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Lexus GS 300/GS 430



  • Lexus should cultivate a niche for the GS and IS. Maybe give them a code name, like the L-Tuned concept, something under Lexus, but different. Generate a buzz about those two sporting cars specifically.


       There is A LOT Lexus could be doing better in regards to creating a more empowering image to the IS and GS.


       I could make the ads and market strategy for them, for a small fee.


  • This just hit me. Lexus isn't trying to compete against Benz and Bimmer. (Well, they probably are) but their main competitor (at least in their minds) will be the Caddy STS. Think about it. They are both eerily similar.


    -Start in low 40's


    -1 V6,1 V8 option


    -6 speed auto, no manual


    -trying to shift a bland perception of both brands


    -AWD available


    Hmm..... just a thought. But I think that the reason Lexus sells so well is because it sells to normal people. Not to say that we aren't normal, but we're sitting here talking about it. Most people will test drive, say, an RX330 against, say, an M320 or whatever and an Acura MDX. Even though the Benz has more cachet and the Acura has a better value, which do you think is more comfortable? Lexus knows what they're doing, and it isn't a SPORT luxury sedan. It's a sport LUXURY sedan.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    That philosophy works great for all of Lexus' cars EXCEPT the IS and GS. They have to try and compete in a class where luxury and reliability are not the first things on shoppers minds, and Lexus has yet to prove they understand how to build a car for these kinds of people. The GS has been around since '93, but Lexus sells more ES sedans in a year than the GS does for an entire model cycle.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well it most certainly is true. Lexus is chasing BMW in the sport sedan category and Mercedes in the luxury sedan/roadster catergories, always has and probably always will. Sure they're more reliable, but that is but one part of it. In market presence, image and product placement/acceptance in the market Lexus wishes they had a 3-Series, 5-Series, SL or E-Class level sellers in those markets to brag about, when you really really look at it, only the Lexus LS430 gives the Germans fits, and thats only in the U.S. The rest haven't even begun to make a dent as far as cars go. Secondly, Lexus whether you believe it or not openly is saying BMW is now their target in marketing, and placement of the new GS, if that isn't chasing I don't know what is. You'll hear the same thing when the new IS is shown too. Lexus has used the S-Class template right down the styling for the LS since 1990 combined with a much cheaper price for great success. To say BMW and Mercedes are lightweights is totally unrealistic and couldn't be any further from reality. Mercedes and BMW are indeed the heavy weights of the luxury car market, outside of the reliability surveys. Nobody but Buick is striving to design anything like a Lexus. You really can't mention sales, they're over 50 percent trucks at Lexus, they're cars in the sport sedan categories (GS,IS) have been duds. The ES330 is for the blue hair set, no import maker is competing with it anymore.


    Infiniti on the other hand is chasing BMW exclusively, first the G35 and now the M35/45 cars. Out of all the car makers trying to better BMW at the sport them, Infiniti is doing the best job at it too.


  • "Nobody but Buick is striving to design anything like a Lexus. You really can't mention sales, they're over 50 percent trucks at Lexus, they're cars in the sport sedan categories (GS,IS) have been duds. The ES330 is for the blue hair set, no import maker is competing with it anymore. "


    No, everybody tries to design like a Lexus. For instance, luxury SUV is INVENTED by Lexus. MB, BMW and even Porsche jump in the segment after the great success of RX.


    Lexus, IMO, does not intend to compete with BMW 5 on their terms. What I observe is that Lexus gradually makes consumers appreciate the way they view car design. True that they cannot convert hardcore bimmer lovers over night, but the trend is on.


    The GS may or may not be a 5-series killer. That doesn't matter. But Lexus as a whole will be a bimmer killer in the future.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Some of that may be true, but the problem is that has nothing to do with the GS and IS. All you have to do is read any recent press release about the GS and you'll see who the target is. SUVs have nothing to do with sport sedans. Lexus isn't even on the sport sedan shoppers lists, hence the low sales of the current GS and IS. The guy that runs Lexus has openly said that they are going for a BMW strategy, so you're really not dealing in the reality of the situation. We're talking about sport sedans here not SUVs, and Lexus is trying to do exactly that, compete with the 5-Series on their terms. Have you read the stats on the new GS. There is a brake by wire system like the E-Class and active steering like the 5-Series, if that isn't trying to compete on the Germans terms I don't know what is. Lexus has even deliberately kept the best engines out of the intial GS models so they can do it the BMW way by introducing new engines during a mid-life facelift.


    Lexus didn't event the luxury suv either. Range Rover did that before Lexus was even thought of. What Lexus did to is invent the luxury crossover segment with the original RX300. Is everyone still trying to match them crossovers are concerned? Yes. Problem is the RX isn't a true SUV, its more like tall awd wagon. The Porsche Cayenne is swiss army knife compared to any Lexus SUV. Not only will it humilate any Lexus suv on road, you can switch the tires and leave all of them except maybe the LX470 stuck in the mud.


    The target for the Porsche SUV clearly wasn't any Lexus SUV.


  • Well, all you German apologist, BMW makes the best sports sedan in the world (3-series). And that's great.


       Is a S-Class more prestigious than a Lexus LS?




       So there are your props. Well earned.


       Only one problem.


       Buying a luxury car is more than great handling, or pretty style, or prestigious heritage. That's where the Germans are weak, and will remain so. They cannot grow up, so they grow out.


       More models, trims, sub-genres. The market is changing in one direction, and BMW and Mercedes, in lock-step, stagger in another direction based on too much power, too many models, not enough service or attention to detail, and general ignorance and/or arrogance as to what the market wants. They THINK they are setting the market, but they are making things harder on themselves.


       More tech, less driving feel is starting to hurt the natural balance and exuberance their cars have for the road.


       Manual trannys (BMW) and Prestige (BMW and Mercedes) are keeping them afloat. And making 30 models apiece.


       People will always buy 3-series and E-class like people will always buy Camrys and F-150.


       The relative long-term success (10-15 years from now) and failure of the Germans lies in how well they increase the value of their cars owner's experience.


       If quality, service, interiors, value, and efficiency aren't DRAMATICALLY upgraded, they will become the next Jaguar. Great name attached to an irrelevant car.

       Merc, don't act like the E-Class is a super sport-sedan. It's fast, good-looking, not a C-Class, and holds it's value, so it sells. I don't see it winning any comparisons with great sports-sedans. Dynamically, it may be a wash with the GS!


       They need to grow up. They don't sell Miatas. It's not all about the drive. It's about the experience.


  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You know what in reading that I agree mostly. Shocking huh?


    I for one have never pretended that the E-Class was an outright sport sedan, never. The E-Class is mid-level luxury sedan with some sport thrown in to the BMW's 5 which is mid-level sport sedan, which is why (IMO) they have long controled the market. They each know their place and give people a choice. The first GS seemed to try to target both, and the 1998 GS went after the 5-Series only to come up short. In reading the specs of the 2006 GS is seems pretty clear the 5-Series is indeed the target, no doubt. From the active steering, and the way all of the cars various systems are tied together electronically, they're embracing the same tech that the Germans have. The key will be the tuning of all this tech regarding "feel".


    "The relative long-term success (10-15 years from now) and failure of the Germans lies in how well they increase the value of their cars owner's experience.



    I agree totally because now the Japanese are discovering (well at least Infiniti is) that styling, performance, and great driving experience can co-exist with high levels of reliability. The GS hasn't made the rounds yet so we'll have to see if it matches up on the drivng part.


    For the record the E did win the last test of all these mid-level cars, and the E350 hasn't been compared yet.


    Have you read the first drive report on the GS by Edmunds? It doesn't even sound like they drove the car, real suspect.


  • Here? really? Musta mist that one. Would like more info.


       It looks like Lexus has INNOVATED (I know you hate Lexus and Innovate in the same sentence) a system (VDIM) to engineer all these nannys to work together, without making the car one big nannyburger (E-Class).


       I'm starting to grow on the GS style. I just don't understand why the Auto show cars are black (?), and why the lights are square (ish), and the hood line is jagged. Bothers me.


       And they're right, the passenger side dash needs some wood or aluminum, something.


       If the Gs is similar in weight (lighter engine), and they can knock 3/4 seconds off zero to 60, increase handling, make 17" rims, leather, wood steering wheel, etc. standard, add AWD, I can't throw make a fuss over it not having the 3.5. The comp. will all be more powerful. And HP sells in this class, that's all. It will be a strong entry at 6.7, 0-60.


       The rest works for me


  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I believe it was March of 2003 C/D.


    It looks like to me that Lexus has given a name to the same things that other cars have been doing for years, tying their stability, traction and braking controls into one system. You think current cas don't have a system to integrate all these functions together? Come on now. There really isn't anything new in the GS, but they did manage to give it a fancy new name. You think the 5-Series or E-Class doesn't have all these systems tied together? Tunning is the only thing they could do different because all the hardware is right off the 5-Series (steering) and E-Class (braking) shelves.


    You really won't know what Lexus has done until it is tested by the regular publications.


  • Everybody ties the systems together. None do it well!


       In all the reviews of the Germans anyway, testers complain about the steering is too this, the brakes lack feel, the nanny said this too me and I hate that.


       Maybe Lexus decided to get around all that? It certainly isn't the Germans.


       We'll see.


  • Where the GS was left with 16" rims, and the Q45 was invited?


        I know the GS came in 3rd or 4th,andeven they bemoaned the wheel-tire package, saying the car can do so much more with real shoes on.


       I don't know. The 5, E, and A6 were ahead. The A6 was too heavy to win, but they loved it.


       The E beat the 5?


       I have that issue here........somewhere.


  • "The 2003 BMW 540 ... get outstanding performance (6.2secs 0-60) awesome handling and fun to drive, great, traditional looks, strong brand/prestige and very good reliability. It has it all."


    Bunny1 said: "I am afraid it does not have it all. The last term, reliability, is not BMW's strong suite. In fact, BMW has some of the worst ratings with the 5 and 7 series."


    You are right on recent BMW reliability and 7-series but if you check Consumer reports, April 2004 car issue, page 83, you will see that the BMW540, 2003 model gets a better than average reliability rating and a full red circle (highest rating) on 11 of 14 categories. That's why I specified the 2003 model. The 04 and the 7 series are bad.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Yeah. It seems that many so-called "first drives" are nothing more than descriptions of a new vehicle's outside and inside.

    A rather dishonest way of "scooping a story" without really having access to drive the car.

    Even one of the "consumer" automobile websites in reviewing new cars basically copies most of the wording from the previous year's reviews.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    The new GS was a beautiful silver at the Tampa Auto Show.

    Why they even bothered to show the car without allowing folks to sit in it is beyond me. The psychological implication at least for me was, they must have something to hide.
  • They want to build anticipation, make you go to the dealership and get the full treatment, the full walkaround, the salesman whjo actually KNOWS THE PRODUCT, not some flat-chested broad who goes back to the hair parlor when the show is over.


       Why buy the cow.....


  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    Don't for the A6 4.2 Quattro.


    55k for 340hp V8, navagation, quattro all wheel drive and most every option.
  • To build anticipation, to get you to go to the dealership, get the full walkaround, the test drive, the salesman who KNOWS THE PRODUCT, not the 40 year-old secretary who's gone when the shows over. They're not selling Corollas.


       Why buy the $50k cow.....


  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Yeah. It's about time they start sending knowledgeable representatives to these auto shows. When I went to the Lexus counter, the pretty lady was too involved with a social call on her cell to pay much attention to me. When she finally finished, she rather rudely pointed to a general Lexus brochure after I attempted vainly to get her to answer a question about the new GS. Needless to say, none of the information in that brochure was useful. It's also about time that the auto makers provide comprehensive technical information brochures at these shows so if they refuse to send good people, at least they can be trained to point to a good brochure.
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