Half an hour from Fort Lauderdale, in Margate, Florida, sits JM Lexus, the highest-volume Lexus dealership in the United States.
Even by Lexus standards, where throughput is the best of any premium automaker operating in America, JM Lexus’ 8,000-unit new vehicle sales tally in 2016 was striking. That’s more than 150 new luxury cars, crossovers, and SUVs sold each week. That’s roughly six times the volume achieved by the typical Lexus dealer.
And JM Lexus, perennially the top Lexus dealer in America, does so as part of the Lexus Plus strategy: no negotiating, a single representative per customer, fixed prices for new and used cars as well as service fees and accessories.
Perhaps there’s a lesson to be learned by Lexus’ other dealers. For the time being, according to Automotive News, only 5 percent of Toyota’s premium brand stores operate under the Lexus Plus model.
No-haggle pricing! It’s kind of the zombie of the auto industry. How, you ask? Well:
- Touching it makes your dealership sick
- It periodically comes back from the dead
- The nerd/geek crowd loves to talk about it
- It doesn’t actually exist
It’s also typically something that’s embraced by losers, whether the “loser” in question is a troubled dealership trying to remake its image after a complete decapitation of the leadership/ownership, a troubled brand trying to differentiate itself ( Scion), or a troubled automaker clutching at straws in the face of overwhelming competition (General Motors, with Saturn). But Lexus, the latest brand to give it a shot, doesn’t know the meaning of the word “loser”. Its lineup is bulletproof, both in terms of durability and customer perception. Its dealers are obscenely profitable and generally immune to the worst of the customer-abuse excesses for which mainline Toyota stores are justifiably famous.
So why jump on a strategy that has never, ever worked for any brand that doesn’t own the majority of its retail outlets? Perhaps the answer has something to do with Ellen Pao.
CAW members at GM’s CAMI plant in Ontario have voted to begin negotiating their contracts as early as this week after a vote by workers. At stake is the production of the GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox, two popular crossovers that may have their production moved to Mexico or the United States.
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- Frank Sounds like they dont want to debut it at the same time as the new Land Cruiser, which is probably smart. The new 'runner is ready to go I am told, so there's a reason for this delay.
- IH_Fever My cousin bought a new 4runner 2 weeks ago. It is not much different than my mom's 2010. If it ain't broke, why fix it has always been toyota's motto. What's funny is even the salesman told my cousin "get the current one, when the engine changes there will probably be some issues with the first ones." Gotta be the most honest guy to ever sell a car.
- Ajla They should just keep making this version forever. The next Tacoma and Land Cruiser have the new tech stuff covered.
- CoastieLenn I still don't completely understand why Toyota left the 4.0 in the 4R when the Taco on which it's based got the arguably more efficient and stout 3.5.
- FreedMike Same guys who were charging $15,000 over sticker day in, day out for the last two years? Cry me a river, fellas.