OPINION: ‘My other car … is a luxury yacht’


Luxury carmaker Lexus has ventured into the world of luxury yachts with its debut launch.

Car bumper (or fender if you’re American) stickers that proudly proclaimed: “My other car is …” became widely popular about 15 years ago. Among the most common were: “My other car is a Porsche” or “… a tank” or, my personal self-deprecating favourite, “… also a piece of junk.”  To that hallowed list, we can now add another: “My other car is a luxury yacht.”

That’s because Lexus, the luxury vehicle division of the Japanese carmaker Toyota, has launched a 19.4-metre ocean-going flybridge cruiser. Priced at a relatively modest (for a luxury yacht) $3.7m (£3m), the vessel is capable of impressive speeds of more than 31 knots; thanks to two Volvo Penta IPSTM engines.

Working in partnership with American boatbuilder Marquis Yachts and Italian yacht-design studio Nuvolari Lenard, Lexus declares: “After three decades of creating world-class vehicles, it [the company] is now venturing beyond the road.”

‘Venturing beyond the road’

But parent company Toyota is no stranger to marine craft. More than 20 years ago the company launched its Marine Business Division. This venture was responsible for the Ponam range of sport-fishing boats and cabin cruisers, which have proved popular in Japan and elsewhere.

And Lexus is backed by Toyota’s pioneering manufacturing expertise, honed since the late 1940s into the Toyota Production System with its ideas about world class manufacturing.

Meanwhile, it will be interesting to learn what plans Lexus has to follow its debut luxury yacht with larger and even more luxurious vessels. Will there be a 50-metre Lexus-branded yacht to show off her sleek lines with the world’s finest and shiniest at yacht shows around the globe?

How long will it be before prestige-yacht owners can add another sticker to the rear bumper (fender) of their favourite limousine or roadster: “My other car is a superyacht”?

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