The Lexus LFA supercar will only be available to lease in the US, the company has confirmed.
Only 500 units of the £343,000 supercar will be built, and any customers ordering one in the US will have to wait two years before seeing their names in the log book.
Car collecting is big business in the US and a Toyota UK source told Autocar that the decision has been taken to prevent buyers there from keeping their LFAs as unused museum pieces, waiting to appreciate in value.
The move has also been designed to fend off speculators buying the car and then selling it on almost immediately for a large profit. Lexus’s US vice president for sales Brian Smith said speculators buying and selling LFAs would be “damaging the ownership experience”.
“If someone buys it in the first month and then decides to sell it, that could be damaging for the ownership experience,” he said.
“If it is not controlled and hits the speculation market, all bets are off. We want people out driving the car and not parking it in a museum or selling it at an inflated price.”
Last year, Nissan tried a similar scheme to stop GT-Rs getting into the hands of speculators. It explored the idea of getting eBay to ban the sale of GT-Rs for six months, but decided this would be unfair on those who had legitimate reasons to sell their GT-Rs.
With its R8 in the US, Audi tried to stop speculators buying it by making buyers sign an agreement stating that if they sold the car, Audi would be given first refusal. However, the scheme was only voluntary.
A Toyota US spokesman said after the two-year lease period had expired, the customer will be able to purchase their LFA for the outstanding amount, less leasing costs.
Our source said the scheme would not be featuring in Europe, where the car willl be sold in a traditional manner.
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