The pilot sales program aims to make the sales transaction more transparent to the customer and slash the time it takes to purchase a vehicle.
"We are seeing good sales results and some outstanding customer satisfaction results, all the things that we were hoping to see," Matt Kaleba, Lexus national manager for Lexus future retailing and incentives, told Edmunds.
Kaleba said other Lexus dealers are interested in adopting Lexus Plus "so we will do a second wave probably in the not-too-distant future."
The program eliminates back-and-forth haggling on the price of the car or the value of the trade-in.
The price given by the sales associate is the best price that dealer will offer. One other difference: The shopper deals only with one person, the sales associate, during the entire process.
Eight dealers currently are operating the Lexus Plus pilot program.
- Berlin City Lexus of Portland, Maine
- Bergstrom Lexus, Appleton, Wisconsin
- Kuni Lexus of Greenwood Village, Greenwood Village, Colorado
- Lexus of Lehigh Valley, Allentown, Pennsylvania
- South County Lexus at Mission Viejo, Mission Viejo, California
- Tom Wood Lexus, Indianapolis, Indiana
- Lexus of Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska
- Lexus of Omaha, Omaha Nebraska.
Three other dealerships will offer Lexus Plus by August 1.
Lexus Plus applies to new and used vehicles, as well as to accessories and service work.
For example, the sticker price is posted on a new vehicle's window and the Lexus Plus price is listed separately on a second window. The Lexus Plus price includes the dealer discount and any incentives. The price can be thousands below sticker price.
However, a dealer's Lexus Plus price may not be the lowest price compared to other Lexus dealers in a geographic area. Lexus Plus is about elevating the buyer experience.
Mickey Anderson, president of Lexus of Omaha, said now everyone gets the same selling price on an identical model.
Rob Mueting, general manager at Lexus of Omaha, said the selling process before Lexus Plus took about four hours. Today, it is two to three. Six months from now the goal is "two hours from the time they walk in the door to the time they leave," he said.
Today, after a customer walks into Lexus of Omaha, that person is greeted by a sales associate who handles the entire buying process, for example, the price, which is non-negotiable, all of the paperwork including financing or leasing.
The customer has no contact with a sales or finance manager who, in the past, might dicker on price or pitch an extended service contract, long-term warranty or tire and wheel protection plan. Explaining and selling the various extended plans is now handled by the sales associate.
A major change initiated by Lexus Plus is streamlining the loan- or lease-approval process.
"What used to take two hours has been condensed to10 to 20 minutes," said Ben Kenealy, Lexus Plus specialist at the Omaha dealership.
Anderson said the timing is right for one-price selling, pointing to changes in retailing.
"People's shopping habits and buying behaviors are permanently changed and probably still changing," he said. "So it is absolutely our intention to lead the way and grab as many customers as we can (with Lexus Plus) and make them huge fans of Lexus of Omaha."
So far, the response to Lexus Plus at the eight stores has been positive, according to Lexus.
Edmunds says: Lexus Plus appears to be a winner with luxury buyers, so you may see it roll out soon at your local Lexus dealership.