There’s a very interesting Bloomberg article on Lexus sales in China — here’s an excerpt:
Even after China’s import duties and higher taxes on luxury cars, Lexus currently earns more per car in the world’s largest auto market, said Karl Schlicht, head of the marque’s global product and marketing division, citing a weaker dollar. Premium pricing in China and the higher incentive spending in the U.S. are also factors, analysts said.
Lexus, the top-selling luxury-car brand in the U.S. since 2000, trails behind rivals in China, selling about 20 percent of luxury leader Volkswagen AG’s Audi brand and a third of Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG’s deliveries this year.
For a Lexus GX460 sport-utility vehicle, which starts at 1.16 million yuan ($174,000) in China, Toyota charges a premium of almost $70,000 after taxes, Lin said. The same vehicle has a base price of $52,345 in the U.S.
The Lexus LS600hL, the brand’s flagship hybrid sedan, has a base price of 2.07 million yuan ($311,000) in China, compared with $110,000 in the U.S.
Just to put things in perspective, the premium price paid by Chinese consumers isn’t limited to Lexus — another example given is the Rolls Royce Phantom, which sells in China for 6.6 million yuan ($990,000), compared to the U.S. starting price of $380,000 — and it’s due entirely to the exceptional import & consumption taxes set by the Chinese government.