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View Poll Results: If Lexus were sold in India like BMW or Merc, how much premium would you pay for it?
None 179 81.00%
0-10% 18 8.14%
10-20% 15 6.79%
20-30% 5 2.26%
30-40% 4 1.81%
above 40% 0 0%
Voters: 221. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 22nd September 2010, 17:48   #1
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Default Lexus over a BMW/Merc?

My cousin in Chennai recently imported a Lexus GS300, 3.0L Petrol (White Colour).
He started his search almost 6 months back, constantly calling Toyota, asking whether there were any plans to launch the Lexus in India and all he got was a modest "we do not have any plans currently but are studying the market" response.

Frustrated, he finally went through Magus cars and imported his long time passion paying almost a crore (almost twice that of competing models here)

While he told me all this, I was wondering why he chose to spend that amount on buying the lexus, while having a choice of other brands like BMW or Merc (even Audi now) who are selling thier cars here right at our door steps.

He once told me, he wouldn't mind paying a premium upto 10-15% over Merc or BMW, if Toyota were to sell the Lexus here.

But then that elusive question still plagued me.

How much premium can a brand like Lexus demand over BMW or Merc (maybe Audi too!)

My thoughts would be limited on this as I myself dont earn that much

But it intrigues me to know.
What say?
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Old 22nd September 2010, 18:21   #2
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"Frustrated, he finally went through Magus cars and imported his long time passion"
This statement explains it all. He did not mind paying such a huge amount for a GS as it was his long time passion and it probably was his only alternative as Lexus remains elusive to India.
Personally , if they were here, i wouldn't see a single reason for them to charge even a penny's premium over the German trio. Even Jaguar currently sells a really handsome and exquisite line up of cars in India but honestly, i dont see a reason for even them to charge a notable premium over the trio if they are to stay in the competition. Ok...recently Ratan Tata was quoted telling the Jaguar employees to rise above the level of the Teutonic trio and look to match standards set by Bentley but as of now, granting that they make some amazing cars, i dont know how many customers might they be loosing thanks to the premium over the Germans.
Point is, if i am extremely happy with an excellent Audi/BMW rather than paying a premium for a Jag, there is no question of paying a premium for a Lexus unless i was a Lexus fan like your friend.

Last edited by PlatzdaTurbo : 22nd September 2010 at 18:22.
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Old 22nd September 2010, 18:33   #3
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I won't mind paying a premium for the Lexus, cause in the long run the Lexus is a 100 times more reliable and cheaper to maintain than the germans. But since Lexus doesn't have any presence in India it may be the opposite. Also driving dynamics apart Lexus is better than BMW,audi and a tad lower than merc in overall comfort.
Brand wise Merc is still at top and for me (personally) Lexus comes second. BMW has equal brand status but can't see the luxury in the ride comfort department.It's a SPORTS LUXURY brand for me. While Audi is nowhere near to the above three.

The only problem or rather reason that Lexus not launching here is that the only diesel in their line up is in the IS200d and that too not even close to the germans in performance,NVH. Also they would want to launch the LS first for brand building ,but it has only a V8 petrol.
BTW, @karpusv-some pics and TD report of your cousin's GS please.....
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Old 22nd September 2010, 19:03   #4
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Not a penny more for Lexus over the German Trio!
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Old 22nd September 2010, 19:19   #5
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The question should be does Lexus warrant a premium over the german trio?
Now obviously if it was launched here in India,they wont be in their right minds to ask a premium for it.

But what if the option was there of getting a Lexus and paying a premium for it?What does Lexus owners here and others think?

Lexus's USP is luxury+reliability or is it a bit overrated?
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Old 22nd September 2010, 19:52   #6
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While I still like to believe in Toyota's/Lexus' much touted albeit dented record on reliability, I do not think a Lexus warrants a price premium above BMW, Audi or Mercedes Benz. I certainly wouldn't pay a premium.
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Old 22nd September 2010, 20:07   #7
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Voted none.No premium from my side too. But i am willing to pay as much as BMW/MERC for a Lexus. Also In India people recognize Merc and now a days BMW rarely Audi. So no point paying premium for Lexus.

Any idea how is pricing of Lexus in US? is it priced over or below Merc/BMW/Audi?
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Old 22nd September 2010, 20:37   #8
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In the UK Lexus is priced on par with the Germans if not negligibly less. But they are almost fully kitted up against the germans where everything is an option (in some cases even the carpets, BMW is particularly notorious for this). Therefore the Lexus in real terms is cheaper than the German options.

Therefore I think an option for 10% cheaper shoul be added to the poll. This will help Lexus get a foothold in India, especially with their inferior diesels.....oh also their artificial intelligence accelerator pedals.
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Old 22nd September 2010, 20:46   #9
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pretty sure in all international markets lexus is priced below merc, bmw, and some models of audi. so i dont see IF and when it is released in India why someone would want to pay more for it. Since its not available in India i can understand why someone on the other hand would want to pay more to own something a little more exclusive and maybe a brand they are loyal to.
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Old 22nd September 2010, 20:48   #10
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From the Lexus(s) I have driven - not owned by me - I dont think there is anything to pay premium for lexus against the german trio. Lexus is not a drivers car unlike the german trio. It is good for people who need relatively cheaper luxury. BTW, there are a lot of takers for lexus because it is not a very drivers car. Picture this, one of the lexus I drove is a friend of my cousin. He decided on lexus against C class, because the C class steering was hard and lexus one was smooth. Hard means steering feedback is enthusiast dictionary . And we complain C class steering is too light.

Originally Posted by cheap_deal View Post
pretty sure in all international markets lexus is priced below merc, bmw, and some models of audi.
It is, atleast in middle east markets.

Last edited by mxx : 22nd September 2010 at 20:51.
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Old 22nd September 2010, 20:53   #11
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With the recent announcement that Toyota is shifting Lexus into a sports car brand, I might give them some thought. The absolutely bonkers LF-A with it's performance over everything focus does really show that Toyota still can make cars that blow your mind powersliding as much as they do by living considerably longer lives than our own pets.

But right now? A Beemer for me, please.
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Old 22nd September 2010, 21:00   #12
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Lexus over the years has really grown into a very respectable brand and their new cars have really started to get better with every generation but in no ways would I consider a premium over the German brands, while they do have a reputation of being a lot more reliable then the Germans, the Germans are catching up and reliability aside they do lack a lot of emotion and passion in terms of design etc.

In short they are very good cars but if they come into India, I would assume they would price the cars below the Germans or perhaps at par with better equipment if they are really looking for volumes. But with Toyota India being lazy at setting up assembly operations for Camry, Land cruiser etc. I wonder if they will just take the CBU route for the Lexus which itself would make it expensive with the addition of the import duty.

It will ultimately boil down to their strategy of wanting higher sales or just remain in a niche market.
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Old 22nd September 2010, 21:33   #13
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Except reliability, I dont see any other reason where the Lexus might score over BMW/Merc. So I would not pay any premium

I have driven the first gen IS300 and it used to out handle the BMW 3 series. But then it was a little cramped and did not have a manual transmission and was not well rounded like the BMW.

I would buy a Lexus for my father. But then again no premium.
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Old 22nd September 2010, 22:29   #14
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Originally Posted by karpusv View Post
How much premium can a brand like Lexus demand over BMW or Merc (maybe Audi too!)
Are you kidding? I am a *reliability* fan, NOT a Lexus fan. In fact, you'll find thousands of Merc & BMW fans, but maybe a handful of Lexus fans (if at all) in this country. I've been asking for Lexus to arrive at our shores since ages. But that's NOT because I have anything for the brand. It's purely due to the fact that there is a void in the luxury segment...a void that can be filled by a car that's premium as well as reliable. Fact is:

Lexus does NOT have the brand equity of BMW or Mercedes
Lexus does NOT have the heritage
Lexus does NOT have the dynamics of the Germans

So, lets us NOT kid ourselves that Lexus can charge a premium over Mercedes & BMW. Heck, forget a premium. Lexus should ideally price itself under Mercedes & BMW, just as they do in most other markets.

Voted for zero premium

P.S. Your friend must have been smoking some pretty heavy stuff if he paid a crore for the GS300. Firstly, he's bought an old model. Second, you could get an LS460 for about a crore. The LS is the car that's a true competitor to the S Class & 7 Series. The GS, on the other hand, is a mid-size Lexus...no ways a 1 crore rupee car! Whoever the dealer was, he is the only one to have gained from this deal.

Last edited by GTO : 22nd September 2010 at 22:36.
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Old 22nd September 2010, 22:47   #15
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one lexus that im willing to pay a premium over the Germans any day is the Mighty "LFA" .
That car is bloody worth it.
apart from it , no logical reason for paying a premium (the Germans are already overpriced IMO) so a premium over the overpriced choices are not worth it.
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