• Sep 1, 2009
2010 Lexus HS250h – Click above for high-res image gallery

With a median buyer age of 56 years old and its reputation for longevity, today's Lexus ES350 may be the very last car many of the brand's buyers purchase. It's not like Lexus hasn't tried to attract younger buyers – those who may actually buy another car before being planted. Since its inception, the IS sedan has been a calculated shot at capturing the fancy of BMW buyers, especially the high performing IS-F. Youthful, eco-minded buyers will soon find the hybrid HS250h, but the marque's biggest seller is the RX350 crossover, something of an acknowledged yuppie mommy mobile.

An entry-level crossover slotting under the RX would give Lexus something to lob at the GLK, X3, and Q5, but that's not yet in the pipeline, says Mark Phelan of The Detroit Free Press. There's nothing wrong with selling cars to people who care most about reputation, quietude, and comfort instead of the car person's holy trinity of acceleration, handling, and styling. Lexus cars are fussed-over and the brand's buyers care about quality, so Lexus has that angle sewn up, but attracting younger buyers seems to be an increasingly important item on the punch list. Perhaps a leather-lined Sienna variant with a Mark Levinson entertainment system to grab the parent dollar?



[Source: Detroit Free Press]


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  • 64 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Lexus is doing just fine selling cars. The problem is young buyers do not have the cashflow to simply buy a $50K car. Of course older retired or senior members of the workforce pulling in handsome 6 figure salaries can buy their cars.

      I have owned several Lexus's since the age of 25, and I am very satisfied with their product. I would consider an Audi or a Jaguar as a replacement but I would not rule of Lexus as my next purchase.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The article is from Detroit News! What do you expect from a bunch of miserable and always-unsatisfied-haters-to-anything-that-is-not-domestic "journalists". Anything that is not GM, FORD or Chrysler is bad....

      The person who wrote the article did not even bother to read what is the core identity of the Lexus brand and what its main target market is. I am not comparing brands here, I am commenting the flaws of the article... Stupid article ... What does Buick have to do with Lexus ... those two can not be compared at any point...
        • 5 Years Ago
        "The article is from Detroit News! What do you expect from a bunch of miserable and always-unsatisfied-haters-to-anything-that-is-not-domestic "journalists". "

        Clearly you don't actually read the Detroit News.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Thanks to Auto Couture for spicing the older models up, at least the GS, LS, and SC. I would still love to get a SC300.
      • 5 Years Ago
      As was explained to me by an old person "Old people have the money, so they buy the nice stuff".

      btw....56 is not old these days. Anyone writing this who thinks someone in good health at 56 is buying their last car must be, well about 19 years old.

      A 30 year old buying a new Lexus these days is either someone shopping with Mom and Dad's handouts, buying with an inheritance, ivy league educated or just luckier than most. I don't see how 56 should be a problem for Lexus at all.

        • 5 Years Ago
        *capital.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well. That's quaint.

        Lexus, contrary to your opinion, does see a problem with attracting a 45+ audience and they're the ones attempting to redefine their customer base as low as 25. So I'm guessing your status quo 50+ is precisely the sort of demographic that they've depended on in the past and who they're looking to focus away from in the future.

        I know plenty of late 20s and early 30s individuals with the capitol to buy anything lexus puts out, up to the IS-F, on their own merits, it's a wonder what a college degree and desire to move up in the business world will do for people. Judging from lexus press releases this year, I'd wager they believe the same.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is a rhetorical question, right?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm fascinated by the notion of what some of you old people haters like Patrick ("I think past 60-65 you should just lose your license") are going to think about all this stuff when you reach 50, assuming you don't die while driving and texting before then. For that matter I'm fascinated by what you think of your parents right now.

      You seem to assume that anyone who is under 50 who can afford an expensive car is by definition someone who appreciates performance. Look at what actually sells in large volumes and you'll find that the vast majority of people at any age and at any price point buy appliances, cars that will get them from point to point and back again.

      Younger people with money buy prestige and gravitate to BMW's (only I million sales a year worldwide) and Audi's and, I would guess, rarely use their cars any differently than than folks who drive ES350's, mostly because they don't care enough to learn what they need to know to drive those cars the way they are built to be driven.

      So why wouldn't someone who has always driven an appliance (again, like MOST people), gravitate to smooth, quiet, luxurious appliances as they get older and climb further up the income scale.

      After you subtract the label whores, including those people who drive AMG's etc for their labels, the population of people who seek out well engineered driving machines because they love to drive them is probably fairly small. Those who can also afford the expensive ones is even smaller. The fact that most people who post on Autoblog might be performance enthusiasts doesn't change that (I say might be because there a lot of SUV lovers who post here as well).

        • 5 Years Ago
        I'd absolutely have to agree with you. While people might gravitate towards ideas of a heart-throbbing race car wrapped in a sedan, the reality of our modern roads is that few of us ever need or use that type of vehicle. And if we had one, we would likely complain. The reality is that many customers are looking for a comfortable, luxurious and peaceful place to spend time on the road, which is basically what Lexus is. Also, their push towards environmental responsibility is bound to attract a younger generation eventually.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If Lexus is Toyota's Buick, what does that make Toyota? Oldsmobile?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Perhaps, but it looks like Toyota wishes to follow the path of success that Olds and Buick have described, what with the once appealing automobiles turning into booring cars with limited appeal beyond the silver haired set
      • 5 Years Ago
      "i want a Lexus because all i want in a car is reliability ! "

      that's like saying: "all i want in a girlfriend is punctuality " - Clarkson :)
      • 5 Years Ago
      What do you expect to happen when you take a Toyota and make it even more boring to drive?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Enthusiasts are a small minority compared to those who buy cars purely as transportation devices.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I never have gotten the whole Buick/Lexus comparison. Yes, they both make boring cars, but Buick is not even in the same league as Lexus when it comes to the quality of the components. The new LaCrosse has a handsome interior, but it doesn't have the same tactile feel as the cheapest Lexus.

      Buick is more in line with the Avalon or Hyundai Azera.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It is looking that way.
      Lexus has absolutely no cars that interest me.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I bothered commenting you dolt because it is a blog that is set up for comments and opinions on the posts.
        That is why they have a comment section.
        Obviously reading comprehension was not your strong suit in school.
        • 5 Years Ago
        then why do you even bother commenting?
        • 5 Years Ago
        ... that and I'm sure Buick has no models that interest you either, which adds to autoblog's conflation of the two.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed. Lexus sucks.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually Zamafir that is not true.
        I like the Buick Enclave.
        My aunt has one and it is very nice.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Chris. Another brilliant post... Lexus sucks. Just another mindless comment by a complete tool.
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