How Lexus is losing the luxury war

Being the top-selling U.S. luxury brand for 11 years was nice, but according to a list of gripes in a leaked internal document obtained exclusively by Jalopnik,
they're also on the verge of becoming the new Buick. UPDATED More » Read More: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/jalopnik/full/~3/Cd85-T0LWfQ/how-lexus-is-losing-the-luxury-war
----------------------------------- Lexus NewsHub: Latest auto news sourced from websites, portals and blogs http://www.carshops247.co.uk/news/Lexus.html
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On Sun, 01 May 2011 01:10:06 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

Just as a matter of interest that link won't work in IE8. -- Robin Bignall (British English) Herts, England
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On 5/1/2011 6:43 AM, Robin Bignall wrote:

to a list of gripes in a leaked internal document obtained exclusively by Jalopnik, they're also on the verge of becoming the new Buick. UPDATED More »

I sold my most recent ES-350 and bought a new Acura RL. My local Lexus dealer is arrogant, offers poor trade-in value, does not discount new cars, and acts as if they have a monopoly on quality vehicles.
I am very happy I made the switch after 12 years of being a Lexus owner.
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I managed to get to the article by using Google Chrome. I guess you and Elmo are in the States. I was a Mercedes owner for 24 years before switching to Lexus. I've mainly had a convertible of some sort -- a Mercedes 280SL that I bought new in 1985 supplemented by a Mercedes 2.3 kompressor coupe when the SL became elderly. I've been retired for a long time so in 24 years the SL had only done 84,000 genuine miles but I had to replace most of its bits several times and rebuild the engine at 60,000. Not particularly impressive as I'm not hard on cars.
I bought a Lexus demo SC430 in 2007 with 5,400 on the clock and a new car warranty, saving £14,000 on OTR price ($25,000?); 15,000 on the clock so far and it's my ideal car. The local Lexus dealer is like walking into a sort of palace, but the Mercedes dealer is even more snooty and offhand. So far, services are fine, they deliver and collect and give me a loaner. It costs, but then so does Mercedes. So far, so good. -- Robin Bignall
Herts, England
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The Link works just fine, using Explorer 8. But more to the point.
It appears Lexus turns its deaf ear to customer suggestions relative to improvements. I sent the a list of about ten (10) items that could obviously be improved upon & never heard a word back from them; it's been almost a year since I wrote. They just don't care - next car won't be another LS460-L AWD but rather something that's current and up-to-date technically.


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On 5/2/2011 9:20 AM, gallen wrote:

Very ironically, I was among the very first Acura buyers in 1986 when the Acura brand arrived, purchasing an Acura Legend in 1986 from one of the very first dealers in the U.S. I had sufficient grief with the car that I swore never to buy another Acura / Honda.
25 years later, in March of 2011, I was willing to let bygones be bygones. I had reached the boiling point with Lexus but wanted a Japanese-made 4 door sedan to replace an ES-350. Visiting the local Lexus dealer reminded me just how smug, non customer-focused, and arrogant they had become. Rather than do a trade for an ES or Ls, both of which were possibilities, I happily told the salesman and then the sales manager that they had loat my support as a returning customer. Until they fixed their shop, improved their trade-in values, and showed a bit of respect for their potential repeat customers, I was not going to buy another Lexus.
I am absolutely thrilled with my new Acura RL, and my wife and I both strongly prefer it to our prior Lexus sedans. We even prefer it in some respects to the LS we briefly drove,
It will take a LOT to get me back to buying another Lexus.
I realize that Honda certainly can and does screw up, and if they do, I will be as unloyal to them as they are to me when it comes to future car purchases.
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wrote:

Oh, don't worry. It'll happen a LOT faster than you think.
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On 5/2/2011 4:51 PM, Elmo P. Shagnasty wrote:

You may be correct, and time will tell. Local dealer attitudes and performance have a lot to do with this, and my son's Lexus dealer in Southern California is totally different from mine here in the Northeast. In his area there are 3 competing Lexus dealers in Orange County who very skillfully compete on service quality, price, and dealer responsiveness. In my area, there isn't another Lexus dealer for over 100 miles, and boy oh boy do they remind you of this........
Having not owned an Acura or other Honda since 1986, I can only rely on surveys such as Consumer Reports to determine how a large number of owners feels about their ownership and reliability. In this regard, the Acura and Lexus are roughly equivalent, or so it appears.
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wrote:

- Well, there is always GM if the Acura dealer ticks you off.......
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On 5/3/2011 4:44 PM, Wayne wrote:

Well, I also own a Corvette C6 convertible, and have done so for the last 12 years with the 1998 and 2006 models. They have been extremely reliable, and the dealer attitude is actually MUCH better than the local Lexus dealer. I would definitely buy another Corvette based on my 2 ownership experiences, but would be extremely reluctant to buy another Lexus, given the Lexus dealer here.
If i brought a service complaint to the Lexus dealer, they would, on several occasions, insist on telling me why I was wrong and that the Lexus was not at fault. The Chevy / Corvette dealer was far more interested in solving the very rare problems I brought to their attention.
I was among the very first to switch to Japanese luxury cars in 1986 when Acura came to the U.S. with their first model, having been disgusted with GM and Ford, and their screwed up Lincolns, Cadillacs, and other luxury models, many of them filled with manufacturing problems and sloppy dealerships. I am now happy to say that Chevy does a very impressive job in all respects, at least with the Corvette I am familiar with, and Lexus is living off of its diminishing reputation as far as I am concerned.
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wrote:

- Well, I suppose it is a function of which Lexus (or GM) dealer you are using. Our local Lexus dealers are fine, and one of them is world class super.....beautiful facilities, quick and thorough service, and excellent followup.
My worst two cars ever were a Corvette and a Suburban. Both were like lean and hungry animals trying to eat me out of house and home. It doesn't matter how the GM service is, if the products are crappy and unreliable. The Corvette was incredible...paint peeled off the hood, alternators went out, mufflers went out, the throttle linkage stuck full on, the radio had a problem from day one, etc. etc. The Suburban was used to pull a trailer, and there was usually about $500 worth of maintenance between trips. I will NEVER EVER own a GM product again.
Lexus on the other hand....I am on my third now....my first Lexus was a RX-300. It went 11 years and about 100,000 miles before there was a mechanical problem of ANY KIND. Such reliability makes up for any minor irritations I might have had with the dealer.....and I had no bad experiences.
Anyway, I hope you like the Acura. I didn't look at them, because the service available is spotty in my typical areas of travel.
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On 5/4/2011 11:28 PM, Wayne wrote:

I absolutely agree. The dealer makes a huge difference. My Lexus dealer previously had a wall-mounted "Customer Satisfaction" graph posted in the Customer Waiting Room showing the excellent satisfaction reports received from customers, updated on a monthly basis. They also had service awards which Lexus had awarded them for providing outstanding service. Starting around 2009 they no longer had any new awards, and then they took the monthly updated graph and removed it from the wall. It has been a down-hill decline month after month with many people turned over in the service department. The hand-writing was literally "on the wall" that they were on the way down.
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I own a Corvette as well. A '98 C5 Convertible. It's never been back to the dealer any problems, only oil changes every 2K miles. It's been a great automobile and the dealer treatment is fantastic. In the Vette department GM and their dealer is doing a great job. I really can't complain about our Lexus dealer. We've had problems a plenty but the dealer is always willing to absolutely go out of their way to see that we're completely satisfied. Lexus, the Corporation, is the problem.

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On 5/5/2011 10:04 PM, gallen wrote:

Chevy really does provide excellent service on the Corvette, and I thankfully have needed very little service on my C6. Whatever service I have requested or needed has been handled exceptionally well.
It really boils down to how well the dealer handles the various issues which come up over the ownership period. I would still be a Lexus owner if my dealer had made an attempt to solve 2 problems I reported, and offered me a reasonable trade-in price when I attempted to purchase a third Lexus. In both service cases they really did not appear to care one way or the other if I walked away satisfied.
I also thought that their handling of the "sudden acceleration" / floor mat issue was outrageously poor. This was certainly a corporate issue, and shows a much more pervasive attitude of arrogance / hubris.
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wrote:

Who had no idea he could put his car into neutral and let it coast.
Say what you will, but this is all about idiot drivers and not at all about software or anything else.
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On 5/9/2011 6:36 AM, Elmo P. Shagnasty wrote:

More than 100 deaths have been attributed to this problem, as confirmed in the newspaper article cited below:
http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/26/business/la-fi-toyota-deaths26-2010mar26
I suppose you could say there are a hundred or more "idiots". In the engineering world I live in, the designers are supposed to prevent panic or emergency conditions in the first place. And if such a panic is unavoidable, then a logical "band-aid" would be to modify the braking design so that depression of the brake pedal relinquishes accelerator power.
Toyota eventually, after more than 5 years of denials and stalling, did exactly that, and modified the firmware. A driver in panic now has a fighting chance to bring the car under control.
You call it a driver / idiot problem. I call it shitty design combined with arrogance and bad business ethics on behalf of Toyota.
I do not believe in blaming the victims. Rather, I believe in blaming the perpetrators.
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wrote:

Do you remember when someone claimed to find a pin in his can of Coke?
Out of the woodwork, and within days, were multiple people suddenly making the same claim.
In the soda case, they were faking it. In the car case, BEST case is that the accident rate stayed level but "suddenly" the cause was defined by the news reporters (who have a vested interest in writing articles that sell papers) to be whatever the sheeple wanted to read about.
Yes, there are a hundred or more idiots. In fact, you deal with 100 or more car-owning and -driving idiots every day as you drive around town.
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wrote:

People are hitting the gas instead of the brake. That has NOTHING to do with "sudden acceleration".
That they can do that, means they're responsible for knowing what they're doing in the driver's seat and how to deal with it. They're responsible for knowing how the gearshift works, how the ignition switch works, etc.
That people don't bother even to open the owner's manual--"I don't need that, I know how to drive, what are you talking about 'owner's manual'?"--means they truly think piloting a 4000 pound hunk of metal at 60mph is inherently safe and requires no attention.
That's the main problem: stupid people that don't understand physics, that think they're immortal, that the world owes them their life, that they have zero responsibility.
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wrote:

NO car made today can overpower the brakes. NO car.
The braking design wasn't "insufficient"; if the car wasn't slowing down, THE DRIVER WASN'T BRAKING. That's a simple fact that cannot be disputed.
And yet, people like you want to dispute that for some reason. I call that "willful ignorance of the facts".
Again, putting in software that cuts the fuel when the brake pedal is depressed WILL NOT solve this problem. People will continue to mash the wrong pedal no matter what, and get themselves into trouble because they don't know what they're doing in a 4000 pound car going 60mph. They don't know how to shift the gear into neutral--hell, they may not even know what the word "neutral" means.
It won't be terribly long before someone in a new car with software that cuts the fuel when the brake pedal is applied ends up screaming to his death into a bridge abutment, screaming into the phone to 911 about how his car "won't slow down", and the witch hunts will begin all over again.
And as usual, the people who actually know things will be ignored. And you may or may not remember this prediction and scratch your head, wondering how it could happen.
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wrote:

Woz isn't an idiot with respect to computer programming, but that doesn't mean he's not an idiot with respect to actually driving a car. The two are not related at all.
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