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Old 28th March 2017, 18:53   #76
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Default Re: Lexus ES 300h launched in India at Rs. 55 lakh

Very interesting opinions both ways on this thread and rightly so. The average Team BHPian may be too young to remember Lexus as I do: "Harshad Mehta's car". The big bull's flashy auto was cited (perhaps apocryphally) as one of the things that tipped off the authorities to his massive wealth. I was in my teens when the whole story broke but still remember the press covering the Lexus with glee.

Having said that, it is undisputable fact that Lexus is way too late an entrant into the Indian market, with the Germans having firmly established themselves and even the likes of Volvo almost getting there. No doubt they are going to have a tough battle ahead.

I also agree with some members who've posted here that Lexus needed a bigger, flashier "halo car" as their entry strategy. Typical product lifecycle for a lifestyle brand is to get in on the high end and gradually work your way down. Look at Mercedes!

But given that Lexus itself was launched as a rebadged Toyota to appeal to higher-end customers in the US at a time when Japan wasn't exactly synonymous with class & prestige, it's going to be a tough job for parent Toyota to maintain the differentiation between the brands. More likely than not they will end in the unenviable position of Volkwagen, trying to position the "premium" brand higher than the established player...and failing!

The only reason I'd consider a Lexus is to have Japanese reliability with the aura of luxury. But with Toyota's bread and butter offerings already crossing 30 and 40 L (don't get get me started on the Landcruiser) I am seriously wondering if Lexus has any hope at all in the Indian market. Time will tell.
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Old 29th March 2017, 01:24   #77
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Default Re: Lexus ES 300h launched in India at Rs. 55 lakh

Speaking strictly from a marketing point of view, each brand has its own pull - its the reason why we have so many and without the pull no brand will survive except for the "best" which itself is a perspective to begin with.

Now, I cant presume to know what exactly attracts a certain buyer to a certain brand - maybe its the need to be apart from the crowd, maybe its a factor of the brand that resonates with a certain need of the buyer, it could be because he/she likes the look of the product or it could be simply because they've been taught to love the brand by people whose opinion matters to them.

I think we as a forum today, are relying too much on others opinions on what the perfect car is.. lets face it, we all have our preferences, most of us do. Each member has a right to support the brand they like without having to debate about it, and each member reserves their right to disagree.. nothing changes at the end of the day in terms of view-points so why even argue?

Having said that, my simple opinion is that the Lexus ES 300h is indeed overpriced, specially when we take into account the final price, however it is also a hybrid if I'm to understand correctly? I guess most hybrids are "out there" in pricing and this one should be no different. Styling wise and brand equity wise, its not quite my cup of tea but I certainly understand why people will buy it, its their choice and their cheque, it HAS to be something they love at the end of the day.
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Old 29th March 2017, 08:33   #78
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Default Re: Lexus ES 300h launched in India at Rs. 55 lakh

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
Extremely well finished. Absolutely excellent attention to quality.
Truly a very very worthy competitor to the big three Germans!

And whats more?
It is super super reliable according to all the drivers whom I know who use this vehicle.

People who buy Lexus, buy it with their 'Heads' not their 'Hearts' to paraphrase Jeremy Clarkson in Top Gear circa 1993-1994...
Thank you Shankar. It is certainly a 'head' decision and not a 'heart' one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeldo View Post
And I humbly suggest to those esteemed fellow members who are unconvinced on superior or comparable service experience, that they walk into a Toyota service facility and compare its ambiance, the staff's politeness, the transparency in their interaction, etc., etc. with any German marque's. You will find that there are more vehicles and more people around in the lounge, but as somebody who has seen the Toyota, Mercedes, BMW, and Volkswagen service facilities in my town, let me say this: the Toyota facility is quite mind boggling.
Bingo Yeldo. I did a thorough inspection of almost 90 minutes of Toyota's repair & service shop. I dont think that is usual for buyers but they obliged. In my business we run several maintenance units of a different kind. I have some idea of what is good, bad or ugly. Toyota got 8 on 10.

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Originally Posted by lexusES350 View Post
As my account says, I own a Lexus ES in its 350 avatar which has 3.5 liter Petrol engine producing 278HP. It is a gem of a car and I have driven it daily since April 2009 till today without a single issue and only routine maintenance which costs no more than 40 USD every 3 months or so and occassional brake pad & tire replacements which are again not that expensive compared to Germans.

Its a reliable daily driver and I have already passed 1,10,000 miles on it i.e. more than 1,75,000 kms. My daily commute is little more than 60m round-trip or about 100km in all stop and go traffic so it puts lot of stress on engine and transmission but still its butter smooth and no vibrations or excessive noise at all even after putting on so many miles. Its interiors are impeccable without single rattle or issue even after 8 years or ownership and having driven it in not so nice SF Bay Area traffic & roads which are some of the worst in the US.
lexusES350, you're the man after my own heart.I was quite clear that if I am to spend as much on a car as on an apartment then reliability and good service and positive attitude towards the customer are the table stakes. In this department my interaction thus far with Lexus indicates they will be miles ahead of the German III. This is a very reassuring post to read the day before I take delivery and empty by bank account.
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Originally Posted by Vikram Arya View Post
I have driven both The Lexus ES 350 (was a 2012 and not the ES 300H though) and Toyota Camry; they are as different a vehicle as chalk & cheese; the only commonality between them being the plush ride.

Lexus ES range is rarely cross shopped with a MB/BMW/Audi. Potential buyers of the European luxo cruisers stick to the gang from Deutschland & they probably have as strong a reasons to buy MB/BMW/Audi which is absolutely fine.

In 2016 Lexus ES sold 58,299 units vs 46,740 of E Class & 32,408 of 5 Series, making it a clear winner of the segment. The reason Iím comparing it to the E class and the 5 Series is because its typical competitors such as C 350 or the 340Xi are not sold in India currently.
Vikram, thank you for your comparison between Camry & the ES300H. You hit the nail on the head that buyers of a Lexus are often not buyers of the German III. The appeal and image of a Mercedes is different from that of a Lexus. It works for different people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dark.knight View Post
I think we as a forum today, are relying too much on others opinions on what the perfect car is.. lets face it, we all have our preferences, most of us do. Each member has a right to support the brand they like without having to debate about it, and each member reserves their right to disagree.. nothing changes at the end of the day in terms of view-points so why even argue?
..... but I certainly understand why people will buy it, its their choice and their cheque, it HAS to be something they love at the end of the day.
Thank you dark.knight for this mature and balanced perspective. At times we have a herd mentality on our otherwise delightful forum. Clearly Lexus' pricing strategy has touched a raw nerve in many. In all fairness I agree they have over priced by Rs 5L at the very least. I wrote as much, in a nice way, to the MD of Toyota Kirloskar. But if the car delivers 12 years and 200,000 aggravation free kms then the amortization is ~Rs 40k a year. I'll live with that.
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Old 29th March 2017, 10:25   #79
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Default Re: Lexus ES 300h launched in India at Rs. 55 lakh

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
lexusES350, you're the man after my own heart.I was quite clear that if I am to spend as much on a car as on an apartment then reliability and good service and positive attitude towards the customer are the table stakes. In this department my interaction thus far with Lexus indicates they will be miles ahead of the German III. This is a very reassuring post to read the day before I take delivery and empty by bank account.
I'm sure you will be very happy with the purchase. Hopefully it will bring you several years of worry free ownership experience. All the best.



Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Thank you dark.knight for this mature and balanced perspective. At times we have a herd mentality on our otherwise delightful forum. Clearly Lexus' pricing strategy has touched a raw nerve in many. In all fairness I agree they have over priced by Rs 5L at the very least. I wrote as much, in a nice way, to the MD of Toyota Kirloskar. But if the car delivers 12 years and 200,000 aggravation free kms then the amortization is ~Rs 40k a year. I'll live with that.
I'm pretty sure 12 years and 200,000 KMs is easily doable with ES300 without any fuss.

Only caveat might be whether Lexus will be a success in India and whether they invest their time and energy in Indian market. If they find too few buyers due to stigma of paying more for Japanese car than German then unfortunately they may exit the market if success doesnt come their way leaving early adaptors like you behind. This is my only fear for Lexus in India and early adaptors like you. Hopefully my fear is unfounded and they become a synonym with reliability and worry free luxury as has been case in US and many other markets.
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Old 29th March 2017, 17:17   #80
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Default Re: Lexus ES 300h launched in India at Rs. 55 lakh

The usual Lexus bashing internet fodder is focused on lack of prestige and driving dynamics, etc. People who are writing cheques to buy Lexus may not agree/care about these aspects. Lexus makes a good buy as it delivers quality, reliability, customer service and lower cost of maintenance.

But unless you are a paranoid of German brands, or a big fan of Lexus, there is absolutely no reason for a neutral person not to buy a German car in India. Lexus India offers no advantage to a typical Indian luxury car buyer and I want to bust this whole 1990s myth of Lexus bullet proof reliability vs German ownership nightmare. All my points are very specific to Indian market which is what matters compared to US/ME experiences

Cost of purchase: Toyota goons in India charge protection money. Anybody who is buying a Toyota product is fully aware there is a hidden reliability cost factored in. Can anyone honestly say Corolla/Innova/Fortuner/Camry are VFM? They argue that it will cost less in the long term, which I will address in my next point. Lexus is following exactly in these footsteps. The same Toyota price pinch is being felt by potential Lexus buyers. Their fond memory of Lexus (US/ME) cars costing less than Germans but offering matching quality and better ownership is not going to happen in Indian market.

Longterm ownership costs: This I agree that Toyota delivers in spades. It costs less to maintain, holds better resale value and lasts forever. This is what made Lexus such a crazy success in the US (combined with lower purchase price). But India is a different story - most of the people replace their cars in 5-6 years - it is even more evident in Luxury car segment. So if anyone is buying a Lexus to drive for 12 years and 2 Lakh KM, then great it is the best choice. But Luxury cars stop being special in 5-6 years, they look old, dirty, abused, out-dated, accident-damaged, etc. So be realistic about how long you plan to keep the car. You don't have to pay protection money to Lexus/Toyota if you are a regular car buyer with 12K km per year and look to replace in 5-6 years. It will have a poorer resale but you also get good discounts at the time of buying.

Reliability: Remember we are not buying pacemakers. Reliability is good but it has its place and value in the broader decision making parameters. If you plan to keep the car for more than 6 years, yes Japanese reliability will reward you. But during the initial 6 years, German cars are also nearly fuss free. It is 0 incidents in Lexus vs pessimistic 1-2 incidents in Germans over a period of initial 6 years, often covered by warranty/good-will,etc. I have owned Opel (Corsa 7yrs), Skoda (Laura 4yrs till major accident, Fabia 7 years), BMW (520d 6 years), Mercedes (S350 5 years) cars and they have served me really well - nearly 30 years with a single incident in Fabia covered under warranty (with additional free warranty given after repair).

Lexus India strategy: It is very lame to say the least. Volvo with poorer brand, poorer prospects, poorer everything gets a lot more admiration on this forum. Lexus with a strong brand and strong Toyota presence has absolutely no serious plans here. It deserves all the bashing that is dished out on this forum.

So what's my advice? Lexus is better if you want to drive it for 10yrs, put a million miles on it and get the best resale value. But if you just need a luxury car for moderate use till the next upgrade, you will be wiser to skip Lexus. If you get behind the wheel on a highway, drive a 3L German car before you write your will. It will cure your reliability sickness.
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Old 29th March 2017, 19:09   #81
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Default Re: Lexus ES 300h launched in India at Rs. 55 lakh

I am having trouble figuring out Lexus line up.

Lexus IS= bmw 3 series segment
Lexus GS= bmw 5 series segemnt
Lexus LS= bmw 7 series segemnt

So where the heck does Lexus ES compete in?

Personally I would have hoped Lexus to come in Guns blazing with a GSF followed by the normal GS.

The GS is easily a match for its German rivals in any department. The ones that say Lexus is making only boring boat like cars is still living in the past. Although the ES definitely fits the description

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Old 29th March 2017, 22:41   #82
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Default Re: Lexus ES 300h launched in India at Rs. 55 lakh

Quote:
Originally Posted by nakul0888 View Post
I am having trouble figuring out Lexus line up.

Lexus IS= bmw 3 series segment
Lexus GS= bmw 5 series segemnt
Lexus LS= bmw 7 series segemnt

So where the heck does Lexus ES compete in?

Personally I would have hoped Lexus to come in Guns blazing with a GSF followed by the normal GS.

The GS is easily a match for its German rivals in any department. The ones that say Lexus is making only boring boat like cars is still living in the past. Although the ES definitely fits the description
You sir have hit the nail on its head. GS is a direct competitor to E/5/A6 and is well regarded. ES is significantly cheaper than GS, evolved from Camry, became insanely popular among certain buyers (a sure sign that driverless cars would be a reality soon) and has its own slot in the showroom priced between IS and GS. Not much cross-shopping happens between ES and GS after a brief test drive. So here we are, no GS but an ES that is priced above GS's direct competition.
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Old 30th March 2017, 00:09   #83
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Default Re: Lexus ES 300h launched in India at Rs. 55 lakh

Don't know why there is a feeling that Toyota is overcharging their products in India. It's not that they are not, but they do the same everywhere. Either in the US or ME, Toyota products cost higher than other Japanese or Korean equivalent.

Also, the Lexus was never the "Cheaper" alternative, they were the smarter choice. For a similarly equipped vehicle, the difference in cost was not that high.

While comparisons of power output and transmission choice seems to dominate the criteria for success, I am more interested in the smaller details.

For example, I am highly unimpressed by the plastic under and around the seats of some of the cars in this category and the little rattling gets on my nerve.

From my memory, these are some of the areas that Lexus has gotten more like the Mercedes of yore, while Mercedes looks more like what Toyota did.

There is also the confidence that irrespective of Lexus continuing in India, support from Toyota will never stop.

Cheers
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Old 30th March 2017, 09:26   #84
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Default Re: Lexus ES 300h launched in India at Rs. 55 lakh

Lexus ES 300h contributes to nearly 50 percent of Total Demand

Quote:
Among the lot, the ES 300h which represents the brandís entry into the mid-sized luxury car space has quickly emerged as a popular pick. The automaker reported that atleast 50 per cent sales of its total sales come from the ES 300h alone. Introduced at a price of Rs 55.27 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the mid-sized sedan is in fact the most affordable option among Lexus cars in India.
Quote:
The vehicle is slightly pricier since it has been introduced in the country via the CBU route. But then, it also offers that unmatched reliability and quality that Lexus has always been known for. Only time will tell though, whether the automaker will sell it via the CKD route in the country. For now, the brand being well known in the country, we might see many more Lexus cars on the road.
Source
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Old 30th March 2017, 09:35   #85
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Default Re: Lexus ES 300h launched in India at Rs. 55 lakh

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Originally Posted by androdev View Post
You sir have hit the nail on its head. GS is a direct competitor to E/5/A6 and is well regarded. ES is significantly cheaper than GS, evolved from Camry, became insanely popular among certain buyers (a sure sign that driverless cars would be a reality soon) and has its own slot in the showroom priced between IS and GS. Not much cross-shopping happens between ES and GS after a brief test drive. So here we are, no GS but an ES that is priced above GS's direct competition.
Its also a FWD vs RWD for other Lexus cars. It was an entry level car towards premium cars for Toyota customers or whoever wants to move up. Carrying Camry's goodwill towards more luxury.
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Old 30th March 2017, 09:39   #86
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Default Re: Lexus ES 300h launched in India at Rs. 55 lakh

50% of what demand? Maybe 20 units? I can't imagine any vehicle other than the ES doing relatively well, considering how obscenely the rest of them are priced. The ES while I still believe should have been a few lacs cheaper, is priced decently well. Though when the new 530i comes in at a similar price it will be interesting to see what the buyers choose.
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Old 30th March 2017, 18:52   #87
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Default Re: Lexus ES 300h launched in India at Rs. 55 lakh

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Originally Posted by lexusES350 View Post
Only caveat might be whether Lexus will be a success in India and whether they invest their time and energy in Indian market. If they find too few buyers due to stigma of paying more for Japanese car than German then unfortunately they may exit the market if success doesnt come their way leaving early adaptors like you behind. This is my only fear for Lexus in India and early adaptors like you. Hopefully my fear is unfounded and they become a synonym with reliability and worry free luxury as has been case in US and many other markets.
Very valid point. It's a risk to evaluate and act upon (or pass). Only time will tell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nakul0888 View Post
I am having trouble figuring out Lexus line up.

Lexus IS= bmw 3 series segment
Lexus GS= bmw 5 series segemnt
Lexus LS= bmw 7 series segemnt

So where the heck does Lexus ES compete in?
Not sure why any brand's strategy should be to match BMW (or any other brand) one for one. We could equally question why BMW don't have a model slotted between Series 3 and 5. Of course is ES the equivalent of 5 or a 4 is a debate which wont get settled soon.

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Originally Posted by gthang View Post

From my memory, these are some of the areas that Lexus has gotten more like the Mercedes of yore, while Mercedes looks more like what Toyota did.
Thank you gthang. You put my assessment in words I was too scared to write given that supporters of Lexus are in a dire minority here. Signing off from this thread. Will write an owner's review if I muster up the courage.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 30th March 2017 at 18:54.
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Old 30th March 2017, 20:05   #88
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Default Re: Lexus ES 300h launched in India at Rs. 55 lakh

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
You put my assessment in words I was too scared to write given that supporters of Lexus are in a dire minority here. Signing off from this thread. Will write an owner's review if I muster up the courage.
This is just casual internet banter, don't read too much into it. We would all be cheering for Lexus if it had followed the same price positioning on par with what it does in other markets. Foruner vs Ford Endy or Corolla petrol AT vs Skoda TSI DSG in other markets tells the same story. Toyota products are cheaper in other markets but costlier in our market. You hardly see any criticism of Volvo cars (in fact they get a lot of praise on this forum) which are also seen as a discerning choice by Luxury car buyers who are looking for alternatives to the German trio.

Just treat all this Lexus criticism as an amusing banter. We are all eagerly waiting for your ownership review. It's a great choice, hopefully Lexus will work out a better pricing soon. Only Lexus can help us get better warranty on our German elephants, we are disappointed they are not selling more
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Old 31st March 2017, 01:42   #89
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Default Re: Lexus ES 300h launched in India at Rs. 55 lakh

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Signing off from this thread. Will write an owner's review if I muster up the courage.
I for one shall await your review, as I said before its each person's personal choice and at times I've also experienced exactly what you've experienced, for I own one of the most hated brands (by a particular section) in India - Hyundai. I accept what some people have to say about it without arguement, comments on it being bad to drive, poorly made, and unreliable - I accept it because I cannot overrule personal opinions and judgements, its how they feel and I'm more than okay with it.

Truth is my car has not given a single problem over the past 9 years, drives extremely well (old school hydraulic steering), grips the road and cocoons me like a dream and doesn't have a single rattle till date, it beats many "German" cars of similar size, in terms of space, ease of driving, steering and reliability.. of course this too, was conceived in Germany. That's my view and the view of almost anyone who owns the Getz, of course certain prejudices and reservations against a brand for no reason is natural in almost anyone including myself, it defines the choices that we make.

Likewise I'm sure the Lexus, it doesn't compete at all with the BMW whose niche is in great driving cars, but it has its own charm of being a capable, comfortable, plush ride - I know that's exactly what you wanted so any and all opinions by us are moot. The way I see this forum, I welcome all opinions, hate and criticisms of any brand, even those which are truly contradictory to my own experiences. I however, can only share what I've experienced and what I've felt. Discussions can go on and on until our internet subscriptions run out, but in the end reality is in putting the money down on a product with full conviction.
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Old 31st March 2017, 08:14   #90
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Default Re: Lexus ES 300h launched in India at Rs. 55 lakh

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
I was too scared to write given that supporters of Lexus are in a dire minority here. Signing off from this thread. Will write an owner's review if I muster up the courage.
Sir, we sincerely need your review. Please don't get disheartened by our comments. I think most who have commented, have a problem only with the pricing and not with the car. They feel the car is priced more than what it should be. Even when I searched, showed the car to be priced between 3 and 5 series internationally, and was eagerly waiting for the car. But after hearing the prices, was disappointed. May be, it also has to do with the killer pricing of E class. As lexus was launched after E, they could have priced it a minimum of five lakhs below E. I'm sure the comments would have been much different then. Anyway, I once again appologise on my behalf and others. Please don't let it stop you from writing your review. It may change our perspective too.
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