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Old 28th September 2016, 11:56   #1
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Default Lexus starts importing the RX450h Hybrid SUV into India

Thank you to the Team-BHP fan (he prefers to remain anonymous) who sent this information in. Heartfelt gratitude for sharing it with other enthusiasts!

Lexus has started importing the RX450h into India; Zauba import records show a batch of 14 vehicles been brought in on September 24. This latest import points towards Toyota's plans of launching the Lexus brand in the near future.

The Lexus RX450h is a midsize luxury hybrid SUV which is powered by a 3.5-litre, V6 petrol engine. It works in tandem with battery-driven electric motors to produce a cumulative power output of ~295 BHP. The Lexus Hybrid Drive system has been programmed in a way to minimize fuel consumption in stop-go traffic. As a result, the SUV can run purely on electric power during light acceleration, while the V6 engine automatically shuts down at low speeds. The powertrain setup is mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Internationally, it is available with a standard front wheel drive as well as an optional all wheel drive system.

Features on offer with the RX450h include an electric liftgate, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone climate control and a 9-speaker entertainment system. Moreover, there are many optional features on offer with the international-spec model, including a blind spot monitoring system, rear DVD entertainment system etc. Whether or not they will make it to India remains to be seen.

Lexus starts importing the RX450h Hybrid SUV into India-large1.jpg

Lexus starts importing the RX450h Hybrid SUV into India-unnamed.jpg
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Old 28th September 2016, 12:13   #2
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Default Re: Lexus starts importing the RX450h Hybrid SUV into India

This will be a good option, provided it doesn't start acting up with low quality fuel. The smooth ride and reliability should make it a winner, provided it costs about as much as an GLE or X5. Toyota CBU pricing history tells me that they could foul it up with obscene prices.

CBU itself could be appealing to a large percentage of the target customers, it should allow for some customization, Lexus has stuff like beige dashboards along with dollops of chrome, all the markers of super luxury in India.
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Old 28th September 2016, 12:57   #3
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Default Re: Lexus starts importing the RX450h Hybrid SUV into India

Well the car is more than capable to compete with the germans for its intended purpose. All that remains to be seen is the pricing. If they think they can get away with insane margins just like they did with the fortuner and the innova, they are in for a nasty surprise. Those two cars have virtually no competition, and the ones that attempt to compete have zero brand strength like renault, nissan and Mitsubishi. Lexus however is trying to compete with Mercedes and BMW. They will keep that in mind if they know whats good for them.

As for the RX itself, here's a good comparo with its arch rivals. Surprise, surprise it comes out on top. Though as seen in the review a reason for it victory is because it undercuts the germans and is good value.

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Old 28th September 2016, 13:00   #4
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Default Re: Lexus starts importing the RX450h Hybrid SUV into India

1. Toyota's after-sales quality is among the best in the industry.

2. The brand's reliability is the best in the world.

3. Their Indian service costs are honestly cheap / reasonable.

This could be a BIG, BIG differentiator in the luxury car segment. Could be the first 'sensible' luxury car one buys in India, as long as Toyota prices it 'sensibly'. Am not too optimistic about the pricing, going by how outrageously Toyota prices its CBUs.

Sure hope Toyota keeps it real - don't price it to sink it.
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Old 28th September 2016, 13:14   #5
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Default Re: Lexus starts importing the RX450h Hybrid SUV into India

Imagine a situation where Lexus would cost more than a BMW with BSI cover
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Old 28th September 2016, 15:45   #6
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Default Re: Lexus starts importing the RX450h Hybrid SUV into India

Considering the import price of the vehicle and the import duties that will be applied, a price bracket of 70-80 lakh seems possible for this new SUV.
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Old 28th September 2016, 17:49   #7
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Default Re: Lexus starts importing the RX450h Hybrid SUV into India

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitahirrao View Post
Considering the import price of the vehicle and the import duties that will be applied, a price bracket of 70-80 lakh seems possible for this new SUV.
And therein lies the problem with CBUs.

The RX450h's international competitor is the Mercedes M-Class / GLE. Now, the GLE250 starts at 60 odd lakhs, while the 6-cylinder diesel does at 70 odd lakhs. The customer won't care whether it's a CBU or CKD, but he will certainly not overpay. Hybrid is good, however a 6-cylinder diesel is no less desirable. Traditionally, we've always loved our big SUVs with a diesel under the hood (although a fuel-efficient hybrid could change that).

I don't know if Lexus will pull off some marketing genius, but Mercedes will always be 'Mercedes' to Indians. Doubt the slanted L will ever enjoy more prestige than the 3-pointed star.

My main area of concern remain's Toyota India's history with ridiculously priced CBUs. The Prado costs 1.2 crores today
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Old 28th September 2016, 18:57   #8
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Default Re: Lexus starts importing the RX450h Hybrid SUV into India

If we go by the import price and take Jeep India's pricing as a benchmark, we are certainly looking at something north of Rs. 90L. Anything less would be a surprise.

Apart from the pricing, the front end is surely going to polarise views (more towards negative side, if I may add!). Though design taste is subjective but I personally find the garage door grill a big turn-off. The sharp acute angles of headlamp do not help the matter one bit.
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Old 28th September 2016, 19:43   #9
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Default Re: Lexus starts importing the RX450h Hybrid SUV into India

Quote:
Originally Posted by nakul0888 View Post
As for the RX itself, here's a good comparo with its arch rivals. Surprise, surprise it comes out on top. Though as seen in the review a reason for it victory is because it undercuts the germans and is good value.
well if one actually views the conclusion, its undercutting the krauts doesn't really affect the verdict. The car is genuinely better in several key aspects. Lexus may not have the same snob value as BMW or Mercedes, but I know of several folks who will buy it only because it is a luxury Toyota. Like GTO mentioned, it will be one of those sensible luxury car buys. Sure, given the brand's pricing strategy in our market, it may be 10 lakhs more expensive but what is 10 lakhs when you consider the fact that you will never have to battle warranty claims, have outrageously expensive parts that require premature replacement, won't have to sell it to avoid reliability issues after only 3 years of ownership (it could act as a posh Inova that is retained for several years in a household) and for once a luxury car will probably mean luxury service too building on the Toyota after sales experience, unlike the shoddy service attitude of most german marquees in our country

Last edited by IshaanIan : 28th September 2016 at 19:45.
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Old 28th September 2016, 21:57   #10
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Default Re: Lexus starts importing the RX450h Hybrid SUV into India

Here in the US, at least in the Midwest, I know people prefer Lexus over BMW and Mercedes because of the reliability of Lexus vs the Germans. I however will be interested to see how this plays out in India, given that repair costs are much lower.
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Old 29th September 2016, 10:35   #11
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Default Re: Lexus starts importing the RX450h Hybrid SUV into India

Quote:
Originally Posted by studentonwheels View Post
Here in the US, at least in the Midwest, I know people prefer Lexus over BMW and Mercedes
For a while now, Mercedes & BMW have outsold Lexus in the USA. BMW was no.1 in 2015, Mercedes has the lead in 2016. A lot of it has to do with Lexus' weird new designs which have put off a lot of people.

Quote:
because of the reliability of Lexus vs the Germans
While the reliability of the luxury Germans is far from being blemish-free, things have definitely improved. BMW's reliability has always been between good & excellent. Mercedes has made major improvements in durability too. The 3-pointed stars low point was from the late 90s to around 2010, due to an idiotic management that chose to spend on acquisitions rather than engineering. But Mercedes has gotten its mojo back now .
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Old 29th September 2016, 19:22   #12
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Default Re: Lexus starts importing the RX450h Hybrid SUV into India

I think the acceptance levels of Lexus will be fairly good.

Today a lot of people are apprehensive about German 3 as it is very expensive to maintain.

Lexus with Toyota kind of A.S.S might tap potential deep pocket buyers whose preference is stress free motoring & ownership.

It will definitely create a segment & niche for itself.
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Old 29th September 2016, 20:12   #13
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Default Re: Lexus starts importing the RX450h Hybrid SUV into India

Quote:
Could be the first 'sensible' luxury car one buys in India, as long as Toyota prices it 'sensibly'. Am not too optimistic about the pricing, going by how outrageously Toyota prices its CBUs
Sensible & Toyota, at least in India does not go together especially on prices . If these assessable values are compared with the value for LC -200, I won't be surprised if this is launched at over 1,2 crore. These cars/ SUV's are definitely dead before launch.
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Last edited by Turbanator : 29th September 2016 at 20:41.
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Old 30th September 2016, 08:43   #14
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Default Re: Lexus starts importing the RX450h Hybrid SUV into India

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Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
Sensible & Toyota, at least in India does not go together especially on prices . If these assessable values are compared with the value for LC -200, I won't be surprised if this is launched at over 1,2 crore. These cars/ SUV's are definitely dead before launch.
The retail price impact is generally not because of the manufacturer, yes the manufacturer will definitely have a profit mark up on every car.

The taxes and excise are bigger impact, why isn't anyone blaming the Government for this?

Those who have experienced these cars in other countries might have known for fact that these cars are sold for almost half the price.

The tax structures in each country have made a bigger impact, not the manufacturer alone.
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Old 30th September 2016, 10:06   #15
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Default Re: Lexus starts importing the RX450h Hybrid SUV into India

To a common man, an Innova costing INR 27 Lakhs OTR and the Fortuner which might nudge INR 40 Lakhs OTR themselves are luxury vehicles. I seriously think how Lexus would pit against other Toyotas, especially the LC twins, which themselves are costing around a crore rupees. What would be the price of an LC derived Lexus then?

Well engineered, reliable cars are generally getting out of the reach of the common man, IMHO.
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