I am writing about Edward Lapham's Aug. 2 column, "Why can't Toyota dealers match Lexus?"
Excuse me for being very simple, but I believe the answer IS very simple. It may not be the car or the dealership, it may be the customer.
Toyota builds some terrific vehicles, vehicles nice enough for Lexus to rebadge and charge 20 percent, 25 percent, 35 percent more for not much more production cost.
Could the customer's willingness to pay for a Lexus lead to his better perception of his experience?
What do typical owners of both brands pay for oil changes, brake jobs, tuneups, etc.?
Could it be the same willingness to pay the premium that actually perpetuates "satisfaction"?
Could Lexus owners have to say it's better to justify their purchase? It's not unlike Saturn buyers who praise the experience. Sure, it's nice that they paid full sticker, but I doubt it was very much the car or the dealership. I'll put my bet on the customer.