Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus made double-digit sales gains last year, making its 30th year anniversary with a surge in Europe and China…
Lexus’ 2019 Sales Surge
2019 was a good year for Toyota’s Lexus brand, with it making double-digit sales gains around the world. The brand, which made its debut in 1989, grew by 10% and sold 765,330 units. This was driven by the RX SUV and UX subcompact crossover. In China, sales rose by an impressive 25% to 202,000 vehicles. The European market (including Russia) grew by 14% to 87,000 vehicles. Demand in America, however, has stalled. Toyota says sales there were “level with prior year”.
Lexus’ shift towards smaller cars and hybrid technology has made the brand popular in China and Europe; where demand for ‘cleaner’ and more fuel-efficient vehicles is increasingly pronounced. In America though, an aging model lineup has been a cause for lost momentum. For consumers there, ‘bigger is better’ stubbornly remains the mantra.
A Global Brand
Toyota has worked hard to render Lexus a truly global brand. Growth has been sluggish for years but, at long last, it seems to be making headway in key markets. Spokesmen for the company have reiterated that they haven’t given up on the United States. After all, Toyota once dominated it. It hopes to regain lost territory with new and updated models. They can’t come soon enough. Sales feel by 0.1% last year to 298,114 vehicles. This means the brand has been in a steady state of decline since 2013.
Nevertheless, Toyota has reason to be pleased. With 10 million annual Lexus sales under its belt, it’s way ahead of Infiniti’s and Acura’s worldwide totals of 2.6 million and 5.4 million, respectively. Still, it’s got a very long way to go until it can reach the levels of BMW, Mercedes and Audi. Whether a Japanese manufacturer will ever be able to take on a German equivalent when it comes to luxury cars remains to be seen. Still, it’ll wouldn’t be unwelcome. Lexus has developed a reputation for precision engineering and elegant design. They’re ‘good’ cars, just ask customers in China and Europe…
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