Remember How Silly You Thought It Was When Lexus Predicted 400 LC Sales Per Month in America?

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
remember how silly you thought it was when lexus predicted 400 lc sales per month in

Lexus has high hopes for the LC, we told you in March. Not yet on sale at that point, Lexus was entirely transparent about the company’s belief that it could sell 400 copies of the LC500 and hybridized LC500h every month in America.

“That’s a big number,” I wrote six months ago, expressing a measure of doubt. But Lexus was insistent, based on “tremendous response to the LF-LC show car” from 2012, a successful carryover to production of concept car design, and “positive feedback in customer clinics.”

Doubt was expressed by most commenters, as well. “Good luck with that,” . “Setting a goal like this is just setting Lexus up for the unnecessary perception of failure,” , “I don’t think it’ll do that well.”

It’s been half a year. It’s time for the Lexus LC to stand up and be counted.

To be fair, a number of B&B members believed Lexus was right about the fact that the LC500 and LC500h would outsell a wide variety of high-end coupes. At 400/month, Lexus’ $92,995-$106,295 coupe would prove more popular than the Nissan GT-R and Mercedes-Benz SL and BMW 6 Series, but also more affordable cars such as the Jaguar F-Type, Porsche Cayman, and Audi TT. “I think they can move 400/mo,” .

Lexus launched the LC by meeting its target. 419 copies of the Lexus LC500 and LC500h were sold in May; another 423 in June. Even after LC sales slowed in July and August, Lexus is still averaging 362 LC sales per month, within 10 percent of the company’s goal.

Of course, it’s early. The fact that Lexus is already reporting decreased LC sales is in keeping with the broad sporty car sector in which it competes. You might recall, for instance, the Scion FR-S — now known as the Toyota 86 — which launched with great fanfare and produced 2,684 sales in its first full month on the market, June 2012.

Never once since has Toyota reported more than 2,000 FR-S/86 sales in the U.S. a single month. A year after its launch, FR-S sales were down 11 percent. Toyota now reports 622 86 sales per month, a 59-percent cut compared with 2013.

The same type of situation can be seen at the higher end, as well. The 2013 model year was the first for the current R231 iteration of the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class. Sales rose to a seven-year high of 7,007 units that year, yet U.S. SL volume is now less than half that strong.

This is why one member of the TTAC B&B, Competing with the Porsche 911? That’s a whole ‘nuther ball game Lexus never claimed to play.

[Images: Toyota Motor Corp.]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

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  • Gearhead77 Gearhead77 on Sep 21, 2017

    I saw one in the wild for the first time. A couple, the same age or only slightly older than me (40) was shopping at Lowes and trying to figure out how they would fit their new outdoor cushions, potted plants and other Lowes purchases in the car. Then they drove away with his can of Red Bull on top of the car. He was in the passenger seat trying to reach for it while the car was moving. All I could see was the icky red stuff spilling into the car. Finally, somehow, common sense prevailed and he got out to get the can. I laughed, I cried, I shook my head while I loaded my supremely less cool Toyota Sienna SE with bags of sand, plants and pavers. But the car sounded pretty cool as it burbled away.

  • SeldomScene1980 SeldomScene1980 on Sep 21, 2017

    Leases are part of sales, right? I doubt most of these sales are actual purchases. Right now, it's a 36 month lease, 10k mile/year limit, $5k down and $1100/month. If I could afford it, I'd spend $45k to drive one for 3 years.

  • Bill Wade Norm, while true I'll leave you with this. My 2023 RAM is running Android 8 released in 2017.My wife's navigation on her GM truck is a 2021 release, I believe the latest. Android Auto seems to update very week or two. Now, which would you rather have? Anybody with a car a couple of years old NEVER sees any updates. Heck, if your TV is a few years old it's dead on updates. At least cell phones are rapidly updated. If your old phone won't update, buy another $200 phone. If your GM vehicle doesn't update do what, buy another $50,000 GM vehicle?
  • Lou_BC Once again, Mustang is the last pony car standing. Camaro RIP, Challenger RIP.
  • FreedMike Next up should DEFINITELY be the Cadillac Eldorado. On the subject of Caddies, I saw a Lyriq in person for the first time a couple of days ago, and I'm changing my tune on its' styling. In person, it works quite well, and the interior is very nicely executed.
  • Probert Sorry to disappoint: any list. of articles with a 1 second google search. It's a tough world out there - but you can do it!!!!!!
  • ToolGuy "We're marking the anniversary of the time Robert Farago started the GM death watch and called for the company to die."• No, we aren't. Robert Farago wrote that in April 2005. It was reposted in 2009 on the eve of the actual bankruptcy filing.The byline dates are sometimes strange/off with the site revisions (and the 'this is a repost' note got lost), but the date string in the link is correct (...2005/04...). Posting about GM bankruptcy in 2005 was a slightly more difficult call than doing it in 2009.-- The Truth About Calendars