As prepared for:
2015 New York International Auto Show
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Mark Templin – Executive Vice President, Lexus International
Jeff Bracken – Group Vice President and General Manager, Lexus Division
For more than 25 years…unmatched quality and unparalleled customer experiences have been at the core of the Lexus brand.
They define who we are…what we do and why we do it.
And those values will never change.
Our chief branding officer and master driver Akio Toyoda, understood the importance of those core values.
But a few years ago…he challenged us to show the emotional side of Lexus.
He knew we could put many more smiles on the faces of our customers if we showed our emotional side in a way that complements the rational side.
In fact…Akio has a simple test he uses to evaluate the emotional impact of our vehicles. We call it the goose bump test.
He puts every vehicle in our lineup through its paces…like you would expect of a certified racecar driver. And when he first sees and drives a new vehicle…the design and performance need to trigger an emotional response…that gets the hair on the back of his neck to stand up and give him goose bumps.
Now…using the goose bump test as a starting point…we challenged our engineers and designers and gave them more freedom to focus on things that create an engaging and exhilarating
- Stiff body structures
- Precision steering
- Suspension systems that minimize body roll and provide great grip and stability
All of this packaged in vehicle designs that turn heads, elicit emotional connections and bring out the goose bumps. And their efforts are paying off.
Since the launch of the 2012 GS…globally…we’ve been riding a rising tide of enthusiasm for our brand and our products.
Products like the new…
have garnered widespread enthusiasm from journalists and consumers alike. And that enthusiasm has helped drive our success over the past three years.
In fact…during that time: we attracted new, young consumers to the brand at the fastest pace ever. Even better…we’ve been the fastest growing major luxury brand in the world…up more than 44% over the last three years.
At Lexus, we’re not standing still and neither are global consumers who expect to engage with brands through unique and personalized products and experiences.
But, even as we adapt to these consumer expectations…the value, appreciation and desire to have always better cars and a world class customer experience will never change.
And, it’s these Lexus strengths that will drive our sustainable growth globally for the next 25 years and beyond.
Today we’re here to debut the next product that will fuel that growth. And nowhere in the world has our brand’s success been more evident and more important than right here in the United States.
To share more details about the US market and the next-generation RX, please welcome the general manager of Lexus here in the US…my good friend, Jeff Bracken.
Thank you Mark and thanks to all of you for joining us. It was 17 years ago when Lexus saw an untapped opportunity in the market and ignited a category called luxury crossover when we launched the RX 300.
Since then, the RX has dominated that segment, setting standards for style, function and luxury.
And the RX quickly became a core model for the Lexus brand, driving both volume and loyalty over the course of three generations.
In fact, RX is responsible for bringing over 2.1 million customers around the world into the Lexus family. It’s easy to see why others have entered this segment.
Since 2005, the RX has maintained about 25% of the sales in the mid-size luxury crossover segment…even though the number of competitors has risen to 16.
The ongoing demand for RX helped solidify our retail partner’s confidence in the Lexus brand when it was not even a decade old.
And today, that confidence in Lexus is stronger than ever.
In fact, within the next two years we can expect to see our U.S. dealers reinvest over $500 million dollars into their facilities.
These actions speak volumes about their commitment, dedication and drive for the brand and their belief that Lexus will grow even stronger with the launch of this all-new RX.
We know the mid-sized luxury SUV segment is extremely competitive and that’s why for the fourth generation, RX has been completely reimagined to reflect a product philosophy that is at once engaging to look at and dynamic to drive.
Ladies and gentleman…the all-new 2016 Lexus RX and RX Hybrid.
The all-new RX brings the concept of “sophistication with an edge” to life …while the RX is equipped
and engineered to appeal to the next generation of luxury consumers, our research confirms
that existing RX owners will love it too…embracing a new vehicle that unapologetically proclaims that it’s time for luxury utility to be even more expressive.
The RX wears the latest interpretation of our Lexus design language highlighted by a new floating roofline and available 20” wheels with interchangeable color inserts.
F SPORT models build on this design with unique…
- And black side mirrors
More importantly…the F SPORT models offer not only a more athletic stance, but an even more engaging drive.
And for the first time F SPORT will be offered on RX Hybrid.
As you would expect from a Lexus, the interior is beautifully crafted with various interior combinations designed to suit the tastes of a wide array of drivers.
And RX is packed with the latest features:
- A touch-free power rear door that is activated by a short pause of the hand over the Lexus logo
- A panoramic roof that brings the outside in for all occupants
- A view monitor that creates a 360 degree visual image of the car’s surroundings that can be seen on a brilliant 12.3” screen
This larger, fourth generation RX is more spacious and rides on a wheelbase that is nearly two inches longer than its predecessor.
The new RX redefines its image in the segment with vastly elevated levels of …
- Dynamic capability,
- Ride quality
- And overall refinement
And then there’s the revised…direct-injection 3.5-Liter gasoline engine targeting 300hp…and coupled to an 8-speed automatic transmission…providing better fuel economy … while not requiring
And when it comes to safety…our available Lexus Safety System Plus bundles a range of technologies and automated features…such as…
- Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection
- Auto hi-beam
- Lane keep assist
- And Dynamic Radar Cruise Control that can bring the vehicle to a complete stop
This is a package that once cost thousands and will now be priced under $650.
Adding an extra measure of safety…the Lexus RX will also offer Michelin’s latest advancement in tire safety technology…the Michelin Premier. The tire’s tread actually wears in a way that makes it safe when new and safe when worn.
The new RX will be manufactured in our award-winning plants located in Japan…AND Ontario, Canada.
When we launch the RX at the end of this year…our lineup will continue to have a strong crossover one-two punch.
In the COMPACT luxury ranks…the NX crossover…with its athletic style and capability…teams up with this new MID-SIZE luxury RX…adding a dimension of refinement and sophistication to the class.
Both are poised to meet the growing needs of luxury consumers around the world.
Now…I would like to introduce the person most responsible for bringing us this amazing RX.
Chief Engineer Takayuki Katsuda. Katsuda-san…please stand and take a bow!
Thank you Katsuda-san for bringing us this amazing product.
Okay…now…I’d like to invite the photographers and members of the media on stage for a closer look at our 2016 Lexus RX and RX hybrid.