Lexus Screws Dealer Markup and My Chance to Make Millions

posted in: Online Around the Net | 2

In a calculated move that challenges the very idea of capitalism, the company will offer only two-year leases for the $375,000 two-seater, thereby keeping the pink slip in hand.  This comes straight from Brian Smith, vice president of sales and dealer development for Lexus division.

He said Lexus wants each customer to pay about the same price for one of the 500 LFA units, which will be powered by a 552-hp, 4.8-liter 10-cylinder engine. Once the two-year lease is up, customers can opt to buy the cars.

“If someone buys it the first month and then decides to sell it, that could be damaging for the ownership experience,” Smith said. “If it is not controlled and hits the speculation market, all bets are off.”

However, you can order the car exactly the way you want it and it will not be built until “bought.”

“You can personalize it right down to the stitching in the car,” Smith said.

Special factory trained technicians will handle service.  Lexus dealers will not have to buy any special tools or hire the techs, Lexus will handle it all.

It will be interesting to see how the market plays out after two years.  Lexus talks about specialty cars like theirs ending up in museums and not being driven.  I don’t see how a lease with option to buy is going to change that.  Ok, you can’t trade it for two years.  But you can still park it, wait out the two years and let the gambling begin.  It looks like dealer markup will be the only thing that suffers.  And in this market, that will be enough to piss some of them way off.

2 Responses

  1. Earned911

    Lexus brought one to Coffee and Cars this past Saturday. Done up in that flat black paint that seems to now have even made it to the Japanese. Personally, I don’t understand the desire for the flat black paint job…most real car guys enjoy waxing a great car, but with this paint all you can do it keep the water spots off it.

    The LFA is a nice car in person, though this leasing business may not pan out for Lexus. What they haven’t considered is that most of the playboys that can buy this type of flash car also have an attention span of about 6 months…So if they’re forced to hold onto their impulse buy for 2 years then they might not even walk into the dealership.

    Oh, and lets talk about the banks that have to provide the financing for 2 years. If Toyota Finance will even take the risk of the loan, they’ll probably ask the nut-job buying the car to put half the cash into the bank to prove that he’s good for it for 2 years. I seem to recall, back in the Internet boom, that a bunch of these hot shot webies lost their fortune over night…Can you image Lexus having to call “Operation Repo” to pickup their LFA’s.

    Nice car but is it really worth leasing when you have cash to burn today?

  2. Alex

    Interesting point about qualifying and carrying those people on the lease. Lexus said they are going to lose money on everyone of these, so clearly they aren’t concerned about upfront cash sales.

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