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straight cash homie
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Discussion Starter #1
TOKYO — New Lexus vehicles have been turning heads lately, but the company's global boss still isn't satisfied with the brand.

In the span of just one month, Lexus has upped the excitement by introducing a sexy new droptop LC coupe, a new full-electric UX crossover and the attention-getting LF-30 concept car.

But Lexus International President Yoshihiro Sawa says he is unsatisfied with the premium marque's positioning. Lexus is still a small player on the world stage, behind Germany's Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi, he points out. Its brand following varies from market to market. And in the critical U.S. battleground, Lexus is shackled with an aging customer base.

Sawa doesn't mince words about whether he's content with the shape of things: "Not yet," Sawa said on the sidelines of the Tokyo Motor Show this fall.

His comments came shortly after Lexus showed its futuristic, wedge-shaped LF-30 electric concept car. And since then, Lexus has unveiled a convertible version of its LC 500 convertible for the U.S., along with a full-electric version of the UX compact crossover for Europe, China and Japan.

New offerings may help Lexus tackle one key weak point: low volume and variety.

"Considering global sales volume, Lexus is still small," Sawa said. "We have to compete with our limited volume. That is our difficulty."

The brand's U.S. sales fell 1.5 percent through October, while BMW advanced 3.8 percent and Mercedes-Benz slipped 0.3 percent, excluding vans. Lexus remains No. 3 in luxury sales behind No. 1 BMW and second-place Mercedes.

Lexus last held the top slot in 2010, its final championship in an 11-year reign.

But Lexus is also struggling with a brand image that varies by market, Sawa said. In some markets, especially in Asia, Lexus is seen as a hip brand for young people. But not so much in others. In the U.S., Lexus enjoys high customer loyalty, but its average customer is in their 60s, Sawa said. In China and other Asian markets, the average customer age is in the 30s.

"They are completely different customers," Sawa said. "We have to provide the same kind of brand image campaign, but we have to be careful about each nation's activities."

Sawa said the challenge is providing a unified global brand campaign that can also tailor the message for local needs.

Lexus is trying to do just that with localized marketing campaigns in the U.S. such as its new "Our Greatest Curiosity" campaign.

It asks questions such as "What emotion fits in the palm of your hand?" and "Can the weather predict you?" or "Can you see with your ears?"

The goal is to highlight the human-centric technologies of the brand inspired by an initial spark of curiosity and engineering ingenuity.
http://www.autonews.com/sales/lexus-leader-unsatisfied-variety-low-volume

Glad to see someone realize that there is a problem with the brand. I think Lexus has been underfunded as of late, with all the money going to the Toyota brand instead.
 

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Newbie One Kanobi
2003 Toyota ECHO!!
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8,784 Posts
Agree. Lexus has an identity issue. I know it was primarily for the US but obviously that is changing. This will take decades but if they stay focused and have a good marketing, and direction. It's a tough market, not only cause you have the established ones but also it's crowded. You have to stand out and design is a big part of it but also mission and what people see the company as. Not just a luxury Toyota. Reliability is great but Toyota has that. Lexus has to be more. Has to be exclusive. Has to give people a reason to buy it. Why Lexus? Really needs to detatch from Toyota as much as possible. Obviously be under Toyota but I'm saying image wise and product.
 

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straight cash homie
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19,394 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Part of the problem is that cars that were great once, aren't anymore. The IS and GS are very dated now. Neither offer Carplay or Android Auto, while the competitors are already revised and have better technology. The stereo systems were fussy to begin with. The ES seems to get the most attention, while the LS IMO was a half-baked when it came out.
 
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