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  • [SC Blog] Five Reason Why There Is No Lexus LFA In Indonesia



    If youíve read the Japan trip article, you can tell that Iím a big fan of the Lexus LFA. Itís my number one and on the top of my dream car list. Thatís why itís sad that Ė as far as we know, at least Ė no one in Indonesia owns an LFA. Thatís also the reason I had to go all the way to Japan to even see the car.



    Anyway, the Lexus LFA is one of the most exclusive supercars that you can buy, with only 500 units made worldwide itís not exactly common, now is it? Add to that an exquisite 4.8L naturally-aspirated V10 that sounds and goes like no other, the LFA is one of the finest car ever made. Period.

    So, why isnít there any LFA in existence in Indonesia? Well, I believe there are several reasons for this, and hereís why:

    1. Itís bloody expensive (for a Lexus)



    Lets discuss the elephant in the room, the LFA is not cheap, due to itís long and expensive development (we talked about this in the Japan article), which took no less than nine years where Toyota decided to change the chassis material when the car was done, the money that they had put out for the LFA's development was a lot to say the least, and thatís why it was so expensive.



    Brand new in the UK back then the car will set you back a hefty £340,000, compare that to say, a Lamborghini Murcielago in 2009, itís around twice the price. Itís even more than a modern day basic-spec Lamborghini Aventador in the UK, which sets you back around £250,000 or so.



    There were rumors that Indonesian customers were offered the LFA, two units in fact. Price was rumored to be around 9,000,000,000 IDR, which is about the same as the starting price of a Lamborghini Huracan today.

    Now, youíre probably wondering if hundreds of people in Indonesia can afford Lambos and Ferraris, surely the LFAís price tag is not a big deal? Yes, but then paying 9,000,000,000 for what is essentially a Lexus, is not really ideal for everyone. You would have to be a die-hard Lexus/Toyota enthusiast or have more money than you can ever spend in seven lifetimes to actually spend that much money on a Lexus.


    2. Tough competition



    The price certainly didnít help with the sales, and the fact that you can buy other cars that are as fast, if not faster for a lot less doesnít help either. Some of the cars that I think overshadows the LFA are the Nissan GT-R and the Ferrari 599.



    Take the GT-R, for example while itís powered by ďonlyĒ a twin-turbocharged 3.8L V6, it still produces 480 horsepower, although somewhat far off from the LFAís 552 horsepower figure, itís performance can still keep up. It doesnít sound as good as the LFA, but it can still go like hell with itís fancy all-wheel drive and launch control, and for the fraction of the price. GT-Rs nowadays are expensive but back then theyíre cheaper even when compared to their German rivals. The LFA simply didnít make sense since another Japanese car is capable of doing the same, if not more, for a lot less. Not to mention the tuning possibilities on the GT-R.



    Nissan GT-R not expensive or fancy enough for you? Take the Ferrari 599 then. The original GTB Fiorano costs just around £160,000 in the UK when new, and even if you want the all-out 599 GTO version Ė which is the hardcore, track-ready version with 670 horsepower Ė the GTO will set you back just £285,000 when new. Thatís almost £60,000 left for a brand new Mercedes-Benz.

    Now weíre not sure how much the Ferrari 599 costs in Indonesia back then, but weíre pretty sure Indonesian customers would still prefer the 599 GTB even if it was more expensive than the LFA. Again, the Lexus brand simply couldnít compete with the superiority of Ferrari. Even brands like McLaren struggle to compete with the mighty Ferrari.


    3. Aftersales service would be difficult



    Now, after six years of itís final year of production (2012), the LFAís price hasnít depreciated, but it hasn't skyrocket either, and surely maybe a new generation of petrolhead, or maybe someone has changed their mind and wants to buy an LFA? There must be someone in Indonesia with money and the desire to actually buy a Lexus LFA? After all, even if there are regulations on importing secondhand cars, there are still brand new LFAs for sale, believe it or not. Well itís not as simple as that.

    One of the things that car buyers think about the most is the aftersales service. How much will it cost to change the oil? How much is it to replace broken parts? Are regular services covered by a warranty? Are the dealers even capable of handling the car? Thatís just some of the many questions that run through a car buyerís mind.

    Speaking of which, we contacted Lexus Indonesia whether or not they will be to service the car, should someone actually brings in a Lexus LFA to Indonesia, and the answer was no.





    ďDue to the limited production of the Lexus LFA and with its production cycle ending in 2012, we are not equipped with the correct parts to service or make repairs to a Lexus LFA.Ē said one of Lexus Indonesiaís marketing associate, and to be honest weíre not surprised.

    We found this article on Top Gear on how to service a Lexus LFA, the unit was maintained at the ĎLFA Centre of Excellenceí at Toyota Motorsport HQ in Germany, and according to Top Gear, Peter Dresen as the man in charge in the centre said:

    ďWe treat an LFA more or less like a Le Mans car.Ē So itís obvious itís not really your normal, everyday Lexus. It requires certain skills, knowledge, and tools to maintain the LFA, and because no LFA was ever bought in the first place, Lexus Indonesia was never equipped to handle the LFA, which will make it difficult if you want to buy an LFA and bring it to Indonesia.


    4. No Community



    Ever heard of a Lexus Owners Club Indonesia? No, we havenít either. There might be, but itís unlikely. Even if there is, it would very likely be filled with enthusiasts that has a Lexus from the mid-2000s, weíre very certain most modern Lexus owners wouldnít much care on joining a car club.



    Thatís the thing, if you buy a Lexus LFA, who are you going to hangout with? Thereís no one else that owns a Lexus LFA, there are even very few Lexus F owners such as the IS-F and the RC-F. Sure, you can hangout with general supercar clubs such as Gaspolll for example, but car owners often want to join and hangout with clubs of the same brand.

    McLaren for example, no one wanted to buy those in the past, but ever since the McLaren Club Indonesia became more active, there are a lot more McLaren buyers and their value have remained stable for the last few years as well.

    5. It has itís flaws



    Aside from itís hefty price tag and competitors that offer better value, as well as the lack of adequate aftersales support, the LFA, whether I like it or not, has itís flaws.



    The looks for example, while I do like it a lot, I will admit that it might not be to everyoneís taste. Some of the lines are slightly weird, such as the headlights for example; itís sharp edges might look a bit weird to some people, if not downright ugly. To put it simply: itís not the most beautiful car in the world, and even I can admit that.

    Other flaws include the LFA's drivetrain. The engine is marvelous sure, but journalists have stated the transmission leaves a lot to be desired; itís a 6-speed electrohydraulic manual, which, if you compare to systems such as DCTs and even ZF gearboxes, isnít quite as good.



    Then there are small thing such as the lack of cup holders and the difficult seatbelts to put on if you're a bit fat as Jeremy Clarkson pointed out in old Top Gear. Small things, but really itís often the small things that puts potential buyers off.


    These are the five reasons why we think no one in Indonesia bought a Lexus LFA, but of course we might be wrong. Maybe someone does own it and simply didnít went public with it? Do you think there is actually a Lexus LFA in Indonesia? If there isnít any, is there any other reason why you think no one bought the LFA? Let us know in the comments!
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. hayase's Avatar
      hayase -
      At 2012, They were planning to sell this beauty at Indonesia, to make it less interesting they even intended to auction (start at 9 billion Rupiah) those 2 (or 3 unit, I forgot) to highest bidder. Alas there are no bidder interested on LFA in here (or probably some bought it but not went public at all)

      It's same problem at other countries, not just Indonesia therefore you can see some brand new unsold LFA until now (Kristen Lee at Jalopnik found 12 unsold at USA, any1 can source data of any unsold RHD LFA ?)

      Since I saw there are more than 10 Aventador and several F12 in here then I can assure you that price tag is the least problem for those folks (despite I personally think LFA should have aim at Gallardo and 458 price range). The main problem is this car is targeting very high-end customers and like it or not their target audience are brand-conscious folk, especially at Indonesia.

      Ask those crazy rich indonesians, are they interested on LFA ? Perhaps ... Are they gonna pay Aventador money for LFA ? the answer is mostly negative. Some probably even sneer since you're asking "Aventador or LFA" instead of "Aventador or F12"

      More example ? Take a look at GT-R in Indonesia right now. at 2010, When GT-R was sold slightly under 2 billion rupiah, it sold like hot stuff. Its sales plummeted at 2012 when it pass 2 billion mark and hardly any buyer at current time and current price.

      Yes GT-R is engineering marvel, Supercar-slayer Godzilla, Hand-built by Japanese Takumi and any other reasons but the real question is "How many people want to spend more than 2.5 billion rupiah for a Nissan ?". When you look how many GT-R sold at 2015, 2016, 2017 and now 2018 then you can guess the answer

      It's also the same case as Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 hence you can see the production volume is far cry less than R32, let alone BMW M3 E46 of the same generation. Had R34 sold as much as E46 then I think Nissan would have make LHD version to cover convertion fee. Current Mustang sold like there's no tomorrow so it can justify RHD conversion and even RHD Mustang are a big hit at some RHD countries that translated to healthy profit