Lexus' Platinum Image program ramping up

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VANCOUVER, B.C. – That’s one way to celebrate a silver anniversary.

The Regency Auto Group marked its 25th year with Lexus with the grand opening of a new $12 million, 17,000-square foot dealership in downtown Vancouver in late April.

The new store, the third in Canada to incorporate Lexus’ new Platinum Image, is more than double the size of the original Regency Lexus. The original rooftop first opened its doors in Vancouver in 1989.

The new dealership spans a full city block in the heart of the city and marks the first time a Lexus dealership has been developed within a condominium building. It is also environmentally friendly with LED lighting throughout, auto dimming lights in the showroom and washrooms designed to cut water consumption.

There is also a “refined” concierge desk, an all-glass staircase and a 900-square-foot VIP lounge.

Pomp and style aside, the dealership joins Birchwood Lexus in Winnipeg and Lexus of Royal Oak in Calgary as the only Lexus point to adhere to new corporate identity dubbed the Platinum Image.

Cyril Dimitris, director of Lexus Canada, said the automaker initiated a range of branding activities under the umbrella concept of “Amazing In Motion” last year.

The concept included a global advertising campaign, the introduction of a new luxury lifestyle magazine, the creation of five short films and the launch of a new design award.

Included was a new set of dealership image guidelines that include a new colour scheme for signs that move from black-and-gold to black-and-platinum, along with complementary shades of grey.

“Luxurious finishings are being integrated into the interior site design to better mirror the luxury of Lexus vehicles,” Dimitris added.

Building exteriors will shift from having stucco walls to being more “modern and glassy.” The idea, said the automaker, was to project the appearance of the dealership looking like a “jewel box” that houses the “automotive treasures of Lexus vehicles.”

While it is a priority for the five exterior (pylon, directional and monument signs, dealer and service letters, fascia signs and vestibule colour) elements and one interior (concierge logo) element of the Platinum Image requirements to be fully incorporated, he said dealers would still have plenty of room to maneuver when it comes to meeting image requirements.

“They just need to adhere to the essence and common standards of the Platinum Image. And this will all transpire as a gradual evolution, not an immediate overhaul,” he said.

“Most importantly, the objective with the platinum program is to go beyond solely visual design and address all elements customer interactions to ensure Lexus guests have a truly platinum experience at the dealership.”

The new brand standard was introduced to Lexus dealerships in the summer of 2013 and all 38 Canadian dealers have been asked to meet the requirements by December 2017.

Costs are said to vary from dealer to dealer. When asked about an average cost, Lexus reps said it was early and difficult to provide an average cost at this point.

A similar program has been instituted in the U.S. with Automotive News reporting that America’s 230 dealerships will also eventually meet the look.

“It is an exciting time for Lexus in Canada as we transition toward a new global platinum brand standard. The change enables us to best portray progressive luxury that defines our vehicles.”