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Lexus Face?

Barry Brownstein, professor of economics and leadership at the University of Baltimore, has served up some criticism of Lexus Japan’s new sales techniques:

A “Lexus Face” [a peaceful Ogasawara-style closed mouth smile said to put customers at ease] put on the face of a Lexus employee will fool nobody if either the employee does not have positive regard for their customer or the employee does not have autonomy to demonstrate their regard by the service they perform.

It is out of a frame of mind that has a genuine desire to be of service that we go beyond the need for technique. A “Lexus Face” may be better than a scowl, but not much better; especially if the “face” is not accompanied by sincere regard and the autonomy to be of genuine service.

Something Brownstein disregarded is his critique is that Lexus has consistently been tops in owner customer satisfaction since releasing their first car in 1989, and it’s doubtful this was achieved by anything less than a “genuine desire to be of service”.

I will agree that appropriating old world samurai techniques in a superficial way would come across as nothing but a farce (not to mention disrespectful), but even in the original WSJ article, it seems the employees are taking it to heart:

Yuka Miyazaki, 24, a Lexus sales consultant in Tokyo, says it took time, but she eventually became so accustomed to the manners she sometimes can’t shake them when she goes out. “I was at a coffee shop with friends the other night,” says Ms. Miyazaki. “And I bowed with both hands crossed at the waitress.”

All in all, there’s nothing in Lexus’ history to suggest that this is anything but a sincere attempt to make Japanese customers enjoy their car purchase.


Site of the Week: Club Lexus

One of the best things about being a car owner in the Internet age is access to people who know far more about your car than you do, and are willing to share their knowledge and help you at any turn.

There are plenty of Lexus enthusiast forums online, but one stands heads above the rest, Club Lexus:

Club Lexus Screenshot

The forums are broken up by model, and every area of the site could easily stand on its own. As a whole, it’s a dominating knowledgebase for any conceivable Lexus question.

There was nowhere more helpful while researching the purchase of my LS 400, and it’s the first place I turn to whenever I have a problem, or when I want to gauge the reaction of the Lexus community.

It’s an invaluable resource, and one I count on every day.


New Feature: Site of the Week

Today marks the beginning of a new feature: Site of the Week.

There’s a multitude of valuable websites out there, and it’s going to be hard choosing just one a week. Admittedly, they won’t all be exclusively Lexus, but each one will relate back to our favourite car brand.

If you have any suggestions,please contact me, I’d be happy to hear them.


Man Smashes Lexus With a Steel Pipe

If you’re adverse to automotive violence, best avert your eyes, as this guy has some serious pedestrian rage:

As is the nature of this type of video, I’m left with more questions than answers:

  • What was that all about?
  • Where did he get the steel pipe?
  • What is it with Russia and destroying Lexus’?

Motor Trend: Long-Term Lexus LS 460 Update

Lexus LS 460

Motor Trend staff have been driving their LS 460 for three months now, which makes it time for a seasonal update:

“The first time I tried it [parallel parking], it worked perfectly. Since then, however, I’ve tried it twice more, and it’s either scared me or just refused to work at all. Undoubtedly, I need to learn more about the system.”

As [Tech Editor] Reynolds discovers, though, the LS at least drives like a dream. “After journeying to Phoenix and back, I have to say that this is one fantastic machine for long-distance driving. My mileage for the round trip was 25 mpg, and the range is simply extraordinary-it appears to be about 530 miles on the highway.”

No cost for their 5000 mile service, but a cracked windshield ending up costing the magazine $2268.22 to replace (!!!) — rain-sensitive glass doesn’t come cheap.