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Lexus Admits Germany's Big 3 Are Invincible, Fourth Place Will Have to Suffice.
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By: Andreas Tsaousis
December 2, 2014


A quarter of a century after its launch, Lexus still hasn’t managed to dent its German rivals’ armor. The premium segment is fiercely contested and, while it has rolled out some pretty competitive models, the Japanese brand can’t compete on sales.

Numbers, in this occasion, don’t lie: in 2013 Lexus shifted 523,000 vehicles worldwide. The Germans just crushed it: BMW delivered 1.66 million units, Audi 1.59 million and Mercedes-Benz 1.47 million.

Talking to Just-Auto, Lexus Europe boss Allain Uyttenhoven said that Toyota’s premium division is finally “out of its adolescence” and now that it is offering “high quality vehicles, excellent customer service and environmental responsibility is time for emotion to be added”.

Uyttenhoven conceded that “it is impossible to catch the German three, worldwide” and the brand is determined to be “number four”, ahead of fifth-placed rival Jaguar Land Rover.
 

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You know, I really respect Lexus for making this statement. My respect for them increased greatly after reading this, simply because they're absolutely right. No one is going to beat the German 3 at luxury worldwide. Not Lexus, not Jaguar, and certainly not Cadillac. They're being realistic.

Perhaps Cadillac can learn to be humble once in a while...?
 

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You know, I really respect Lexus for making this statement. My respect for them increased greatly after reading this, simply because they're absolutely right. No one is going to beat the German 3 at luxury worldwide. Not Lexus, not Jaguar, and certainly not Cadillac.

Perhaps Cadillac can learn to be humble once in a while...?
While I respect Lexus' sentiment here, I still wouldn't be caught dead in one of their cars.

I could wind up in an E-Class, though, if the wife shoots down my Chevy SS aspirations.
 
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While I respect Lexus' sentiment here, I still wouldn't be caught dead in one of their cars.

I could wind up in an E-Class, though, if the wife shoots down my Chevy SS aspirations.
The next E is going to be incredible:



Besides the polarizing looks, what's wrong with newer Lexus offerings? They're very competitive, drive well, and are built very well.
 

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Besides the polarizing looks, what's wrong with newer Lexus offerings? They're very competitive, drive well, and are built very well.
Well, you mentioned the looks. I can't stand the gaping maw of the new face of Lexus. Basically, the look lacks maturity to me and is too, dare I say "ricey." Lastly, while Lexus seems to have improved its driving dynamics in this latest generation of vehicles, the drivetrains are still uninspiring, not to mention the cars seem to be getting a little porky.

Lastly, I'll never bring myself to spend money on a vehicle made by Toyota.
 

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I just can't get past that face! Don't like it on ANY of their cars!
While agree with ENVOY's sentiment, I wonder if some of Lexus' inability to go beyond a certain point isn't self-inflicted.

I think also Lexus is also trying to figure out Europe as well, with out a lot of success.

I wonder if we'll see such a statement from Acura?
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, you mentioned the looks. I can't stand the gaping maw of the new face of Lexus. Basically, the look lacks maturity to me and is too, dare I say "ricey." Lastly, while Lexus seems to have improved its driving dynamics in this latest generation of vehicles, the drivetrains are still uninspiring, not to mention the cars seem to be getting a little porky.
I can see where you're coming from. And yes, the newer offerings are getting kind of heavy, especially the NX.

Then again, I'm about half your age, so you may not like what I like. :p:

Lastly, I'll never bring myself to spend money on a vehicle made by Toyota.
Fair enough.
 

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There is no reason Lexus has to settle for number four. It may be a steep hill but it is possible. Audi wasn't always in the mix and BMW has grown dramatically since its days of catering to a small enthusiast crowd.

Lexus spent their first 15 years copying Mercedes and the last 10 being increasingly confused and weird. Neither of those is going to win over buyers who aspire to own something from Germany. They need a clear coherent brand identity and it needs to be somewhat original.

Personally I'd go back to the silent, comfortable, refined and Relentless Pursuit of Perfection niche and leave all the F Series BMW wannabe models to the company for whom that's in their DNA. Not everybody wants a sports sedan. There are plenty of people who want a luxurious escape from the harsh outside world to accompany them on their travels.
 

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I think their newest offerings look absolutely fantastic:



I didn't like the first adopters of the spindle grille, though. The IS is still hideous to my eyes.
The spindle grille is the biggest beef I have with Lexus styling. And when it gets tacked on to an otherwise bland design, it looks forced and contrived.

In the case of the RC-F above, Lexus goes too far the other way. That car has the most in-cohesive styling I've seen in like, ever. To me, there's just no flow, only cuts and angles.

I can see where you're coming from. And yes, the newer offerings are getting kind of heavy, especially the NX.

Then again, I'm about half your age, so you may not like what I like. :p:
As much as I hate to admit it, age does play into this. At the ripe old age of 44, I'm just not as attracted to scoops and vents as I was when I was, say 18 or even 24. To that end, I owned several Pontiacs in that phase of my life, but even they had better flowing lines than the Lexus RC-F, side skirts, scoops and all.

These days, I prefer clean but not boring
 
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You know, I really respect Lexus for making this statement. My respect for them increased greatly after reading this, simply because they're absolutely right. No one is going to beat the German 3 at luxury worldwide. Not Lexus, not Jaguar, and certainly not Cadillac. They're being realistic.

Perhaps Cadillac can learn to be humble once in a while...?

I agree. It's refreshing to see leadership man up once in awhile.
 

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You know, I really respect Lexus for making this statement. My respect for them increased greatly after reading this, simply because they're absolutely right. No one is going to beat the German 3 at luxury worldwide. Not Lexus, not Jaguar, and certainly not Cadillac. They're being realistic.

Perhaps Cadillac can learn to be humble once in a while...?
I hope Cadillac NEVER makes such a statement. A statement like that is NOT what America is, it is admitting defeat. I for one hope that Cadillac keeps trying and trying and trying. Cadillac may never surpass the Germans in the near future, but they NEVER will be #1 if they settle for mediocrity.

Utterly terrible statement that should never have been made by Lexus. Why would anyone want to buy a vehicle that management has stated is 4th best, especially a luxury vehicle?
 

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You know, I really respect Lexus for making this statement. My respect for them increased greatly after reading this, simply because they're absolutely right. No one is going to beat the German 3 at luxury worldwide. Not Lexus, not Jaguar, and certainly not Cadillac. They're being realistic.

Perhaps Cadillac can learn to be humble once in a while...?
Or rational?

"We are a luxury brand that happens to build cars..."

"We are dreaming big. We know it sounds like a joke but it isn't...."

The chance of the Montblanc Mafia being....even self aware.....is nil. Carpetbaggers, hustlers, charlatans spewing bluster and frantically initiating initiatives of utterly no consequence ("I know! Let's move to Peoria!).

*sigh*
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Why would anyone want to buy a vehicle that management has stated is 4th best, especially a luxury vehicle?
Lexus never said they're making the fourth best vehicle. Chances are, you might actually be buying the first or second best vehicle in the class if it's a Lexus.

You'd be buying the fourth best seller, not fourth best overall.
 

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I hope Cadillac NEVER makes such a statement. A statement like that is NOT what America is, it is admitting defeat. I for one hope that Cadillac keeps trying and trying and trying. Cadillac may never surpass the Germans in the near future, but they NEVER will be #1 if they settle for mediocrity.

Utterly terrible statement that should never have been made by Lexus. Why would anyone want to buy a vehicle that management has stated is 4th best, especially a luxury vehicle?
They didn't say their cars are 4th best. They simply stated they are stuck in fourth place because the German Big 3 have been doing premium vehicles for so long and they are very very good at it.

The reason they made this statement and Cadillac couldn't is that the Montblanc Mafia are insufficiently self aware and are too busy spewing mindless braggadocio to be real. They got their jobs making outrageous promises and now they have to maintain this nonsensical barrage of drivel, hoping no one notices the emperor has no clothes.
 

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Germans are great during the lease period. Powerful, comfortable, and good looking. Afterward you are seriously gambling with the reliability of the vehicle as the myth of German reliability is just that, a myth. Let's not even talk about depreciation as the value plummets like a rock tossed off a bridge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Interior design make my stomach hurt. Very boring.
It's a clear derivative of this interior:



It'll appeal to those who like a classier, more luxurious looking cabin over a edgy, sporty ****pit.

And you can be sure that it'll be bringing a ton of the S Class's tech, too.
 

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I think their newest offerings look absolutely fantastic:



I didn't like the first adopters of the spindle grille, though. The IS is still hideous to my eyes.
I agree with you and love the new designs coming from them for the very first time. I also disagree with the statement made by one of their heads. What he fails to realize is Lexus has been going in a different direction than the German three until just recently. They can compete and can win but it takes time because the rise was slow for the Germans it took a very long time.....decades.

To me Benz was pulling a Cadillac in the 80's and riding on past reputation because sorry a lot of their cars were crappy since 97 till recently. They now seem to making a comeback with styling inside and out.
 
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