The Official "I'm Struggling with Lexus" Thread

Gecko

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So my question is, have Lexus changed their focus to other customer groups? Or is it just a question of extremly bad product cadace? Do not blame it on Covid-19 - other brands is clearly better in their product line, with new products and new teqnology.

What makes me sad is that Lexus raised my expectations with last gen GS, then RC F, GS F and LC. Was all in for them, bying them as soon you could place an order. There was always something special to evolve with and enjoy. And now?!☹
My theory is that around 2004 - 2010, Lexus had aspirations of going upmarket and creating more halo/performance vehicles (LFA, IS F, LS 600hL, etc) but this plan changed greatly in the following decade due to several unfortunate events and unforeseen market shifts -- resulting in numerous delays and now, Lexus' current state.

The early/mid-2000s glory period was fueled by a booming luxury car market, Lexus growth and dominance in the USA as the #1 luxury brand, and logical next steps for a growing luxury marque. This period is where a lot of the love and affinity for the Lexus brand was built - 2IS, IS F, GSh, RX 400h, LS L, etc - but I think of this as the "old Lexus" which is very different from today, and why some people are so frustrated now.

... then you had the global financial/economic crisis and Japanese earthquake and tsunami from 2008 - 2011, which shook everything, but especially luxury goods and vehicles, likely causing Toyota to re-evaluate what Lexus needed to be and would look like in the future. LFA survived but I think this is where Toyota started to pull back on development of Lexus-only projects like GS, RC, etc.

... then the desire for the TNGA movement was born internally which shifted dollars and focus away from one-off projects and platforms to modularized, shared platforms and components, making it more difficult to justify low volume (and RWD) projects. A positive upside of TNGA is that new, state-of-the-art FWD biased/hybrid/AWD chasses and technologies made RWD seem less necessary. This is where it becomes clear that the ES could replace the GS, 4LS life is extended to prepare for what becomes GA-L, and substantial development for a next gen IS is probably scaled back.

... "Experience Amazing" is born as a marketing tagline trying to glamorize the experience of Lexus ownership: a massive shift from what has historically been a product-focused advertising approach for Lexus. This helps buoy sales and brand awareness but among enthusiasts, leads to some confusion about strategy and direction.

... light trucks overtake passenger cars globally, making a nearly impossible case for further, substantial development in RWD (low volume) sedans. GS is cancelled internally and repurposed as Mirai, IS receives minimal budget for a 2021 refresh, LS project continues on with LC for the sake of heritage and keeping face.

... shortly after, it becomes clear that the appetite for electric vehicles is growing and should become a focus point for Toyota going into the future. eTNGA is born, but takes significant R&D commitment to bring Toyota to parity in the space with the eventual goal of being a leader. This investment has to come from somewhere, so I assume this was the third strike against Lexus' high performance/F future.

... Toyota's unibody vehicles were clearly prioritized for the rollout of TNGA, and then later, the concept of a body-on-frame TNGA construction is born for global trucks and SUVs that represent a significant part of Toyota's portfolio: Fortuner, Hilux, Prado, Land Cruiser, etc. This delays the redesign for Land Cruiser, Tundra, LX, GX and 4Runner. Tacoma gets a substantial refresh. Sequoia, previously cancelled, is brought back to the drawing board. This is yet another substantial investment, but one that must be made for the future and likely pulls resources, focus and dollars away from traditional projects (Lexus).

... As all of this is happening, Lexus products seem somewhat forgotten but continue to sell based on their reputations (NX, RX) or enjoy the benefits of being developed in tandem with TNGA Toyotas (ES, UX). However, now that the foundation of TNGA has been set over the last five years, it will soon be Lexus' turn for a reboot with all that has been learned and developed during phase 1 of TNGA.

All of these events created some obvious casualties but also lead to the creation of a very different new Lexus brand going forward. F, gas V8s, sedans and RWD are pretty much off the table or receive minimal investment while core models are redesigned or newly launched. The new Lexus will be CUV-focused, built upon the best TNGA hardware and technology that is available at the time (e-axle, trick AWD, bigger batteries), flexible for gas and electricity, and focused on design. There will still be some passion projects like the LS that are maintained for as long as they are viable, but they will have to shift to meet changing market demands.

It will take some time to see exactly how this new Lexus will come to life, but I think the framework has been set as above. All eyes will be on the new NX and LX launches next year to see what to expect in the future.
 
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My theory is that around 2004 - 2010, Lexus had aspirations of going upmarket and creating more halo/performance vehicles (LFA, IS F, LS 600hL, etc) but this plan changed greatly in the following decade due to several unfortunate events and unforeseen market shifts -- resulting in numerous delays and now, Lexus' current state.

The early/mid-2000s glory period was fueled by a booming luxury car market, Lexus growth and dominance in the USA as the #1 luxury market, and logical next steps for a growing luxury brand. This period is where a lot of the love and affinity for the Lexus brand was built - 2IS, IS F, GSh, RX 400h, LS L, etc - but I think of this as the "old Lexus" which is very different from today, and why some people are so frustrated now.

... then you had the global financial/economic crisis and Japanese earthquake and tsunami from 2008 - 2011, which shook everything, but especially luxury goods and vehicles, likely causing Toyota to re-evaluate what Lexus needed to be and would look like in the future. LFA survived but I think this is where Toyota started to pull back on development of Lexus-only projects like GS, RC, etc.

... then the desire for the TNGA movement was born internally which shifted dollars and focus away from one-off projects and platforms to modularized, shared platforms and components, making it more difficult to justify low volume (and RWD) projects. A positive upside of TNGA is that new, state-of-the-art FWD biased/hybrid/AWD chasses and technologies made RWD seem less necessary. This is where it becomes clear that the ES could the GS, 4LS life is extended to prepare for what becomes GA-L, and substantial development for a next gen IS is probably scaled back.

... "Experience Amazing" is born as a marketing tagline trying to glamorize the experience of Lexus ownership: a massive shift from what has historically been a product-focused advertising approach for Lexus. This helps buoy sales and brand awareness but among enthusiasts, leads to some confusion about strategy and direction.

... light trucks overtake passenger cars globally, making a nearly impossible case for further, substantial development in RWD (low volume) sedans. GS is cancelled internally and repurposed as Mirai, IS receives minimal budget for a 2021 refresh, LS project continues on with LC for the sake of heritage and keeping face.

... shortly after, it becomes clear that the appetite for electric vehicles is growing and should become a focus point for Toyota going into the future. eTNGA is born, but takes significant R&D commitment to bring Toyota to parody in the space with the eventual goal of being a leader. This investment has to come from somewhere, so I assume this was the third strike against Lexus' high performance/F future.

... Toyota's unibody vehicles were clearly prioritized for the rollout of TNGA, and then later, the concept of a body-on-frame TNGA construction is born for global trucks and SUVs that represent a significant part of Toyota's portfolio: Fortuner, Hilux, Prado, Land Cruiser, etc. This delays the redesign for Land Cruiser, Tundra, LX, GX and 4Runner. Tacoma gets a substantial refresh. Sequoia, previously cancelled, is brought back to the drawing board. This is yet another substantial investment, but one that must be made for the future and likely pulls resources, focus and dollars away from traditional projects (Lexus).

... As all of this is happening, Lexus products seem somewhat forgotten but continue to sell based on their reputations (NX, RX) or enjoy the benefits of being developed in tandem with TNGA Toyotas (ES, UX). However, now that the foundation of TNGA has been set over the last five years, it will soon be Lexus' turn for a reboot with all that has been learned and developed during phase 1 of TNGA.

All of these events created some obvious casualties but also lead to the creation of a very different new Lexus brand going forward. F, gas V8s, sedans and RWD are pretty much off the table or receive minimal investment while core models are redesigned or newly launched. The new Lexus will be CUV-focused, built upon the best TNGA hardware and technology that is available at the time (e-axle, trick AWD, bigger batteries), flexible for gas and electricity, and focused on design. There will still be some passion projects like the LS that are maintained for as long as they are viable, but they will have to shift to meet changing market demands.

It will take some time to see exactly how this new Lexus will come to life, but I think the framework has been set as above. All eyes will be on the new NX and LX launches next year to see what to expect in the future.
Just an update. LC F is back in development if you didn't know. There's hope.
 

Gecko

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Just an update. LC F is back in development if you didn't know. There's hope.
I did see a rumor about that from I think Best Car or MagX... talking about IS F, LS F and LC F? I cast doubt on that one because it seems like IS 500 is coming, not IS F, and I feel like LS F would have been announced with the 2021 refresh? Who knows... Lexus is hard to track...
 

Jonas

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So I made a bad decision then. If it is the future that you are describing (Gecko) I will not even wait for two more years, I am out, going somewhere else, there is plenty of alternatives to spend my money, as Lexus is not interested anymore. Maybe even go next year.
 

Jonas

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Sorry, Wolkswagen -.

Lexus will not be boring, Akido promised.

Now Lexus starts boring me. UX etc. Toyota and Wolkswagen are beginning to be more exiting.

Lately, I am so disapointed... spent so much supporting the brand, that I´m angry and thinking of selling my newly aquired RX.
 

James

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So I made a bad decision then. If it is the future that you are describing (Gecko) I will not even wait for two more years, I am out, going somewhere else, there is plenty of alternatives to spend my money, as Lexus is not interested anymore. Maybe even go next year.
Jonas I totally get it and I agree. I have until next year to make my decision but literally there is nothing I want/need to own. The new IS looks great but it's too small. My wife says we need a bigger SUV besides the NX so my options are a 12 year old GX or 15 year old LX (not sure on the math here lol) and it's just sad. When I got my GS in 2017 I thought when my lease was up I would have an option for a new GX, LX, maybe LF1 by that time or shortly after and there is none of it right now. To have literally zero options is just crazy to me and now I am less than 12 months away from having to make a decision. I keep thinking we will get news of something but the months just keep going by and there is nothing, not even a glimmer shot of something new.

Another problem that drives me nuts is i see the new IS 350 and I'm like damn what a beauty of a car. Seriously the outside is incredible. But then they don't do anything interior or add a new engine or anything else. They show this great potential and then just fail to make it perfect. What happened to the pursuit of perfection?

Lastly, what @Gecko said I think above. The money went to Toyota first to make it better. If Lexus is the luxury brand shouldn't the additional resources go to make Lexus better first? I don't have evidence of this so if someone does please tell me, would you think that VW would get the latest stuff over Audi? Audi seems to have all the latest stuff in it. No evidence of this so please don't kill me on this last part lol
 

Gecko

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Lately, I am so disapointed... spent so much supporting the brand, that I´m angry and thinking of selling my newly aquired RX.
I think many of us have gone through this to some degree - I certainly have. As dramatic as it may sound, part of it is almost like going through the grieving process. I really LOVED Lexus, so much so that the stupid decisions over the last ten years were really upsetting me and to some degree impacting me personally.

About 3-4 years ago, I made a decision to somewhat detach myself from Lexus and go with a much less personal relationship. I sold my GS and LS and got Toyotas. We are in the process of getting rid of our IS 350 for a 2021 Camry. None of that is out of spite - it's because I no longer see the value in Lexus and no longer have such a strong attachment to the brand. It just is what it is.

These days, it's hard to be loyal to any one brand, and even then, brand loyalty is not what it once was. You have to go with what makes you happy. Consumers are fickle - me included. I assume that there are some things about your RX that you really enjoy, which is why you bought it. If so, focus on the things you like as the next few months go by, and check back in to see where Lexus is at when you're ready to replace it. If there is no progress and nothing you like, let yourself go elsewhere.
 

Jonas

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The new IS as anything semi new that Lexus comes out with lately, steal a bit from LC and some details like headlights and design from F:s etc. Nice packaging design, but...
 

Gecko

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Lastly, what @Gecko said I think above. The money went to Toyota first to make it better. If Lexus is the luxury brand shouldn't the additional resources go to make Lexus better first? I don't have evidence of this so if someone does please tell me, would you think that VW would get the latest stuff over Audi? Audi seems to have all the latest stuff in it. No evidence of this so please don't kill me on this last part lol
I have been puzzled by this for 4 years now, and agree. Historically, Lexus DID get the best of everything first and then it trickled down to Toyota. It's quite obvious that we are now living in an era where Toyota is the focus and Lexus is the afterthought... it just is what it is.
 

James

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I have been puzzled by this for 4 years now, and agree. Historically, Lexus DID get the best of everything first and then it trickled down to Toyota. It's quite obvious that we are now living in an era where Toyota is the focus and Lexus is the afterthought... it just is what it is.
If that's the world we live in so be it but to pay a premium for Lexus that doesn't have things that maybe a Toyota does is downright disturbing and just not right in the slightest...
 

Jonas

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So, It seems a lot of loyal customers her, who has been bying new Lexus every second or third year. What will happen to Lexus when we go and other incentives kick in in the car market? In my country as well as GB, them could try selling a new SUV?
 

ssun30

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@Gecko has such a wonderful summary of all the decision making within TMC in the past decade. There are two points I would like to add:
1. Due to a period of good world economic recovery starting from 2012, demand for vehicle quality has increased dramatically since then. This is why 'regular' car makers are increasingly moving upmarket and put considerable pressure on luxury brands. In the Great Recession days the distinction between premium and commuter cars was very significant. There's no better example in the compact car and SUV category. Within this market conditions, TMC HAS to step up the game to make the main brand competitive, so Toyota gets top priority. The price of failing to do so is severe: look at how quickly Nissan fell from the world's largest car maker (together with Renault) to barely staying alive today.
2. People tend to underestimate how ridiculously expensive electrification costs in R&D. Toyota was responsible for almost 50% of electrified vehicle research for two decades, especially in fundamentals such as materials science. Toyota has such dominance in hybrids today and they spent A LOT of money to do it right. I've repeatedly said that theoretically, Honda's i-MMD is a superior system to HSD/THS. But the real world implementation is so much inferior. And remember Honda has the second most know-how in hybrid technology. Toyota also knows very well that committing to full electric is a suicidal move, since the world's supply chain CANNOT support tens of millions of battery electric vehicles a year. Because there is currently no commercially viable way to recycle materials used in batteries and motors, a rush to full electric will be an environmental disaster when they become unusable in 15 years. Developed nations that ban ICEs will simply throw their own problem to developing nations like they already do today (garbage recycling is the biggest lie in environment protection).

So in summary, Toyota is planning some very long term moves to ensure the survival of the brand in the next decade. Lexus is such small part of the picture that its only role is to have a stable market share in developed markets and fast growth in developing markets. And it has done that job very well despite the under-investment.
 
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Jonas

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Nice points.

But my point is that there still has to be cars, new cars, premium models, that consumers find interesting to buy compered with other brands.

Else, the market starts to evaporate for Lexus and there is a lot competition out there.

What I do not understand is that Lexus with relatively simple measures could be more competitive.

A plug-in for example. Everybody else now have them and new tax inventives in for example Sweden will kill the current NX and RX hybrids.

For those who gladly pay for some performance, the lineup is underpowered. Still, should it not be quite simple to upgrade the performance just a bit?

So what do we get, a electrified small UX, why buy it compared with the alternatives?

Others are already electrical, e-hybrids, or turbos, chargeable or a mixture, have more horsepowers, are faster and better tax incentives than Lexuses.

And for pure performance cars... for entusiasts...

Used to be proud buying a new Lexus, something special. Now its me looking at other new cars while driving around. This will impact the brands value more than Lexus seems to understand.

No, Lexus is not doing a good job.
 

maiaramdan

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Honestly I was in the same angry level as you guys

But from the day the Yaris-GR appeared and this new system of FF/FR/AWD in 1 car appeared I was amazed

And I believe that this is system will be in every new Lexus & Toyota and maybe this is the reason of the different rumours about the next NX / RX some rumours said they will be FR and other FF, maybe they will be both with this new system

And with this new system alone , I will forgive TMC for any late if true, so I will sit behind and watch carefully the NX & RX and if true , TMC got a winner in their hands
 

Jonas

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But it is in a Yaris Toyota GR (Gazoo racing) - not in any Lexus (yet anyway).

It fels strange to go to Toyota and hope what they have will be in somewh in the future Lexus models...

Like, that is a nice thing in that bulk Mercede, wonder when they have an AMG with that feature. Or nice thing in i Wolkswagen, hope they introduce it in a Porsche...
 

maiaramdan

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I feel your feelings
Maybe it's just as a laboratory or testdog for the new tech
I mean, it's bad that VAG group take the tech from Skoda I really know what's your exact feeling

But the tech itself will be really a game changer
 

Jonas

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Merry christmas, to you all.

But this december will not be one i like to remember, Lexus.

Do not want to continue complaining.

Akido Santa may just be delayed, bringing presents later in the new year.

But, it is not nice to grow up and not believing in Lexus anymore.
 
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I’m not sure why they aren’t announcing products to keep excitement up. I mean just announce the danged is500 or IS-f. My guess is they still haven’t decided how to proceed in the middle of a pandemic, which I suppose is understandable Most people I know have no idea that theres a refreshed IS.

not the greatest analogy but my wife asked me to get an iPad for our daughter. The iPad Pro uses a 2 year old chip and hasn’t been refreshed vs the new air that has the A14. Seems silly to pay more for the older tech even tho it is their flagship.
 

maiaramdan

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I think they just afraid about Lexus reliability face, so they are testing all the new techs with Toyota first until they mastering all of them and then spread them all
 
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