Lexus press conference at 2017 Geneva Motor Show
March 7, 2017
Lexus Press Conference
Geneva Motor Show 2017
Alain Uyttenhoven, Head of Lexus Europe
Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, I would like to welcome you to our motor show stand. This new look demonstrates our ongoing commitment to design and craftsmanship. It reflects a new era at Lexus. It’s an inviting place designed to stir the senses of our guests. Visitors will discover hints of our brand heritage as well as indications of the bold direction Lexus is heading.
When you visit, you will discover elements that reflect our passions and ambitions. Items that inspired product designs and features found in Lexus cars today. As a small but iconic example, this Kiriko vase is a unique piece of Japanese craftsmanship, dating back to the early 19th century Edo period. This uniquely cut and coloured glass inspired the bespoke door inserts you will find on our new flagship model.
Our luxury lifestyle brand passions extend beyond this space. In January, we revealed our new luxury sport yacht concept in Miami.
This unique project put our designers to the test. The sport yacht features Lexus distinctive design cues and a Mark Levinson sound system. Thanks to its twin 5 litre V8 engines delivering 660kW, it can reach an impressive top speed of 43 knots, or 80 km/h.
Lexus is also a partner in the biggest European movie production ever, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, produced by EuropaCorp. For this movie, the creative teams imagined a vehicle grounded in reality but befitting the Valerian world set 700 years in the future: the Lexus Skyjet.
Experience Amazing is more than our new tagline, it is our ambitious goal for all activities.
And, we have brought a few amazing things here to Geneva. Nothing beats the excitement of Motorsports!
So let me introduce the impressive “carbon black” car that stands in front of you today: the 2017 RC F GT3 making its European debut.
GT3 probably represents the highest level of engagement in customer motorsports and that’s where we want to play a role in the coming years. This RC F GT3 will race in the United States and Japan throughout 2017. In Europe, we ran prototypes during VLN races at the Nürburgring. We even ran this car for the first time at the VLN9 race in October, and it won the race, making Lexus the first Asian manufacturer to claim victory in a VLN race. This year, we will participate in selected International GT Open races, an important next step in our development programme. We want to bring Lexus into top-level GT3 racing in Europe in the near future.
In addition to positive reactions to our recent lifestyle and motorsports activities, we see similar results from customers in our showrooms. In 2016, Lexus global sales increased to 677 thousand vehicles - our 6th consecutive year of growth.
Here in Europe we remain among the fastest growing regions for Lexus with a 17% sales increase last year setting a new record with over 74 thousand units. The launch of the all-new RX in particular was a tremendous success as our retail partners tripled their sales versus 2015.
What can you expect from Lexus in 2017?
We will bring two new exceptional vehicles to the market. These two distinct Lexus models feature the very best we have to offer: a bold design, exceptional performance credentials and innovative technologies.
We revealed the LC last year and it will reach European showrooms in the late summer. And I have good news to share today: the LC will be very competitively priced. In Germany for instance, it will be offered from 99,190€.
This year, we introduce the 5th generation of our flagship sedan, the LS. 28 years ago, this model launched our brand and triggered a revolution in the premium market. This 5th generation has all the ingredients to do it again!
The new LS 500 made its debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January. It features an all-new twin-turbo V6 engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission - an industry first in the luxury market. The LS 500 brings the best of both worlds: it delivers V8-level power and performance while minimizing noise and fuel consumption.
Today, I am very happy to introduce the second model in the new LS line-up. Ladies and gentlemen, the full hybrid LS 500h.
The new LS combines the physical presence and the interior space of a luxury sedan with the sleek/stylish silhouette of a 4 door coupé. Its stunning interior has already won its first accolade taking home the EyesOn Design award at the Detroit Motor Show.
The LS 500h is powered by the Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System. This system is also featured in our LC 500h. It represents the next generation hybrid system providing more direct acceleration, especially when moving off from stationary and more fun to drive, all while improving fuel efficiency at higher speeds.
Our new Global Architecture - Luxury platform is lower and wider. It is the stiffest platform, Lexus has ever developed. It allows the occupants to sit closer to the centre of gravity and the critical weight to be ideally distributed.
The new LS features the most advanced dynamic safety control system in the industry. It’s intuitive pedestrian detection function with active steering is a world’s first! If a collision with a pedestrian is imminent, the car will automatically brake and steer around the person while keeping its traffic lane.
As you would expect this new LS features more than technology Innovation. It is also a synonym for exceptional luxury. Take the rear seats, they offer the ultimate relaxation experience combining a massage function with heating according to ancient Japanese Shiatsu principles. This is another world’s first! We worked with some of Japan’s most talented craftsmen to create a unique look and feel for the interior. The inner door panels are inspired by origami and have been pleated by hand, one by one. And here is the Kiriko glass insert I mentioned earlier, created using the same techniques as the vase displayed in the lounge upstairs. LS 500h will be launched in Europe during the last quarter of 2017.
We can’t wait for you to experience amazing yourself by getting behind the wheel or perhaps in the back seat for that massage. Please feel free to join us in our new lounge area here at the stand and I hope you enjoy the rest of the show.
As we close I would like to invite Lexus International Executive Vice-President, and future President, Yoshihiro Sawa to join me on stage for a photo shoot opportunity.
Thank you and have a great day in Geneva!