Toyota/Lexus Midsize FR Sedan Discussion (Crown, GS) - Replaced with a CUV?

What do you think it is?

  • Lexus GS

    Votes: 3 10.0%
  • Toyota Crown

    Votes: 24 80.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 3 10.0%

  • Total voters
    30

Sulu

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We need to confirm with ourselves some facts

Fact1
In Toyota whole history if there's a FF car and Toyota wants another car with same size but FR they simply do not switch the car instead they create the newly wanted FR

Fact2
Crown is 65+ years old and it gains a lot of heritage, a heritage can destroy Toyota name altogether in every market especially the markets where the crown already selling until now

Fact3
Crown always been sold as an executive FR vehicle E/5A6/XF

Fact4
TMC already had 2 FF in this same size

Fact5
Killing the Crown is like killing the Land cruiser both have nearly 1 year difference, and killing any of them = killing TMC altogether

Fact6
Toyota products keep going into the current luxury vibes such as a good building quality and SPORT, HANDLING quality which will never be available in GA-K

Fact7
Mazda newly i6 will be based on the GA-N and it will have at least 2 Mazda products "6 & CX9" + the Crown and the rumoured Toyota with the newly Mazda i6 taking the role of the Mark-X as a true 3/C competitor

____________________

From all those facts above the GA-N is here to stay and Toyota as a brand is going directly to be a Merc, BMW & Audi tier -1 luxury competitor

This already appeared in the newly current gen Yaris, and will be shine with the 13 gen Corolla and 2nd gen Corolla Cross as a true GLA / A competitor, in fact I even start hearing some rumors that Celsior and Soarer names will float to the service again and if and only if this is true, it will mean simply that the new era Toyota will play the role of Lexus but with a lot less MSRP over 10k at least at the beginning comparing to Lexus offers in the respective category and luxury old era Toyota, with Mazda and Subaru playing the current role of let's say ford to Lincoln"the new era Toyota"

That will leads us to how important the GA-N and the Crown
The Crown, as a Toyota model, has been around for more than 60 years. And many of Toyota's successful models have been given names deriving from "crown": Corona (the halo crown around the sun or the moon), Corolla (the petals of a flower as a crown), Camry (from the Japanese word "kanmuri" meaning "crown").

People who grew up in East and Southeast Asia (or visit frequently) cannot miss the Toyota Crown taxis, just like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the quintessential taxi in Germany.

I doubt that we will soon see the end of the Crown as a Toyota vehicle.

So, in this case what will happen to Lexus & Suzuki, as for Lexus it will have a more exclusive and luxury new chapter and for Suzuki it will continue in its current space
Do you mean Daihatsu rather than Suzuki? Daihatsu is owned by Toyota. Other than some small cross-ownership of shares and intention to work together on new technology, Suzuki and Toyota have little in common.
 

ssun30

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With all due respect, I have to disagree with that statement. One can like (and know a lot about) cars that provide comfort and do not assault your ears or kidneys. To be knowledgeable about cars does not necessarily have to be sport-oriented. For example, I have been a car enthusiast for over half a century.....but not a speed or aggressive-driving enthusiast. 😉
That statement is true for 'stereotypical' Japanese Crown owners (those who made their fortune during the Bubble Years). The underlying mechanical stuff really don't matter to them. They just need the car to behave. If you've been to Japan you know Crown owners are indeed very 'stereotypical'.

On the other hand, in China (Crown's second largest market) the loyalists are absolutely dedicated to RWD. They would not switch to the cheaper FWD Avalon and as a result the price of used S180/S200/S210 has been soaring this year. A 2008 Crown 3.0 may sell for ¥200k these days which is higher than a brand new Avalon 2.0. But in the end these people will switch to BBAL so this shouldn't be long-lasting.

So essentially, the Crown is a large/midsize premium sedan that primarily rides on nostalgia as a business case, is that right?

I have no idea if the Avalon will live to see another generation when so many of its competitors are dead or dying: Taurus, Impala, Buicks, the list goes on. Maybe Toyota has seen enough value to keep it going? I recall reading that the vehicle most commonly cross shopped with the ES is the Avalon, so it seems like Toyota could cut the Avalon and expect to keep a percent of those buyers in an ES. If they do, perhaps a version could also be platform engineered as a Crown.
Not just nostalgia, but also modesty which is a very important part of Japanese culture. The older generation of Crown owners may retire and no longer own a car soon, and the younger generations are more expressive than before, but there will always people who want unassuming luxury.

Maybe the Camry will keep growing and merge with the Avalon, and the two will differ only cosmetically like the ChDM Corolla/Levin duo. As a standalone vehicle it will probably be discontinued in USDM. Nothing prevents the Camry from growing now that there is an extra sedan between it and the Corolla.

People who grew up in East and Southeast Asia (or visit frequently) cannot miss the Toyota Crown taxis, just like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the quintessential taxi in Germany.
The S130 Crown Comfort has been discontinued and replaced by the hybrid JPN Taxi. It remained in poduction for so long because of its body-on-frame construction and solid rear axle giving it extra ruggedness (this should sound familiar to Americans). It was the last generation of Crown built with utility in mind. The Bubble Economy transformed the S150 generation onwards (S140 was a stop-gap) into true luxury vehicles built on expensive Lexus platforms. I don't think a GA-N Crown could be cheap enough for fleet operations in developing nations.

I think Asian markets have mostly switched to Corolla and Innova for taxis.
 
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In US, yes... sedans are down, Avalon is down too... however, Avalon has started sales in China, and it is selling like hotcakes, making it best selling Avalon... ever.

Between Avalon and ES, they will probably sell over 400,000 units.
That's good that China wants America's sedans...dealers here would make a killing on the gray market if Toyota didn't import them. We get here for pennies, whereas they can mark them up over there.
 

Gecko

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We need to confirm with ourselves some facts

Fact1
In Toyota whole history if there's a FF car and Toyota wants another car with same size but FR they simply do not switch the car instead they create the newly wanted FR

Fact2
Crown is 65+ years old and it gains a lot of heritage, a heritage can destroy Toyota name altogether in every market especially the markets where the crown already selling until now

Fact3
Crown always been sold as an executive FR vehicle E/5A6/XF

Fact4
TMC already had 2 FF in this same size

Fact5
Killing the Crown is like killing the Land cruiser both have nearly 1 year difference, and killing any of them = killing TMC altogether

Fact6
Toyota products keep going into the current luxury vibes such as a good building quality and SPORT, HANDLING quality which will never be available in GA-K

Fact7
Mazda newly i6 will be based on the GA-N and it will have at least 2 Mazda products "6 & CX9" + the Crown and the rumoured Toyota with the newly Mazda i6 taking the role of the Mark-X as a true 3/C competitor

____________________

From all those facts above the GA-N is here to stay and Toyota as a brand is going directly to be a Merc, BMW & Audi tier -1 luxury competitor

This already appeared in the newly current gen Yaris, and will be shine with the 13 gen Corolla and 2nd gen Corolla Cross as a true GLA / A competitor, in fact I even start hearing some rumors that Celsior and Soarer names will float to the service again and if and only if this is true, it will mean simply that the new era Toyota will play the role of Lexus but with a lot less MSRP over 10k at least at the beginning comparing to Lexus offers in the respective category and luxury old era Toyota, with Mazda and Subaru playing the current role of let's say ford to Lincoln"the new era Toyota"

That will leads us to how important the GA-N and the Crown

So, in this case what will happen to Lexus & Suzuki, as for Lexus it will have a more exclusive and luxury new chapter and for Suzuki it will continue in its current space
A lot of very insightful information here, so thank you. Just to be clear, I am not expecting the Crown to go away, but was rather questioning if it could be a part of a cost savings exercise and switch to GA-K or e-TNGA with other similar midsize products in the future. Historically, Crown, IS, GS and Mark X all shared platforms and parts, and now, GS and MarkX are gone, and IS is on the way out as well, leaving just the Crown. Electrification will become the great equalizer and Toyota knows that.

Part of what I find so interesting is that Toyota has RWD premium products like the Crown, but is killing Lexus' RWD lineup in GS and IS. Perhaps they see declining sedan sales in the USA, realize they can't crack the code in Europe, and the Crown is dominant in Japan and Asia so they stick with it?

Do we have new rumors or confirmation that Mazda is using GA-N? I don't know how to say this nicely, but if Mazda gets access to GA-N for their midsize products (sedans, coupe, CUV) and everything Lexus produces in that range is FWD and "Toyota plus" platform engineered, I think that shows how much Toyota cares about Lexus. It will tell me that Toyota views Lexus as a thirty year experiment that ultimately failed, so they are acting accordingly and investing elsewhere.

One of the biggest struggles many of us have had is that Toyota products have gotten so much better while Lexus products have been fairly stationary and not shown the same level of improvement if any at all. If Toyota has aspirations of inching further upmarket and is considering bringing back names like Celsior and Soarer, what really is the purpose of Lexus?
 

maiaramdan

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A lot of very insightful information here, so thank you. Just to be clear, I am not expecting the Crown to go away, but was rather questioning if it could be a part of a cost savings exercise and switch to GA-K or e-TNGA with other similar midsize products in the future. Historically, Crown, IS, GS and Mark X all shared platforms and parts, and now, GS and MarkX are gone, and IS is on the way out as well, leaving just the Crown. Electrification will become the great equalizer and Toyota knows that.

Part of what I find so interesting is that Toyota has RWD premium products like the Crown, but is killing Lexus' RWD lineup in GS and IS. Perhaps they see declining sedan sales in the USA, realize they can't crack the code in Europe, and the Crown is dominant in Japan and Asia so they stick with it?

Do we have new rumors or confirmation that Mazda is using GA-N? I don't know how to say this nicely, but if Mazda gets access to GA-N for their midsize products (sedans, coupe, CUV) and everything Lexus produces in that range is FWD and "Toyota plus" platform engineered, I think that shows how much Toyota cares about Lexus. It will tell me that Toyota views Lexus as a thirty year experiment that ultimately failed, so they are acting accordingly and investing elsewhere.

One of the biggest struggles many of us have had is that Toyota products have gotten so much better while Lexus products have been fairly stationary and not shown the same level of improvement if any at all. If Toyota has aspirations of inching further upmarket and is considering bringing back names like Celsior and Soarer, what really is the purpose of Lexus?
Regarding the GA-N for Mazda, it was a rumor of best car Japan from year ago and we will see if it true or not

Regarding Celsior and Soarer same from around 2 years when the Supra appears

So take them with tons of salt until we see

But if and only if they really do it, it will simply means RIP to the 30 years Lexus, either with how it looked out during the 30+ years or RIP it altogether which I highly doubt about the second, and I do believe it will be a Porsche/Ferrari/A.Martin competitor

Suzuki will be the key for TMC as it will be the budget carmaker in the group with Mazda and Subaru as premium carmaker not lux but also a mainstream, now the Toyota which generation by generation getting into the luxury lines and with the GR super sport hyper car Toyota may have the first 7 digit production car ever!
 

mmcartalk

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On the other hand, in China (Crown's second largest market) the loyalists are absolutely dedicated to RWD. They would not switch to the cheaper FWD Avalon and as a result the price of used S180/S200/S210 has been soaring this year. A 2008 Crown 3.0 may sell for ¥200k these days which is higher than a brand new Avalon 2.0. But in the end these people will switch to BBAL so this shouldn't be long-lasting.
I'm not sure it's a FWD vs. RWD issue. The Crown is probably more comfortable to drive and ride in.......Toyota over-stiffened the Avalon's underpinnings back in 2013, and was forced to ease up by 2016...but the Crown is still a cushier-riding vehicle by nature.
 

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If the Crown continues I fully expect it to be on a shortened LS platform ala the upcoming Toyota Mirari.

A shame we can’t get a GS on it.
Mirai is the only platform mate to the Crown, both riding on the midsize GA-N TNGA architecture. I think GA-L is probably too expensive and heavy for anything below the LS in price.
 

ssun30

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Lexus is in such state today precisely because the 30 year experiment of trying to mimic BBA failed, and that a different kind of experiment (actually pioneered by Acura) succeeded immensely: rebadging Toyotas and selling for a premium. It works so well that they don't deem the extra effort of creating dedicated FR products necessary. Ultimately so many new challengers tried to be the 'fourth German brand' and failed. Cadillac became the latest victim: their high profile push of the CT4/CT5/CT6 trio in China failed after just a year and the ES outsells the three combined despite being more expensive than all of them. And in its home market Cadillac sedans might as well be dead. They had so much hope for the new RWD platform yet it's the FWD crossovers that keeps it in the fight for the No.4 spot.

I think the Mazda GA-N rumor holds a lot of water for one simple reason: their next Skyactiv-X engine is Inline-6 which does not fit in GA-K. If Mazda wants to use that engine they have to use GA-N.
 

mikeavelli

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Mirai is the only platform mate to the Crown, both riding on the midsize GA-N TNGA architecture. I think GA-L is probably too expensive and heavy for anything below the LS in price.
Okay I thought I read somewhere it is LS based but I see Toyota calling it a new RWD platform so I’m confused a bit.

 

maiaramdan

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Mirai is a true GA-N, it's rebadged restyled Crown with Lexus interior and Hydrogen power

@ssun30 , totally agree with you
The success of the FF killed the vision of FR brand, and also believe as you that Mazda next i6 Skyactiv-X, will be based on the GA-N as well, which I believe Toyota will use this engine for the maximum benefit as usual

See guys now Toyota have
86
Supra
Yaris GR

Soon
GR super sport hyper car

In pipeline
Corolla GR

Rumoured
Celica
MR
Sourer

So we are talking about 4-8 performance bespoke cars

GR is what the F visioned before!
GR is what the F needed to be!


 
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Sulu

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Lexus is in such state today precisely because the 30 year experiment of trying to mimic BBA failed, and that a different kind of experiment (actually pioneered by Acura) succeeded immensely: rebadging Toyotas and selling for a premium. It works so well that they don't deem the extra effort of creating dedicated FR products necessary. Ultimately so many new challengers tried to be the 'fourth German brand' and failed. Cadillac became the latest victim: their high profile push of the CT4/CT5/CT6 trio in China failed after just a year and the ES outsells the three combined despite being more expensive than all of them. And in its home market Cadillac sedans might as well be dead. They had so much hope for the new RWD platform yet it's the FWD crossovers that keeps it in the fight for the No.4 spot.

I think the Mazda GA-N rumor holds a lot of water for one simple reason: their next Skyactiv-X engine is Inline-6 which does not fit in GA-K. If Mazda wants to use that engine they have to use GA-N.
Agreed. I have thought and tried to say this for a while now. Buyers who want a German luxury sports sedan, buy a Mercedes-Benz or BMW, not a Cadillac, not an Infiniti, not a Lexus.

Cadillac has failed at being an American-German hybrid luxo-sport brand (I believe that Lincoln is on the right track by trying to be boldly American; time will tell is this is true). Infiniti has failed at being a Japanese-German hybrid luxo-sport brand.

I believe that Lexus is coming to terms with this by cancelling German-influenced products that do not sell, including the GS and V8 engines.

If you want to drive a Lexus, accept it and embrace it for what it is, which is a Japanese luxury brand (just as Lincoln is now an American luxury brand). Accept and do not laugh at the Japanese cues that are now showing up in the LS and UX.
 

maiaramdan

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@Sulu , you are true but "THE CURRENT LEXUS LINEUP IS NOT JAPANESE"

What's Japanese product
Answer: from early 70th - late 90th products

Well built, FR with very reliable engine, German comparable internal fit & finish came with cheaper prices than the German and little bit over the American

So if you put those aspect in the current Lexus lineup, the only cars can be called Lexus or even Toyota will be
IS
GS - RC
LS - LC
GX
LX

All other FF cushy products are here just for NA markets

It's identity loss, which if you asked most of people about the homeland of Lexus they will tell you USofA

Same identity loss can be found in Acura and even Honda itself which had plans before to change its HQ to US

I am not against American makers, I am against the loss of the identity, if the European stay European why the Japanese failed to stay Japanese

The Japanese never had that pure FF until mid 90th, before of that even the Corolla can be bought with FR aka 86!

The bright thing happened to Toyota lately with the last 5 years by more performance GR and more FR based vehicles

Hope it will be a U-turn to see the Japanese glory of the past returning back again
 
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Ian Schmidt

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@Sulu , you are true but "THE CURRENT LEXUS LINEUP IS NOT JAPANESE"

What's Japanese product
Answer: from early 70th - late 90th products

Well built, FR with very reliable engine, German comparable internal fit & finish came with cheaper prices than the German and little bit over the American
The LS prior to the 5th gen was *always* an obvious German wannabe. It was RWD because the S-Class was. The styling was the way it was because of the S-Class and 7 Series. And so on. TMC lately has been leaning much harder into being proudly Japanese, on everything from the cut glass on the LS to the anime-like styling on the Prius. Small front-drive cars rule JDM. Those historically are the true Japanese products (and pre-Lexus were pretty much exclusively what American buyers thought of as Japanese).
 
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The LS prior to the 5th gen was *always* an obvious German wannabe. It was RWD because the S-Class was. The styling was the way it was because of the S-Class and 7 Series. And so on. TMC lately has been leaning much harder into being proudly Japanese, on everything from the cut glass on the LS to the anime-like styling on the Prius. Small front-drive cars rule JDM. Those historically are the true Japanese products (and pre-Lexus were pretty much exclusively what American buyers thought of as Japanese).
I agree, but don't forget that so many of Japan's cars that ended up being popular were (turbocharged), RWD, light, sports cars or just fun to drive vehicles if you will. Those weren't made to copy the Germans (not to mention they weren't styled like German cars were, but were quite otherworldly in styling and weren't reserved like you see in German design), but to just kick some ass and to really enjoy driving.

I was thinking about it yesterday, of how insane it must have been to encounter a Japanese car back then (say ~30-40 years ago). The qualities I mentioned above, fitted with the latest technology and an aftermarket infotainment/sound system really takes your mind to how "techy" Japan can be. You think of big cities like Tokyo to the monsters that Japanese marques created in their factories to how Japanese cartoons (anime) was booming as well. Now the latter may not sound relevant, but if you were to really think of the little things that contributed to the spirit of Japanese car culture, it's quite beautiful. Compare that to cars that everyone else built. They were insanely cool and were full of passion but it doesn't have that aura that made Japanese vehicles unique. Being insanely well built, reliable, and had an insane car culture. Not to mention how much proud they are of their own country.

I don't think the copying Germans was done because they wanted to be German or European per se, but rather it is because that was the successful formula in the flagship luxury market. Once Lexus (in this case) became extremely popular and later on became established and renowned car manufacturer, they easily showed their Japanese side.
 
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Sulu

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@Sulu , you are true but "THE CURRENT LEXUS LINEUP IS NOT JAPANESE"

What's Japanese product
Answer: from early 70th - late 90th products

Well built, FR with very reliable engine, German comparable internal fit & finish came with cheaper prices than the German and little bit over the American

So if you put those aspect in the current Lexus lineup, the only cars can be called Lexus or even Toyota will be
IS
GS - RC
LS - LC
GX
LX

All other FF cushy products are here just for NA markets

It's identity loss, which if you asked most of people about the homeland of Lexus they will tell you USofA

Same identity loss can be found in Acura and even Honda itself which had plans before to change its HQ to US

I am not against American makers, I am against the loss of the identity, if the European stay European why the Japanese failed to stay Japanese

The Japanese never had that pure FF until mid 90th, before of that even the Corolla can be bought with FR aka 86!

The bright thing happened to Toyota lately with the last 5 years by more performance GR and more FR based vehicles

Hope it will be a U-turn to see the Japanese glory of the past returning back again
Few Toyota buyers outside of Japan -- other than enthusiasts -- will remember that Toyota once offered RWD sedans. The Toyota sedans and car-based utility vehicles that we know today in North America -- Yaris, Corolla, Camry, Avalon, C-HR, RAV4, Highlander -- are all FWD-based vehicles and have been for many years.

The Yaris and its predecessor (Tercel) has always been FWD, since its introduction (as the Tercel) in 1980.

The Camry, as a standalone model, has always been FWD, since the early 1980s (almost 40 years ago).

The Corolla switched to a FWD platform soon after.

The Avalon replaced the RWD Cressida in the early 1990s (almost 30 years ago). I remember the Cressida here in Canada (mainly because an acquaintance hung on to a model long after it had been replaced because they could not afford a new car) but few current Toyota buyers would remember.

The crossovers have always been FWD-based vehicles.

As for the newest Lexus models, they are incorporating more Japanese cultural cues (unfortunately, I have seen some on internet forums laugh at them). I am referring to the unique Kiriko glass trim in the LS; to the washi instrument panel in the UX. These are uniquely Japanese styling cues. I would argue that the external styling of the UX is also uniquely Japanese.
 

Sulu

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I don't think the copying Germans was done because they wanted to be German or European per se, but rather it is because that was the successful formula in the flagship luxury market. Once Lexus (in this case) became extremely popular and later on became established and renowned car manufacturer, they easily showed their Japanese side.
Agreed. This is what I have been trying to explain; this is the now well-established process by which a new automaker introduces a new line-up of vehicles to the market. Toyota did this 50+ years ago; Hyundai did this 30+ years ago; Lexus did this 30 years ago; and Genesis is doing it now.

The new automaker copies already well-established models from other automakers (but at lower, value prices) to attract notice to the brand. Once the new automaker and new brand has become popular and established, it can start to style its vehicle uniquely, and start to price the line-up competitively (rather than as a discount brand).

An established automaker that insists on continuing to design, build and sell copy-cat, discount-priced vehicles will not be taken seriously by many buyers (a few buyers will want to buy discount-priced vehicles but probably not enough to keep the automaker afloat).
 

maiaramdan

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Few Toyota buyers outside of Japan -- other than enthusiasts -- will remember that Toyota once offered RWD sedans. The Toyota sedans and car-based utility vehicles that we know today in North America -- Yaris, Corolla, Camry, Avalon, C-HR, RAV4, Highlander -- are all FWD-based vehicles and have been for many years.

The Yaris and its predecessor (Tercel) has always been FWD, since its introduction (as the Tercel) in 1980.

The Camry, as a standalone model, has always been FWD, since the early 1980s (almost 40 years ago).

The Corolla switched to a FWD platform soon after.

The Avalon replaced the RWD Cressida in the early 1990s (almost 30 years ago). I remember the Cressida here in Canada (mainly because an acquaintance hung on to a model long after it had been replaced because they could not afford a new car) but few current Toyota buyers would remember.

The crossovers have always been FWD-based vehicles.

As for the newest Lexus models, they are incorporating more Japanese cultural cues (unfortunately, I have seen some on internet forums laugh at them). I am referring to the unique Kiriko glass trim in the LS; to the washi instrument panel in the UX. These are uniquely Japanese styling cues. I would argue that the external styling of the UX is also uniquely Japanese.
Unfortunately , you are right
you want know what truly JDM are unless you are Senior in age 30 yrs old or more

under 30 is brainwashed by the FF & crossover Toyota's
 

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This is a really good conversation and I enjoy the perspectives being shared here - global, Japanese nostalgia, competition changing, etc.

Around the era of L-Finesse in ~2012, it became clear to me that Lexus was settling into a more authentic Japanese identity, which is something I had been hoping for. Now in 2020, as some of us look at the brand and say, "Lexus is just becoming more Japanese, and going the route of Acura and Infiniti," I'm just not sure that's really a good explanation. And is it a good plan?

If we're talking about the idea that "Lexus is shifting to become more like Acura and Infiniti," it needs to be realized that both of those are struggling brands, they are not in nearly as many global markets as Lexus, and neither has historically been as profitable as Lexus. Part of Lexus' success has been the massive investment that Toyota made in products like the LS (flagship), IS (brought young buyers to the brand) and GS (aspirational, mid-level performance sedan) as halo models offset by core/cash cows like the ES, RX, GX and LX which are Toyota badge/platform engineering exercises.

In the context of Japanese luxury brands, Lexus is a brilliant example of "You have to spend money to make money." Nissan and Honda never invested in Infiniti and Acura the way that Toyota invested in and built Lexus. The results and consequences of those decisions are obvious. So saying that Lexus is going the way of "Toyota+" with implied/observed lower levels of investment is concerning to me because I wouldn't say it has worked well for Infiniti or Acura who struggle to turn a profit and are constantly reinventing themselves every 3 years to try to stay relevant.

With that said, I do still think there is a way this plan can work. Toyota is stronger than it has ever been, and much stronger than Nissan or Honda, so if we want to talk about scaling up mainstream products, Toyota should be better at it than the other two. But I think the question becomes how far does that go? And how long do we run this experiment before we decide it did or didn't work - and how much damage does that do to the brand? I understand the demise of the GS and see the opportunity for the ES to fill a much larger gap and make the GS irrelevant. It seems to me that Toyota feels so strongly about the capabilities of TNGA FWD platforms that they can replace RWD products with them. Maybe that's true, but we are still waiting to see the results of this thinking for Lexus. GS was cancelled late term so the ES was compromised as a result, and the clock is ticking for the NX and RX.

The RX and NX are in particularly vulnerable positions IMO because now the RAV4 and Highlander and better than they've ever been, the RDX, MDX and QX60 are already "luxury lite" offerings that compete at the lower end of the price scale, and that is starting to leave Lexus in no-man's-land. I think the formula for the next NX is pretty simple, but the RX formula is nearing the point of needing a revolution instead of an evolution to stay competitive. A $50k FWD Toyota-based crossover with sub-300hp is going to be fighting off competition from all sides: below, alongside and above. RX used to have a unique identity and was a well executed premium product. The next one needs to return to that formula or there will be even more trouble for Lexus. The world has not stood still, especially not in the compact and midsize CUV segments.

If the upcoming ES, NX and RX come with truly next-gen powertrains, hardware and technology strapped into an up-leveled TNGA-K execution, they will be a success. I'm talking about torque vectoring AWD, a new ~300hp turbo 4cyl, 10ATs, new best-in-class hybrids and plugins, an uplevel ~375-400hp option for ES and RX, safety technology, and truly original Japanese execution for their interiors. But past performance is the best predictor of future success, and all of those products have historically been Toyotas with a little more sound deadening, leather and bigger screens. Toyota seems to be getting the best of everything while we wait to see what Lexus has in store, which is letting current products decay past the point of being competitive, and creates higher expectations for next gen products - from dealers, buyers and enthusiasts.

To me, wading downmarket is a pretty big risk for Lexus who has earned their riches being the most premium Japanese luxury brand. And how did they do that? By investing more in differentiated products. Maybe they can stay the course with the help of TNGA, but it's a pretty big risk. We're still waiting for product execution as a way to judge this strategy. Lexus has kept us waiting for a long time already, and foolish pet projects like hoverboards, jets, boats and rewards programs are not excuses for a lineup that's uncompetitive, and it casts greater doubt that the company knows what they are doing. But let's hope they do. I think it can be done right, but we're going to need some proof of that pretty soon...
 

maiaramdan

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@Gecko , agree with you

but with some points

1) Lexus won't be a truly nostalgic JDM with the FF
2) with the new RAV4 / Harrier = Venza & Highlander are so good that if they really wanted to revolutionize them, they need to change the current FF to GA-N FR as X3 / GLC - X5 / GLE competitor instead of making them on GA-K as more unneeded luxed version of the RAV4 / Harrier = Venza & Highlander

this is the only way for Lexus to becoming more Japanese and separate itself as more Mercedes / BMW competitor
 
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