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TopGear.com.ph Philippine Car News - Lexus Manila updates its policy for gray-market units

When Lexus Manila officially opened its doors to the Philippine market in January 2009, it initiated a policy that would dissuade people from buying gray-market Lexus models. That's by charging owners who bought Lexus vehicles outside of the dealership a one-time fee of P500,000 if they'd like their gray-market unit to be serviced by the luxury car brand's solely authorized dealership in the country.

Well, apparently, Lexus Manila has updated its policy for gray-market vehicles bought and registered after the dealership had been inaugurated. Now, it's either the one-time fee of P500,000 or 10% of the car's retail price, "whichever is higher."

According to our source from Toyota Motor Philippines, Lexus Manila updated its policy once the gray-market LFAs started to come into the country.

"That's why (San Miguel Corporation president) Ramon S. Ang didn't buy Lexus Manila's LFA," our source told TopGear.com.ph. "He didn't like the price that Lexus Manila quoted for the LFA. He argued that he could just buy a gray-market unit, pay the P500,000 one-time fee to have it serviced by Lexus Manila, and the total amount would still be less than what the dealership was asking for the LFA."

When Lexus Manila put a price on its lone LFA in September 2012, it was P34.8 million. Our source added that a gray-market unit could now be bought for between P30 million and P34 million--depending on how creative the importer is with the car's paperwork at the Bureau of Customs--so the P500,000 one-time fee is just a drop in the bucket. With the updated policy putting the one-time fee at P3.48 million, that's a difference of P2.98 million.

Then again, we think if you can afford to cough up P30 million for a gray-market LFA, the 10% retail price of the car as the one-time fee to have it serviced at Lexus Manila should be loose change to you.

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Patrick Everett Tadeo
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TopGear.com.ph's resident writer lives and breathes the news. He might have burned a few bridges along the way just to give you the most relevant--and important--ones.
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