it's probably hard to justify more expenditures for GA-L projects.
RC is still going to be around for another two years since RCF is getting mid-life refresh and a RCF GT is in the works. Lexus needs to bring the new generation IS. Lexus cannot afford to not compete with 3-series and 4-series since that is the segment that gets people into the luxury car segment especially the younger buyers. Cars like the RCF and the IS350 F-sport have done wonders by bringing in younger buyers who want a combination of everything and were not considering Lexus before.
If Lexus did not have RCF, I would be hard pressed to think about buying a Lexus considering it was the car that covers the performance/handling/luxury segment the best.
If Lexus decides to leave these segments out and focuses just on SUVs, large luxury sedans like LS, CUVs and a touring coupe like the LC then the median age issue will start creeping back up close to 60s, which is why Lexus started putting a lot of R&D into performance oriented cars in the first place to appeal to a younger demographic.
if they cancel LC convertible that would be the second time they've made the exact same mistake in product planning. Something really bad is going on behind the curtain inside Lexus. It has nothing to do with passenger cars or coupes taking the hit on the market, just ask Mercedes and BMW about sedans or Audi about coupes. Current IS doesn't have the shelf life for whole 7 years unfortunately, RC was hindered from the get go, GS is all done and gone and I'm afraid revenge of the bean counters will result in complete dismissal of GA-L as go to platform. Current IS will hurt new IS pretty badly just like how previous LS has hurt new LS as customers have already left and they are not looking back. GS people have left long time ago, heck even SC people have left during hiatus between SC and LC.
Combination of poor product planning, delivery, product gaps and technology deficit such as PUs have left premium side of Lexus in dire straits. They are now relying too much on their discount luxury RX and ES models which offer more for way less and that is not good in long term, that's exactly how you downscale to Acura. I find NX to be a magnificent case of applying the RX/ES formula in product design/development but when it comes to pricing or value it doesn't go that extreme as RX/ES go because there is no room to wiggle and it definitely reflects in sales. Yes it's selling well but in it's fourth year it's numbers are falling behind competition and that's something that has never happened to RX (It does happen to ES when compared to E-class and 5er)
You hit the nail on the head exactly, I'm a textbook example of how Lexus' strategy is actually working. I never even looked at Lexus before the introduction of the spindle-shaped grille, which just so happened to be on a blue IS350 F-Sport that I saw driving around on the streets of Toronto. Now I'm here, having considered and discarded a long list of cars that I would have liked to upgrade to, and I'm looking forward to the next gen IS (if it gets an engine upgrade to the TTV6). I had always thought of Lexus as a brand known for its comfortable SUVs - which I have zero interest in - but that changed after seeing that IS350 pulling away from a traffic light.
Which leads right into your next point - I don't see a lot of LS or LCs, and I don't care for any of the SUV/CUVs. I like the IS350, but it lacks an engine choice that interests me. With 2019 just around the corner and the next gen IS due in 2020, I can afford to take a wait-and-see approach and the hope is for Lexus to deliver something that appeals to a demographic more concerned about performance and sport than comfort and number of cupholders. If it comes with a TTV6 as rumored and is priced like the 340i / S4 / C43, then all is well. If not, then they might as well just cancel the IS line because the G70 is going to eat their lunch.
We all know from a lot of rumors that the next mid coupe will return to be IS coupe again so it doesn't make sense to get IS coupe and next generation RC
Pretty much post of the year, summarizing Lexus' strategy over the last decade. There is something that is not "connecting" at Lexus - maybe it is profit to the bottom line, I'm not sure.
Every brand has segments where they succeed - BMW with the 3, Mercedes with the S, Audi with the Q5, etc - but they don't stop selling everything else, pack up and go home when they can't hit volume targets with their other vehicles. The difference? BMW, Mercedes and Audi have invested much more in premium RWD/AWD platforms and powertrain technology so sharing hardware between everything from a volume 3 series to a flagship X7 means they can spread R&D costs around the lineup and make a better (internal) value proposition for low volume models. If the LS shared a platform with the RX, nobody would secretly be worried about the future of Lexus' flagship sedan.
Most of Lexus' ecosystem is tied to front wheel drive Toyota products, so that allows for a cost advantage but is a heavily compromised "luxury" car. Lexus has to carve out their own budget for engines, transmissions, platforms and technology that can live outside of the mainstream Toyota ecosystem, and it seems that budget has only gotten smaller. I've made this point repeatedly over the years, but if Lexus used a premium RWD architecture - like GA-L - for LS, LC, ES/GS, IS, RC, RX and "LQ/LF-1," it would revolutionize Lexus. This should have been how GA-L was handled, but it seems like that platform will be reserved for LS, LC, LF-1 and IS. The problem here is that the first three are low volume flagship products, and there is the volume IS but it's in a struggling sedan market. It's not hard to see Lexus deeming this limited-return investment not being worth their while in a future state.
I have actually started to envision a future for Lexus that is similar to Infiniti - no more RWD products, and they will move to electrification to power the rear axle, creating a lineup that is all FWD or AWD. There is some merit to this - it's not a bad strategy.
The biggest problem is not the product but these massive gaps in product planning - ten years for LS, ten years for GX, seven years+ for IS, ten years for LX. It sets shoppers up to be disappointed when they have waiting for so long - their anticipation and excitement builds - and then Lexus delivers a product that is fundamentally different or doesn't seem like as much of an improvement as they expected. Let's be frank: Lexus hasn't really been living up to the hype, or quite frankly, their own history lately. If LS had blown us away, I'd say all of these delays were worth it, but looking at that car, RC refresh, rumors of IS delays, no firm news on LX... it just seems like Lexus is trying to figure out how to do more with less, and that's not a premium strategy at all.
I will say Mercedes has also stated the same thing recently, cars are on the chopping block and many worry about their coupes.
The LC convertible is pretty much done whereas the RC convertible never really made it close to production. Dealers killed the RC convertible demanding the RX L instead.
They made the RC chassis as heavy as it is because they thought they would make a convertible.
Now they made the LC 300lbs heavier than necessary, because it should have had a convertible variant.
For the future. Please don't think about convertibles. Just make the cars 300lbs lighter. End of story...
So Lexus *shouldn't* plan products in advance? I thought that was their entire problem
Also, based on the renders of the LC convertible, those pounds are possibly the most necessary thing about the car, as long as it comes out.
The only ones I can see getting the ax here in the US is the GS, RC, and LC. I think Lexus is learning there's a cap what a Japanese manufacturer can command for a Luxury car, regardless of how well it's built. This is why LC sales are poor. People with 8 Series/S-Class coupe money just aren't interested in spending that money on something from Japan. Same goes for the LS to some extent. The europeans make that a very hard class for Lexus to compete in. As for the RC, people just don't seem that interested.
Well, then Akio Toyoda's claim that Lexus and boring will never used in the same phrase, would not hold true anymore (which came after Lexus' buyer's median age became close to high 50s).
What is going on at Toyota and Lexus? I thought they are on a roll recently.
Bracing for the next recession and hoarding enough cash to buy out the rest of the Japanese auto industry when they fail. Mazda and Subaru will probably just get absorbed outright. And it is very unlikely Honda will survive the next recession when they are bleeding money like now. The only one they couldn't swallow is Suzuki. Plus the amount they need to wage the arms race in EV, autonomous driving, alternative mobility or whatever buzzword. They have the money to fund a Mars Mission and go to the Moon along the way.
Funny how they are cutting unprofitable models while running even more unprofitable programs so Morizo can have some joy rides. Who knows, maybe Morizo is planning to build his space yacht.
Exactly! Lexus doesn't need to cut out any models. Lexus needs to bring in more models and variants! Bring to North America the IS 300h, IS F, LC and RC vert, LQ, Lexus EV's, etc...
Guys, if you're unhappy with Lexus in the US, well, then come to Europe first ... you're going to cry, I promise.
It's always easy to talk from the outside, but I think you can tell without a glass ball that Toyota/Lexus still has some homework to do.
The key question is: How satisfied is Akio with the status quo, and would his position be strong enough to bring about real change?
Time will tell.
Personally, I can definitely see Subaru and Mazda being owned by Toyota, but I would prefer them not to lose their own identity even when they've become Toyota's subsidiaries.
It would be really funny if Honda becomes part of Toyota Motor Corporation, all the Honda fanboys and fangirls will definitely go on a riot, well at least in my country.
Did you not notice that Lexus fans are most morbid of them all?
Actually Toyota/Lexus are on their highest profits in their history. But that does not mean they will support cars that simply do not sell, nor they have a reason to - if customers wanted to buy them, they would.
LC is halo so it is always going to be fine... but GS will certainly not be renewed after next year, and RC might get morphed into IS model range.
Toyota never does this... it took them 20 years to take control of Daihatsu which they were majority owners of.
Mazda and Subaru will never be another Toyota subsidiary, they just dont believe this is the correct method. They will use efficiency of scales sometimes, but they will continue competing against each other.