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Old 22nd February 2012, 14:55   #16
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Default re: Lexus - The Indian Challenge. EDIT: Launch confirmed for 2017

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Originally Posted by GTO
After all, Lexus’ cars are known to offer stupendously high reliability, and are as hassle-free to own as a Corolla. That’s saying a lot when the direct competition – Mercedes, BMW & Audi – inexplicably suffers from poor reliability ratings & expensive upkeep costs.
Indeed. My boss in the US owns a Lexus sedan and while out for lunch once, he said he hates the fact that the Lexus is so reliable and issue-free because it does not give him an excuse to change the car !!!
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Old 22nd February 2012, 15:08   #17
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Default re: Lexus - The Indian Challenge. EDIT: Launch confirmed for 2017

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Originally Posted by karmania View Post
One way Lexus can keep off from the boring perception is by introducing the enthusiast models. Lexus LFA is a good pick. Although it wont be a statistics cruncher, but it would be the best bet to start for Lexus.

I have driven the IS and GX in the US, but honestly they are designed for older people. They never had the oomph compared to driving a BMW or an Audi. LFA would be a good bet for their brand recognition in India.
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Is spot on. The handling is very very poor, typically Japanese. The refinement and comfort is top class. I decided not to buy it just because of the driving feel, would hate to drive her on the expressway visavis a 7 or an S for that matter.
It still would have an appeal if priced right here.

A CBU LFA would be upwards of 50L-60L, right? How would a car which doesn't sell become a good bet to boost image, when it would be out of reach of most?

You forget that in India, most potential Lexus buyers would be on the older side and would be chauffeur driven. So driving dynamics would be least of the concerns of 90% of the target segment. I will fall in the other 10% but would still consider a Lexus over the the Germans just for the peace of mind it buys.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 16:07   #18
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Default re: Lexus - The Indian Challenge. EDIT: Launch confirmed for 2017

The toyota Prado and Land Cruiser SUV's are already priced where the Lexus GX and LX should have been priced so one find a Merc GL to be cheaper than a Toyota Landcruiser so how would they fit in the Lexus LX SUV?

The CBU route will just not work for them and if they are serious about India CKD (completely knocked down kits - partial local assembly) is the way to go.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 16:18   #19
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Default re: Lexus - The Indian Challenge. EDIT: Launch confirmed for 2017

While it is a good sign for consumers to get a more reliable option (hands down) in the 30+L segment, I would watch and wait to see the marketing strategy. How Toyota blundered with the Camry in the Indian market is still very fresh in the memory.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 16:56   #20
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Default re: Lexus - The Indian Challenge. EDIT: Launch confirmed for 2017

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Originally Posted by asr245 View Post
A CBU LFA would be upwards of 50L-60L, right? How would a car which doesn't sell become a good bet to boost image, when it would be out of reach of most?
The LFA would be about 4 crores + and not 50-60l At 60l it would have many many people running to the showrooms to buy it.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 17:14   #21
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Default re: Lexus - The Indian Challenge. EDIT: Launch confirmed for 2017

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Originally Posted by arup.misra View Post
Given that Toyota has an extensive dealership / service network should the pilot work out well
The dealer network is an important point, Anup. Offers are already being made to existing Toyota dealerships. Preference will be given to them for Lexus dealerships.

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Originally Posted by SankalpDesai View Post
Lexus is an aspirational brand, no doubt, and the fact that they are far superior in terms of technology and reliability, will only make the brand achieve cult status and sales targets in India.
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Originally Posted by Durango Dude View Post
One thing that can make a difference between Lexus and the Germans, in India, would be ownership experience and costs. If Toyota could make it just say half as expensive to own as the Germans and also reliable and be honest with clients and not rip them off on one pretext or the other, I think it will be a success.
I know of atleast a 100 people who would buy a Mercedes / BMW, but don't because of the shoddy reliability & tear-inducing maintenance bills.

I know of another 100 who would buy a Mercedes / BMW, but shy away because of the fear of "attention".

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A comparison with Infiniti is inevitable here as both are super luxury brands of otherwise day-to-day Japanese marques.
Lexus still has some amount of awareness in India, but Infinity has zilch. Though, I must add, Infinity makes some awesome cars. My sis recently got a G37 (based on Team-BHP recommendations). It would be smart on Nissan's part to only focus on the volume sub-15 lakh segment where they have a lot of products to offer.

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Forgive me if my question is naive team but how important is the Diesel engine in the luxury segment cars? If you can afford to pay 30L for a car, you will most probably be driving it less than 50,000 KM max before you sell it & jump to the next car. Considering the running cost and extra investment for a diesel (also thrown in the expected diesel tax which is coming soon), what is the value of having a diesel?
The rich got rich by saving their wealth, not blowing it This is an extremely shrewd group of people who do count their pennies. There is a reason why diesel luxury cars outsell the petrols.

Modern diesels are also very refined, torquey and practical (no worry of high octane petrol on the highway + longer tank range). Lastly, the resale value of a diesel luxo-barge more than makes up for any difference paid at the time of initial purchase.

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Now I am not a big fan of their styling (though I feel Audi is worse - yes I said Audi)
The two of us won't ever be able to see eye to eye then . I absolutely love Audi & Lexus' clean, understated styling.

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I am not sure that's true. I first heard this brand during the Harshad Mehta stock market scam days. Apparently he had a couple of Lexus's in his fleet of cars confiscated by some department after the scam was unearthed.
Harshad Mehta's flashy Lexus LS was noticed by a curious journalist. Some time later, that very journalist wrote the report that got him nailed.

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Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
I can see people paying 10 maybe even 15 lacs more for a Lexus since that price is fine for the Lexus
Maybe. But what's the market size for 1+ crore SUVs? The LX could end up as an unnecessary distraction for the brand.

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Originally Posted by karmania View Post
I have driven the IS and GX in the US, but honestly they are designed for older people. They never had the oomph compared to driving a BMW or an Audi.
True. Whatever Lexus' I've driven have been very boring. Much like an evolved Corolla or Camry.

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Originally Posted by elantracrdi05 View Post
3. LS / LX may actually manage decent volumes in my opinion. Lots of NRIs returning to India buy German cars but may choose a Lexus given their stronger brand recall.
Believe me, I would pick the LS460 any which day over an S-Class or 7 series. I just love the design, the refinement and, most importantly, the reliability.

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Originally Posted by scooby05 View Post
The handling is very very poor, typically Japanese. The refinement and comfort is top class. I decided not to buy it just because of the driving feel, would hate to drive her on the expressway visavis a 7 or an S for that matter.
Out of curiosity, how much for the LS600?

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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
Indeed. My boss in the US owns a Lexus sedan and while out for lunch once, he said he hates the fact that the Lexus is so reliable and issue-free because it does not give him an excuse to change the car !!!
He should buy a Mercedes then!

Seriously though, I think it's an achievement to produce cars that are so technologically advanced, yet perform with the reliability of a Honda City.

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Originally Posted by ACM View Post
The CBU route will just not work for them and if they are serious about India CKD (completely knocked down kits - partial local assembly) is the way to go.
I completely agree. If I were Lexus India's manager, I'd get a book on BMW India and all they did. Aggression is the only way forward.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 17:23   #22
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Default re: Lexus - The Indian Challenge. EDIT: Launch confirmed for 2017

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Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
The LFA would be about 4 crores + and not 50-60l At 60l it would have many many people running to the showrooms to buy it.
Oops! My bad! I confused it with the ISF. But at that price point I am curious as to how many LFAs Lexus managed to sell? More importantly, who was it that decided that I don't want a Ferrari/Lambo/others. I want an LFA!


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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
The two of us won't ever be able to see eye to eye then . I absolutely love Audi & Lexus' clean, understated styling.
Audi? Understated? I find their huge grille and the flashy LED lights (under the headlights) too flamboyant for my taste. Now that I think of it, I am not a fan of BMW grille as well. Ok, so maybe Lexus is the best among them but bring in Jaguar the the equation changes (with some exceptions)!

Last edited by asr245 : 22nd February 2012 at 17:33.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 17:46   #23
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Default re: Lexus - The Indian Challenge. EDIT: Launch confirmed for 2017

I'm not sure if CBU is such a bad idea. Because the Germans are pricing their CKD cars at CBU prices, and keeping all the margins for themselves (or passing it on to the dealers rather than consumers).

Rs. 50 Lacs = $100,000 = GBP 65,000.

This is double the price of similarly specced models in UK. In highly taxed car market like the UK, a 3 series starts from Rs. 16 Lacs and a 5 series starts from Rs. 24 Lacs.
BMW UK | Homepage

Looks like the Germans price the cars the way they do because consumers have no other choice but to pay up. "Pricing Power" is the term that the MBA marketing guys use I think .

Volvo and Jaguar are clocking low volumes, not because they are CBUs but because they have virtually no dealership network to talk about. Take a look at the price list and notice how those CBU are priced so close to German CKDs.

Regarding the delay in the launch of Lexus:

I guess their strategy is to let the first movers "build" the market through advertising campaigns/ finance schemes and bring the segment volumes to a particular size. And then they swoop in "Fortuner style" and take up a lion's share of the market . Poor Ford (Endeavour), Chevrolet (Captiva) and Honda (CRV) did all the hardwork, and now Toyota is reaping the benefits!
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Old 22nd February 2012, 17:54   #24
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Default re: Lexus - The Indian Challenge. EDIT: Launch confirmed for 2017

Toyota should have done a Lexus launch atleast 3 years ago when the IS was a fresh model or maybe wait for another two years when the next generation IS comes out. Right now is perhaps the worst possible timing they can have.

The IS is the entry level Lexus sedan and their only model with a diesel option. Ideally this should be their India moneyspinner.
BUT, this 3 series/C class rival is 5 years old and is a generation behind (the C is new and has had a major revamp, new 3 is just about launched), the Germans are also a size bigger. Also, being a CBU it will have no pricing advantage over the established European rivals.

Instead if they go ahead and launch the IS in India now, imagine the horror of customers to find their current IS being replaced by a next gen variant half way through 2013!!

Mercedes faced a similar situation when they started their operations in India, they launched the W124 towards the fag end of its life while rest of the world were busy discussing the bug eyed W210. The E class did not take of initially due to this error.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 17:55   #25
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Default re: Lexus - The Indian Challenge. EDIT: Launch confirmed for 2017

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Originally Posted by asr245 View Post

You forget that in India, most potential Lexus buyers would be on the older side and would be chauffeur driven. So driving dynamics would be least of the concerns of 90% of the target segment.
Am not so sure going by the number of 5 series that BMW sold in 2011. Driving dynamics is certainly a USP for any beemer.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 17:59   #26
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Default re: Lexus - The Indian Challenge. EDIT: Launch confirmed for 2017

Boring, supremely refined and comfortable. Just what the doctor Ordered for India.

As a majority of cars >25 lacs are Chauffeur driven.

Only two issues arise, VFM factor and Good diesels across all the ranges.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 18:23   #27
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Default re: Lexus - The Indian Challenge. EDIT: Launch confirmed for 2017

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Am not so sure going by the number of 5 series that BMW sold in 2011. Driving dynamics is certainly a USP for any beemer.
That might be any BMW's USP but is that why it was bought (or was it the complete maintenance package they were offering)? I am willing to bet that to majority (80-90%) it would be a 'no'. And that was before Lexus entered the fray. Assuming Lexus prices competitively and has a diesel option, I am sure picture would change.

You can't beat reliability with driving dynamics. Else Ford Fiesta would have outsold the City many times over.

Last edited by asr245 : 22nd February 2012 at 18:26.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 18:24   #28
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Default re: Lexus - The Indian Challenge. EDIT: Launch confirmed for 2017

I owned a Lexus LS400 and it was a brilliant car. It was supremely comfortable- I still can't find a match for the seats comfort. Its not a car to be thrown around but to travel in first class luxury. I never spent much on the maintenance, it was very reasonable comparable to a Camry. Lexus should price the cars well and sure over the long run, the benefits of owning a hassle free motor will be appreciated by Indians.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 18:36   #29
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Default re: Lexus - The Indian Challenge. EDIT: Launch confirmed for 2017

The thing is that the German cars are just as comfortable and handle a lot better.

Reliability is a big plus though.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 19:44   #30
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Default re: Lexus - The Indian Challenge. EDIT: Launch confirmed for 2017

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Maybe. But what's the market size for 1+ crore SUVs? The LX could end up as an unnecessary distraction for the brand.
The market is not that huge, but then a person would much rather pay 1.2cr for a Lexus than 1 for a Toyota. Either way a person who buys any of these is looking for a reliable suv to take him anywhere in luxury (read politician) which even a Q7 cannot do.

The layman associates Lexus more with SUVs because so many politicians travel around in them (Raj Thackeray for one) and there have been imports for many years like Prados badged as Lexus'. So I think they SUV would help people relate to the cars.
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