Toyota exec Tokuichi Uranishi, in an interview with German car magazine Auto Motor und Sport, has stated that in order for Lexus to compete in Europe’s luxury market, the lineup will have to be expanded, and should include a small luxury car, a la the BMW 1-Series/Mercedes 1-Class.
Increasing European marketshare has become a #1 Lexus priority, and mention of 1-series/A-class competitor is hardly surprising. but it’s miles away from an earlier report that Lexus would be steering clear of any sub-$30,000 vehicle.
I’m not sure I understand the logic myself, but with their goal of 150,000 vehicles sold in Europe by 2015, Lexus can hardly rely on the introduction of LF-A and IS-F to boost their numbers. New models will have to be introduced, but I’m not sure a small luxury car is the right answer.
Speaking strictly in European numbers, BMW has sold 76,000 1-Series cars in the first half of this year. Lexus, in comparison, hopes to sell 56,000 vehicles in total. This would seem to support the release of a 1-series competitor, however, those 76,000 units only accounts for 11% of BMW’s total sales. Hardly seems to be a market worth chasing, considering.
There are other Europe-only models rumored in the Lexus pipeline, including a hybrid car and a RAV-4 based crossover, but I think what Lexus needs most of all is patience.
[Via: Motor Authority]