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http://www.autonews.com/article/201...-drive-canceled-in-japan-for-lack-of-interest



TOKYO -- Well, this is embarrassing. For Toyota Motor Corp. as well as Japan’s so-called automotive press corps.

Toyota notified journalists last week that a long-scheduled new-car test-drive event was scrubbed -- for lack of interest.

And it was not just for any new car. The event was supposed to showcase the new Lexus RC sports coupe, the lineup’s new halo car in a post-LFA world and definitely its best-looking one.

Also on hand: the RC F high-performance version.

The drive, which was to be held Friday in Yokohama just south of Tokyo, “has been canceled due to insufficient attendance,” Toyota said in an apologetic email to non-Japanese media based in Japan.

Both Japanese and non-Japanese media were invited. Automotive News, for the record, RSVP’d to show up and drive.

Toyota’s cancelation is all but unprecedented. It begs the question of whether it would have saved more face just to go ahead with the event, even with a pathetically low turnout.

Toyota public relations was stunned. A baffled spokesman said it was just one more sickening example of the auto-alienation syndrome gripping this country and its young.

It’s a common refrain these days: Japanese just don’t get geared up about cars anymore, not even sexy ones like the RC.
Some journalists had a different take.

“Why would I go all the way to Yokohama to test drive a sports car like the RC and just sit in traffic?” quipped one German business reporter who was put off by the hour trip out of town.

To be sure, the event lacked the cachet of Lexus’ weekend country road trip in rural Japan for the GS. Or even the Scion FR-S’s mountain pass drive through the foothills of Mount Fuji.

But the miffed German journalist, comparing the Lexus RC offer with similar events sponsored by Mercedes-Benz or BMW in his homeland, said it also spoke to a deeper disconnect in Japan.

“If it’s a luxury brand, they need to radiate a certain image,” he said. “Even to journalists.”
 

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That is not the kind of news that I was expecting to see. Is Lexus just not that popular in Japan or something?

I think they should have just done the event even with low turnout. They could do some videos and editing to make it look better.
 

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^ it was a media drive not a promo event.

All I can possibly think of is that perhaps they were affected by the Lexus NA/Europe press day? I'm not sure, the cars are no different... Although if you thought youth here had it bad take a long look at what's happening below the surface in Japan...
 

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Do you think this is a big worry for Lexus? Something that may be a bellwether for what is to come? Or is there really not much to be worried about?
 

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the only cancelled part of the RC event was for business and foreign press, which had originally been added due to high demand from Japanese automotive journalists.
There we go. Now things make more sense. But honestly this just makes me think that it is even worse for Lexus since it really wasn't that bad but the press has turned this into something bad for Lexus. Not good PR by Lexus.
 

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There we go. Now things make more sense. But honestly this just makes me think that it is even worse for Lexus since it really wasn't that bad but the press has turned this into something bad for Lexus. Not good PR by Lexus.
Its not Lexus to blame its shoddy journalism. Lexus sent out the message to media people and the media people omitted the relevant information for a sensationalist story. Lexus PR people jumped on the story right away and corrected matters, but naturally thats not a story anyone wants to hear. Thats why the correction has received no airplay...
 

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Lexus and Cadillac seem to have both messed up in their new coupes.
Heavier and slower than the sedans they are based on, hold-over powertrains, and no innovation beyond the sedans. Both the ATS Coupe and the RC are not generating much interest in the automotive press. Very disappointing efforts, resting on their laurels already after some sedan success.
 

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Lexus and Cadillac seem to have both messed up in their new coupes.
Heavier and slower than the sedans they are based on, hold-over powertrains, and no innovation beyond the sedans. Both the ATS Coupe and the RC are not generating much interest in the automotive press. Very disappointing efforts, resting on their laurels already after some sedan success.
i wouldn't go as far to say they messed up their coupes, i'm not even sure if they original intended to have them be as nimble and refined as an M3 Coupe or the new M4 coupe. The RC and ATS coupe are more along the lines of GT cars.
 

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Lexus and Cadillac seem to have both messed up in their new coupes.
Heavier and slower than the sedans they are based on, hold-over powertrains, and no innovation beyond the sedans. Both the ATS Coupe and the RC are not generating much interest in the automotive press. Very disappointing efforts, resting on their laurels already after some sedan success.
ATS is limited by platform dimensions unfortunately. GM has been having a real chore trying to shorten Alpha (which as far as i know they still haven't figured out)
 
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