Lexus India aims to double its sales in 2023; more made-in-India models planned.

    Lexus India has lined up market lauches for the new RX, LC 500 and the LM luxury MPV in 2023.

    Published On Apr 11, 2023 09:00:00 AM

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    Despite the economic headwinds, Toyota’s luxury car brand Lexus expects to double its new car and SUV sales in India in 2023, led by a sustained booking and demand momentum in the marketplace. With its base in India becoming bigger, Lexus is exploring the possibility of assembling more vehicles in the country, including electric vehicles.

    1. Lexus RX SUV India launch by May this year
    2. Lexus LM MPV being homologated for India
    3. LC 500 facelift likely to launch this year as well  

    More made-in-India Lexus models incoming

    Speaking on the sidelines of Lexus India's sixth-anniversary celebrations, its president Naveen Soni told our sister publication Autocar Professional, "The luxury car market is growing at a fast clip and Lexus too has been growing rapidly. We are confident of 2X growth this calendar year on the back of improved chip supplies. India is the only sweet spot in the region and it is set to climb to the top three markets here."

    Lexus plans to build both its reach and product portfolio in 2023 – it has already expanded to 16 cities with 29 outlets, covering almost 80 percent of the overall market, and has another six or seven cities on its radar. And to cater to the growing demand for SUVs, Lexus will launch the RX SUV by the end of May, although it was originally slated to go on sale this March. Lexus will also homologate its top-of-the-line LM 500h luxury van which was showcased at this year's Auto Expo. For the speed lover, the updated LC 500 coupe will also be made available during the year.

    "We are taking measures to broaden the portfolio, we are undertaking rapid network expansion. The brand portfolio was heavily skewed in favour of locally assembled sedans, we are adding different body styles – SUVs, vans and sportscars to bring in a different customer base and profile of buyers," adds Soni.

    Lexus models' waiting period stretches upto 12 months

    Due to the global chip shortage, Lexus was only able to serve about 40 percent of its total order book, and the current waiting period for Lexus models ranges from 3 months to 12 months. Soni says, “With the supply scenario much better, the availability has improved to almost 80 percent of our average order book. We should be able to deliver cars far more quickly than last year. In a highly competitive environment, with multiple alternatives for the prospective buyers, availability of models ensures sustained improvement in market share.”

    Locally assembled EVs under study

    A late entrant in the Indian luxury car scene, Lexus was able to break into the four-digit mark in its fifth year of operation in 2022, and with plans of doubling volumes, it will be inching closer to 4-5 percent market share. 

    Lexus India management declined to share specific sales numbers, but people in the know say it is likely to cross over 2,000 to 2,200 units in the current year. With both volumes and the network growing fast, it is contemplating more local assembly.

    When queried if Lexus is planning to bring EVs to India, Soni says, from the road test of electric UX conducted a year or so ago, Lexus was able to get some critical feedback on how the product can be adapted for the Indian conditions and requirements of the local buyers.

    “There are numerous studies on EVs going on – understanding the product, adapting it, customer expectations, should it be CBU or CKD. By 2035, Lexus goes all-electric, the company is accelerating towards zero-emission vehicles globally and India will aim to keep pace with the global shift,” assured Soni.  

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