Is Lexus bashing the German automakers for sub-$30k luxury cars?

by Bernie McGroarty on February 5, 2014, 7:22 pm
”lexusbash”

Lexus used to sit on top of the US luxury car market, from 2001-2010 they reigned supreme. Now it seems they have slipped back, as BMW and Mercedes-Benz have been picking up their sales numbers.

The German automakers have found a way to bring the buyers in, utilizing a lower price point in the sub $30k range. According to an interesting article by Wards Auto, Lexus just doesn't want to head down this road. Jeff Bracken, Lexus US group VP preferred to leave that segment to their Toyota and Scion brands. It almost sounds like Lexus is bashing the Germans for building lower priced luxury cars into their line-ups. In the US, two German models start in the sub $30k range. Mercedes has their CLA at $29,900 and Audi has their new A3 sedan also coming in at $29,900. Both just on the edge of $30k. BMW is also playing on the edge of the $30k mark. They are offering their X1 compact utility vehicle for $30,900, and their newest model, the 2 Series Coupe for just over $32k. Near this price range, Lexus only offers their CT 200h 5-door hybrid, and it starts at just over $32k.

With the popularity of these lower priced models, I'm sure there will be more on the way, making it harder and harder for Lexus to regain the footing they had in the past. Bracken stated in the article, “If Mercedes and BMW continue (to offer lower-priced luxury vehicles) it will make it that much more challenging for us to regain luxury leadership.”

Do you think Lexus has it right, leaving the lower priced cars for their non-luxury brands, even though it's costing them sales? I'm a big fan of getting a luxury car for under $30k. However, with some of the reviews of the CLA, is it worth putting your name on a 'cheaper' product?

Read what we thought of BMW's new M235i here!

Read the full article at Wards Auto


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8 responses to Is Lexus bashing the German automakers for sub-$30k luxury cars?

M&K commented:
February 6, 2014, 9:34 am

Bashing? No. They are just unwilling to cannibalize their other brands. When a loaded Camry can top $30k, why would they make a Lexus vehicle in the same price range to compete with it?
Keepittrill commented:
February 6, 2014, 9:41 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by M&K View Post
Bashing? No. They are just unwilling to cannibalize their other brands. When a loaded Camry can top $30k, why would they make a Lexus vehicle in the same price range to compete with it?
+1


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Leftlane11 commented:
February 6, 2014, 6:45 pm

The CLA is a joke anyway - I think it detracts from the MB reputation instead of building on it. Toyota Motor Co has a vertical advantage over MB and they don't have to go downstream - Toyota and Scion handle that and leave the luxury to Lexus.
need4speed commented:
February 22, 2014, 9:52 am

I think Leftlane 11 has it right. However, the same can be said for BMW. N4S
MikeAmmo commented:
February 22, 2014, 1:10 pm

I'm most excited about the A3 sedan. Looks amazing and by all accounts drives amazing too.

I'm torn between an A3 Quattro and a 320i xDrive.
pbm317 commented:
March 3, 2014, 8:02 pm

I don't know if they're bashing, but I think they're trying to lump it this holier than thou statement that they're not willing to go sub-$30,000. I'm pretty sure the transaction prices of the CLA's, X1's, etc will end up much higher than the Lexus CT with all of the added options that Mercedes and BMW will up-sell to those consumers. So really Lexus still dabbles in a lower price point than the Germans, just with a very subpar product that has limited appeal.
Chris90 commented:
March 4, 2014, 4:40 pm

Try actually buying a BMW for under $30k. It'll be missing cruise control and a rear window.

Lexus doesn't sell stripped cars, so it'd be hard for them to sell a sub $30k car.
Squiddie commented:
March 4, 2014, 4:51 pm

The author of the quote in the original posts obviously never drove a CLA