Japanese luxury brand Lexus' hybrid tech has certainly caught the eye of its buyers with a majority them claiming to have bought one on the strength of their eco-friendly nature and fuel-saving technology.
"In the last 18 months that we've been present in India, we've seen that 60 percent of our customers have considered a Lexus because it's a hybrid," P B Venugopal, President, Lexus India told Autocar India in an interview.
Although the company has seen demand for hybrids decline after the Indian government imposed a high GST rate, Lexus will continue to maintain its focus on hybrids in a bid to attract environment-conscious customers and also because such vehicles are low on fuel consumption.
Interestingly, Lexus says 80 percent of potential buyers already own a Toyota. A major part of the reason for the brand to come to India was to provide an upgrade to Toyota's existing customers as Lexus models are known for providing the build quality that Toyota customers have come to expect.
In fact, Venugopal said Lexus has also been able to attract customers away from its German rivals due to a host of factors such as reliability and low service costs in addition to hybrid technology. “Out of the remaining 20 percent, especially when we talk about the ES 300h, customers mentioned that they also considered the Mercedes E-class," he said. The brand recently introduced the next-generation ES 300h hybrid in the country at Rs 59.13 lakh (ex-showroom, India) and Venugopal says initial response has been upbeat.
Talking about region-wise demand, Venugopal said Delhi, Gurugram and Chandigarh account for about 40 to 50 percent of Lexus' market.
Lexus has launched seven new models in 18 months since starting its India operations. However, apart from focusing on beefing up its portfolio, the brand is keen to carve a niche for itself by offering top customer experience through its unique Guest Experience Centers.
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