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Is a Lexus an expensive Toyota? Great Conversation from our New Car Chat Room...Listen in!

31 December 1999

The CarMan@ said on Thu, Dec 30, 11:49AM EST...

"Ford/Lexus Man, I agree with you in many points in your last comment. As far
as Toyota and Lexus go, it really depends on how you look at it. It is 
absolutely true that Toyota and Lexus do not have any crossover models. 
But that is why this is an indication that this is really one brand. The core 
of the vehicles of Lexus are every bit a Toyota.

Parts are shared between Lexus and Toyota, even the glass on Lexus says 
Toyota because they are Toyota from factory. In fact, the Tahara plant in Japan
that makes the Lexus LS400, GS400/GS300 also makes the Toyota Celica. 
It is ironic how JD Power and Assoicates always stress that Lexus can carry 
their excellent quality all the way down to the economical Toyota models. 
Well surely, that is just how they build cars in Toyota disregarding
the price of that car. 

I solely believe that Toyota and Lexus are just the
same thing in terms of the vehicles themselves. Lexus is just an
extensive of the Toyota lineup. If you look at every model of Toyota and
Lexus combined, you will notice that they offer ONE model in every price range. Like you said, they have no crossover models. That is
why they should be considered one brand. Toyota will never make corssover 
models because that means they will be competing between their own models: 
like Dodge Caravan, Plymouth Voyageur, Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable, 
Chevrolet Venture, Pontiac Montana.

Why would they want to spend double the money in resources and advertisement
to try and attract buyers to compete amongst themselves? They are doubling 
the resources to attract the same clients deciding if they want the Taurus or 
Sable for example. So this is the difference in marketing strategy between 
imports and domestics. Lexus shars the same engineers, designers, parts and 
plant with Toyota and the only difference between them is theservice. In Canada, all Lexus dealers are attached to a Toyota one. So you
can look at the Toyota models and walk over to look at the Lexus models if 
you decide to buy a more expensive model. But the treatment is still different 
in terms of service. Have you ever wondered why you get ten times better service in a Lexus dealer or luxury
car makers in general than dealers who sell more affordable
cars? You have already said it yourself actually ... price hassels and
services ... 

Imagine this, you buy your LS400 at $70,000. The guy next door uses $70,000 to
buy FIVE Corollas. Do you think a LS400 is really worth the cost to make 
FIVE Corollas? You might argue you can't compare this way because the driving 
experience is different, but this is exactly why luxury car makers make such 
a big profit. As far as I am concerned,five Corollas have five times the number
of tires, doors, steering wheels,brake pads, and double the number of cylinders and so on. Obviously, you get 
royal treatment at luxury brand dealers. They get the largest margin of profits.
And people who are buying more affordable models are trying to hassle a two
thousand dollar deal where the dealer only gets a thousand dollar profit
by spending all their time to sell you that car? You can get a
fully loaded Corolla for example for $20,000 with moonroof,
ABS, power door locks/windows, A/C, seat belt pretensioners, dual airbags
etc. all that for one fifth of the price of a Lexus LS400.
Sure the Lexus is a million times better than a Corolla but in terms of
cost, do you think it costs them five times the parts? This is true
for all luxury cars, the margin of profits give them the incentives to put a
smile on their faces. For the Lexus philosophy, see here -->

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