Lexus has commenced local assembly of its ES luxury sedan in India, with prices set at Rs 51.90 lakh for the Exquisite variant and Rs 56.95 lakh for the top-spec Luxury variant. The start of the local assembly has helped bring down prices of the sedan by Rs 8.05 lakh, given that the CBU model, which was available in one variant only, was priced at Rs 59.95 lakh.
The ES Exquisite is the entry-level variant that misses out on features like a head-up display and a 360-degree parking camera, both of which are present on the Luxury variant.
Lexus India has set up an assembly line at Toyota Kirloskar Motor’s (TKM) Bidadi plant in Karnataka. Following the ES sedan, the line will also soon begin assembly of the NX SUV to help them price it more competitively.
The Japanese carmaker currently sells the ES and LS sedans and the NX, RX and LX SUVs in India, all of which were earlier imported as Completely Built-up Units (CBUs). The steep import duties were a major disadvantage for Lexus’ market share in the luxury car segment in India, which stood at just 1-2 percent in 2019.
The ES is Lexus’ entry-level sedan offering in India that’s powered by a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain. It combines a 178hp, 2.5-litre petrol engine with a 120hp electric motor for a total output of 218hp. The power is sent to the front wheels via a 6-step eCVT gearbox.
Lexus expanded its India line-up by launching the LC500h grand tourer at Rs 1.96 crore (ex-showroom). However, since this is a niche model it won’t be locally assembled and will be brought in as a direct import.