In an embarrassing twist, Toyota Japan last week apparently cancelled part of a press event for the sexy Lexus RC F halo coupe — not one we were down to attend, thankfully — citing “insufficient attendance”.
According to industry news bible Automotive News, Toyota’s luxury brand cancelled the event because not enough press had accepted invitations to turn up to one of the waves, a half-day event for business and foreign media.
The publication learned of the decision because it was announced to non-Japanese media based in Japan, a media list that included Automotive News.
See our take on the RC with full review here.
According to the report, the scheduled drive was to have been held in Yokohama. It is understood the road loop lacked the excitement of previous Lexus events, which at least one journalist blamed for their non-attendance.
That said, a Lexus global spokesperson told Automotive News off the record that it was another example of a growing disconnect between the Japanese public and sports cars — so-called auto alienation.
Such a decision really is unprecedented, and it’s unclear why Lexus didn’t just soldier on with Plan A, even with lower numbers.
It should be noted that, after some confusion, a Toyota UK PR representative cleared things up on Twitter, confirming the preceding day with car journalists had gone ahead.
Even so, if Lexus can’t coax a section of the media to drive a sexy halo performance coupe such as the RC and RC F — in other words, if the press can’t justify the trip for whatever reason — could it point to something rather wrong with the overall picture of things?
One could even argue that the popular contention the car enthusiast market is dying — why else would media outlets cancel unless the opportunity cost of time out of office was higher than projected interest from punters? — has some legs after all…