The problem with Lexus is while they created great products they know people want, they have no consistent company vision of their own

A business, especially a luxury-car business, should stand for something more than just best practices and profit taking. A great car company needs its own animating idea, expressed through the entire product line—a spirit that holds the enterprise together. Even the BMW X6 has a little 2002 in it.

Such robust longevity requires a clear heading. But Lexus’s compass is being driven berserk by the magnetism of other people’s concepts. The very principle that made Lexus a household name now looks, to me, like its undoing.

If Lexus wants to keep that No. 1 spot, beating back BMW and Infiniti and Audi and Hyundai and whatever else gets in line, it needs more RXs and fewer LFAs. It better stop trying to be all things to all people. It better figure out what it wants to be.

You might find temporary success by following, copying, chasing other products. But for long term success, you need to define your own products and company vision. Product research can only go so far.

We deal with this everyday at Posterous. We’ve never been ones to do what other companies are doing. Or, sometimes, even to do what our users think they want. We know what our vision for Posterous is, and we follow that 100%.

BMW and Apple do this very well. Sometimes you might disgree with particular choices, but they are following their corporate vision consistently.

Who knew you could get product advice from Car and Driver? 🙂

How to buy car a newish car

I have always been a fan of buying cars Certified Pre Owned (CPO).You get a car that is a year or just over a year old that has beencertified by the dealer. Since it’s not new, you don’t pay the hugepremium for a new car. But it’s been run through a huge inspection,and it include a new bumper to bumper warranty. With BMW, thewarranty may even be longer than with a brand new car.(And with BMW you get free maintenance so literally allyou spend money on for 6 years is gas and tires. Not even brakes)

My dad decided to buy a CPO Lexus GX470. At first he wanted aMercedes ML350 since he’s wanted a Mercedes his whole life. I toldhim to at least drive the Lexus and BMW first. The Lexus blew theMercedes away, no question about it.
My dad jumped on and searched their CPO inventory.He found the perfect car he wanted but it was in Georgia. The onedrawback of CPO is since the car is still fairly new, there aren’ta lot of them for sale.
He called the dealer in Georgia, made an offer, haggled a bit,and now it’s on a truck to California. He bought the car withoutseeing it. But why not? There’s no body damage at all, it has lowmiles, and everything is covered by the warranty.
We’ll see how it goes, but it seems like a great way to buythe perfect newish car you want.