The evidence suggests that Toyota Motor's grand plan to update -- and in doing so reinvent -- its Lexus luxury brand have been disappointing though hardly disastrous.
Lexus sales through the end of July were up 6.5 per cent in an overall new vehicle market up 2.9 per cent. And Lexus sales in Canada jumped an impressive 30.6 per cent last month, notes figures compiled by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.
July's big gains were juiced by some very, very rich incentive money from Lexus Canada. Consider: June sales for Lexus were down 4.0 per cent largely because the money potential buyers were finding in the Lexus glovebox was not quite so generous.
This month? Most manufacturers and their dealers are saying August has not been a terrific sales month at all. The first 20 days of the month have been quite slow, sources tell us. To make up for the first 20 – in a rush to move metal over the last 10 days of August – buyers willing to take time away from their barbeques and sailing and such will find plenty of incentive money to reward them.
The Lexus GS 450h hybrid sedan, launched as an all-new performance/luxury sedan barely 18 months ago, is on offer with as much as $13,000 in discounts. Not bad money on a car with bullet-proof quality, deluxe technology and a $64,450 suggested retail price.
Still, this is not a place Lexus expected to be as we approach the three-quarter pole in 2013. Last year about this time, Lexus Canada officials were touting a glamorous product offensive – nine new or refreshed models in 2012 alone, said Sandy Di Felice, a spokesperson for Toyota Canada.
The new models, she said, "must" push Lexus to a place where the brand is seen by the public as "bold, emotional and expressive." Big discounts on one of the all-new Lexus models suggest the Lexus remake remains a work in progress.
Of course, not everyone wants a fancy Lexus. Plenty of Canadians shop for small, affordable cars and the Ford Fiesta is one of them. A new and improved 2014 Fiesta is coming to dealership, which means the leftover 2013s need to go.
To move them, Ford of Canada has its Employee Pricing program at work – worth $1,325. That discount can be combined with a $2,750 factory incentive. Add in perhaps a small dealer discount ($200?) and an $18,999 Fiesta hatchback is available with price cuts worth $4,000 or more.
Deals of the Week also wants to pinpoint offers on two very useful family-type vehicles – the Toyota Venza and Honda Crosstour crossovers. Both are available to savvy shoppers with incentive money worth well north of $4,000 and both are very solid, very reliable rides.
Deals of the Week consulted with unhaggle.com, carcostcanada.com, and other sources on these offers. As usual, pricing information here is subject to change and dealer discounts vary, so consult your dealer for all the final details, including expiry dates for all offers.
2013 Ford Fiesta Titanium hatchback
- MSRP: $18,999
- Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $1,650
- Dealer discount (estimated): $200
- Factory discount: $2,750 (Factory-to-dealer incentive)
- Employee Pricing discount: $1,125
- Taxable subtotal: $16,374
- Total price with 13% HST: $18,502.62
- Can be combined with 5.89% financing for 72 months
2013 Lexus GS 450h hybrid
- MSRP: $64,650
- Freight, dealer prep and air conditioning tax: $2,095
- Dealer discount (estimated): $3,000
- Factory discount: $10,000 (Factory-to-dealer rebate)
- Taxable subtotal: $53,745
- Total price with 13% HST: $60,731.85
- An $8,000 incentive can be combined with 2.5% financing for five years
2013 Honda Crosstour EX-L
- MSRP: $32,650
- Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $1,740
- Dealer discount (estimated): $1,150
- Factory discount: $3,500 (Factory-to-dealer rebate)
- Taxable subtotal: $29,740
- Total price with 13% HST: $33,606.20
- 1.99% financing for 84 available without cash incentive
2013 Toyota Venza V6 AWD
- MSRP: $32,245
- Freight, PDI, AC tax: $1,790
- Dealer discount (estimated): $1,500
- Factory discount: $4,000 (Factory-to-dealer rebate)
- Taxable subtotal: $28,535
- Total price with 13% HST: $32,244.55
- Available 1.90% financing for 84 months cannot be combined with cash incentive
Pricing information source: unhaggle.com and www.carcostcanada.com. Calculations based on Ontario customers. Please note that while the information above is accurate at the time of publication, incentives are given at the discretion of individual dealers, and may be changed or discontinued at any time. Where noted, "dealer discounts" are negotiated with the customer on a case-by-case basis. Unhaggle Savings are actual discounts received by Unhaggle customers.