"The Lexus of"... - Jay Maynard

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Saturday, 9 December 2006


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0825 - "The Lexus of"...

I've noticed that, over the past few years, the usage "the Cadillac of" a class of things has largely been replaced with "the Lexus of" it. As a Lexus owner, I can certainly agree with the sentiment. What's interesting to me about this is that it's happened over the space of a few years, and not all that long after Lexus was first created. (The first Lexus was a 1990 model.)

It's also interesting to me that, while other top-of-the-line car lines have been around, none of them have been used the same way, with one exception: occasionally, someone will use "the Rolls-Royce of" a class to denote the absolute finest without regard to cost, sort of an emphatic version of the other uses.

I'm not sure why Lexus displaced Cadillac so quickly and, at least as far as I can tell, so thoroughly, where other car brands did not. I guess it's just one of those unexplained language weirdnesses.

current mood: [mood icon] thoughtful
current music: The Doobie Brothers - Free Ride

(9 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:howardtayler
Date: - 0000
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When I was still working at Novell we had a short-hand for scoping features: Cadillac vs skateboard.

Once or twice somebody would comment that Cadillacs weren't really all that nice anymore, but nobody replaced it with Lexus.
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From:unspeakablevorn
Date: - 0000
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Idunno. I think Lexus is just a cooler name.

Vorn
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From:arafel2
Date: - 0000
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I think the particular car used varies by country. In the UK, it'd be extremely unusual to hear anything other than Rolls-Royce used in that kind of way.

Though thinking about it comparing things to cars seems to have gone out of fashion; can't remember the last time I heard it. Hmm.
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From:korgmeister
Date: - 0000
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Yeah I'd say "Rolls Royce" is more commonly used in Commonwealth countries.

Although oddly, I rarely hear such car-related similies in Australia. Which is unusual, considering how notoriously fond of cars Aussies are.
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From:sistaur
Date: - 0000

Cadillacs in my neighborhood.

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Whenever I think of or see a Cadillac, I associate that brand of car with people who are trying too hard to impress others, and themselves. I think of the pretentious drug dealer/pimp types in my north Minneapolis neighborhood. I think of the crude ex-co-worker who thought she'd achieved a stellar life goal when she finally owned one she couldn't afford, and eventually had to give up. And I think of the old lady in my home town who drives around in hers and picks up any spare change she can. As for the cars themselves - they're big boats of cars, the ones I see around. And I don't mean big as in practical, like your Lexus. I mean big, as in, waste of space. So if I hear somebody comparing something to a Cadillac, I know they mean that it's of high quality, even though I've learned (rightly or wrongly) to dismiss these vehicles as symbols of flash and trash.
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From:timmowarner
Date: - 0000
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The Lexus is the Cadillac of cars.
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From:fitzmadrid
Date: - 0000
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I read an article about GM and one of the things that troubles them most is the dealership experience; they have almost no control over how the consumer is treated at their franchised outlets. They might be making best cars ever at Cadillac right now but going to the dealership feels like a trip to wal-mart or worse. You go to a Lexus dealership and it seems as posh as their cars which may explain why Caddy's arnt cool and Lexus means luxury now.
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From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
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That's entirely possible. I will say that my purchase experience with the Lexus was the most pleasant I ever had with any car, bar none. I'm pretty sure that buying a Cadillac would be about like buying any other car.
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From:kazriko
Date: - 0000
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Part of it is how Toyota has pretty much taken over the standard car market. Lexus is a Toyota product while Caddies are a GM product. While GM used to be popular, Toyota products were of much higher quality for so long that they've gotten an edge over GM in nearly every category. I've heard that as far as quality goes, there's very little gap between the major cars these days, but the perception of quality is still with the japanese makers.

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