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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Finally, somebody asking just one of the obvious questions concerning Toyota and their numbers.

Note: While this linked article has been posted already, this aspect and content has not been - nor has it been mentioned or discussed.

Given the nature and direction of the other thread it makes more sense to do this separately.




http://www.autoobserver.com/2008/05/april-car-sales.html

THE BAD

Despite the strong performance of Toyota cars overall, some of the company’s “old guard” of sedans didn’t pull their weight in April, continuing a significant recent trend. Sales of the venerable Corolla subcompact, for example, were flat in April. < There is a lot more to this than written here.>

Sales of Tundra got caught in April in the overall tough conditions for the pickup truck segment. Its sales fell by 6 percent, though Tundra sales remain ahead of last year for 2008 to date.

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The Lexus luxury division continues to provide the biggest drag on Toyota’s results, prompting some analysts to wonder if the woes of Lexus go beyond the economic woes of American consumers these days.


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“Lexus results are starting to look like Acura’s” in the sense of suggesting a long-term decline, said Caldwell. Honda’s luxury division has been facing sales woes for some time. Last month was the worst April for Lexus sales since 2003, she noted. “The only model to show any sort of increase was LX – but it only sold 799 units.”
Oh well, I'm sure this topic and others like it just beggin' to be written have nothing to do with the recent spate of articles we have posted here concerning happier but less significant news for Toyota elsewhere.

Honest.
 

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I think the reinvigorated Cadillac and Lincoln and the better mainstream offerings from all automakers are turning the "almost luxury" buyers from Lexus - remember 50% of Lexus sales is ES( Camry) and RX (Highlander) ... not exactly "high luxury"

igor
 

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Lexus has a solid reputation at the moment.

However, as I've stated before, Lexus is increasing the obvious use of the Toyota parts bin. And the Germans are becoming more and more distinct and daring in their designs. Lexus shouldn't be "cheapening out" itself. Plus their designs remain conservative and bland, despite the L-Finesse initiative.

It just means the competition isn't falling by the way side this time around, the way Cadillac and Lincoln did in the early 1990's.

Acura has made a conscious choice not to compete with the Top Tier luxury brands. Lexus is making a conscious effort to make a run at the Germans. If their sales are suffering, then the problem is that Lexus is trying to stretch a bit too hard, and the Germans are proving to be tougher competition than initially thought.
 

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I think the reinvigorated Cadillac and Lincoln and the better mainstream offerings from all automakers are turning the "almost luxury" buyers from Lexus - remember 50% of Lexus sales is ES( Camry) and RX (Highlander) ... not exactly "high luxury"

igor
I would also be one to speculate that the dramatic improvement in mainstream vehicles has hurt Lexus. Every mid-size sedan at this point offers a great interior and a sophisticated V6. Those used to be Lexus' (and Acura's) selling points.

Their cars are also more vulnerable to economic woes than "true luxury" (I'm using this term colloquially). If you want a sport sedan, you're going to get a sport sedan. But if you're thinking of an ES, you might decide you can save by going for a Camry or (gasp!) a Malibu.
mgescuro said:
Lexus has a solid reputation at the moment.
It's solid, but perhaps limited. Lexus is very strong in the $30,000-40,000 range, but does it hold the same cachet once you go higher? It's similar to the speaker maker Bose. Sure, they have a strong reputation within a certain price range, but they don't appeal in the slightest to true audiophiles with large wallets.
 

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I think the reinvigorated Cadillac and Lincoln and the better mainstream offerings from all automakers are turning the "almost luxury" buyers from Lexus - remember 50% of Lexus sales is ES( Camry) and RX (Highlander) ... not exactly "high luxury"

igor
The ()'s you have in your statement, also points out that Toyota is "badgineering" cars for their lux. lines (or doing only superficial cosmetic surgery)
which is what got Cadillac and Lincoln in trouble. It has just taken us longer to notice since this is two of the "Holy Nippon Makes".
 

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To me this is great news and I have been waiting to hear this,
(I didnt know til now)
 

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Sorry to say it folks. But this is why Buick is so vulnerable. Even a new Buick
 

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Except for the LS, Lexus has always badge engineered.
My problem with Lexus is that (IS/F excluded) they are just rolling isolation chambers.
I owned a '95 LS400 for about 4 months and that thing had the loosest steering and slowest throttle inputs and wallowy handling. That and the fact that there was low headroom that wasn't remedied until the LS430.
I didn't like the car and leased a '04 SRX that jumped off the line and responded immediately to throttle, steering and braking inputs.
I have friend who traded in and '95 BMW 540i for a '07 ES350 and wants her BMW back.
Lexuses are very good luxury cars that have no soul whatsoever and inspire no passion in their owners.
The current Lexus buyer reminds me of the old Cadillac/Buick and Oldsmobile buyers who every 3-5 years bought another one no matter whether it was a good car or not.
 

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I think people are reading too much into Lexus sales right now. I think it's pretty simple... Lexus currently doesn't have any new vehicles. All the high volume vehicles are old -- ES, RX, IS -- while the competition have a new high volume models that just came out (C class, CTS, 1 series etc.).

I'm guessing the moment a new RX or ES comes out, this will change.

Also, to put this in perspective, last month Cadillac was down 15% despite the new CTS while Lexus was down 17% with a bunch of old vehicles.
 

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I think the reinvigorated Cadillac and Lincoln and the better mainstream offerings from all automakers are turning the "almost luxury" buyers from Lexus - remember 50% of Lexus sales is ES( Camry) and RX (Highlander) ... not exactly "high luxury"

igor
I can't believe you put Lincoln in the same sentence as Cadillac. Lincoln has a WHOLE lot of work to do to catch Cadillac.
 

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Sorry to say it folks. But this is why Buick is so vulnerable. Even a new Buick

Agreed, to a point. With the exception of the Enclave and perhaps a few Lucerne sales, Buick is absolutely no hinderence to Lexus. I can't believe any LaCrosse sales are won at the expense of the ES.
On the other hand, Buick does not have as far to fall, and is not yet in the same price slot either. It will be quite a while before the two could be compared apples-to-apples.
 

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Maybe more consumers are finally aware that most of the line consists of tarted up Toyotas. In a tighter economy why not just get a Camry as opposed to an ES300? I'm glad Cadillac is making strides to get away from this. Once the DTS is gone Cadillac will be better differentiated from GM's other brands.
 

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I think "trading up" is over. It affects everything from Lexus to Starbucks.

"Writers have documented the trend of middle-market Americans to selectively decide that, say, a luxury automobile or vacation is worth the extra bucks while "sacrificing" other goods, such as dining out or clothing."

Nowadays, people are forced to make the sacrifices but don't have anything left over.

Quote is from amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Trading-Up-New-American-Luxury/dp/1591840139
 

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Lexus has come a long way just within 12 years of existence. In a mere 12 years, the brand is making inroads within the establish luxury marque community. Jaguar and Land Rover are now obsolete, replace with RX300s and ES's. Amazing in just 12 years.
 

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I think "trading up" is over. It affects everything from Lexus to Starbucks.

"Writers have documented the trend of middle-market Americans to selectively decide that, say, a luxury automobile or vacation is worth the extra bucks while "sacrificing" other goods, such as dining out or clothing."

Nowadays, people are forced to make the sacrifices but don't have anything left over.
This is so true.

Historically speaking, there have been times in GM's history where the "bookends" of Chevy and Cadillac have prospered, and there have been times when the "intermediates" such as Buick, Pontiac and Oldsmobile prospered. It was always tied to the state of the economy and consumer confidence.

The current economic instability and gas prices are going to cause major shifts on what people buy.
 

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Av is fwd GS=RWD
I think GS and IS are on the same platform though.
 
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