Currently reading: Lexus LFA is lease only in US
US customers will have to lease their LFAs for two years before buying it
Autocar
News
2 mins read
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.

First drive reviewLexus LFA driven

Picture galleryHi-res Lexus LFA pictures

VideosAutocar meets the Lexus LFALexus LF-A laps the 'RingVideo tour of the Lexus LFA

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fuzzybear 30 November 2009

Re: Lexus LFA will be lease only

RobotBoogie wrote:
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

RobotBoogie wrote:
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

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

jelly7961 30 November 2009

Re: Lexus LFA will be lease only

R32 wrote:
How utterly, breathtakingly arrogant of Toyota.

Could not agree more.
R32 26 November 2009

Re: Lexus LFA will be lease only

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.

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