How Lexus Will Win Over Millennials
As 2016 begins we’ll see a fresh start for a new Lexus. The automaker once known for marketing its inexpensive sports cars and luxury sedans to young bachelors is shifting specifically to capture the emerging millennial market. As the median millennial reaches their mid-to-late-twenties, they gain more and more purchasing power. Lexus has recently been researching how best to tap into exactly what millennials want and how to attract them.
Millennials are a totally new breed of consumer, one that looks for long-term reliability, abhors maintenance headaches, and would rather research a car on their phone in the showroom than talk to a salesperson. Fickle? Maybe. But Lexus realizes that this is one demographic whose buying power simply cannot be ignored.
Aesthetically, new Lexus vehicles are undergoing changes: research conducted via focus groups has found that soft lines are out – millennials want hard edges, large air ducts, lower air dams, dual port exhausts, and tapered flushmount trunk spoilers. They like their steering components and pedals race-inspired and they’re drawn to a design theme Lexus refers to as “seductive strength”. But of course, it’s not all about looks. Some of the most important changes are how the vehicles will actually be purchased.
“We know from some of the research that we do that there are a lot of young folks that are not so intrigued by the traditional negotiation process,” said Jeff Bracken, group vice president of Toyota’s USA Lexus division. “And there’s even a group of folks that just don’t even want to go in the dealership.” In response to these findings, Lexus has said that it will be testing a no-negotiation price program in a dozen of its dealerships in 2016. Unlike their parents and grandparents, millennials just aren’t interested in haggling.
Buying a car is pretty much the only time anyone in the US will haggle over a retail purchase, so Lexus’ new strategy could make the car-buying process closer to the shopping experience millennials are more used to. They’re accustomed to having a phone or tablet at their fingertips that makes it easy to research and comparison shop, making them much more expectant of transparency.
“More and more, they don’t see the need for a salesperson; they could do so much of it on their own,” Marcia Merriman, a consumer-engagement consultant at Ernst & Young explained. “That person is almost a barrier to the purchase, and that haggle process is part of that barrier.”
Merriman points out that the no-negotiation model might have its drawbacks though. Millennials’ purchasing habits were born out of the marketing of the recession and post-recession, with its explosion of promotional pricing. They’re used to getting a deal (or at least feeling like they’re getting one) and without being able to negotiate a lower price on the vehicle they may not get the thrill of a deal like they’re used to.
Millennial or not, you’re sure to find the thrill of a deal at Lexus of Highland Park. Stop by today to find out about financing on new and used vehicles.