Dealerships

New Monogram service gives Lexus buyers more shopping, purchasing opportunities

The Lexus Monogram digital shopping experience allows buyers to purchase and finance a vehicle from the comfort of their home.

Photo by Tetra Images/Getty Images

The new Lexus Monogram retail experience is designed to provide flexibility to customers whether they're purchasing or just browsing, enabling them to initiate and compete the car buying and financing process from the comfort of their home.

Designed in partnership with Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) and Lexus Financial Services (LFS), the Monogram program puts buying power back in the hands of the customer, shifting to fit their preferences. Customers can choose the path that works best for them by starting their journey online, saving their progress in the "digital garage" to pick up where they left off at the dealer, or completing their purchase at home or at their Monogram dealer.

Lexus Monogram logo Lexus has created a new digital purchasing path for customers.Photo courtesy of Lexus

Lexus Monogram logo

The technology integrates with Lexus dealership inventory, allowing the dealerships' customer relationship management system (CRM) to continue to hold weight. It also works directly with the LFS system to allow financing application and acceptance completely online, should the customer choose that path.

"Our goal is to create greater transparency with our guests and efficiency for our dealers – whether that's in the showroom or online," said Andrew Gilleland, group vice president and general manager, Lexus Division. "From increased flexibility for guests to enhanced technology for our dealers, Monogram provides our brand the tools to anticipate guest expectations today and into the future."

The program is similar to Toyota's SmartPath digital buying experience. It's currently being piloted in select markets with plans to accelerate its availability through 2021. An all-new Monogram complete online experience, which expands to allow customers the ability to complete their purchase online, will roll out market by market starting in Spring 2021.

Lexus has recently added new products to its lineup that customers may want to shop for. The refreshed 2021 Lexus ES is currently on the market, as is the new Lexus LC 500 Convertible. Further revisions to the stable are expected in the coming year.

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Lexus took a different approach to launch the new IS.

Lexus

Lexus knows how to make a good V8. The LC 500, RC F, and even older cars like the SC 400 all feature a buttery, powerful Lexus V8. The IS sports sedan never has been given the V8 treatment, but that's about to change for the 2022 model year. The automaker is jamming a big V8 in the space normally occupied by a four- or six-cylinder engine to create the 2022 IS 500 F Sport. The automaker's new marketing campaign for the car takes a slightly different approach than the "big red bow" commercials it usually makes, starting with a short documentary called "License to Thrill."

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport 14 drivers competed for a chance to be one of the first IS 500 F Sport owners.Lexus

The IS 500 F Sport is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 that makes 472 horsepower. It's the most powerful Lexus IS ever, so it's not surprising that the automaker chose to highlight its performance in its launch marketing campaign.



The documentary follows 14 auto enthusiasts who participated in a driving event for a chance to own (buy) one of five early cars. Drivers were taken to the Apex Motor Club in Arizona, where they received tips from Lexus IMSA drivers Townsend Bell, Jack Hawksworth, and Aaron Telitz before hitting the track in an IS 500 F Sport. Each driver had an opportunity to set the best lap times in the car. Top lap times earned a chance to be one of the first to purchase the car, but Lexus also gave away one IS 500 to an unexacting participant.

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Lexus gave away one of the cars.Lexus

The IS 500 launch will include other events that involve artists and content producers. Pro driver JR Hildebrand will drive the car for a MotorTrend special, while 100 Thieves and Garagisme will create publications and video content involving the car.

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The 2022 Acura TLX has the technology enabled.

Photo courtesy of Acura

Toyota and Lexus announced that the WarnerMedia RIDE app would be coming to their models earlier this year. Now, Honda and Acura will be offering the same.

On certain Wi-Fi enabled Honda and Acura vehicles, AT&T unlimited in-car Wi-Fi users will have access to the WarnerMedia RIDE app. The app allows users to connect multiple devices in their vehicles to browse, stream and share premium content from the WarnerMedia library while on the road.

Honda and Acura vehicle owners have been able to use their on-board modem as a hot spot for connecting up to seven devices since 2017. Models compatible for the new tech include the Acura RDX (2019-present), Acura TLX (2021), and Acura MDX (2022) across all trim levels. Honda vehicles with the tech include Accord (2018-present, Touring), Odyssey (2018-present; Touring, Elite), Insight (2019-present, Touring)., Passport (2019-present; Touring, Elite)., and Pilot (2019-present; Touring, Elite, Black Edition).

The WarnerMedia RIDE App allows passengers to access 1,000+ hours of live and on-demand entertainment. The app includes hit TV shows and movies from top brands such as Cartoon Network, CNN, HBO Max, TBS, TNT and TruTV, spanning animation, entertainment, news, sports and more.

WarnerMedia RIDE app The WarnerMedia RIDE app allows users to choose their own avatar.Photo courtesy of Acura

Users can set up profiles and personalize their user exerpience with an avatar from the WarnerMedia library. Profiles also ensure age-appropriate content with options for adults to restrict access to their profiles with an access code.

"Wireless connectivity and connected car services continue to be key features for customers and our long-standing relationship with AT&T continues to be one way we deliver exciting new content to Honda and Acura owners," said Art St. Cyr, vice president of North American Auto Strategy for American Honda. "Honda will continue working to enhance the in-car experience, including the capabilities of the AT&T network and access to top content with WarnerMedia RIDE."

"We're always looking for new and innovative ways to elevate the connected car experience for our customers. With WarnerMedia RIDE, we are delivering a connected experience that's perfect for journeys," said Joe Mosele, vice president, Mobility & Internet of Things, AT&T. "Our collaboration is keeping Honda and Acura owners connected wherever they travel with hours of news and entertainment for the whole family."

WarnerMedia RIDE is available now in the App Store and on Google Play for all U.S. unlimited data plan subscribers. WarnerMedia RIDE is included at no additional cost for existing and new unlimited subscribers.

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