Everyone in the industry is feeling the burn of a long, slow summer, but few are feeling as keenly as Lexus. Perhaps that's because the luxury import carmaker had so far to fall, having been the dominant force in American luxury cars for most of the past decade.
But there's a plan afoot to help turn things around even as the market continues to falter. How? By shifting its focus to the entry-level luxury segment, reports Automotive News
The idea is to catch younger buyers that might not be ready to commit to a top-end vehicle, but want more than the mainstream carmakers offer. The core segment Lexus is focusing on is the 25-49 demographic.
Carrying the flag for this entry-level surge are the IS convertible
and the HS hybrid
. Both cars are edgier, more current and more style-conscious than anything else in the Lexus lineup except perhaps the pricey IS-F. The F-Sport line of performance products aims to add even more edge to draw in younger male buyers that want some go to match their show.
But targeting young buyers and actually winning them over are two different things. Unfortunately, like many things in the car industry, it will require a substantial investment of time and money on Lexus's part before they'll know if their play will pay off, but so far, the IS Convertible is selling so well that production is struggling to keep up with demand
, and pre-orders for the HS
in Japan are at 300% of expected levels.
For an idea of what Lexus is doing to help swing younger buyers their way, check out our previous story on the IS Convertible ad campaign
2010 Lexus HS 250h hybrid sedan
2010 Lexus IS C F-Sport