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    1. 03-23-2020 07:22 PM #76
      Quote Originally Posted by bzcat View Post
      Lexus is more reliable no doubt. Statistic backs this up. But the issue here is the marginal difference. Germans are not unreliable, they just have slightly higher level of reported issues, which on average over the course of a typical 36 months ownership period may result in one extra visit to the dealer. In another word, it's not really a thing people care about. Lexus' bullet proof reputation is a selling point only for the super paranoid and they don't tend to buy a lot of new luxury cars. The original Lexus formula was value plus reliability. Now it is just reliability and that's not a selling point when Porsche is also at the top of JD Power survey.

      On the other hand, Lexus is able to achieve the statistical margin mainly by offering outdated infortainment system. People have to live with outdated infortainment everyday and they can do the mental trade-off really well. Lexus is basically a victim of its own success. They've internalized the low JD Power reported issue scoring system that they have elected to not innovate. This is why Lexus has yesterday tech inside, a 15 years old ladder frame SUV going up against unibody CUV, and rather ho hum powertrain under the hood. These things help ES and RX stay at the top of the class for JD Power scores but people don't really care that much the marginal difference in reliability. Audi or Mercedes offering aren't catastrophically unreliable like they were in the 90s and they have fancy toys and endless turbo charged torque. BMW is so boring now, they are basically like Lexus so what is Lexus got to do to stand out? Lexus doesn't have that answer either BTW, which is why they are floundering.
      This. So much this.

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      03-23-2020 08:10 PM #77
      Quote Originally Posted by bzcat View Post
      Lexus is more reliable no doubt. Statistic backs this up. But the issue here is the marginal difference. Germans are not unreliable, they just have slightly higher level of reported issues, which on average over the course of a typical 36 months ownership period may result in one extra visit to the dealer. In another word, it's not really a thing people care about. Lexus' bullet proof reputation is a selling point only for the super paranoid and they don't tend to buy a lot of new luxury cars. The original Lexus formula was value plus reliability. Now it is just reliability and that's not a selling point when Porsche is also at the top of JD Power survey.

      On the other hand, Lexus is able to achieve the statistical margin mainly by offering outdated infortainment system. People have to live with outdated infortainment everyday and they can do the mental trade-off really well. Lexus is basically a victim of its own success. They've internalized the low JD Power reported issue scoring system that they have elected to not innovate. This is why Lexus has yesterday tech inside, a 15 years old ladder frame SUV going up against unibody CUV, and rather ho hum powertrain under the hood. These things help ES and RX stay at the top of the class for JD Power scores but people don't really care that much the marginal difference in reliability. Audi or Mercedes offering aren't catastrophically unreliable like they were in the 90s and they have fancy toys and endless turbo charged torque. BMW is so boring now, they are basically like Lexus so what is Lexus got to do to stand out? Lexus doesn't have that answer either BTW, which is why they are floundering.
      Like you said, BMW is basically Lexus now, yet BMW is selling like gangbusters. What can Lexus do to "stand out" when the cars basically don't even matter? A Lexus X5 or X7 would not take the crown from BMW.

      This thread kind of captures why the non-Germans can't win. German luxury brands = cool and cutting edge, even if the cars kind of aren't. Non-German brands = old and irrelevant, even if the cars aren't (see: Genesis). What would you to fix Lexus? Make the ES RWD with a stick and a V8?
      Last edited by CTK; 03-23-2020 at 08:12 PM.

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      03-23-2020 08:49 PM #78
      Others have already mentioned what has happened here.

      Having worked at Lexus I always wondered why they offered nothing with direct injection, turbo charging and everything was down on power relative to the competition at the time. The answer I would always get was Lexus was all about the tried and tested, they would let the others take the risk while they focused on reliability and fit and finish. The quality control was excruciatingly good, pitch times were double that of Toyota and typically they had people with higher aptitude on the Lexus line.

      That all being said the average luxury buyer doesn't want sensible. They want power, they want emotion, they want the new and shiny thing packed full of gadgets and tech. The vast majority of luxury buyers are not buying cars long term, they're leasing them and churning them every couple years for the next in thing.
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      03-23-2020 09:21 PM #79
      Quote Originally Posted by Vettes, Volvos and VWs View Post
      Having worked at Lexus I always wondered why they offered nothing with direct injection, turbo charging and everything was down on power relative to the competition at the time. The answer I would always get was Lexus was all about the tried and tested, they would let the others take the risk while they focused on reliability and fit and finish.
      When did you work there? They've had D4S since at least 2006 (the 3.5), has long been one of the good DI systems, and was and still is competitive when it comes to power. It's a really nice engine. They also had a horrible DI system in the 2.5 in the '06+ IS250. Turbos are a turn-off to a lot of people, and I doubt that has anything to do with it.

      Infiniti, on the other hand, didn't do DI for a long-ass time.

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      03-23-2020 09:31 PM #80
      Going on a limb here to postulate another theory. Maybe it has to do with what people want to always associate with - success. In the 90's and, (with momentum/inertia) even into the naughts, Japan was associated with high technology and all things cutting edge. Hell they had 3G phones half a decade before anyone else until the advent of the iPhone put America into the #1 slot. Germany by contrast was coming off a painful reunification that had sapped economic strength and a lot of their manufacturing prowess was in machine tools but also seen as sturdy, but stodgy.

      While Germany underwent painful labor reforms under Schroeder to build up the foundations for its current export prowess, Japan underwent ageing. Once America's innovators unleashed the full potential of the internet economy, Japan was caught on the backfoot. The Koreans had caught up in electronics, China was the low-cost manufacturing sweatshop with a marketbase that held European high fashion 'above' offerings from Japan; Germany was back as Europe's engine of growth and had put the teething problems of early electronic gremlins of the W210 era autos firmly in the rearview mirror.

      Additionally, the cumulative effects of several events over the last 2 decades - population decline and ageing society (contributed to a general lethargy strongly reducing rural Japan's role), the folding down of MITI, the Great Recession, followed by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and Fukushima disaster and the inability of Japan to compete in the 4G internet economy have shaded their firms ability to be world beaters. Most importantly, competition within Japan has generally motivated its companies to venture out against the worlds best. Acura took the lead before Lexus and Infinity. But the last decade has seen Toyota and Lexus dominate like never before and hence a reduced appetite for cutthroat competition abroad. They also slowly, but surely increased marketshare in SEAsia and China which for them, is satisfying the growth requirement. But as long as Japan isn't 'back', the brands won't catch up ze Germans.

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      03-23-2020 09:44 PM #81
      Quote Originally Posted by Samson View Post
      When did you work there? They've had D4S since at least 2006 (the 3.5), has long been one of the good DI systems, and was and still is competitive when it comes to power. It's a really nice engine. They also had a horrible DI system in the 2.5 in the '06+ IS250. Turbos are a turn-off to a lot of people, and I doubt that has anything to do with it.

      Infiniti, on the other hand, didn't do DI for a long-ass time.
      I should have specified, the lack of DI was not across all models. I left in 2013, I worked with the RX350 which still used 2GR-FE
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    8. 03-23-2020 09:52 PM #82
      I can trust a 250k mile Lexus GX to drive from Florida to Alaska and back without a hiccup.

      I wouldn’t trust a Mercedes ML or GL, BMW X3 or X5, any British car, Audi Q7, Touareg: whatever Euro Suv to do the same.
      Sure they might be able to do it, but not with the same confidence, and my friends that are German car nuts back me up on it.
      Even the ones that can fix anything themselves, 180k miles on a ML? That this was TIRED and needed non stop repairs; and I say this as a Mercedes fan too. 180k miles on a Lexus? it’s finally broken in.

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      03-23-2020 10:07 PM #83
      Quote Originally Posted by Ilikewaffles View Post
      I can trust a 250k mile Lexus GX to drive from Florida to Alaska and back without a hiccup.

      I wouldn’t trust a Mercedes ML or GL, BMW X3 or X5, any British car, Audi Q7, Touareg: whatever Euro Suv to do the same.
      Sure they might be able to do it, but not with the same confidence, and my friends that are German car nuts back me up on it.
      Even the ones that can fix anything themselves, 180k miles on a ML? That this was TIRED and needed non stop repairs; and I say this as a Mercedes fan too. 180k miles on a Lexus? it’s finally broken in.
      Well, yeah, but I’m not going to drive a car with 180k miles on it.

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      03-23-2020 10:53 PM #84
      Quote Originally Posted by Ilikewaffles View Post
      I can trust a 250k mile Lexus GX to drive from Florida to Alaska and back without a hiccup.

      I wouldn’t trust a Mercedes ML or GL, BMW X3 or X5, any British car, Audi Q7, Touareg: whatever Euro Suv to do the same.
      Sure they might be able to do it, but not with the same confidence, and my friends that are German car nuts back me up on it.
      Even the ones that can fix anything themselves, 180k miles on a ML? That this was TIRED and needed non stop repairs; and I say this as a Mercedes fan too. 180k miles on a Lexus? it’s finally broken in.
      Quote Originally Posted by Taco1933 View Post
      Well, yeah, but I’m not going to drive a car with 180k miles on it.
      Yup, that's what I was saying above. 180k or 250k reliability sounds great right up until you realize you don't want a car for 180-250k miles.

      Same thing I said about the 4Runner/Land Cruiser and 25 year reliability...who wants to own the same (prosaic mainstream) vehicle for 25 years?
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      03-23-2020 11:01 PM #85
      Quote Originally Posted by The_Real_Stack View Post
      who wants to own the same (prosaic mainstream) vehicle for 25 years?
      People that don't care what they're driving. The truly frugal.

      Buy, pay it off. It does what you need to it, you ask nothing more of it, why sell it?

      Dad still owns the 2000 Tundra he bought new. Nearly 300,000 miles on it now, maybe more. He loves the sh*t out of that truck.

      My sister drives it, but when she's done with it he's taking it back.
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      maybe its just me, but i wouldnt put anything in the circle of "unrealistic" when it comes to sex.

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      03-23-2020 11:03 PM #86
      Quote Originally Posted by The_Real_Stack View Post
      Yup, that's what I was saying above. 180k or 250k reliability sounds great right up until you realize you don't want a car for 180-250k miles.

      Same thing I said about the 4Runner/Land Cruiser and 25 year reliability...who wants to own the same (prosaic mainstream) vehicle for 25 years?
      I would surmise someone owning a vehicle that long has more than one vehicle. I doubt I would want my daily to be that. Perhaps people like Scotty Kilmer and his fans do I guess.

      Anyone keeping a Land Cruiser this long, the time is now to cash in.

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      03-23-2020 11:19 PM #87
      Quote Originally Posted by Cabin Pics View Post
      People that don't care what they're driving. The truly frugal.

      Buy, pay it off. It does what you need to it, you ask nothing more of it, why sell it?

      Dad still owns the 2000 Tundra he bought new. Nearly 300,000 miles on it now, maybe more. He loves the sh*t out of that truck.

      My sister drives it, but when she's done with it he's taking it back.
      I mean people like us, on this board. Car guys.

      Yeah, if you can keep it as an extra car, great, but lots of us don't have space or interest to keep a boringish Toyota as a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc car.
      Quote Originally Posted by Volkl View Post
      My wife wanted a SUV with a manual transmission. I suggested a Wrangler, she said no way, too masculine

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      03-23-2020 11:24 PM #88
      Quote Originally Posted by The_Real_Stack View Post
      I mean people like us, on this board. Car guys.

      Yeah, if you can keep it as an extra car, great, but lots of us don't have space or interest to keep a boringish Toyota as a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc car.
      Oh, yeah, us?

      I like switching stuff up. If a Corolla fell in my lap for super cheap, or free, I'd probably park it next to the house. Never know when you might need a third car. But as far as just daily driving a random turd every day for 25 years? No thanks.
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      Quote Originally Posted by cockerpunk View Post
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      03-24-2020 02:06 AM #89
      Quote Originally Posted by CTK View Post
      What would you to fix Lexus? Make the ES RWD with a stick and a V8?
      I would fix Lexus by making sure product development is customer driven, not JD Power driven.

      Ask luxury car owners what they care about. I think only a tiny portion of them will answer JD Power #1 ranking. And the truth is Lexus already has all of them anyway. So if the brand is going to be relevant to normal people, it has to meet normal people needs and wants. Things like 3rd row seats in a CUV that can fit a human. Infortainment system that doesn't look like Nintendo 64 era GUI and resolution. Maybe get with turbo charging and play the power war derby for a bit. And take EV a little more serious - Never mind Germans... Tesla is eating Lexus lunch by poaching all of the Asian American buyers (which as a ethnic group way over-index in the US luxury car market).

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      03-24-2020 02:59 AM #90
      Quote Originally Posted by bzcat View Post
      I would fix Lexus by making sure product development is customer driven, not JD Power driven.

      Ask luxury car owners what they care about. I think only a tiny portion of them will answer JD Power #1 ranking. And the truth is Lexus already has all of them anyway. So if the brand is going to be relevant to normal people, it has to meet normal people needs and wants. Things like 3rd row seats in a CUV that can fit a human. Infortainment system that doesn't look like Nintendo 64 era GUI and resolution. Maybe get with turbo charging and play the power war derby for a bit. And take EV a little more serious - Never mind Germans... Tesla is eating Lexus lunch by poaching all of the Asian American buyers (which as a ethnic group way over-index in the US luxury car market).
      This. Yappies who probably wanted an luxury car while climbing that corporate ladder aren't getting a Lexus IS anymore with an outdated infotainment system while working in Silicon Valley. Even a lot of mainland Chinese with bookoo dollars coming here on EB5s are getting Teslas over Mercedes.

      OTOH, Lexus is celebrating for double digit gains in China, saying that young people over there are embracing the brand.

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      03-24-2020 06:23 AM #91
      Quote Originally Posted by Cabin Pics View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by The_Real_Stack View Post
      who wants to own the same (prosaic mainstream) vehicle for 25 years?
      People that don't care what they're driving. The truly frugal.

      Buy, pay it off. It does what you need to it, you ask nothing more of it, why sell it?

      Dad still owns the 2000 Tundra he bought new. Nearly 300,000 miles on it now, maybe more. He loves the sh*t out of that truck.

      My sister drives it, but when she's done with it he's taking it back.
      He bought a Toyota, not a Lexus, which is what I’d expect from people with their eye on the bottom line. Not many people buy luxury brands to keep them forever. Some do. Generally older people who put <5k miles on them a year. If you can keep cars 20 years and only hit 100k miles, you shouldn’t see that much difference in terms of reliability.

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      03-24-2020 08:12 AM #92
      Quote Originally Posted by CTK View Post
      Like you said, BMW is basically Lexus now, yet BMW is selling like gangbusters. What can Lexus do to "stand out" when the cars basically don't even matter? A Lexus X5 or X7 would not take the crown from BMW.
      The numbers I was able to find show that the Lexus NX and RX sell in extremely high (for the luxury car segment) numbers---isn't the RX the top selling luxury SUV (seems that it's typically 1 or 2 in sales volume depending on the year). So clearly, the company is doing something right. They certainly can and do sell substantial numbers of vehicles. And from what I've seen of the 2019 numbers, given the greater number of models BMWs sells, that they only sold about 25k more cars than Lexus in 2019 isn't as impressive as you're suggesting. Particularly since a lot of Lexus vehicles, as pointed out, are older and using older tech. And that sales delta is even less when talking about Mercedes (passenger cars sales, FYI). Lexus isn't really that far behind, IMO. And given that a lot of Lexus vehicles are using shared platforms with volume toyota models, I would be willing to bet that Lexus is still making a very healthy profit. It's clear that Toyota spends their time and money on the vehicles that are volume sellers, while spending less on vehicles that aren't.

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      03-24-2020 08:29 AM #93
      Lexus is more of a direct competitor to Cadillac, Lincoln, Infiniti, and Acura than anything from Europe.

      US-centric, low prices, focus on tarted up versions of transverse engined cars and CUVs, and BOF SUVs. Again, there is nothing wrong with that, but things have changed in last decade.

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      03-24-2020 08:45 AM #94
      Quote Originally Posted by JackStraw79 View Post
      Lexus is more of a direct competitor to Cadillac, Lincoln, Infiniti, and Acura than anything from Europe.

      US-centric, low prices, focus on tarted up versions of transverse engined cars and CUVs, and BOF SUVs. Again, there is nothing wrong with that, but things have changed in last decade.
      I don't know what this means? Low prices, transverse engines? Have you heard for the 2 series grand coupe? How about the GLA or X1/2? Yes, times have indeed changed, LOL. And yet, when I look at the higher range for Lexus, I don't see anything that's cheap or longitudinal. I do see a nice amount of NA V8s though, which is in fact something I'd prefer over what the Germans are offering at the moment. And as far as BOF SUVs, that doesn't seem to have ever stopped the G wagon from selling. Clearly, there's far more to it than being a BOF vehicle. I don't know about you, but I drove the last gen LS back to back with a previous gen 7 series. The LS was a MUCH nicer place to spend time. The sportiness of the 7 series seemed silly and out of place. It was a true luxury car in the same vein as an S class. I have never driven an S class, so I can't speak to how it compares to the LS, but I can't ever see owning a 7 series.

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      03-24-2020 10:03 AM #95
      Quote Originally Posted by 6cylVWguy View Post
      I don't know what this means? Low prices, transverse engines? Have you heard for the 2 series grand coupe? How about the GLA or X1/2? Yes, times have indeed changed, LOL. And yet, when I look at the higher range for Lexus, I don't see anything that's cheap or longitudinal. I do see a nice amount of NA V8s though, which is in fact something I'd prefer over what the Germans are offering at the moment. And as far as BOF SUVs, that doesn't seem to have ever stopped the G wagon from selling. Clearly, there's far more to it than being a BOF vehicle. I don't know about you, but I drove the last gen LS back to back with a previous gen 7 series. The LS was a MUCH nicer place to spend time. The sportiness of the 7 series seemed silly and out of place. It was a true luxury car in the same vein as an S class. I have never driven an S class, so I can't speak to how it compares to the LS, but I can't ever see owning a 7 series.
      Focus. The products that get the most attention and drive the most revenue. That's the X3, the Q5, the GLC, the X5, 3er, C-Class etc etc. Not the 2GC or X2 or GLA.

      The focus at Lexus is the NX, RX, and ES. Transverse engined mainstream platform cars that are much cheaper than similarly-sized European entries, which are all premium longitudinal platform products.

      Same approach happens at Lexus' competitors like the QX50 and QX60, TLX, RDX, MDX, XT5, Nautilus, etc

      The Lexus IS, GS, LS, and LX used to define the brand, but the ship has sailed, and that's what I'm talking about changing.

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      03-24-2020 10:25 AM #96
      Quote Originally Posted by bzcat View Post
      I would fix Lexus by making sure product development is customer driven, not JD Power driven.

      Ask luxury car owners what they care about. I think only a tiny portion of them will answer JD Power #1 ranking. And the truth is Lexus already has all of them anyway. So if the brand is going to be relevant to normal people, it has to meet normal people needs and wants. Things like 3rd row seats in a CUV that can fit a human.
      OK, legit point.

      Quote Originally Posted by bzcat View Post
      Infortainment system that doesn't look like Nintendo 64 era GUI and resolution.
      BMW was charging a subscription fee for Android Auto and sales didn't budge. I don't think infotainment is that much of a dealbreaker.

      Quote Originally Posted by bzcat View Post
      Maybe get with turbo charging and play the power war derby for a bit.
      Like someone else said the RX and NX are the top sellers in their segments, and they are slow. Plus most German luxury cars are sold with the base engines. An E300 is not fast despite being turbocharged.

      Quote Originally Posted by bzcat View Post
      And take EV a little more serious - Never mind Germans... Tesla is eating Lexus lunch by poaching all of the Asian American buyers (which as a ethnic group way over-index in the US luxury car market).
      Lexus is still killing Tesla in global sales without EV mandates and incentives, and is profitable without having to do stuff like sell carbon indulgences. Toyota will jump into the EV fray when they actually make sense to sell. IIRC they are pretty far along in R&D on mass production solid state batteries.

      Lexus obviously has room to improve but it seems like everyone is just projecting their own personal preferences as "reasons why 'the market' isn't interested". Most luxury buyers don't care about power or performance and are pretty accommodating with infotainment. Truthfully all Lexus has to do right now is ride out this recession- I don't think a lot of second/third tier brands are gonna make it. And as the last Q3, CLA and current 2"GC" show, people will basically buy anything with a German luxury emblem on the hood (particularly if it glows in the dark). What's the point in putting in more effort when the leaders in the segment are coasting on brand power?

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      03-24-2020 10:37 AM #97
      Quote Originally Posted by Vettes, Volvos and VWs View Post
      I should have specified, the lack of DI was not across all models. I left in 2013, I worked with the RX350 which still used 2GR-FE
      Gotcha. I guess they wanted to make sure that such a huge seller didn't have a disaster like the IS250.

      Quote Originally Posted by CTK View Post
      BMW was charging a subscription fee for Android Auto and sales didn't budge. I don't think infotainment is that much of a dealbreaker.
      People will pay for something they want. The piss-poor infotainment system in the GS350 is one of the main reasons I didn't buy one. Yeah, it can be fixed via the aftermarket, but that's not really ideal either. And yeah, the car I bought instead has an even older system, but it's logical, easy, and works well.

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      03-24-2020 10:47 AM #98
      Quote Originally Posted by JackStraw79 View Post
      Focus. The products that get the most attention and drive the most revenue. That's the X3, the Q5, the GLC, the X5, 3er, C-Class etc etc. Not the 2GC or X2 or GLA.

      The focus at Lexus is the NX, RX, and ES. Transverse engined mainstream platform cars that are much cheaper than similarly-sized European entries, which are all premium longitudinal platform products.

      Same approach happens at Lexus' competitors like the QX50 and QX60, TLX, RDX, MDX, XT5, Nautilus, etc

      The Lexus IS, GS, LS, and LX used to define the brand, but the ship has sailed, and that's what I'm talking about changing.
      How does the direction an engine sits determine if a product is "premium"? How about where an engine sits relative to the front axle?

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      03-24-2020 10:57 AM #99
      Quote Originally Posted by Samson View Post
      People will pay for something they want. The piss-poor infotainment system in the GS350 is one of the main reasons I didn't buy one. Yeah, it can be fixed via the aftermarket, but that's not really ideal either. And yeah, the car I bought instead has an even older system, but it's logical, easy, and works well.
      It got enough backlash that BMW stopped doing it. Plus while Lexus might not have the redundancy of inputs your Infiniti does, they still have enough that you could probably avoid having to use the mousepad for anything critical. Again the infotainment in my TLX is one of the worst on the market. I can control everything I need with about 10 physical buttons: volume up/down, track up/down, temp up/down, front/rear defrost and the info/audio display buttons. Everything else, I do on my phone, and I'm sure all those functions have physical inputs in Lexus' system. IMO you really only need the basics, which Lexus covers.

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      Join Date
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      03-24-2020 11:31 AM #100
      Quote Originally Posted by CTK View Post
      How does the direction an engine sits determine if a product is "premium"? How about where an engine sits relative to the front axle?
      It doesn't "determine" it, but premium platforms are historically built on longitudinal architectures to accommodate larger engines that could come in high performance models. How many FF transverse $100k cars do you know?

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