Lexus USA 2008 Year-End Sales Report

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It feels like the only automotive topic left, but the slumping automotive sector certainly left its mark on Lexus USA’s 2008 sales, dropping 21.2% compared to 2007. Here are the year-end totals:

2008 2007 % Change
IS250/350 49,432 54,933 -10.3
ES350 64,135 82,867 -22.9
GS350/460/450h 15,759 23,381 -32.8
SC430 1,986 3,927 -49.6
LS460/600h L 20,255 35,226 -42.7
Total Cars 151,567 200,334 -24.6
RX350/400h 84,181 103,340 -18.8
GX470 16,424 23,035 -28.9
LX570 7,915 2,468 219.7
Total Trucks 108,520 128,843 -16.0
Total Sales 260,087 329,177 -21.2

The 219.7% increase in LX sales is quite possibly the greatest single anomaly in 2008 US auto sales. Both the Nissan Rogue & the Audi A5 saw bigger percentage jumps, but then again, both vehicles were introduced during 2007, and neither is a 6,000lb. monster-SUV. Depending on the actual sales margins, the super-selling LX could have made the 21.2% overall drop a little more bearable.

Another thing, could the new RX model be any more important? In 2008, the outgoing SUV made up 32% of all Lexus sales! If the reasoning behind the evolutionary design of the upcoming 2010 RX wasn’t clear before, it should be crystal now.

It’s hard to look on the bright side of such a poor year, but Lexus still managed to retain its position as the top-selling luxury car manufacturer in USA, besting BMW by 10,974 total units. It was certainly a tight race right up there until the end, and if the 1-series (only 12,018 sold) and the X6 (4,548 sold) had done even slightly better, it wouldn’t have been a contest.