The Last Word On LFA Sales. Or: How To Cure OCD With One Phone Call

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
the last word on lfa sales or how to cure ocd with one phone call

I’m looking at you …

Obsessions are a menace. The daughter of a friend had a shower obsession. “I have an obsessive compulsive disorder,” she would readily admit, only to continue: “I’ll be right back, I need to take a shower.” Such a pretty girl. And she always smelled so good.

A prime obsession of the auto blogosphere are the sales of the Lexus LFA. Is it sold out? Is it not?

(To avoid killing you with the suspense: It is. Has been since April 2010 when Lexus had its 500 orders long before production started in December of that year. Not interesting? I don’t blame you. Stop reading. There is plenty of other content.)

I encountered this manifestation of automotive OCD during the writing of the story about the LFA production. Before the series could even start, I was taken to task over the claim that all 500 LFA are spoken for. Somewhat shrill comments stated they aren’t. Proof presented ranged from eBay links to the counting of LFAs at carshows.

Further research revealed that there is a veritable epidemic of this disorder.

In May last year, Motor Authority, “the luxury and performance leader” of the High Gear family, complained that “only 90 LFAs have been built to date for worldwide sales.” Motor Authority needed to be reminded by Lexus that there had been something called an earthquake and a tsunami ( it had brought production of all cars in Japan to a multi-month halt, and turned the Japanese car market into the worst since decades). Like an obstreperous child, Motor Authority continued to write that the LFA “is barely selling at all.”

A month ago, the Detroit Bureau delivered a dissenting view, writing that the LFA is “sold out – almost.” That piece of investigative journalism was picked up eagerly by other automotive media who’s idea of investigative journalism starts with Ctrl-C and ends with Ctrl-V.

To this day, the disorder is keeping discussion pages at Motortrend going. One commenter cited the fact that this discussion only has 12 pages as proof of the underwhelming success of the LFA. After all, “a year ago, a troll thread with LFA in the title would be over 100 pages or locked by now.” (This is your brain on Facebook and Twitter.)

There is one sure-fire cure for this particular kind of OCD: Call and ask.

Don’t call someone at Toyota Motor Sales in the U.S. They will only know their numbers. You need to invest a few dollars into 011-81 and call Toyota HQ in Japan if you want the global view.

After they had done a few days of research, I was told officially and in writing that the LFA was sold out before production started in late 2010. The 500-unit order limit was reached in April 2010, “there even was a waiting list,” says Lexus International head spokesman Hideaki Homma.

The LFA is built to order, something a customer in Europe or Japan will readily understand: You place an order, they build it for you. In the color and with any special wishes you have specified. This may sound alien to someone who picks a car from a dealer lot, this may sound super alien to someone who orders his supercars from Pimp My Supercar V2, but it is what it is.

Armed with that nugget of wisdom, it becomes clear that all 500 can be spoken for, even if some are still being made. Sometimes, it takes a certain degree of maturity to appreciate the fact that “signed, sealed, delivered” can be many months apart.

And what about the handful of LFAs that pop up on eBay? This is something Lexus is not eager to talk about. Not because it reflects badly on them. From placing an order in early 2010 to today is a long time, and a few former high-flyers have fallen on tough times. If people default on mansions, not picking up your supercar when it has arrived is conceivable.

That, however, is a sad and boring story, and why let a phone call get in the way of intrigue and innuendo?

Join the conversation
3 of 22 comments
  • Oldyak Oldyak on Jul 14, 2012

    I guess we can`t.

  • 84Cressida 84Cressida on Jul 14, 2012

    The only reason this car has gotten scorn is because there are a vocal crew on the internet that will trash Toyota at any opportunity at all costs. Most of it is jealousy and hatred because Toyota is supposedly the reason for their brand's downfall (usually American brands) and that there is some grand conspiracy in the media to prop Toyota up and that they need to expose "the truth".

    • Hifi Hifi on Jul 14, 2012

      Really? Some people would call that thinking paranoia. Every carmaker has to deal with trash talk.

  • Tassos Before you rush to buy this heap of rusty metal, maybe you should wait a day or two.I hear Tim will have an Model T next time.
  • Redapple2 I d just buy one already sorted. Too many high level skills (wiring, paint, body panel fitment et. al.) that i dont have. And I dont fancy working 100 s of hours for $3 /hour.
  • 28-Cars-Later I'm actually surprised at this and not sure what to make of it. In recent memory Senator Biden has completely ignored an ecological disaster in Ohio, and then ignored a tragic fire in Hawaii until his handlers were goaded in sending him and his visit turned into it's own disaster, but we skipped nap time for this sh!t show? Seriously? We really are through the looking glass now, "votes" no longer matter (Hillary almost won being the worst presidential candidate since 1984 before he claimed the crown) and outside of Corvette nostalgia Joe doesn't care let alone know what day it happens to be. Could they really be afraid of Trump, who AFAIK has planned no appearance or run his mouth on this issue? Just doesn't make sense, granted this is Clown World so maybe its my fault for trying to find sense in a senseless act.
  • Tassos If you only changed your series to the CORRECT "Possibly Collectible, NOT Daily Driver, NOT Used car of the day", it would sound much more accurate AND TRUTHFUL.Now who would collect THIS heap of trash for whatever misguided reason, nostalgia for a much worse automotive era or whatever, is another question.
  • ToolGuy Price dropped $500 overnight. (Wait 10 more days and you might get it for free?)