lexus of charleston
Welcome to our Blog!

Here you'll find articles of general interest, key information about our brand, interesting stories, customer experiences and the like. We’ll also talk about the community events and organizations that are such an important part of our Lexus family and experiences.

Have a comment or story you'd like to share? Let us know. This is your forum, and it is our pleasure to provide it for you.

Welcome!

How Strong Are Our Cars?

January 31st, 2011

Have you seen it? Our latest commercial has five of our vehicles suspended by cable from a crane over our Supercar now in production – the LFA. It is driven under the suspended cars and the driver get out and calmly walks away – with over 29,000 pounds of steel and glass suspended but a few feet above his head.

Ok, you can let your breath out now. This feat brings attention to the painstaking attention to detail and high quality we put into the manufacture of each of our vehicles. It’s called The Hard Way, and in the weeks ahead, you’ll be hearing even more details about the amazingly high standards we apply to processes, craftsmanship, and testing.

But back to then commercial itself: You may be thinking: Well, that’s nice, and just what types of special effects were used to pull this off? The answer: None. Zero. Nada.

So, why in the world would Lexus do this? Lexus wanted to further test and quantify the tensile strength of our cars – an important component in determining their safety for you.  The results of this experiment are quite remarkable: The weight of four Lexus cars is actually being supported by the chassis of the fifth Lexus, the LS. The result demonstrates the unyielding strength of its chassis. Numerous testing was done to test the structural integrity of the vehicle, but no extra structural integrity was added to any of the vehicles.

Amazed? You can learn more about the background of this effort here. Also, check our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter for more on how we at Lexus of Charleston pursue “The Hard Way” at the dealership level, too!

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Looking Forward to Lexus in 2011

December 31st, 2010

As 2010 draws to a close, we thought you’d like to know some of the great events ahead here at Lexus of Charleston, and with the Lexus brand.

December to Remember is still going strong, and offers you an opportunity to purchase a new 2010 or 2011 Lexus at wonderful savings. Head on over to our website to learn more.

Toyota recently announced an exciting new direction that Lexus is taking to chart a course in “Progressive Luxury.”  Think of it as smart luxury, where we increase our green credentials, with an emphasis on hybrids, without compromising luxury or performance. It’s a bold step which also includes more advanced telematics and sportier designs.  We’ll have more info to offer on this exciting new development in the months ahead.

We’ll be hosting our next New Owner’s Breakfast on two dates:  Saturday, January 8, and Saturday, February 5th. These breakfasts are designed to occur after you’ve had some time to absorb the features and technological capabilities of your new Lexus.

On the day you take delivery of your new vehicle, we know the amount of information you receive is sometimes overwhelming. This casual hands-on session is for you to review the full capabilities of your navigation and Bluetooth systems and to answer questions you may have about them, or any other aspect of Lexus ownership, after you’ve had some time with your car. We’ll be sending out invitations to the first one soon, and ask that you RSVP to Jennifer Lane jennifer.lane@hendrickauto.com.

Don’t forget about our sponsorship of a brand new Lexus for the BB&T Wine and Food Festival. Sponsorships are still available at $100.00 apiece.

Finally, from our family to yours: We just can’t thank you enough for being one of our customers, and we wish you a safe and happy New Year!

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Your December to Remember

December 7th, 2010

Seasons Greetings! We’re closing out a great year with our annual December to Remember Sales Event.  We wanted to give you some of its details here, so you’ll have one place to retrieve this information.

First of all, why should you consider buying or leasing a Lexus at year end? In our last post we told you about new for 2011 vehicular control and braking features which make our cars more intuitive, and your driving experience even safer and better than before.   Another most noteworthy feature is Lexus Enform with Safety Connect, introduced for model year 2010 on select models only.  For 2011, it is available on all Lexus models. It has a mobile app available as well for the Android, Blackberry, and iPhone.

Finally, do you own or lease a 2000 or newer Mercedes, BMW, Acura, Audi, Lincoln, Cadillac, or Infiniti? Lexus is offering a $1000.00 reward toward the purchase or lease of any new 2010 or 2011 Lexus with your vehicle’s trade-in at the time of sale. Keep in mind also that if you trade every couple of years, you’ll get higher resale value for a 2011.

Over the past ten years, Lexus has sold more luxury cars in the United States than any other automaker. Why? Because we offer unparalleled safety, performance, value, luxury, and customer service. Go here to see specific offerings for our December to Remember Sales Event. And be sure to stop by our Dealership – we are in full holiday mode and ready to serve you.

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Seatbelts: Only the Beginning

November 22nd, 2010

If you own a Lexus, you’ve undoubtedly been driving long enough to remember when vehicle safety consisted mainly of wearing a seatbelt. The first ones were lap-only, followed by the harness variety. Many of you can even remember – horrors – a time before seatbelts when your parents actually let you stand beside them on the car seat!  Kind of makes you shudder now, doesn’t it?  After seat belts, the next huge safety innovation was airbags. Remember how controversial they were considered? It took years for them to become standard equipment. Now, most cars also have side airbags. Anti-lock brakes have been out for a number of years. We simply can’t imagine driving without all these life saving features.

Fast forward to 2010. Every model year, the technological advances in vehicle safety continue to evolve. “Smart” technology has ushered in a whole new era of capabilities unimaginable just a few short years ago.  We’re highlighting a couple of key 2011 vehicular control and braking features here:

Standard on all Lexus models, Electronic Brake Force Distribution helps optimize brake pressure at each wheel, especially during braking while cornering.  Brake Assist determines if the driver is attempting emergency braking. If so, and the driver has not stepped firmly enough on the brake pedal to engage the ABS, Brake Assist (BA) applies increased braking pressure until the brake pedal is released.

All Lexus sedans (except IS) and luxury utility vehicles offer the Pre-Collision System (PCS), which integrates the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. DRCC uses radar technology to help maintain a pre-set following distance from the car traveling in front of you. If you get too close, the throttle is automatically reduced and brakes are applied. Once the road clears, the car returns to its pre-set speed.

Our advanced Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system is on all LS models, the GS 460 and GS 450h models, the IS 350, IS F and RX 450h. Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), which also incorporates Traction Control (TRAC), is a part of the VDIM system and is used on the ES 350, GS 350, RX 350, GX 460 and LX 570 models.  VSC helps the driver keep the vehicle going on its intended course.  It detects front and rear-wheel slide and attempts to control either condition using throttle intervention and/or by braking individual wheels.

These types of safety innovations make our cars more intuitive and responsive than ever before to each driver’s habits. When you come in for a test drive, we’ll help you figure out, among the optional features, which car and combination of capabilities is just right for you. What are your questions about them? Let us know in the comment section below.  Also, you can visit the  Toyota Press Room for more details on these  and other safety enhancements.

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Stay “Enformed” On The Go

November 2nd, 2010

Do you have Lexus Enform? Launched about one year ago, it’s a service Lexus drivers subscribe to that offers them a diverse assortment of features ranging from information and convenience capabilities to up-to-the-minute weather reports.  Now, we’re taking this technology even further by offering a mobile application that, with just a few taps

of your finger,  allows you to plan entire trips, send destinations to your Lexus Navigation System, and even share your plans with friends via Facebook—all without being anywhere near your computer. This complimentary app is available for the iPhone, iPod Touch, select Android phones, and the Blackberry.

You’ll be able to do some great things with new app, such as: Save and sort trip destinations in up to 20 folders, each holding as many as 10 destinations. The locations -up to 200 at a time – can be sent to your car, where they will be available for download into the navigation system. You can also access important vehicle information such as short product videos, the Lexus Customer Assistance Center for general questions, or Roadside Assistance; and to the mobile version of Lexus.com. Users will also have the ability to find and contact a nearby Lexus dealership.

Download this great new tool today from the Apple App Store, Android Market, or Blackberry App World. Let us know what you think after you’ve tried it out!

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Golf Carts: Are You Legal and Safe?

October 10th, 2010

In recent years, the use of golf carts in neighborhoods has increased dramatically. And with good reasons: They’re fuel efficient, fun, and a great way to head to the neighborhood pool or barbecue without cranking the car. In fact, some communities encourage golf cart use during the day to promote pedestrian friendly living, and decrease vehicular traffic and its associated noise and safety risks.

As with any motorized vehicle, however, it’s important to consider safety and common sense considerations, not to mention state laws and liability concerns. Be sure to check your state and local guidelines.  The South Carolina Insurance News Service offers these legal requirements and guidelines:

  • If a golf cart is to be driven on public property, the owner must secure a permit ($5) from the Department of Motor Vehicles and provide proof of insurance. The DMV verifies insurance coverage against a list of companies approved by the S.C. Department of Insurance.
  • The permit must be carried when the golf cart is operated. Each owner must be a licensed driver, and the golf cart may be driven by the owners only.
  • South Carolina law prohibits any unlicensed driver or child from driving a golf cart.

Check with your insurance company to determine how they provide coverage for golf carts driven off private property. Each company is different. Some may write coverage under a homeowner’s policy or through an endorsement, others may provide liability and collision coverage through an auto policy, and still others may provide golf cart coverage under a recreational vehicle policy or a special lines policy. Also check to see whether the policy covers liability for damage to others’ property and/or coverage for physical damage to the cart. This is critical to prevent and/or limit your liability in the event of accident!

We’d offer a few other common sense and safety considerations: Remember, these vehicles are no match for a car. Defer to cars sharing the road with you, and yield to pedestrian right-of-way. Parents of young children: please be sure your kids remain seated at all times, and resist the urge to hold a baby in your lap while driving. Watch your speed. While laws differ from place to place, twenty miles per hour or less is a good general rule of thumb.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Any other safety recommendations you would add?

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Because We Love to Promote All Things Charleston…

September 27th, 2010

Looking for a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon?  Love gardening and being outdoors? Lexus of Charleston invites you to The Charleston Horticultural Society’s Fall Tour on Sunday, October 3, from 12-4 PM, with light refreshments to follow. This year’s tour features several public and private gardens in Mazyck Wraggborrough, known as Charleston’s Garden District. Nestled among the colonial and antebellum homes, you will find a diverse collection of gardens and garden styles for your enjoyment. We’re very pleased to be sponsor of this event, and hope you’ll join us. Be sure to stay awhile after the tour for some light refreshments. Visit the CHS website here to purchase tickets, and let us know if you have any questions

In our last Blog post, you learned about how we engage customers to take part in our pursuit of perfection through the Lexus Advisory Board.  How would you like a chance to win a beautiful 2011 Lexus IS 250 Convertible?  Lexus of Charleston is very pleased to partner with BB&T Charleston Wine and Food Festival to give away a free Lexus to one lucky recipient next March during the festival. This event has been praised as one of the top five food and wine festivals in the U.S. by Forbes Traveler. You’ll savor four wonderful days of home-grown flavor with the most celebrated chefs, culinary professionals and winemakers in the world. As for the drawing, all you have to do is be entered is purchase a $100.00 sponsorship ticket. Only one hundred tickets will be sold. Click here for complete contest rules.

We have more community involvement to tell you about, and events to enjoy coming soon, so check back often for updates!

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Taking Part in Our Pursuit of Perfection

September 17th, 2010

The interactive age we live in demands that customers be given a voice.  By that, we mean not just to ask questions or complain when things aren’t right, but to have a say in product offerings, customer service, and means of communication such as social media.  Gone are the days when customers sat on the sidelines to wait and see what was brought to market. Customers now shape product offerings as never before. And we couldn’t be happier about that.

It is with this mindset earlier this year that Lexus formed the Lexus Advisory Board, a group that currently consists of 20,000 plus Lexus customers who have the opportunity to weigh in on what they like and what they don’t, how they use such communication means as social media, and other demographic information.  Membership will be increased in the coming months to reflect new owners, and to those purchasing new models offered as well.

Are you a part of this group?  If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this program so far. And remember, you are always welcome to contact us with any comments and concerns about our brand and how we can better serve you.

More exciting events are in the works – check back often for updates!

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Great things are happening here. Join us.

September 1st, 2010

With the close of the summer season, and the fall and busy holiday season rapidly approaching, we want to take a few minutes to update you on some exciting happenings here at Lexus of Charleston.

As posted on our Facebook page in early July, we are very pleased to announce that Hendrick Automotive Group has entered into an agreement to purchase Lexus of Charleston. Hendrick’s Charleston area dealerships include Honda, Chevrolet, BMW, Mini, Volvo and two Chrysler-Dodge locations. We are very pleased and excited to become members of the Hendrick family. Our customers will continue to get what they’ve come to expect and deserve – the very best cars and unsurpassed customer service.

The date is set and we can’t wait to see all of our new Lexus owners on Saturday, September 25, from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM for our New Owner’s Breakfast. This is your opportunity, after owning your new Lexus for a few weeks, to get a more in-depth look at the many features your car offers for comfort, safety, and performance. Enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast during this casual hands-on session for you to review the full capabilities of your navigation and Bluetooth systems, and have your questions answered. So that we can provide personalized attention to our guests, we ask that you make reservations by emailing Jennifer Lane, jlane@lexusofcharleston.com. Look forward to seeing you then!

We love rewarding exemplary employees who distinguish themselves by their work ethic and performance. For 2009, our Top Sales Professional is Lloyd Walker.   Lloyd exemplifies the best in helping his customers get the Lexus that’s just right for them.Also For 2009, Peter Wiggins is our MVP. He’s been with us for 2.5 years as our Lot Manager, and does an outstanding job to keep it running smoothly. Congratulations, Lloyd and Peter.

Our Golden Opportunity Sales Event draws to a close on September 7th. Be sure to check our website for details, should you wish to take advantage of great end-of-model-year savings and financing on the 2010’s.

Starting Sept 1st through November 1st, Lexus is offering low APR incentives to Certified Pre-Owned customers during our Season To Change Sales Event! Stay tuned for more info on that.

Finally, the 2011’s will be here in early October. Visit our Facebook page for regular “sneak peak” info of exciting changes to the lineup!

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Buying a car: Are you in the Driver’s Seat?

August 24th, 2010

What time is it? Time to buy a new car!

How did reading those words make you feel? Did your stomach tighten just a bit? A lot?

Let’s cut to the chase: Most people view the car buying process with two mindsets:  Excitement at the prospect of getting a new car, coupled with dread of what has long been considered a painful process. Our industry suffers – and justifiably so – from some black marks because of  high pressure sales tactics such as excessive price haggling, playing on buyers’ emotions with statements like  “you’ll never find another deal like this” (trust us, you will), and buyers’ concerns that they’re getting a satisfactory car at a fair market price.  With so much stress involved, it’s no wonder that the mere mention of buying a new car evokes such strong emotions. Not to mention procrastination.

But the fact is that you, as our customer, have more control over both the process and its outcome than ever before. Think about all the changes that have occurred in within the last few years: A dizzying selection of brands, models, and price ranges. Carfax ensures that a dealer cannot hide a car’s past. Most dealer websites allow you to build your car online, such as the one available on our website. Kelley Bluebook, Edmonds, and numerous other pricing guides, as well as online customer review sites, make the entire process transparent for both seller and buyer. They require that sellers to be honest, and enable buyers to be informed. In short, total transparency is now an integral part of the car buying process, and is technology’s free, yet priceless, gift to buyers when used wisely. We embrace these developments and know they are vital to the long term relationships we build with our customers.

So, next time you buy a car, get in the driver’s seat! Do your homework ahead of time to determine comfortable price range, brands of interest, and features important to you. Read consumer reviews.  Bring your Edmonds.com info, or ask to look up pricing info at the dealership, and make your FIRST offer one that is fair to both parties. By making some key decisions in advance, you can zero in on what you want and shorten the process. If you follow these guidelines and still can’t come to terms, leave the dealership. There will be another one happy to help you.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t add that often, as is the case with Lexus, a luxury model can actually be affordable and deliver a longer life span with lowest true cost to own over time than less expensive brands.  That is yet another key consideration in this process.

We’d love to hear from you on this topic. What steps do you take before buying a car? Would you agree that technology places you in the driver’s seat?

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