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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Few Regrets on Lexus: Jim Lentz

    Toyota's North America CEO Has Only One Regret with Lexus

    Automotive News had a chance to speak with Toyota's North America CEO Jim Lentz. During the chat, the topic of Lexus came and Lentz had something interesting items to say about.

    First, Lentz said that it would have been wiser to build a three-row crossover first, and not the image coupe RC.

    "In hindsight, if I was making this decision 10 years ago, seeing what I see today, the three-row [crossover] probably would have been the better play to come out first," said Lentz.

    The three-row crossover would allow the brand to hold on to the Gen Y crowd as they begin to have families and begin looking for a larger vehicle.

    Now Lentz doesn't say the RC is a mistake. The coupe has been doing quite with sales of 4,258 for the year so far - putting it ahead of the LS flagship.

    Lentz also makes it clear that Lexus will not be heading downward to compete with the likes of the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA, both which start under $30,000.

    "In the luxury business, chasing volume is not a good strategy. Luxury cars cost a certain dollar amount for a reason. I don't want to cheapen my cars just to offer a lease that's $20 a month less," said Lentz.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)


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    Wasn't the GX a 3 row SUV, or does he want a unibody crossover?  Either way, they had the GX, it just sucked for so many years because it was based on an old 4Runner.  They should replace the GX with a Lambda-like 3 row crossover but in the $50-65k range.  The NX  has the $30s, the RX has the $40-50k range.

     

    As far as down market goes, the CT200h is cheaper than a CLA, and the IS, ES, RC and NX are cheaper than a C-class.  Aside from the RX, the bulk of Lexus sales volume is cars with a base price under $37k.   I don't think Lentz wants to put his average sale price against the Germans or even Cadillac.

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    The "Lexus" RC should have been a new Supra.  I would have been in a better position against the 350z and all of the U.S. muscle cars.  They would be selling a lot more than 15k units per year if that were the case.

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    Wasn't the GX a 3 row SUV, or does he want a unibody crossover?  Either way, they had the GX, it just sucked for so many years because it was based on an old 4Runner.  They should replace the GX with a Lambda-like 3 row crossover but in the $50-65k range.  The NX  has the $30s, the RX has the $40-50k range.

     

    Crossover. The GX is just too thirsty and wobbly. 

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