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Discussion Starter #41
Toyota Prepares October 2017 Unveiling of Three-Row 2018 Lexus RX
TTAC
- By Timothy Cain on June 30, 2017

The Lexus RX is, by a massive margin, America’s top-selling luxury utility vehicle.

Through the first five months of 2017, Lexus had already sold 38,329 copies of the RX350 and RX450h in the United States. Most competing luxury crossovers won’t produce that many sales in all of 2017.

But Lexus wants more, and with car sales plunging — Lexus car sales are down 29 percent so far this year — there’s no better means of adding volume than by expanding the utility vehicle division. Lexus has already introduced the NX to sit below the RX, and it’s a verifiable hit. But the GX and LX at the top of the Lexus SUV/CUV heap add only incremental volume.

Thus, Lexus is readying a three-row version of the Lexus RX, a natural fit given the RX’s connections to the three-row Toyota Highlander. This much we knew.

Now, based on reports from Japan’s Mag-X, we also know the seven-seat Lexus RX will debut at the Tokyo in late October 2017.

There’s been no shortage of clamoring among Lexus dealers for a more family-friendly RX. (Though it remains to be seen if any roofline adjustments will make the three-row RX actually friendly for families.) Lexus’ Jeff Bracken confirmed in the spring of 2016 that a three-row RX would arrive in America in late 2017 or early 2018 while admitting on behalf of Lexus dealers a high degree of impatience.

“They would just love to have it now,” Bracken told Automotive News. “But I think they’re quite relieved that they know it’s coming.”

Lexus’ auto show schedule remains unconfirmed. There were reports earlier this spring that the three-row Lexus RX would be unveiled in Shanghai in April.

It was not.

Nevertheless, the date at which Lexus hoped to be selling seven-seat RX350s is fast approaching, making a Tokyo debut more likely. Given the RX’s American importance, we can certainly expect to see the RX by the time the Los Angeles Auto Show rolls around in early December.

We can’t expect to see, however, a Lexus RX with dramatically differentiated styling on the three-row variant. In order to maintain the strong RX connection Lexus so badly wants — “We’ll embrace the RX name,” Bracken said last year — the seven-seat RX has to look like the RX. “We put so much energy into the styling you see now that we didn’t want to compromise even with the third row,” says the Lexus general manager.

Likewise, don’t expect a Plus or Grande or Max badge on the RX’s tailgate, either. In Japan’s hybrid guise, Mag-X says, the seven-seat RX will be called the Lexus RX450hL.

Sound familiar? L is the letter Lexus uses to signify the long-wheelbase versions of the brand’s full-size LS sedan.

The seven-seat Lexus RX would have been on sale already had Lexus not determined that the RC coupe was a priority. “In hindsight, if I was making this decision 10 years ago, seeing what I see today, the three-row [crossover] probably would have been the better play to come out first,” Toyota’s North American CEO Jim Lentz said two years ago. Lexus has sold 30,471 RCs in its 2.5-year lifespan to date, though sales are predictably less than half as strong now as they were two years ago.

Expect greater long-term stability with the three-row Lexus RX, which will maintain the regular RX’s wheelbase but feature an elongated rear overhang and an elevated rear window.
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Well, the Edge got stretched into a 3 row for the China market, but will Lincoln do a stretched MKX-L? This just seems like another one of those 'why didn't they offer this in the first place' ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter #44 (Edited)
I seem to remember a little bit of back'n'forth about Genesis dealerships...
...but can't find it


new plan:
Hyundai Motor America Wants Separate Genesis Showrooms ASAP

TTAC
- By Timothy Cain on August 8, 2017


From the start, Hyundai Motor America’s plans to launch its upmarket Genesis brand inside Hyundai showrooms was easy to question. Do consumers want the link between a $68,100 Genesis G90 and a $14,745 Hyundai Accent to be so obvious?

Of course not. But affording Genesis a mere corner of certain Hyundai showrooms wasn’t the only problem — Genesis general manager Erwin Raphael also had issues early on with the number of Hyundai dealers signed up to sell the Genesis brand.

“We may see that (350) figure go down,” Raphael said in November 2016, only a few months after the brand began selling cars in America. “I think it is too high.”

Fast forward to August 2017 and Hyundai’s plan to eventually separate the Genesis brand with standalone showrooms, perhaps in 2020, is about to be pulled way forward. “For this brand to really survive and thrive,” Raphael tells Automotive News, “and for us to develop the culture within ourselves and within our dealer network to support and take care of these customers, we do in fact have to expedite our process of separating our brands.”

So what happens to all of those Hyundai dealers who recently spent thousands renovating showrooms to include Genesis studios?

Dealers have not yet been told.

Andrew DiFeo, Hyundai’s National Dealer Council chairman, says the way in which Genesis was launched may have represented, “the easiest, least-painful route in the short term.” Yet after 352 dealers invested heavily in the future of Genesis, choosing the easy way forward “affected the brand negatively in the long term,” DiFeo says.

The entire launch process of the Genesis brand was questionable. First, Hyundai launched its luxury sedan in late 2008 as a Hyundai, rather than as a separate entity. At the time, Hyundai considered the cost of developing the car ($500 million) and its Tau V8 engine ($250 million) pricey enough — launching a brand was thought to be a $2.5 billion, 13-year effort.

Hyundai followed up the Genesis with an even pricier luxury car, the Equus, but once again marketed the car as a Hyundai. Then, seemingly doubling down on Genesis’ status inside the Hyundai family, Hyundai launched a second-generation of the Genesis sedan for the 2014 model year as a Hyundai.

Then, as if to suggest the earlier decision to avoid the massive cash infusion necessary to launch a new luxury brand was a poor one, Hyundai launched the Genesis brand in America in 2016 without an entry-level vehicle, without an SUV, without separate showrooms, and did so inside Hyundai dealers.

In fact, the picture is even more muddied than that. All 835 of Hyundai’s U.S. dealers are permitted to sell the G80, Automotive News reports, but any of those dealers who wish to sell the further-upscale G90 must build the Genesis showroom inside their Hyundai store.

The lack of prestige is problematic. So too is the fact that being a dealer for a fledgling premium brand means hardly selling any vehicles: fewer than 5 per month for the average Genesis dealer.

Such poor throughput is no recipe for success at the franchise level, and without successful dealers, Genesis will quickly lose ground before it can even fill its product lineup.

“We don’t see a path forward without a good, strong dealer network that’s also profitable. And we sometimes have to make very difficult decisions in the short run,” Genesis boss Raphel says, “in order to ensure that we take care of our dealers in the long run.”

The G80-only dealers — remember, these were dealers who previously sold this very car when it was the second-generation Genesis — were originally intended to be pushed out of the process once the third-gen model rolled around and Hyundai began to separate the two brands with separate spaces. But it’s clearly becoming obvious to Genesis that brand perception, in mid-2017, is not where it needs to be.

Pulling plans forward will be costly. Hyundai Motor America needs its current Genesis dealer agreements to disappear, which will require outside legal counsel to achieve.

Perhaps there are dealers that, outside of wasting money, will be relieved at the loss of Genesis-oriented responsibility. After all, there’s been little return on their investment to date. Genesis brand sales totalled 11,563 units in the first seven months of 2017, or about the number of C-Class sedans, coupes, and convertibles Mercedes-Benz sells every seven or eight weeks. But the Genesis G70, an intended rival for that C-Class, is due at dealers next year, and an SUV is set to follow. Both products are expected to outsell Genesis’ current duo.

Hyundai announced the formation of the Genesis luxury brand less than two years ago and the sales arrangement was quickly formulated for a U.S. launch one year ago. Hyundai’s desire to extricate Genesis products from Hyundai showrooms is the latest rapid-fire decision, one that should produce a proper plan by the summer of 2018.

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Toyota Prepares October 2017 Unveiling of Three-Row 2018 Lexus RX
TTAC
- By Timothy Cain on June 30, 2017

The Lexus RX is, by a massive margin, America’s top-selling luxury utility vehicle.

Through the first five months of 2017, Lexus had already sold 38,329 copies of the RX350 and RX450h in the United States. Most competing luxury crossovers won’t produce that many sales in all of 2017.

But Lexus wants more, and with car sales plunging — Lexus car sales are down 29 percent so far this year — there’s no better means of adding volume than by expanding the utility vehicle division. Lexus has already introduced the NX to sit below the RX, and it’s a verifiable hit. But the GX and LX at the top of the Lexus SUV/CUV heap add only incremental volume.

Thus, Lexus is readying a three-row version of the Lexus RX, a natural fit given the RX’s connections to the three-row Toyota Highlander. This much we knew.

Now, based on reports from Japan’s Mag-X, we also know the seven-seat Lexus RX will debut at the Tokyo in late October 2017.

There’s been no shortage of clamoring among Lexus dealers for a more family-friendly RX. (Though it remains to be seen if any roofline adjustments will make the three-row RX actually friendly for families.) Lexus’ Jeff Bracken confirmed in the spring of 2016 that a three-row RX would arrive in America in late 2017 or early 2018 while admitting on behalf of Lexus dealers a high degree of impatience.

“They would just love to have it now,” Bracken told Automotive News. “But I think they’re quite relieved that they know it’s coming.”

Lexus’ auto show schedule remains unconfirmed. There were reports earlier this spring that the three-row Lexus RX would be unveiled in Shanghai in April.

It was not.

Nevertheless, the date at which Lexus hoped to be selling seven-seat RX350s is fast approaching, making a Tokyo debut more likely. Given the RX’s American importance, we can certainly expect to see the RX by the time the Los Angeles Auto Show rolls around in early December.

We can’t expect to see, however, a Lexus RX with dramatically differentiated styling on the three-row variant. In order to maintain the strong RX connection Lexus so badly wants — “We’ll embrace the RX name,” Bracken said last year — the seven-seat RX has to look like the RX. “We put so much energy into the styling you see now that we didn’t want to compromise even with the third row,” says the Lexus general manager.

Likewise, don’t expect a Plus or Grande or Max badge on the RX’s tailgate, either. In Japan’s hybrid guise, Mag-X says, the seven-seat RX will be called the Lexus RX450hL.

Sound familiar? L is the letter Lexus uses to signify the long-wheelbase versions of the brand’s full-size LS sedan.

The seven-seat Lexus RX would have been on sale already had Lexus not determined that the RC coupe was a priority. “In hindsight, if I was making this decision 10 years ago, seeing what I see today, the three-row [crossover] probably would have been the better play to come out first,” Toyota’s North American CEO Jim Lentz said two years ago. Lexus has sold 30,471 RCs in its 2.5-year lifespan to date, though sales are predictably less than half as strong now as they were two years ago.

Expect greater long-term stability with the three-row Lexus RX, which will maintain the regular RX’s wheelbase but feature an elongated rear overhang and an elevated rear window.
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Well, I guess this does give some credence to the idea that MKX might indeed be stretched hideously for 3-rows and built locally along with the Edge Limited.
 

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Well, I guess this does give some credence to the idea that MKX might indeed be stretched hideously for 3-rows and built locally along with the Edge Limited.
I'd wait for the Aviator.
 
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I still get the impression that Ford has a very aggressive vision for its future even if it looks like they are stagnant right now, but it does appear that we are in the middle of another crisis at Ford that is stalling progress when it's badly needed. At least change is happening but this a company that just lives from one organizational crisis to the next, very little stability or consistency. The other problem is that Ford is vulnerable because of the return to increased market regionalization which makes One Ford more expensive since it limits flexibility and product turnover. Ford has essentially resigned to the fact that it can't please every market but it doesn't matter as long as total volume is sufficient...and perhaps that's just fine for less profitable products.
 

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2018 Acura RLX refresh packs a new face and NSX DNA

The redesigned 2018 Acura RLX is here, and it's the fastest and most capable sedan the company has ever built. While not all new, there's a host of changes both inside and out, through the two powertrains carry over unchanged. The RLX Sport Hybrid packs a bit of NSX DNA to go along with the new family face. The car will make its full reveal next week at Pebble Beach before it hits showrooms later this year.

The first Acura RLX debuted in 2013 as a replacement for the range-topping RL sedan. Sales have been slow, though a slimmed down lineup may help that. Powertrains remain the same, but refreshed styling and the removal of the controversial "beak" grille may help bring in some new blood to Acura dealers.

The car comes in two variants, the 310 horsepower RLX with Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) and the 377 horsepower RLX Sport Hybrid with Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). That's a lot of acronyms, but there's a lot of tech behind those names. Both models use a 3.5-liter direct-injected V6, though the Sport Hybrid backs that up with three electric motors. It's a similar setup to the Acura MDX Sport Hybrid that we drove in the spring. The RLX P-AWS now sends power to the front wheels through a new 10-speed automatic.
Read More: https://www.autoblog.com/2017/08/10/2018-acura-rlx-refresh-new-face-grille-nsx-technology-powertrain/#slide-6841078


 

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I don't know why they still make RLX.
 
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Looks like Fusion is going to be the only 2012/2013 Midsize sedan not to get an all-new model this year. There is no evidence of a next-generation Fusion in the works yet either so it's probably 2+ years away. This makes the Fusion officially the oldest product in its segment and still years from any potential successor.
 

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The 2019 MK4 Focus looks pretty big. I wonder if the new Focus is trying to be the next Fusion as well? As in The new Focus is trying to appeal to new Fiesta, Focus and Fusion buyers at the same time?
 

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The compact 106.3-inch wheelbase new Focus, which will finally match the current Corolla, Elantra, etc will just finally be able to compete in its own compact segment. Fusion was big for its class already and really should remain the same size overall as the segment leaders grow a bit, if not shorter by clipping the front/rear overhangs.

Hopefully, under new management, Ford/Lincoln will get their cars in line with the rest of the industry, instead of trying to work between segments, along with getting the cars on schedule with the industry leaders also. It's as of Ford is afraid to compete directly with its competition. Trying to sneak up behind and then getting left behind again.

With its minimal refresh, the 2013 Fusion is 6 model years old, not an option for a current lease replacement(because it looks much the same as what they have), and sales have been tanking for months. Two more years as is won't help it. 2018 Accord, 2018 Camry, 2019 Altima are coming. It's a nice car design, but a bit old now, and Ford just did not offer an upgrade to its customer base in a market that's moving faster than ever before.
 

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Looks like Fusion is going to be the only 2012/2013 Midsize sedan not to get an all-new model this year. There is no evidence of a next-generation Fusion in the works yet either so it's probably 2+ years away. This makes the Fusion officially the oldest product in its segment and still years from any potential successor.
Fields really screwed everything up, didn't he?
 

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Discussion Starter #58 (Edited)
^ @rmc523 you forgot this smilie
from BON
:angel
The 2019 MK4 Focus looks pretty big. I wonder if the new Focus is trying to be the next Fusion as well? As in The new Focus is trying to appeal to new Fiesta, Focus and Fusion buyers at the same time?
""great MODEL T's ghost!!""
:thumb:
...With its minimal refresh, the 2013 Fusion is 6 model years old, not an option for a current lease replacement(because it looks much the same as what they have), and sales have been tanking for months. Two more years as is won't help it. 2018 Accord, 2018 Camry, 2019 Altima are coming. It's a nice car design, but a bit old now, and Ford just did not offer an upgrade to its customer base in a market that's moving faster than ever before.
you've made me wonder sumthin, Bloggin...
-- I've always thought the FLEX was just too strong(perfect) of a design [like the PT Cruiser] to the point it could never be Really MCE'd without having to make it complete new/diff.
--now I'm wondering if the Fusion is sorta that too OR
IF Fomoco just has a habit of THINKING about their vehicles that way (other than Mustang & F150) ...AS aNother reason for not being aware that stuff is ROTTING ON THE VINE?
&

-- sorta said this before BUT imho, all the changes (styling definitely, everything perhaps) since the CD4 came out could fit comfortably (for the buyers) into a SINGLE mild TWEAK for a merely YEARLY freshening
:crying2: ...the previous Fusions had much more SIGNIFICANT update (2010) with "Bold-Bob"/"gillette"
actually, I'm quite ready for SON OF GILLETTE! ...I feel a chop coming on...

Here is the concept for the new Altima.
NetCarShow
I feel another chop threatening since amazingly I had vaguely(better)similar C-pillar fantasies way-back - just nothing is lined-up!!


That diving character line that the handles sit on looks terrible...
2b2 said:
:thumb: s'why I chose that angle/foto ... tho I equally blame the STOOPID ruler-straight ridge under the windows
 

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Looks like Fusion is going to be the only 2012/2013 Midsize sedan not to get an all-new model this year. There is no evidence of a next-generation Fusion in the works yet either so it's probably 2+ years away. This makes the Fusion officially the oldest product in its segment and still years from any potential successor.
You forgot the NMS Passat.
 

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The days of 8 or 9 model years is over, today 6 is the max before sales decline heavily, losing market share. It's as if Ford does not understand 'momentum'...except for F-150. But that's putting all the eggs in one basket.

For example, we should have had a next gen Flex for MY2014 on a new platform that would help it advance in it's segment. Instead, Ford let it 'rot on the vine' as 2B2 puts it.

Could it just be basic arrogance that keeps Ford from 'following the leaders' in any segment but trucks and commercial vans?
 
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