Lexus UX: a special gift

By Aida Sevilla-Mendoza Philippine Daily Inquirer January 23,2019

In photo, from left, are Lexus Manila president Raymond T. Rodriguez, Lexus Philippines EVP Kei Mizuguchi, Lexus Asia Pacific EVP Vince Socco, Lexus PH president Satori Suzuki, Lexus PH Senior EVP David Go, Lexus PH SVP Jose Maria M. Atienza.

Lexus Philippines hosted a scintillating event at its elegant showroom in Bonifacio Global City last week, not only to celebrate its 10th anniversary, but also to introduce the 2019 UX subcompact luxury crossover.

“It is our special gift to commemorate 10 years of Lexus in the Philippines,” said Lexus Asia-Pacific executive vice president Vince Socco, who had jetted in from Singapore to join the anniversary celebration.

Lexus PH has reason to celebrate despite the steep decline in sales of the auto industry last year that includes market leader Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. (TMP), the parent company of Lexus.

(Lexus Philippines president Satori Suzuki is concurrently president of TMP.)

From 13% to 32%

In his welcome remarks, Suzuki announced that from a market share of 13 percent in 2009, when the brand was launched in Manila, Lexus’ share has grown to 32.2 percent, making Toyota’s premium division second in the luxury automotive sector.

The market share figure is based on the initial industry report for 2018 of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (Campi).

Although Lexus Philippines has not opened any new dealerships, it has set up five Lexus accredited service centers across the Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao regions to cater to the needs of customers nationwide.

Recognizing the opportunity to grow presented by significant changes in the luxury automotive market in the past 10 years, Suzuki said Lexus has realized that beyond great products, what makes a brand great is the experience it brings.

’Experience Amazing’

Consequently, Suzuki went on, in 2017 Lexus launched its global Experience Amazing campaign that involves introducing new models with elevated levels of performance, design, quietness, comfort and craftsmanship such as the LC, the LS, the ES, and now the all-new Lexus UX.

The Lexus UX is the brand’s entry in the subcompact luxury crossover segment.

As Socco emphasized in his speech after Suzuki’s welcome remarks, Lexus has been on a journey of product transformation, changing its driving dynamics and design language to become bolder, distinctive and outright spectacular like the Lexus LC flagship coupé, the global debut of which was timed to coincide with the shift from the Amazing in Motion mantra to Experience Amazing.

The LC marks the beginning of a new era in the Lexus story. In fact, at last week’s 2019 Detroit Motor Show, Socco said, Lexus revealed the LC Convertible Concept and the 2020 Lexus RCF Track Edition, the latter offering Lexus F enthusiasts a new look at luxury in motor sport.

(In the Lexus universe, the F marque represents the carmaker’s high-performance division, as in the LFA supercar and the Lexus ES 350 F Sport.)


Socco pointed to the 2019 UX, the centerpiece in the showroom, as an example of the continuous innovative transformation of the Lexus brand and vehicles.

Lexus’ superior craftsmanship and style are showcased in the cockpit.

Lexus’ entry in the subcompact luxury crossover segment, the front-wheel-drive UX bears the brand’s signature 3-dimensional spindle grille and uses a 2.0-liter petrol engine mated to a continuously variable transmission that produces 168 hp and 205 Nm max torque.

Offered at P2.478 million for the UX 200 variant and P3.048 million for the UX 200 F Sport, the Lexus UX is poised to grab market share from the BMW X1, which is priced higher at P3.69 million.

Reiterating Lexus’ Experience Amazing tagline, Suzuki said in conclusion: “We have a decade of good work behind us. And we promise to continue to augment the experiences we deliver in the years to come.”

The 169-hp 2.0 petrol engine provides excellent gas mileage.

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