US customers will have to lease their LFAs for two years before buying it
26 November 2009

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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Comments
10

26 November 2009

April the 1st is seemingly celebrated on a different day in Japan. Speculators making a large profit on an overpriced and unwanted supercar from Toyota?? Yeah right ..... people collecting these cars to leave them unused and wait for them to appreciate in value, by the time that happens most of the owners will be dead!

Leasing terms I am sure will be quite competitive .... meaning the ridiculous price is not an issue for people who would not mind having one of these ... and Toyota can address the rampant depreciation this car would have suffered from.

26 November 2009

My guess is that Lexus have seen how few deposits have been taken in the USA and realised that the only way to shift this car is to underwrite it with a cheap leasing scheme to get more "bums on seats" !

26 November 2009

There's a kind of curious undercurrent to these posts along the lines of - it's-a-supercar-from-Toyota-so-it-must-be-unwanted. Curious because Toyota has a supercar lineage going back to the 60s 2000GT driven by James Bond and is also a contender for world's most successful car maker. I gotta say supercars in general don't do much for me but I'm struggling to see why the LFA is any less credible than recent offerings from Mercedes and Ford or, God forbid, Ferrari and Porsche. Remember also that Lexus image is sky high in the US - they could probably sell out their allocation there without moving any further than the hip hop community.

26 November 2009

Robotboogie, the 2000GT was a sportscar, not a supercar. It was expensive and slower than competitors of the day like the E-Type Jag .... didn't sell well but was nice. The simple fact is that Lexus / Toyota has no supercar image and no-one in their right mind would pay the price of 2 Ferrari 458 Italia's for this car. Toyota know this, however they have commited to making these cars ... and they will project the technological / excitment image that My Toyoda wants .... and that is why they will be lease only and when the two year lease is up they will have done their job. Some will reside in Toyota's museum, the rest will be sold on for the what the market thinks they are worth. Probably about £90k at todays prices for a run in 2 year old car. At that price it will be coveted.

26 November 2009

[quote Cheltenhamshire]The simple fact is that Lexus / Toyota has no supercar image and no-one in their right mind would pay the price of 2 Ferrari 458 Italia's for this car. Toyota know this, however they have commited to making these cars ... and they will project the technological / excitment image that My Toyoda wants .... and that is why they will be lease only and when the two year lease is up they will have done their job. Some will reside in Toyota's museum, the rest will be sold on for the what the market thinks they are worth. Probably about £90k at todays prices for a run in 2 year old car. At that price it will be coveted.[/quote]

Speculation masquerading as fact. Neither you nor I know this to be true or untrue.

26 November 2009

Please show me the bit where I state this as fact?? The quote 'the simple fact' is not me stating I know, it is speculation based on what is bleeding obvious!!! Believe what you want, it is no skin off my nose .... hey, you can even buy one ... sorry I mean lease one if you want.

26 November 2009

LOL. Wouldn't touch one with a barge pole.

R32

26 November 2009

How utterly, breathtakingly arrogant of Toyota. You would think they would just be grateful that an enthusiast would be willing to spend such a colossal sum of money on one of their cars without trying to control what the customer does with it afterwards. If someone wants to spend £343,000 on a car and then keep it bubble-wrapped in their garage then that's their decision - not Toyota's.

"The move has also been designed to fend off speculators buying the car and then selling it on almost immediately for a large profit." How big a profit can you make on a £343,000 Toyota when 500 of them is going to be made - a profit might be on the go if they were only building 50 or 100 perhaps - but 500???

“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.” Isn't it down to what the customer wants to do with their new car rather than the manufacturer?

Of course the list price will be over half a million dollars in the US, so if someone is foolish enough to part with that amount of money for a Toyota then they probably deserve what's coming to them. But I'm most surprised by Toyota's attitude on this - I never had them down as being so bloody-minded arrogant. I genuinely hope the car is a flop - no more than Toyota deserves given their attitude.

30 November 2009

[quote R32]How utterly, breathtakingly arrogant of Toyota. [/quote]

Could not agree more.

30 November 2009

[quote RobotBoogie]There's a kind of curious undercurrent to these posts along the lines of - it's-a-supercar-from-Toyota-so-it-must-be-unwanted[/quote]

[quote RobotBoogie]I gotta say supercars in general don't do much for me but I'm struggling to see why the LFA is any less credible than recent offerings from Mercedes and Ford or, God forbid, Ferrari and Porsche. Remember also that Lexus image is sky high in the US [/quote]

Gotta say that RobotBoogie is the only one talking any sense. Regardless of whether you think its sticker price is one digit too many, there are still enough people in the western world who would want this. Its probably hit the market at a pretty bad time, late 2007/early 2008 it would have had an easier time. It's a handbuilt car using the most expensive materials available and it costs the sum of its parts, even if the car itself seemingly doesn't add up to the sum of its parts to the motoring public

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