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If luxury car dealers need to see the light at the end of this five-month-long (and counting) tunnel, then they just need to hear it from Lexus Philippines.

According to its vice president for brand communications Carlo Ablaza, they only need to wait until the community quarantines are relaxed again before demand for luxury vehicle brands picks up. It had happened before when the first imposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region was downgraded to general community quarantine (GCQ). It should happen again once the second round of ECQ eases back once more to GCQ.

“During the period of when the community quarantines were slowly being lifted, there was pent-up demand from buyers who had already been planning on purchasing a vehicle. Luxury car buyers still have much intent when purchasing their own vehicles,” Ablaza observed.

Asked if the current sales promo blitz conducted by various car brands could actually help the luxury market, and Lexus Philippines, in particular, Ablaza said, “These may have temporary effects but may not be a sustainable way of keeping the demand high. However, the purchasing behavior of the luxury car market may slightly be different. The sales promotions will always vary per market’s purchasing behavior. What we have observed in the Philippine luxury car market, specifically for our introductory type of vehicles, is that special financing packages are quite attractive.”

While Lexus Philippines’ own promo doesn’t offer outright cash discounts, it does offer low-down payment and lighter amortization schemes. For August, the carmaker has prepared a line of luxury vehicles with special financing packages from 30 to 50-percent down payment and 0 percent interest for up to 24 months.

“Currently, we cannot be conclusive on how the promo will affect the remainder of 2020 given that we are still under MECQ. It may have some effect on our forecast for the rest of the year. Either way, we are optimistic that Lexus will still remain as one of the stronger luxury car brands in our market,” Ablaza said.

He added, “In as much as we want to be optimistic of where we are headed come 2021, these are unprecedented times. However, we at Lexus are at a stable and current pace—and with the way that we quickly shift to serve the needs and wants of our customers and our partner affiliates, we expect to still achieve a good performance for the year.”

Digital Omotenashi

That good performance may hinge on some particularly popular Lexus models, and the further development of its virtual showroom the Lexus Remote.

“Lexus has always taken pride in the wide range of luxury vehicles we offer. Recently, we have observed that the luxury market has seen a liking towards our newly introduced LM350. This has further been supported by the rest of our luxury SUVs such as the RX and the NX,” Ablaza said.

While the pandemic has somehow fast-tracked the digital and online revolution in the auto industry, for Lexus, the Lexus Remote as the company’s version of the “virtual showroom” couldn’t have come at a better time.

“At Lexus, we are committed to an exceptional guest experience each and every time. Given today’s climate, we’re happy to have launched the Lexus Remote early this year, making the Lexus guest experience felt virtually. It’s still in its infancy stage, but as soon as we also pair it with our Lexus Guest Remote Experience—our virtual showroom tour with walkthroughs of some of our vehicles, we are confident that this will also help expand our market reach especially with today’s challenges wherein we have to be physically apart. This is in line with our efforts on Digital Omotenashi, the guest experience that only Lexus can give but done within the comfort of your own home,” Ablaza explained.

The Lexus Remote also helps facilitate Lexus Philippines’ ongoing special financing packages. Buyers can log on to https://www.lexus.com.ph/en/lexus-remote.html, where they can leave their details on the Lexus Remote link. A sales consultant will eventually get in touch with the buyer and guide him or her through the process.

Model lineups under special financing

Lexus Philippines sent to Inquirer Motoring a list of participating models offered with 30-percent downpayment and 0 percent interest for up to 24 months.

The Lexus RX 350 (P4.378 million) powered by a 3.5-liter V6 direct-injection engine, mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

The Lexus NX 300 (P3.208 million) delivers 235 hp and 350Nm of torque to all four wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission. 

The IS 350 F Sport (P3.488 million), the sport-oriented variant of the IS, flaunts18-inch Sport Wheels that feature a Y-spoke design made famous by the LFA supercar.

The IS 350 (P2.948 million), with its aerodynamic design, slices through the air with front bumper air ducts, aero stabilizing fins, a sharpened rear end and vertical lines with airflow funneling.

The ES 350 (P4.478 million) midsize sedan sports a new bold look and interior that highlight the craftsmanship of its construction.

The RX 350 F Sport (P4.938 million) is fitted with sporty 20-inch twin-spoke aluminum wheels in dark metallic paint.

The NX 300h (P3.678 million) features a Hybrid System Indicator that displays real-time information about the hybrid system’s output and regeneration, encouraging one to adopt an eco-friendly drive. 

The front grille of the NX 300 F Sport (P3.708 million) combines a distinct F-mesh pattern with the same jet-black plating used on the RC F. 

The following models are offered special financing packages of 50-percent down payment and 0 percent interest for 12 months, and a free 2-year periodic maintenance service package:

The Lexus RX 450h (P5.178 million) is powered by a V6 3.5-liter direct injection engine with front and rear electric motors. The hybrid drive is mated to an innovative CVT for responsive acceleration and assertive torque while maximizing fuel efficiency.

The Lexus RX 350L (P4.858 million) features a third-row built with a slide function, which can be easily adjusted to achieve optimum legroom;

The compact and responsive Lexus UX 200 F Sport (P3.108 million) features impressive maneuverability with a best-in-class turning radius; 

The high-tensile steel of the Lexus UX 200 (P2.538 million) is used throughout the UX platform, as well as high-strength adhesives and laser-screw welding.

Lexus Philippines’ special financing packages are available until August 31, 2020, and subject to bank approval.