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Would You Buy A Made-In-Australia Lexus?


Poisson
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I was thinking of the dilemma facing Toyota now that Holden & Ford have announced they are shutting up shop. If the Australian car industry can't build down to a price, perhaps they should look at building a premium product where price shaving isn't quite so important. Lexus wants to expand its market share world-wide - maybe part of the Toyota operation here could be upgraded and up-skilled to turn out Lexus vehicles for the home market and (more importantly) for export. Low volume, high margin vehicles.

They could even indulge in some distinctive touches like using Australian hardwoods for the interior trims.

What do you reckon? Would you buy a made-in-Oz Lexus?

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Interesting idea - and within reason, yes - would definitely buy Australian but it depends on whether Lexus build quality standards could be maintained.

An as ex- company car person, I used to be appalled by the number of defects in Ford and Holden vehicles in the fleet compared to Toyota and Mitsubishi (those days Mitsubishi were still being produced here).

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I agree that only high-margin vehicles should be manufactured in Australia, but there also has to be a significant world market to allow their export. I assume that, if there is a reasonable market in the Middle East for a medium/large sedan such as the Camry, then there should also be a sizeable market for the Lexus ES. When one also considers that there are now few choices for locally-made prestige cars for the fleet market (Statesman and Fairlane are no longer made, and Caprice will soon be dead), the Lexus ES is the most likely choice for a high-margin vehicle made in Australia by Toyota.

If I was in the market for a luxury car without sporty pretensions then, yes, I'd buy an Australian-made Lexus ES. I couldn't help but feel, however, that some of the Lexus legend would be missing. Yes, I'm sure the Altona factory would have engineers with decades of experience, but are they worthy of being called Lexus takumi? Can their fingers feel the difference between the front and rear sides of a sheet of paper? And could they fold origami in one hand?

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I agree that only high-margin vehicles should be manufactured in Australia, but there also has to be a significant world market to allow their export. I assume that, if there is a reasonable market in the Middle East for a medium/large sedan such as the Camry, then there should also be a sizeable market for the Lexus ES. When one also considers that there are now few choices for locally-made prestige cars for the fleet market (Statesman and Fairlane are no longer made, and Caprice will soon be dead), the Lexus ES is the most likely choice for a high-margin vehicle made in Australia by Toyota.

My thoughts too. Similar to a Camry / Aurion (though I know it's based on the US market Avalon), the ES has already been touted as a good car for the limo market.

If I was in the market for a luxury car without sporty pretensions then, yes, I'd buy an Australian-made Lexus ES. I couldn't help but feel, however, that some of the Lexus legend would be missing.

Maybe so, but it hasn't hurt their Canadian operation which builds all the RXs in North America, and I think they're starting to build the IS there as well. In some ways Australia would be seen as a more exotic place than Canada, which could be a good basis for a marketing campaign.

Yes, I'm sure the Altona factory would have engineers with decades of experience, but are they worthy of being called Lexus takumi? Can their fingers feel the difference between the front and rear sides of a sheet of paper? And could they fold origami in one hand?

I've often thought Lexus talk a lot of BS, and this rubbish is high on that list. I don't want some person who can feel both sides of a piece of paper - I want somebody who knows how to do up nuts & bolts so the thing stays together. I'm sure that many of the workers at Altona could come up to the required standard. I'd expect the Lexus line would be a plum posting with better pay and conditions. Only the best of the current workers could audition and be put through the requisite training. Who knows, some of them might even find a new role in life as one-handed origami folders. :)

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We couldn't build Lexus in this country because of the labour costs and other factors,that is why Holden and eventually Toyota will cease production in Australia.

Holden cars will Never come close to the quality build of any Lexus .

Why would I want to pay more for a Lexus that was built to a lesser standard.

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We couldn't build Lexus in this country because of the labour costs and other factors,that is why Holden and eventually Toyota will cease production in Australia.

You hit the nail on the head, why would anyone want to built cars in this country? Wages are very high, work practices are extreme and our market is tiny by world standards.

You can built cars anywhere else cheaper and import them here for either zero import duties or max 5%, depending on where they come from.

Toyota will be going in the near future as well just like all manufacturing in AU. We will be a dirt exporter, financial hub ( Sydney), maybe education exporter and tourism when our currency is low. Our agriculural stuff is very expensive as well but at least we have the land ( until it's all sold to OS interests) to produce, something the Asian countries don't have and can't have unless we sell them ours!

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