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Old 10th June 2017, 19:40   #31
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Default Re: Driven: The Lexus Range (ES 300h, RX 450h & LX 450d)

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Let's not jump the gun. Let's keep it real. Toyota has a history of taking extremely good care of its customers. It's also in a strong position locally, and there's no chance of the parent company leaving India.
True, but sales dictate the presence.

If it succeeds, then it'll be very peculiar. But if it doesn't then maybe Toyota does local manufacturing and hopefully passes on the benefits to prospective customers. But this is a very half hearted job (or maybe Toyota is testing uncharted waters?). Again, it'll be peculiar because luxury cars are doing pretty okay.

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Old 10th June 2017, 21:54   #32
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Default Re: Driven: The Lexus Range (ES 300h, RX 450h & LX 450d)

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True, but sales dictate the presence.

If it succeeds, then it'll be very peculiar. But if it doesn't then maybe Toyota does local manufacturing and hopefully passes on the benefits to prospective customers. But this is a very half hearted job (or maybe Toyota is testing uncharted waters?). Again, it'll be peculiar because luxury cars are doing pretty okay.
Lexus as a brand is one which will not fail and Toyota will make sure of that. They have the muscle. If they can sell a Fortuner for 40L, a Camry for 40L then a Lexus for 75L is easy.

They don't need volumes. They are playing safe with CBU and not aggressive in going for volumes. They are going for exclusive and it's the right way to go. Also, they are pampering the customers with an experience that the big 3 are nowhere near.

If Volvo is here in India and so is JLR, there is no reason a Lexus can shut shop in India. People were importing Lexus individually even when they weren't on sale in India.

And the CVT is not a standard CVT, it's one of the most complex hybrid CVT units you can get.
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Old 11th June 2017, 16:57   #33
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Default Re: Driven: The Lexus Range (ES 300h, RX 450h & LX 450d)

My god. The pricing seems like a joke. Lexus is indeed capable - I take their sedans most days through Uber or Careem here in Dubai and understand that they are solid products. But they do not have the oomph factor for the kind of pricing they are asking for in India. Any day Ill go for XC90 over this L contraption 450d if Im in the market for a non German luxury SUV.
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Old 11th June 2017, 18:17   #34
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Default Re: Driven: The Lexus Range (ES 300h, RX 450h & LX 450d)

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Lexus as a brand is one which will not fail and Toyota will make sure of that. They have the muscle.
And the Toyota goodwill they've built over the years. The Lexus brand is also popular in states like Kerala where there are quite a lot of Gulf returnees.

Surely don't see the value in these cars for the asking price, but totally agree with you that Lexus is here to stay for the long term.

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Also, they are pampering the customers with an experience that the big 3 are nowhere near.
Didn't get what this point is about though! What experience are you mentioning?
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Old 12th June 2017, 22:20   #35
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Default Re: Driven: The Lexus Range (ES 300h, RX 450h & LX 450d)

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Didn't get what this point is about though! What experience are you mentioning?
Allow me to share my thoughts which possibly apply to many other buyers. For me when buying a car, especially an expensive one, the first important criteria is that I am not buying a physical product but a composite service for 10 years.

The physical product + consistent after sales service + associated attitude all need to be of a fully acceptable high standard. The story is not just of the car.

Through my buying process of the ES300h both Toyota Kirloskar and the local Lexus dealer addressed my many questions via email or personal meetings -about 40 emails and 4 meetings at my residence. My letters to the Toyota Kirloskar Managing Director were replied to promptly by him personally as were questions to the Lexus Gurgaon dealer-owner. All this left a very positive impression on me that Lexus as a brand are not shy of engaging intimately with the customer and do not hide behind the dealer's sales officer and manager. This is the first time I have spent so much money on a car. Money that, like with many BHPians, has been earned with some effort over a lifetime. And I expect that the senior management of the OEM be willing to engage with the customer with finesse and respect.

The buying experience has been a 9.9 on 10. From the dealer-owner to the GM to the sales manager they could not have been more attentive, patient and courteous. And they continue to keep in touch. They make you feel you are important to Lexus and the feel good factor can get addictive! In this area of human interface Toyota-Lexus are a mile ahead of Mercedes' non-communicativeness and Audi's bombardment by SMS (I had evaluated the E- LWB as a contender so speak from direct recent experience). When a customer purchases an expensive asset he expects from the OEM & dealer courtesy, accessibility, finesse and a willingness to spend time through first the decision process, second the actual buying and after that as the car settles in. Here Lexus has touched a happy chord sadly missing in some other OEMs.

I have not reached the point where the car needs servicing but if my experience with our office Camry is anything to judge by it will be first class.

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Lexus as a brand is one which will not fail and Toyota will make sure of that.
They don't need volumes. They are playing safe with CBU and not aggressive in going for volumes. They are going for exclusive and it's the right way to go. Also, they are pampering the customers with an experience that the big 3 are nowhere near.
And the CVT is not a standard CVT, it's one of the most complex hybrid CVT units you can get.
Thank you for your balanced perspective and inputs.
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Taking the ES300H for example - the below pics were taken from the official review, cropped to highlight some of the points I found shocking, considering the 68L onroad price point.

The above examples like exposed screw on the dashboard, utilitarian looking buttons all around, and even multiple dummy buttons across the cabin -
You are right to point these out. They are facts. Toyota should do better. The rear centre rest buttons look out of a Contessa! Nevertheless allow me to say that one bolt and two button covers do not make a car that needs to last a decade and maybe 2 lakh kms. While the critic may feel strongly the actual buyer is likely to take a more holistic view. After all the latest E class, which is a beautiful powerful car, has artificial leather (or something to that effect) and disco lights (to quote my elderly aunt) and yet customers will buy it for a lot more than just that and rightfully so.
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Old 12th June 2017, 23:10   #36
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Personally here's what I find disappointing.

Despite such a dominant position in India through Toyota and the presence of existing manufacturing Toyota can't be bothered to bring in the Lexus through the CKD route at at least sensible prices. That's absolutely ludicrous. Even the fledgling Volvo is moving to CKD. As a standalone brand without toyota like volume muscle behind it.

While there is a presumed peace of mind granted to the Lexus (rightly so with years of Toyota brand equity), the fact is that the big Germans (MB and BMW at least) aren't exactly shabby in terms of warranty offerings and service.

At the end of the day, if I had on par pricing for a Lexus and corresponding BMW / Merc, I'd happily give due credence to each product in consideration. But at the current prices its not even worth considering for me personally.
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Old 12th June 2017, 23:36   #37
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Default Re: Driven: The Lexus Range (ES 300h, RX 450h & LX 450d)

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Personally here's what I find disappointing.

Despite such a dominant position in India through Toyota and the presence of existing manufacturing Toyota can't be bothered to bring in the Lexus through the CKD route at at least sensible prices. That's absolutely ludicrous. Even the fledgling Volvo is moving to CKD. As a standalone brand without toyota like volume muscle behind it.
I'm not supporting Lexus / Toyota but I really doubt even CKD would work out for Lexus.

The reason is Toyota is so particular about Lexus that other than Japan the only other place the Lexus is assembled is USA and Canada. There is no other country that assembles Lexus. So India has a long way to go. Forget volumes which will be miniscule but more about the Toyota process.

They have one plant that makes the LS and GS sedans. This is the most advanced plant from what I know, the Tahara plant. It's almost a legendary plant:

http://www.autonews.com/article/2007...flagship-plant

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!to...in/K-AdoJd7XcU

The ES and RX sold in India are made in a different plant.

I don't think they can ever this level of control in a plant in India so importing the car from the Japan plant actually makes it more exclusive. It's like those old days where people would buy electronics that were only Made in Japan.

Ofcourse all this obsession with quality and reliability is still no excuse for putting in Toyota parts from cheaper cars like Camry and exposed screws and nuts.
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Old 13th June 2017, 03:05   #38
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Well here's the thing. If you want to sell in a particular country I'd still say take some effort by working cost backwards or whatever to at least be remotely competitive under whatever route you choose to adopt. But then judging by how Toyota has priced cars like the LC / Prado, on 2nd thoughts the Lexus pricing is really not such a surprise to me.
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Old 13th June 2017, 08:40   #39
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Default Re: Driven: The Lexus Range (ES 300h, RX 450h & LX 450d)

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
For me when buying a car, especially an expensive one, the first important criteria is that I am not buying a physical product but a composite service for 10 years.

I have not reached the point where the car needs servicing but if my experience with our office Camry is anything to judge by it will be first class.
I have personal experience with Toyota Service in Bangalore and I really do agree it's top class. Very functional and neat, even though not luxurious. Not sure if Lexus gets separate centers though!

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I'm not supporting Lexus / Toyota but I really doubt even CKD would work out for Lexus.

I don't think they can ever this level of control in a plant in India so importing the car from the Japan plant actually makes it more exclusive.
Japan, is fine. However-

When Zauba still used to show correct data for imports, it has clearly recorded the details of the imports done by Lexus.

The RX450H for example, was imported with a value of around 32L. ES300H was imported with a value of around 23L. LX450D had a value of around 50L. These are more inline with international prices (ES300H - $41k ~ 27L, RX450H - $53k ~ 34L, LX450D - $89k ~ 56L).

For launch, these prices jumped from 23L to 56L, 32L to 1.1C and 50L to 2.5C!

Adding CBU taxes of around 120% or more (if Toyota deserves it for the Jap exclusivity), the prices are still way higher and are mostly fat profit margins.

Now, I have already given my opinions in earlier posts, hence will just leave these numbers for the people to decide whether it is worth paying these premiums.
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Old 13th June 2017, 08:58   #40
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Default Re: Driven: The Lexus Range (ES 300h, RX 450h & LX 450d)

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Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
I'm not supporting Lexus / Toyota but I really doubt even CKD would work out for Lexus.

The reason is Toyota is so particular about Lexus that other than Japan the only other place the Lexus is assembled is USA and Canada. There is no other country that assembles Lexus. So India has a long way to go. Forget volumes which will be miniscule but more about the Toyota process.

I don't think they can ever this level of control in a plant in India so importing the car from the Japan plant actually makes it more exclusive. It's like those old days where people would buy electronics that were only Made in Japan.
Thank you for sharing this. This is almost exactly what a senior at Toyota-Lexus India said to me. CKD is out. It will only be imports. They don't even assemble in Europe for Europe.


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For launch, these prices jumped from 23L to 56L, 32L to 1.1C and 50L to 2.5C!

Adding CBU taxes of around 120% or more (if Toyota deserves it for the Jap exclusivity), the prices are still way higher and are mostly fat profit margins.

Now, I have already given my opinions in earlier posts, hence will just leave these numbers for the people to decide whether it is worth paying these premiums.
Thank you for sharing facts. It is the best part of T-BHP. They always help. A very happy margin is no doubt a part of their pricing.
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Old 13th June 2017, 10:22   #41
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Default Re: Driven: The Lexus Range (ES 300h, RX 450h & LX 450d)

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The RX450H for example, was imported with a value of around 32L. ES300H was imported with a value of around 23L. LX450D had a value of around 50L. These are more inline with international prices (ES300H - $41k ~ 27L, RX450H - $53k ~ 34L, LX450D - $89k ~ 56L).

For launch, these prices jumped from 23L to 56L, 32L to 1.1C and 50L to 2.5C!

Adding CBU taxes of around 120% or more (if Toyota deserves it for the Jap exclusivity), the prices are still way higher and are mostly fat profit margins.

Now, I have already given my opinions in earlier posts, hence will just leave these numbers for the people to decide whether it is worth paying these premiums.
Even if they were to make the ES, RX and LX as CKD, do you ever think a locally assembled ES will be sold for 23-25 lakhs or a RX will be sold for 35 lakhs?

These are prices that don't include, sales tax or any such duties levied so while these prices look very low and we can be shocked by the final price they are being sold at, the reality is that even when locally made, we as a buyer will never get to see these prices.

If you look at Mercedes and BMW, they have been getting CBU's for first few months and then switching over to CKD with lower features but the net price for CBU vs CKD has changed only by a couple of lakhs.

The LX450D import declared price is 50L but for that amount you can't even get a lowly BMW X3 locally made forget the larger X5. A small GLC is more than the LX450D.

Edit: At 25 lakhs you can't even get a locally made Toyota Camry hybrid.

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Old 13th June 2017, 10:36   #42
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Default Re: Driven: The Lexus Range (ES 300h, RX 450h & LX 450d)

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Allow me to share my thoughts which possibly apply to many other buyers. For me when buying a car, especially an expensive one, the first important criteria is that I am not buying a physical product but a composite service for 10 years.

The physical product + consistent after sales service + associated attitude all need to be of a fully acceptable high standard. The story is not just of the car.

This is the first time I have spent so much money on a car. Money that, like with many BHPians, has been earned with some effort over a lifetime. And I expect that the senior management of the OEM be willing to engage with the customer with finesse and respect.

Well said sir! I fully agree.
The requirements from someone who wants to keep a car for 3-5 years and someone who plans to keep them for 8 years plus are totally different.

How many luxury car buyers keep their cars for more than 3-5 years?
Not many I guess.

Lexus India pricing certainly seems to be on the higher side - but then the top-end Fortuner, Camry - are closer to 40L on-road and the Accord Hybrid is even more expensive.

What price then, for outstanding engineering, peace of mind and a purchase and ownership experience where one is made to feel special?

In terms of pricing - am sure the Japs wanted to set the perception, that Lexus is not a cheaper option to the German Trio.

Perhaps the GS at 80-85L on road, would have been a better option in this case?

Personally, I value the 'Made in Japan' badge highly and would be happy to pay a premium for such a car.

I think past ownership will play a key role here - most Honda/Toyota owners would willingly pay the premium for a Lexus.

Last edited by Redline6800 : 13th June 2017 at 10:40.
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Old 16th June 2017, 12:31   #43
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Default Re: Driven: The Lexus Range (ES 300h, RX 450h & LX 450d)

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
The physical product + consistent after sales service + associated attitude all need to be of a fully acceptable high standard. The story is not just of the car. And I expect that the senior management of the OEM be willing to engage with the customer with finesse and respect.
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Personally, I value the 'Made in Japan' badge highly and would be happy to pay a premium for such a car.

I think past ownership will play a key role here - most Honda/Toyota owners would willingly pay the premium for a Lexus.
I think in similar lines. The high price paid is not just for the car but more to the top class no compromise after sales support and ownership experience. I think Lexus is taking the other way around approach by putting the ownership experience in front of the product they sell and that means setting a new benchmark standard in premium luxury car ownership and support, which will not be difficult for Lexus to achieve with the help of Toyota and this is the reason why reputed Toyota dealerships are made to sell and service Lexus cars. And we all know that Toyota has the reputation of always standing beside the customer unlike some German car dealerships and manufacturers mentioned in the forums. Lexus may have studied even the smallest of irks faced by owners of the German three and use it to build their brand through first class ownership experience. Like Toyota, Lexus may offer low service cost as part of the brand value. In the lines of the Lexus Management, Lexus may not want customers directly from the three Germans but from within Toyota who has experienced Toyota's peace of mind, finesse and brand value. I understand that most of the luxury car owners change the cars within 3-5 years and this is where Lexus will make a mark for itself.
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Old 1st July 2017, 21:49   #44
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Default Re: Driven: The Lexus Range (ES 300h, RX 450h & LX 450d)

So post GST, given the increase of over Rs 5 Lac on Camry prices in New Delhi, current prices are 37,22 Lac-Ex-Delhi which was about 32 Lac before, this should translate to a much higher increase on practically all Hybrid models from Lexus.

If Government does not come up with any benefits for true Hybrids soon, Lexus India's outing will be over in my opinion. Personally, I feel bad for an increase in taxes on Hybrids but good that Toyota is losing money
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Old 2nd July 2017, 15:54   #45
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Default Re: Driven: The Lexus Range (ES 300h, RX 450h & LX 450d)

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I think in similar lines. The high price paid is not just for the car but more to the top class no compromise after sales support and ownership experience.
Isn't the service shared with Toyota? Same 5L Etios and Liva cars, and a huge majority of cabs?

Personally I don't mind that - Since I have first hand experience of how good Toyota Service is, and how well they treat Fortuner owners and cab owners alike.

And Lexus owners might even get preferential deals, but sales support can never be a justification for the huge premium charged, unless if the premium was just about 1- 1.5L.

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If Government does not come up with any benefits for true Hybrids soon, Lexus India's outing will be over in my opinion. Personally, I feel bad for an increase in taxes on Hybrids but good that Toyota is losing money
They wouldnt be losing money as they would happily pass it on to the customers, but definitely whatever little sales they had targeted will not be achieved now.

For example, the ES300H which was priced at around 55.27L ex showroom will be priced closer to 60L now. And BMW just launched their new 5 series range starting at a shade less than 50L. Other should also be having reduction post GST which will be announced soon. Imagine ES300H costing 10L more than a 530i, that too ex showroom prices!

RX450H will be hit harder and LX450D might be benefitted. But these two are already priced at a stratospheric range where such price corrections don't make or break a sale.

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