CRSKTN

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what do y'all think of the 2021 Genesis G80?
Looks good, very unique inside and out.

This G80's design hit a weird spot for me, and i suddenly became nostalgic for the Gen3 GS.
I don't have one, and never have, but i still think the Gen3 GS is a really really good looking car.




Also makes me sad about what the GS could be if they did it justice and told the bean counters off.

I think it proves that there is still room to carve out a niche for yourself, product-line wise, if you're actually willing to take it seriously.

I think Lexus needs to smarten up and stop assuming that in another decade from now they will continue to enjoy the relative market position they carved out for themselves.

If you look at Toyota group financials vs the Hyundai group, Toyota enjoys higher margins (close to 7% vs ~3%, for Hyundai down recently), and 1.5x the assets and an extra ~100,000 employees. That said, Lexus is not where they should be trying to realize that margin, especially given the relative scale to the larger TMC parent. Whatever benefit they had from gutting the GS efforts could've been equally offset by savings a dollar here or there in costs spread out over millions of parts, for example.

There's no good reason we shouldn't be seeing weird, semi-experimental product categories popping up at Lexus.

Just as the RX created a new segment, they need to make Lexus a test-bed for categories of products that might potentially only sell to curious, well-heeled people, but could later inform potential mass market product categories.

"hey, we tried creating this weird new shape/style of vehicle, with this weird combination of options and abilities (e.g. air filtration, UV light for interior disinfection, or other non-disease related features, like strange hybrid setups with unique benefits, etc), and it's selling really well! Maybe we can make a Toyota version or move these certain features across"

Suddenly a vehicle feature you sold to a moneyed individual starts to get attention, market demand lets you justify utilizing that R&D to take it to a larger market, and now you've got your improved capital efficiencies at scale to offset the initial risk taking.

I guess what i'm saying is Lexus needs to view their vehicle lineup like a Private Equity firm assessing something like a SaaS investment. You make targeted, smaller investments in 10, or 20 ideas, because you can make the 2 or 3 that hit such a huge success that the others don't register.

/daydreaming rant
 

bogglo

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Looks good, very unique inside and out.

This G80's design hit a weird spot for me, and i suddenly became nostalgic for the Gen3 GS.
I don't have one, and never have, but i still think the Gen3 GS is a really really good looking car.




Also makes me sad about what the GS could be if they did it justice and told the bean counters off.

I think it proves that there is still room to carve out a niche for yourself, product-line wise, if you're actually willing to take it seriously.

I think Lexus needs to smarten up and stop assuming that in another decade from now they will continue to enjoy the relative market position they carved out for themselves.

If you look at Toyota group financials vs the Hyundai group, Toyota enjoys higher margins (close to 7% vs ~3%, for Hyundai down recently), and 1.5x the assets and an extra ~100,000 employees. That said, Lexus is not where they should be trying to realize that margin, especially given the relative scale to the larger TMC parent. Whatever benefit they had from gutting the GS efforts could've been equally offset by savings a dollar here or there in costs spread out over millions of parts, for example.

There's no good reason we shouldn't be seeing weird, semi-experimental product categories popping up at Lexus.

Just as the RX created a new segment, they need to make Lexus a test-bed for categories of products that might potentially only sell to curious, well-heeled people, but could later inform potential mass market product categories.

"hey, we tried creating this weird new shape/style of vehicle, with this weird combination of options and abilities (e.g. air filtration, UV light for interior disinfection, or other non-disease related features, like strange hybrid setups with unique benefits, etc), and it's selling really well! Maybe we can make a Toyota version or move these certain features across"

Suddenly a vehicle feature you sold to a moneyed individual starts to get attention, market demand lets you justify utilizing that R&D to take it to a larger market, and now you've got your improved capital efficiencies at scale to offset the initial risk taking.

I guess what i'm saying is Lexus needs to view their vehicle lineup like a Private Equity firm assessing something like a SaaS investment. You make targeted, smaller investments in 10, or 20 ideas, because you can make the 2 or 3 that hit such a huge success that the others don't register.

/daydreaming rant
it's a shame we have to dream of what we want from Lexus with no hope of it happening. And now the virus just even made the future more uncertain. The 3GS is one of my favorite Lexus vehicles to date. I like the interior of the G80 but I think it closer to in look to the A7 than the 3GS. I wish Lexus can build something similar or maybe even a IS L.
 

Ian Schmidt

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The 2021 G80's exterior styling is overdone for me, but it seems like a nice car. I do think it's amusing that their "sport" version is rumored to be dropping the V8 in favor of a TTV6 making 420 hp. That sounds familiar.
 

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Frankly speaking, I have lost complete and total interest into this godforsaken brand, and I genuinely mean it, there is not even a tiny shred of care left in me anymore for Lexus. Also remember how enthusiastic and positive of a person I was towards this brand, and when things were going poor, I was still one of the few who kept being optimistic. Not anymore though. Those days are over. I still stand by my point that Lexus' most interesting cars are the LC, LS, GS, IS and GS F.

There comes a point that when the company is totally out of touch with what the market and what enthusiasts (or regular customers?! Did Lexus just forget about their regular buyers who expect more?) want out of the brand and they're just pissing about doing their own thing, there is no wonder that people are running away from Lexus.
You have to get used to product cycles and not to over-react to things :)

For instance you mention Toyota as company who cares about customer product - and really, Corolla, Camry, Avalon, Rav4, C-HR, Highlander (even 4Runner and LC) are great examples of this.... new Yaris and GR Yaris even better examples.

At the same time, 2-3 years ago based on these same assumptions, Toyota was a "god forsaken" dead brand who hates its customers.

I would have not bought a single car from Toyota for myself 2 years ago. Not a single car.
And I am a big TMC fan.

Heck, I got a low mileage 2015 A7 last summer when I was looking at my next car.

So was Toyota god-forsaken brand 2 years ago and now they are doing right by their customer?

p.s. there is absolutely nothing wrong in liking Genesis or BMW or Audi or MB or Porsche or... and TMC will never be able to compete against every single car they all build, just like they wont be competing well against every single car all of them build.
 
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You have to get used to product cycles and not to over-react to things
Nobody is complaining about the product cycles. Toyota is doing fine. Do you even read what I write or do you just blindly defend things?

For instance you mention Toyota as company who cares about customer product - and really, Corolla, Camry, Avalon, Rav4, C-HR, Highlander (even 4Runner and LC) are great examples of this.... new Yaris and GR Yaris even better examples.

At the same time, 2-3 years ago based on these same assumptions, Toyota was a "god forsaken" dead brand who hates its customers.

So was Toyota god-forsaken brand 2 years ago and now they are doing right by their customer?
Nope. Because we were seeing results from Toyota. We were seeing signs of life by looking at their future product line or seeing prototypes floating around. Also Toyota wasn't bad two years ago. They were pretty quiet and rested on their laurels in the mid-late 2000's and early 2010's but come ~2014/2015 they were beginning to get their mojo back. Your use case of that point doesn't apply to Toyota like it does to Lexus.
 
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Gecko

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You have to get used to product cycles and not to over-react to things :)
In all seriousness, this is the problem - and not just on this forum but also from the mouths of buyers, shoppers and even Toyota/Lexus executives themselves.
  • 11 years between changes for the LS
  • Now into the 12th model year for LX
  • Now into the 10th model year for GX
  • 7th model year for GS
  • 6th model year for IS
  • Rumor has the NX on an 8 year cycle (2014-2022) and RX on a 7 year cycle (2016 - 2023)
... there is no way to get used to product cycles because there is no new product or rhythm. Not enthusiasts, not people on forums - you go talk to real owners/buyers and they will all tell you the same: "I lease, and I wasn't going to go back and lease the exact same car for a second or third time in a row, so I went elsewhere." "My __ was getting close to 70,000 miles, and I always buy a new one around that time, but Lexus hasn't updated it at all so I got a BMW/Mercedes/Audi."

Then you have Hyundai, out of left field, coming with a RWD premium crossover and a RWD premium midsize sedan.

I don't know...? I am out of excuses and even brain cells thinking about this subject. The media, owners, enthusiasts and even employees have all been complaining and postulating about this for long enough that Lexus could have done something about it if they cared. They do not - it is absolutely crystal clear.
 
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I was referring to the media. And their incomplete/biased views drive people to make purchase decisions. It has nothing to do with buyer tastes. Consumers get misinformed all the time.
IDK, the media has always been biased one way or another, but you haven't given me an example to postulate which media is misinforming people. Or perhaps, you just disagree with their viewpoint.
 

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Not enthusiasts, not people on forums - you go talk to real owners/buyers and they will all tell you the same: "I lease, and I wasn't going to go back and lease the exact same car for a second or third time in a row, so I went elsewhere." "My __ was getting close to 70,000 miles, and I always buy a new one around that time, but Lexus hasn't updated it at all so I got a BMW/Mercedes/Audi."

Then you have Hyundai, out of left field, coming with a RWD premium crossover and a RWD premium midsize sedan.
Sure... except their sales are record worldwide. Not that I dont agree with you, but as I mentioned with Toyota example, 2-3 years ago if you watch it through those "enthusiast" eyes, TMC was a dead brand and now they are amazing brand... in reality, it is the same, and it is just product cycles. Their profits and sales very pretty high in 2017, and they are little bit higher in 2019.

And Genesis is losing billions for Hyundai, mostly because they still did not decide to invest more billions into building a dealer network and brand. Which does not mean that you should not buy Genesis, just that so far it has lost billions for Hyundai, so obviously they are making a lot of bad choices.

As it comes to new models, I though we "knew" that 2022 NX was coming out late 2011? And there is supposed to be something new this year If i read our favorite @Carmaker1 correctly. Plus, NX started sales in late 2014 as 2015 model :). RX also has a good refresh rates and it is pretty competitive on its own. Those two are not something I would complain a lot about.
 

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Sure... except their sales are record worldwide. Not that I dont agree with you, but as I mentioned with Toyota example, 2-3 years ago if you watch it through those "enthusiast" eyes, TMC was a dead brand and now they are amazing brand... in reality, it is the same, and it is just product cycles. Their profits and sales very pretty high in 2017, and they are little bit higher in 2019.

And Genesis is losing billions for Hyundai, mostly because they still did not decide to invest more billions into building a dealer network and brand. Which does not mean that you should not buy Genesis, just that so far it has lost billions for Hyundai, so obviously they are making a lot of bad choices.

As it comes to new models, I though we "knew" that 2022 NX was coming out late 2011? And there is supposed to be something new this year If i read our favorite @Carmaker1 correctly. Plus, NX started sales in late 2014 as 2015 model :). RX also has a good refresh rates and it is pretty competitive on its own. Those two are not something I would complain a lot about.
You are right... there are a few differences though. Toyota was coming up on many model cycle redesigns around the same time and had buzz around the Supra/FT-1, new Camry, new Avalon, FT-AC concept previewing the upcoming RAV4, FT-4X concept, then the Camry launched in 2018 with 300hp V6 and XSE trim, new A25A 4 cylinder, 8 speed automatics, the Corolla, 45mpg hybrids, TRD models were rumored for a year and a half, the list goes on. Toyota is not perfect, the middle and upper part of their SUV/Truck portfolio is extremely old, but they've been lucky and buoyed by the market shift to trucks. Overall, most of Toyota's core lineup is new and all of the buzz that was generated in 2016-2017 turned into kick ass new products. We had to wait for them, but all of those products were worth waiting for.

Since 2012, the only Lexus that has had significant positive buzz and fanfare is the LC 500. That was 2018 and now two years later, there is no word of LC F and they are just getting around to introducing a convertible. The LS has not been successful after a 10 year wait. GS and IS are on the same platform from 2012/2013 and engines from 2006. The NX and RX, while posting decent sales numbers, are showing their age and sorely outclassed by competitors. The UX was disappointing. RX L was botched. The ES came as nothing more than it has always been - a Toyota in Lexus clothing - and nothing else in the form of upgraded engines or drivetrain options like AWD. The GX and LX soldier on, we got the GS F that was 100hp behind the competition, and the RC/RC F that nobody cares about. The LM was just a badge engineering exercise of the old/existing Toyota Alphard, not even on a new chassis.

Since ~2017/2018, we've had rampant rumors and hype about LC F, new LS (fell flat), LS F, new V8s, ES getting AWD, the LF-1 concept, LF-1 F version, LF-1 two row version, LF-1 three row version, GS renewal, IS F returning, a four door coupe, a turbocharged 4 cylinder, new hybrids, electric powertrains, new super-luxe LX, next gen NX, new coupe with Mazda, etc. I am not saying that these things can't or won't come true, but for Toyota... all of the hype turned out to be real. For Lexus, it all turned out to be pipe dreams... unless you are shopping for a yacht or a magnetic hoverboard. Which is not applicable to anyone I know here.

And to bring this full circle to the point about Genesis: I do not think Lexus has been profitable for two or three years now either. So while Hyundai may be losing money on Genesis, there is good reason to believe Toyota is now losing money on Lexus. Johnny Lieberman was the first to call it out a year or so ago, but I have heard similar things from internal employees who say the current state of the product is because the board and bean counters are less and less willing to dish out the needed $$ to fix Lexus after more than a decade of mishaps and failures.
 

James

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You are right... there are a few differences though. Toyota was coming up on many model cycle redesigns around the same time and had buzz around the Supra/FT-1, new Camry, new Avalon, FT-AC concept previewing the upcoming RAV4, FT-4X concept, then the Camry launched in 2018 with 300hp V6 and XSE trim, new A25A 4 cylinder, 8 speed automatics, the Corolla, 45mpg hybrids, TRD models were rumored for a year and a half, the list goes on. Toyota is not perfect, the middle and upper part of their SUV/Truck portfolio is extremely old, but they've been lucky and buoyed by the market shift to trucks. Overall, most of Toyota's core lineup is new and all of the buzz that was generated in 2016-2017 turned into kick ass new products. We had to wait for them, but all of those products were worth waiting for.

Since 2012, the only Lexus that has had significant positive buzz and fanfare is the LC 500. That was 2018 and now two years later, there is no word of LC F and they are just getting around to introducing a convertible. The LS has not been successful after a 10 year wait. GS and IS are on the same platform from 2012/2013 and engines from 2006. The NX and RX, while posting decent sales numbers, are showing their age and sorely outclassed by competitors. The UX was disappointing. RX L was botched. The ES came as nothing more than it has always been - a Toyota in Lexus clothing - and nothing else in the form of upgraded engines or drivetrain hardware. The GX and LX soldier on, we got the GS F that was 100hp behind the competition, and the RC/RC F that nobody cares about. The LM was just a badge engineering exercise of the old/existing Toyota Alphard, not even on a new chassis.

Since ~2017/2018, we've had rampant rumors and hype about LC F, new LS (fell flat), LS F, new V8s, ES getting AWD, the LF-1 concept, LF-1 F version, LF-1 two row version, LF-1 three row version, GS renewal, IS F returning, a four door coupe, a turbocharged 4 cylinder, new hybrids, electric powertrains, new super-luxe LX, next gen NX, new coupe with Mazda, etc. I am not saying that these things can't or won't come true, but for Toyota... all of the hype turned out to be real. For Lexus, it all turned out to be pipe dreams... unless you are shopping for a yacht or a magnetic hoverboard. Which is not applicable to anyone I know here.

And to bring this full circle to the point about Genesis: I do not think Lexus has been profitable for two or three years now either. So while Hyundai may be losing money on Genesis, there is good reason to believe Toyota is now losing money on Lexus. Johnny Lieberman was the first to call it out a year or so ago, but I have heard similar things from internal employees who say the current state of the product is because the board and bean counters are less and less willing to dish out the needed $$ to fix Lexus after more than a decade of mishaps and failures.
Gecko I read your posts and I just get depressed. I wish you didn’t write them but the truth hurts I guess. Like I said in a different post let’s just hope we can forget this last decade and move on to this one and exciting things will come. Of course I think most will agree 2020 has had a terrible start
 

CRSKTN

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You are right... there are a few differences though. Toyota was coming up on many model cycle redesigns around the same time and had buzz around the Supra/FT-1, new Camry, new Avalon, FT-AC concept previewing the upcoming RAV4, FT-4X concept, then the Camry launched in 2018 with 300hp V6 and XSE trim, new A25A 4 cylinder, 8 speed automatics, the Corolla, 45mpg hybrids, TRD models were rumored for a year and a half, the list goes on. Toyota is not perfect, the middle and upper part of their SUV/Truck portfolio is extremely old, but they've been lucky and buoyed by the market shift to trucks. Overall, most of Toyota's core lineup is new and all of the buzz that was generated in 2016-2017 turned into kick ass new products. We had to wait for them, but all of those products were worth waiting for.

Since 2012, the only Lexus that has had significant positive buzz and fanfare is the LC 500. That was 2018 and now two years later, there is no word of LC F and they are just getting around to introducing a convertible. The LS has not been successful after a 10 year wait. GS and IS are on the same platform from 2012/2013 and engines from 2006. The NX and RX, while posting decent sales numbers, are showing their age and sorely outclassed by competitors. The UX was disappointing. RX L was botched. The ES came as nothing more than it has always been - a Toyota in Lexus clothing - and nothing else in the form of upgraded engines or drivetrain options like AWD. The GX and LX soldier on, we got the GS F that was 100hp behind the competition, and the RC/RC F that nobody cares about. The LM was just a badge engineering exercise of the old/existing Toyota Alphard, not even on a new chassis.

Since ~2017/2018, we've had rampant rumors and hype about LC F, new LS (fell flat), LS F, new V8s, ES getting AWD, the LF-1 concept, LF-1 F version, LF-1 two row version, LF-1 three row version, GS renewal, IS F returning, a four door coupe, a turbocharged 4 cylinder, new hybrids, electric powertrains, new super-luxe LX, next gen NX, new coupe with Mazda, etc. I am not saying that these things can't or won't come true, but for Toyota... all of the hype turned out to be real. For Lexus, it all turned out to be pipe dreams... unless you are shopping for a yacht or a magnetic hoverboard. Which is not applicable to anyone I know here.

And to bring this full circle to the point about Genesis: I do not think Lexus has been profitable for two or three years now either. So while Hyundai may be losing money on Genesis, there is good reason to believe Toyota is now losing money on Lexus. Johnny Lieberman was the first to call it out a year or so ago, but I have heard similar things from internal employees who say the current state of the product is because the board and bean counters are less and less willing to dish out the needed $$ to fix Lexus after more than a decade of mishaps and failures.
Which is crazy because Toyota parent company has nearly 2x the margins that the Hyundai group realizes, and had an extra 100+ billion USD on the balance sheet. A billion bucks phased over time to stimulate moonshot R&D shouldn't be out of the question for Toyota.
 

Gecko

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Gecko I read your posts and I just get depressed. I wish you didn’t write them but the truth hurts I guess. Like I said in a different post let’s just hope we can forget this last decade and move on to this one and exciting things will come. Of course I think most will agree 2020 has had a terrible start
At the end of the day, you have two really great Lexus products and should enjoy them for what they are! It is the future that concerns me, and makes me look back on the past with worry.
 

spwolf

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And to bring this full circle to the point about Genesis: I do not think Lexus has been profitable for two or three years now either. So while Hyundai may be losing money on Genesis, there is good reason to believe Toyota is now losing money on Lexus. Johnny Lieberman was the first to call it out a year or so ago, but I have heard similar things from internal employees who say the current state of the product is because the board and bean counters are less and less willing to dish out the needed $$ to fix Lexus after more than a decade of mishaps and failures.
This is simply not true at all. Lexus has always brought dissapropriate amount of net income to TMC, this does not change when they have record sales just because they are cancelling car that was selling badly.

You are looking at it from enthusiast sense, which is fine... but at the end of the day, Lexus had a record sales year worldwide and Toyota as a whole had a record sales and profitability worldwide.

Lexus selling more cars and discontinuing slow selling ones, does not make them less profitable.

So this is probably the most annoying rumor of them all, something that truly irks me... "decade of mishaps and failures".

Currently, Lexus has 150 U.S. dealers. Collectively, they have one of the industry’s highest throughputs or average vehicle sales per store, an important gauge of auto-retailing profitability.

“They know they are picked for specific reasons, a main one being the delivery of a great customer experience,” Williamsen tells journalists here. “They became the most profitable dealers on the planet.
July 2019

Lexus retained its position at the top of the table with 9.4 points. It scored highly across the range of questions as one of the most attractive franchises available in the UK market, strong on current and future profitability, capital investment, return on capital, volume targets, bonus and rebates, corporate standards, training and apprenticeships.

In the overall rating Lexus was followed by Mercedes (9.2), Toyota and Kia (8.9 each). The manufacturers with the lowest ratings were Abarth (3.8), Alfa Romeo (3.4) and Hyundai (3.2).
January 2020

For the second consecutive year, Lexus has been named No. 1 in the winter 2019 survey. The study measures dealer satisfaction with franchise value, automaker policies and the field staff who work for their automakers.

Global sales for January-December 2019 marked a new annual record high of 765,330 units (a 10% increase from the previous year). In addition to the well-received UX and redesigned ES, which were introduced in 2018, and the popular RX, which underwent a partial redesign in August 2019, the growth of the luxury market in China helped drive overall sales.

Toyota saw its first-half profits rise to an all-time high thanks to improving conditions in the US as the Japanese group bucked headwinds slowing the global car industry.

- There are some more recent ones but hidden behind the Autonews paywall (New Toyota chief saying Lexus profitability is good but they need new models).
 

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At the end of the day, you have two really great Lexus products and should enjoy them for what they are! It is the future that concerns me, and makes me look back on the past with worry.
I know I know. I love my two Lexus. My father in law bought us the NX for my wife’s graduation present (how the other half lives I guess lol) but when I was able to get my GS it felt like such a huge accomplishment for me. In my 20s always wanted a Lexus that I could afford and got what I wanted and I love it every day. But there are days I wish I woulda just splurged a little more for GSF, I mean who needs to retire some day lol
 

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If Lexus thinks they are profitable right now, you can only imagine if they had followed up the release of the ES with the new IS or even a prototype of what to expect. You have all the competition doing something to keep their customers engaged. Even Acura showed a prototype of the Type S.
 

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I will no longer be defending Lexus profitability after my terrible experience with my ES300h after just four months of ownership. If I were in USA I would be one of those owners who vote down their JD Power ratings.

Lexus heavily pushes its profits by aggressive cost cutting for ChDM where margins for luxury cars are much, much higher than in America. The likes of ES200 and NX200 are the reason why they are so successful. And they are playing a very dangerous game with their cost cutting (most infamously with use of subpar material in those '200' models) and immoral pricing. There will be a breaking point when people are no longer buying the 'made in Japan quality' argument and realize what they are actually buying.

Yes BBA are experts at doing shady stuff in China which is the reason I would buy zero product from them but they can afford to lose a lot of reputation compared to a 'second tier brand' like Lexus. I am terrified by whether they could maintain their reputation for quality while Genesis is improving at an incredible pace in every aspect except marketing. If you look at the JD Power reports their highest rated products are very very old and I am not sure if the same can be said for their newer products, especially when they are almost rushing out a full lineup in the next two or three years.
 
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This is simply not true at all. Lexus has always brought dissapropriate amount of net income to TMC, this does not change when they have record sales just because they are cancelling car that was selling badly.

You are looking at it from enthusiast sense, which is fine... but at the end of the day, Lexus had a record sales year worldwide and Toyota as a whole had a record sales and profitability worldwide.
The US market is the biggest troublespot for the brand, and yes, management has acknowledged that is their main concern here. Record year is nice if you are Lexus China, but the US team is asking Japan that they could've done better if they had new products. That was the Lexus spirit before. When Lexus first debuted at NAIAS in Detroit in 1989, what was the Lexus guy doing, parading around his new car? Nope, he was trying to get a better glimpse of the Infiniti Q45, because he wanted to be better than them. I would suggest re-reading The Lexus Story by Jonathan Mahler, and The Relentless Pursuit by Chester Dawson, who writes all these Toyota/Lexus articles for Bloomberg.
 
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Yes BBA are experts at doing shady stuff in China which is the reason I would buy zero product from them but they can afford to lose a lot of reputation compared to a 'second tier brand' like Lexus. I am terrified by whether they could maintain their reputation for quality when Genesis is improving at an incredible pace in every aspect except marketing. If you look at the JD Power reports their highest rated products are very very old and I am not sure if the same can be said for their newer products, especially when they are almost rushing out a full lineup in the next two or three years.
I really think its the power of brand cachet. Others I have thrown the idea at, also agree to some extent, that BMW and Mercedes holds a higher position than Lexus when it comes to higher end vehicles (above the ES and RX). While most of us here judge vehicles based on their merit, there still are people that would buy or LEASE from the Germans because of the perception. From my view of China from an ABC perspective, mainland Chinese are as brand conscious as many Americans, at least the ones that can afford to buy an EB5 Visa and an "expensive" home here.

This here is from WSJ from 2007, at the least, the pertinent information from the paywall'd article
 
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Ian Schmidt

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Which is crazy because Toyota parent company has nearly 2x the margins that the Hyundai group realizes, and had an extra 100+ billion USD on the balance sheet. A billion bucks phased over time to stimulate moonshot R&D shouldn't be out of the question for Toyota.
The frustrating aspect is that Lexus doesn't need a moonshot, they just need to crank out solid updates like Toyota has been doing.

I really think its the power of brand cachet. Others I have thrown the idea at, also agree to some extent, that BMW and Mercedes holds a higher position than Lexus when it comes to higher end vehicles (above the ES and RX). While most of us here judge vehicles based on their merit, there still are people that would buy or LEASE from the Germans because of the perception. From my view of China from an ABC perspective, mainland Chinese are as brand conscious as many Americans, at least the ones that can afford to buy an EB5 Visa and an "expensive" home here.
China's a good example of this because of the oft-cited popularity of Buick there, when it's largely considered to be a nicer Chevy in the US. (And that in spite of some genuinely good products in the last 10 years). I feel like GM's insistence on grouping it with GMC at dealerships in the US doesn't help.
 
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