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Car news | 12.08.2013 - 07:50

How 2013 Might Be a Record Breaking Year for Lexus

2013 could be another record year for Lexus, with the Toyota-owned Japanese brand having enjoyed positive sales and brand awareness in 2012 after a dip in 2011.

2013 could be another record year for Lexus, with the Toyota-owned Japanese brand having enjoyed positive sales and brand awareness in 2012 after a dip in 2011. A large part of this success has been down to the brand’s roll out of new models and hybrid vehicles, while efforts are also being made to enhance Lexus from within parent company Toyota; new models like the IS range also provide indications of how the brand can compete with premium car rivals like Audi, Mercedes, and BMW.

In terms of sales, 2013 figures could overtake Lexus’s record of 518,290 in 2007, a year that came before the global financial collapse and subsequent problems with the Japanese yen, natural disasters, and a tailing off of demand for luxury cars. However, sales figures for Lexus models enjoyed a 10.8 per cent improvement in June 2013 over 2012, with expectations that the brand will continue to build on strong sales in the United States.

Lexus are particularly focusing on their IS range as a way of breaking into the lower reaches of the premium car market, and are also building on the strong performance in recent years of hybrid versions of the marque. To this end, the IS 250 offers a 2.5 litre petrol engine, rear wheel drive, and a wide range of premium features for £26,495, while the IS 300h provides a road tax exempt 99 g/km and a full hybrid drivetrain. Priced at £38,495, the IS 300h follows on from Lexus’s success with hybrid cars over the past few years. UK drivers can particularly check out the IS and service options through dealerships like Inchcape Lexus Derby.

The Japanese carmaker has sold around half a million hybrids, with the Lexus CT 200h, the ES 300h, and the GS 350h representing just some of the models that have been introduced in recent years. The RX 450h crossover SUV has also demonstrated the extent to which Lexus are prepared to experiment with more unusual family sized cars alongside compact executive and saloon models for the luxury segment of the car market.

The overall direction of the Lexus brand in 2013 has been boosted by a more hands on approach to management from Toyota executive Akio Toyoda; he has emphasised making Lexus more than a specialist luxury brand, and has invested in raising the profile of the marque to showcase its handling and styling. Competing with BMW and other rivals with smaller entry level models and hybrids represents one of the main strategies for building on the brand’s established position in the United States, Europe, and Japan.

The hope for Lexus in 2013 is that it will narrow the gap between itself and Mercedes and BMW, having already managed to compete with Audi at the top end of the luxury market. Plans for an LF-LC sports coupe concept car, and investments in global branding campaigns are all pushing Lexus forward in aggressive ways. Associations with automated cars are similarly being planned within Toyota, with a driverless research vehicle presented by the Japanese company in January 2013.

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