Lexus RZ450e
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Lexus forces customers to make a hard decision

Lexus RZ450e as displayed at Goodwood 2022 (Credit:Lexus)

Lexus has reported their Q3 sales stats, and its current vehicle offerings are forcing customers to make a difficult choice.

Toyota, and by extension its luxury brand, have become renowned for their adherence to hybrid vehicle technology and their opposition to electric vehicle technology as it currently stands. Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda has made it clear that the company will not be jumping into electric vehicles quickly, forcing customers to make a hard decision. Do they want one of the last gas vehicles ever made, do they want a hybrid, or do they want an EV from another brand?

Looking at Lexus’s sales stats for Q3, the brand is struggling. Compared to Q3 21, every vehicle they sell has decreased in sales. This indicates a significant challenge that consumers are facing. Customers have three main options; they may be interested in getting a gas vehicle, the last of an era. Perhaps the Lexus ISF or Lexus LC to live out their performance vehicle dreams. They may be interested in something with better gas mileage, such as one of Lexus’ countless hybrid options, the Lexus UX, ES, and RX, just to name a few. But if they are looking for something to rival their neighbor’s Tesla – something with performance, comfort, and efficiency – something electric, they will have to look elsewhere.

This difficult choice is fracturing Lexus’ typically consistent consumer base. Lexus prides itself on build quality, comfort, and a touch of performance, but they are now completely excluded from a booming electric vehicle market that threatens to eclipse them.

Hidden away on the top right of Lexus.com is one word that could save the Japanese luxury brand; “Future.” This page shows the future vehicles coming to Lexus, all of which are electric. The Lexus RZ450e is specifically highlighted and expected to be the brand’s first EV, built on the Toyota BZ4X platform that has found so much success. A vehicle that is just around the corner, “Arriving in 2023.” But for the consumers of today, that option is not yet available.

What Lexus sales stats show more than anything is that the luxury space is more competitive than ever. Tesla has shaken the market, and many are now forced to play catch up. But this is far from a death blow to the Japanese luxury giant. When they entered the US, they were quickly able to learn from consumer interests and hence grew a following that exists to this day. The brand can do that again as they enter an electrified auto industry.

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Lexus forces customers to make a hard decision
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