When the Toyota Motor Company introduced its luxury Lexus line in the late 1980s, car critics immediately seized upon the brand's Mercedes-like look. No one knew for sure at that time whether Lexus would take off, but within ten year's the brand became the benchmark by which all other luxury makes are now judged.
The Best Selling Luxury Brand In America
Today, Lexus is the best selling luxury brand in the US, selling more luxury cars, SUVs, and crossovers than BMW, Cadillac, Mercedes, Audi, Volvo, and Jaguar. In 2007, more than 320,000 Lexus vehicles were sold in the US, but globally Lexus sells half as many cars than BMW and Mercedes, its chief rivals.
Expect Lexus to quickly close that gap over the next decade.
Setting its sites on expanding internationally, Lexus has a tall order in front of it, one that will take some time to pull off. Recently introduced in China and Russia, Lexus is a proven hit in those countries, but when introduced to its home market of Japan in 2005, the brand sputtered. Lexus was designed for the American driver, building big, luxurious cars featuring advanced technologies. Japan embraces technology more than many other countries, but the brand hasn't been able to translate that success to Lexus. Besides, the Japanese buyer prefers heritage above comfort and attentive service.
Europe, A Tough Nut To Crack
In Europe, Lexus’ growth will be met by firm opposition from a host of home grown brands, especially BMW and Mercedes. Both have a heritage that extends back to the early days of automotive building, a loyal customer base, and the engineering to deliver cars that perform exceptionally on track and on road. Though Lexus has made some inroads across the continent, what they need to bring to Germany, France, Italy, and other local markets is a knowledge of how the local car buyer thinks - for those car shoppers a new car purchase is more of an option as mass transportation is quite good. However, when many Europeans buy a new car because they like them.
Looking Beyond Current Markets
Beyond Europe and Asia, a whole world beckons, one with emerging consumer markets, flush with new car buyers - some very wealthy - who want to be pampered and offered cutting edge technology and comfort. With the back of the Toyota corporation, Lexus’ expansion globally is likely to continue, redefining luxury leadership while spreading the Lexus name internationally.
(Source: The Detroit News)
Copyright 2008-2012 - Matthew C. Keegan is the owner of a successful writing and marketing business based in North Carolina, USA. He manages several websites and is a contributing writer for Andy's Auto Sport, a retailer of quality mufflers and exhausts .