Cadillac's image resurgence sees it vacating its spot as fuddy duddy transport, which it filled for most of the 1980s and '90s. Quality woes didn't help, but overall, the brand induced yawns. Big, body-on-frame barges are still available at the Lincoln store, but there's also a market for luxury cars filled with technology and quality that invokes a ho-hum response. Yes, folks, that means that Lexus is getting sucked in by the vacuum Cadillac left when they went all Led Zeppelin on us. Well, that's not entirely true – what is happening, though, is the age of the average Lexus buyer is sneaking up. Currently it's at 51 years old, while kids who spent the 1980s learning hair metal riffs on their B.C. Rich are choosing Infiniti, Audi, BMW, or even the somewhat fusty Mercedes.
If you were at Yasgur's farm with your Microbus, chances are that you've got a lust to wheel around in an ES350 for your retirement years. The average age of that car's buyers is 61, and only Cadillac, Lincoln, and Jaguar have more buyers north of 60 in this segment. This data has Toyota's fancy division rethinking their future plans, lest they be left in the dust. While Lexus may not release a direct competitor, they're keeping a close watch on how BMW launches its 1-series. The way BMW woos buyers is what Lexus has to do, according to Jim Farley, who recently left for Ford. Younger buyers are looking for edgier cars with a higher degree of technology integration, so Lexus must make a serious run at building a real performer with the IS-F, as well as push design and image. You know they're serious when they plan to broaden the scope of their myownpursuit website to include more than squash on the lawn.
[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]