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by Brett Davis

Toyota US used to only sell the Lexus LF-A hyper coupe to its customers via a two-year lease plan. This way no body could buy the ultra-expensive and highly-sort after coupe and then resell it within the period to make a profit. Lexus US has now said they will sell the car outright… on one condition, of course.

Lexus US says they will sell the car outright but only after a contract has been signed by the buyer which says the only way the buyer can sell the car within the same two-year period, is if they sell it back to the dealer (first right of refusal deal). If the customer sells it without the dealer being involved in the transaction, the dealer has the right to a ‘compensation’ of the difference between what the seller sold it for and how much the customer initially bought it. Follow?

It’s not that the dealer must buy it back, they simply must be given the first opportunity to buy once the owner has indicated he or she wants to sell it. The strings are so tightly attached here it makes it almost not worth the buy, certainly not if you’re planning on selling it to make a profit.

The lease system seems like a good idea anyway, until you see the initial payment of US$300,000 which must be made up front, rather than scattered across monthly installments over the two-year period, for example. The car costs US$375,000 outright, and once the car has been leased for the two years, the customer then has the opportunity to buy the rest of the car and do whatever they want with it.

Toyota is basically eliminating any chance of a profit being made on the car, within two years, without them being involved and receiving some of the capital. Next they’ll be introducing a life-long contract that stops any collectors making profits in the distant future.




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