Will Genesis hurt Lexus?

Gecko

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So, does Lexus now have to catch up to Genesis?

If you answer yes, you are admitting that Lexus is still, even after 30 years, an immature, not-yet-established luxury brand; you are admitting that Lexus is still (like Genesis) a "me-too!" brand.

If, however, you answer no, you are admitting that Lexus is now a mature and established luxury brand that has the courage to stand up for itself and offer its own, unique lineup of vehicles.

I think it can be a bit of both.

Looking at interior and exterior design (the most obvious form of brand expression), Lexus has now settled into a unique identity that is clear and individual. Looking at LS, LC, IS refresh... I love it and you can tell it's a Lexus. Flagship product feels special, while even entry level products look good and have a family resemblance. Lexus has done this much better than the Germans, IMO, where a $35k C class looks like a $120k S class.

Looking at their product mix/identity is much more scattered where F has come and gone, RWD product seems to be taking a second seat to FWD, we're still waiting for next gen everything outside of LS, LC, ES and UX, hybrids, BEVs, etc. I was thinking the transition to TNGA would put some of these product pieces together but it seems to be taking longer than we anticipated. So... I think within the next 5 years, the Lexus lineup should be more cohesive.
 

mmcartalk

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And they do need to fix the Bentley ripoff logo, it makes the whole brand feel cheap and tawdry.

I'm not sure what you mean by "cheap". I understand the general comparison between the Genesis and Bentley wing-logos, but I don't necessarily see anything wrong with that. Plenty of automakers use the same basic general-design for their logos. For example, look at Ford, Land-Rover, and Kia. All three use the exact same oval-shape, with only the colors being different......Ford blue, Land-Rover green, and Kia red or black. Hyundai and Honda use more or less (though not exact) the same H-pattern in an oval outline,

And, if you examine the build-quality of a Genesis product, it is anything but cheap. Shut the doors with a nice solid thud, examine the materials inside, the fit/finish, general precision of assembly, and you will find that it is as good or better than anything in its class. 👍

(And, BTW, Mini also uses a wing-logo like Bentley.)
 
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Gecko

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You can't have it any more backwards.

Your post is the exact reason why BMW and MB can sell with lower reliability and interior quality, than Lexus, while Lexus provides value contrasted to those brands, more bang for the buck. Since the 1LS, Lexus has since moved up in brand power and consumer demand while somebody takes their previous place, which is essentially just scraps for Infiniti, Genesis, Acura, and Cadillac to fight over. It is absolutely no question that while Lexus is not MB, it has its own base and foundation and is culturally accepted as a luxury brand, despite the disagreements of some hardcore enthusiasts.

What Genesis is doing now is an investment, likely razor thin margins or taking losses while they try to establish their foundation, which hasn't really been working so far but in all fairness, they need more time.

Lexus now has sustainable margins with global volume growth. There is no way they are cutting those margins to fulfill the dreams of fanboys who may not even buy the car they are clamoring loudest for. V8, TT, and never-ending expectations of horsepower figures. Some of you guys will just never be satisfied. I don't even know if thats being an enthusiast or an eternal pessimist. Maybe the new term for you all should be "Lexus Karens".

Hi, Lexus Karen here.

I don't understand how my post "can't be any more backwards" when it references Hyundai/Genesis and not BMW/Mercedes. Please elaborate? I actually agree with most of your post except for the dramatic closing.

I'm also humored by the continued exaggeration that certain voices here are ravenous enthusiasts who don't understand how to run a business and won't be happy with anything less than 800HP and 0-60 in 1.9 seconds. Let's be real for a second: Lexus powertrains and drivetrain technology are so far behind the competition that asking for a 350hp IS350 or a 475hp LS doesn't mean I don't understand business - it means I'm aware of what the competition offers, how it's selling, and want Lexus to do better both for the sake of product parity now and their long term brand outlook. That's really it - we're asking Lexus to be competitive and stop slipping behind.

Furthermore, Toyota made a lot of promises when TNGA was announced - better cars, more personality and performance, new engines, new transmissions, new AWD systems, faster speed to market and much more. I think I speak for many when I say that we are only looking for Lexus to fulfill those promises. Is it OK if they're taking some extra time? Yes, I think so, especially if the products come and are worth the wait. But the longer they take, the more people who leave the brand for something else, the more the competition evolves/improves and the more that anticipation builds.

Take a look at sales of the 6 year old S Class compared to the 2 year old LS. The LS was historically outselling the S Class before Lexus neglected it for a decade and then botched the redesign. Now Lexus can barely move the LS with $10k discounts while Mercedes is handily outselling them with a much older model. Same can be said for the IS, the list goes on.

Asking for Lexus to be competitive at a product level doesn't make me or anyone else an eternal pessimist. Acting like everything is fine and Lexus can continue selling hardware from 2006 is exactly how this type of corporate complacency becomes problematic.
 

Joaquin Ruhi

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I understand the general comparison between the Genesis and Bentley wing-logos, but I don't necessarily see anything wrong with that. Plenty of automakers use the same basic general-design for their logos. For example, look at Ford, Land-Rover, and Kia. All three use the exact same oval-shape, with only the colors being different......Ford blue, Land-Rover green, and Kia red or black. Hyundai and Honda use more or less (though not exact) the same H-pattern in an oval outline
A valid point. And, if you're talking winged logos, may as well add the Chrysler brand to Genesis, Bentley and Mini.
 

mmcartalk

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A valid point. And, if you're talking winged logos, may as well add the Chrysler brand to Genesis, Bentley and Mini.

Thanks 🙂.....I forgot Chrysler. Yes, years ago, Chrysler replaced the 5-point Pentastar with the long/narrow wing-logo.
 

mikeavelli

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I'm not sure what you mean by "cheap". I understand the general comparison between the Genesis and Bentley wing-logos, but I don't necessarily see anything wrong with that. Plenty of automakers use the same basic general-design for their logos. For example, look at Ford, Land-Rover, and Kia. All three use the exact same oval-shape, with only the colors being different......Ford blue, Land-Rover green, and Kia red or black. Hyundai and Honda use more or less (though not exact) the same H-pattern in an oval outline,

And, if you examine the build-quality of a Genesis product, it is anything but cheap. Shut the doors with a nice solid thud, examine the materials inside, the fit/finish, general precision of assembly, and you will find that it is as good or better than anything in its class. 👍

(And, BTW, Mini also uses a wing-logo like Bentley.)

It’s an issue cause I see it brought up all the time how it’s a copy. And let’s remind ourselves the cars are mashes of other cars.

You don’t want your badge to immediately remind you of another brand unless you are content with being a copy.
 

Ian Schmidt

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I'm not sure what you mean by "cheap". I understand the general comparison between the Genesis and Bentley wing-logos, but I don't necessarily see anything wrong with that. Plenty of automakers use the same basic general-design for their logos. For example, look at Ford, Land-Rover, and Kia. All three use the exact same oval-shape, with only the colors being different......Ford blue, Land-Rover green, and Kia red or black. Hyundai and Honda use more or less (though not exact) the same H-pattern in an oval outline,

I mean that for a brand that started out literally copying recognizable styling elements from other cars (something they've thankfully gotten past), it's not a good look to have a logo that looks a lot like someone else's. Makes the whole thing feel a bit like buying a "Folex" watch on a street corner in Manhattan.

mmcartalk said:
And, if you examine the build-quality of a Genesis product, it is anything but cheap. Shut the doors with a nice solid thud, examine the materials inside, the fit/finish, general precision of assembly, and you will find that it is as good or better than anything in its class. 👍

In my (certainly more limited than yours) experience they're as nice as other Hyundai/Kia products (which I have a high opinion of), but they don't stand out beyond that. I think that's going to be a lot of their problem: in a market that's devalued and is moving away from traditional luxury (RWD V8 sedans), Hyundai's base products are already very compelling. And Genesis has no brand cachet, so you might as well get the Palisade.
 

Levi

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Before getting to know the Lexus brand, I did not know from which country it was, but I thought of an Asian copy of Mercedes, even the logo looked like a Mercedes star copy with one spoke missing. That is how I viewed Lexus before understanding the brand and appreciating it.
 

mmcartalk

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Before getting to know the Lexus brand, I did not know from which country it was, but I thought of an Asian copy of Mercedes, even the logo looked like a Mercedes star copy with one spoke missing. That is how I viewed Lexus before understanding the brand and appreciating it.


The original LS400 was, to a large extent, a styling-copy of the then-Mercedes S-class. But it was a clear improvement in several ways. It offered better reliability, a lower price, as good or better driving-refinement, and the ability to share some of its parts and service with lower-cost Toyota dealerships.
 
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At this point, Genesis isn't hurting Lexus at all. The RX and ES are stalwarts, and the GV80 SUV hasn't come to market yet. The G80 is nice, but obviously, the sedan market isn't great. The outgoing IS isn't as competitive to the newer G70 but then, neither car is hurting the 3er/C Class and even Lexus knows that. But mostly, the brand is still way behind in perception, and there aren't any dealers. Some Hyundai stores that did have a franchise have pulled back.
 

LexsCTJill

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Hi, Lexus Karen here.

I don't understand how my post "can't be any more backwards" when it references Hyundai/Genesis and not BMW/Mercedes. Please elaborate? I actually agree with most of your post except for the dramatic closing.

I'm also humored by the continued exaggeration that certain voices here are ravenous enthusiasts who don't understand how to run a business and won't be happy with anything less than 800HP and 0-60 in 1.9 seconds. Let's be real for a second: Lexus powertrains and drivetrain technology are so far behind the competition that asking for a 350hp IS350 or a 475hp LS doesn't mean I don't understand business - it means I'm aware of what the competition offers, how it's selling, and want Lexus to do better both for the sake of product parity now and their long term brand outlook. That's really it - we're asking Lexus to be competitive and stop slipping behind.

Furthermore, Toyota made a lot of promises when TNGA was announced - better cars, more personality and performance, new engines, new transmissions, new AWD systems, faster speed to market and much more. I think I speak for many when I say that we are only looking for Lexus to fulfill those promises. Is it OK if they're taking some extra time? Yes, I think so, especially if the products come and are worth the wait. But the longer they take, the more people who leave the brand for something else, the more the competition evolves/improves and the more that anticipation builds.

Take a look at sales of the 6 year old S Class compared to the 2 year old LS. The LS was historically outselling the S Class before Lexus neglected it for a decade and then botched the redesign. Now Lexus can barely move the LS with $10k discounts while Mercedes is handily outselling them with a much older model. Same can be said for the IS, the list goes on.

Asking for Lexus to be competitive at a product level doesn't make me or anyone else an eternal pessimist. Acting like everything is fine and Lexus can continue selling hardware from 2006 is exactly how this type of corporate complacency becomes problematic.

Do you ever think you might have just outgrown the brand? Maybe its time to move on...Lexus is clearly attracting new buyers as there worldwide sales are up 8%....they are after new younger buyers.
 

zeusus

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Hi, Lexus Karen here.

I don't understand how my post "can't be any more backwards" when it references Hyundai/Genesis and not BMW/Mercedes. Please elaborate? I actually agree with most of your post except for the dramatic closing.

Asking for Lexus to be competitive at a product level doesn't make me or anyone else an eternal pessimist. Acting like everything is fine and Lexus can continue selling hardware from 2006 is exactly how this type of corporate complacency becomes problematic.

Thanks and yes I do agree with a lot of what you say too.

Dramatics? I agree! You saying Lexus may lose 200k IS units of sales and hundreds of millions of dollars as a complete hypothetical, literally one day after it's global launch, is not rooted in reality whatsoever and sounds quite dramatic to me. You definitely give off the eternal pessimist vibe, its not exactly a secret how negative you are on Lexus.

When it comes to competition, the golden rule is to always punch up and never punch down. Why should Lexus even give Genesis the time of day? Which piece of the pie did the Genesis take from Lexus that they absolutely need to claw back? The biggest chunk of sales lies within the top US 3 its not a big margin of difference in sales up there. Thats the major disconnect between enthusiasts and reality. You think if Lexus doesn't do X,Y,Z, to excite the enthusiast community, they will fail hard in the mass market. In that case, yes, your business sense is off and is being blinded by your passion for the brand. Don't misunderstand me though, its great to have passion, as we all do here. I'm often blinded by my own passion as well.

I don't think anybody here wants Lexus to be a complacent company. I am not shy to call out Lexus when necessary but since the culture here leans heavily negative, I'm of the belief that some positivity is in order. Is that allowed here?
 
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suxeL

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Genesis is not going to hurt Lexus...they dont make FWD vehicles thus far. I know a select few here love to throw out the global sales growth of 8% as the boom but those are made primarily on the backs of FWD champions like the ES, UX, NX, RX and weirdly enough LM.
 

Sulu

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I mean that for a brand that started out literally copying recognizable styling elements from other cars (something they've thankfully gotten past), it's not a good look to have a logo that looks a lot like someone else's. Makes the whole thing feel a bit like buying a "Folex" watch on a street corner in Manhattan.



In my (certainly more limited than yours) experience they're as nice as other Hyundai/Kia products (which I have a high opinion of), but they don't stand out beyond that. I think that's going to be a lot of their problem: in a market that's devalued and is moving away from traditional luxury (RWD V8 sedans), Hyundai's base products are already very compelling. And Genesis has no brand cachet, so you might as well get the Palisade.
You are correct that Genesis has no brand cachet -- yet. But that is what it is trying to do. It is trying to establish brand cachet by trying to prove that they are worthy of the cachet of a luxury brand.

The derivative styling language and the derivative logo attract buyers by fooling them into thinking it is a new Mercedes-Benz (or some other established luxury) model. Lexus did this when it first came out 30 years ago.

Once the styling has attracted shoppers, it has to keep those shoppers and turn them into buyers by offering a lot of features for dollars less than the luxury competition. Lexus did this also when it first came out 30 years ago.

If it is able to keep those luxury buyers -- and keep them loyal -- then it has proven that it is worthy of the cachet of a luxury brand; but it will have to maintain that cachet and not lose it. Once it has done that, it has to start establishing its own identify and establish itself as a mature luxury brand. Lexus has done that. Lexus has its own identity. Lexus must not lose its identity as an established luxury brand.

It seems that Genesis is trying to establish its own visual identity, while still wearing the "value brand" label. Whether this will be successful, I do not know. It cannot wear the value brand forever. A previous value brand -- Kia -- realized this and has been working hard to rid itself of the label.
 
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Genesis is not going to hurt Lexus...they dont make FWD vehicles thus far. I know a select few here love to throw out the global sales growth of 8% as the boom but those are made primarily on the backs of FWD champions like the ES, UX, NX, RX and weirdly enough LM.
Hyundai group hired Albert Biermann from BMW M to tune their suspensions, in order to compete with Ze Germans and other performance oriented vehicles. They're not paying him to to create floaty suspensions on cars that compete with the RX and NX.
 

LexsCTJill

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Genesis is not going to hurt Lexus...they dont make FWD vehicles thus far. I know a select few here love to throw out the global sales growth of 8% as the boom but those are made primarily on the backs of FWD champions like the ES, UX, NX, RX and weirdly enough LM.

Why don’t you just say my name? sales are what matter. Brand growth. Lots of people like FWD. ps. I have both any my Lexus is RWD based.
 

LexsCTJill

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You are correct that Genesis has no brand cachet -- yet. But that is what it is trying to do. It is trying to establish brand cachet by trying to prove that they are worthy of the cachet of a luxury brand.

The derivative styling language and the derivative logo attract buyers by fooling them into thinking it is a new Mercedes-Benz (or some other established luxury) model. Lexus did this when it first came out 30 years ago.

Once the styling has attracted shoppers, it has to keep those shoppers and turn them into buyers by offering a lot of features for dollars less than the luxury competition. Lexus did this also when it first came out 30 years ago.

If it is able to keep those luxury buyers -- and keep them loyal -- then it has proven that it is worthy of the cachet of a luxury brand; but it will have to maintain that cachet and not lose it. Once it has done that, it has to start establishing its own identify and establish itself as a mature luxury brand. Lexus has done that. Lexus has its own identity. Lexus must not lose its identity as an established luxury brand.

It seems that Genesis is trying to establish its own visual identity, while still wearing the "value brand" label. Whether this will be successful, I do not know. It cannot wear the value brand forever. A previous value brand -- Kia -- realized this and has been working hard to rid itself of the label.

I have never heard the Lexus logo is like a Mercedes argument before. Respecting your POV, I do not agree. Lexus pinned their logo to the grill at the time, Mercedes was on the hood popped up like a Cadillac or Buick back then.
 
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suxeL

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Why don’t you just say my name? sales are what matter. Brand growth. Lots of people like FWD. ps. I have both any my Lexus is RWD based.

We are in agreement on sales matter hence why I said Lexus is absolutely printing money with their mass market FWD platforms. RWD platforms are being cancelled, super refreshed, or being repurposed as pet projects. Genesis isnt a threat until we see FWD platforms.

As we have discussed in previous threads, Lexus is shrinking in the US market (rumored to have not turned a profit in 2 years), but globally, specifically China its growing.