Will Lexus be the #1 U.S. Luxury Auto Brand in 2013?

In a recent interview with Wards Auto, Toyota USA president Jim Lentz makes a bold prediction regarding Lexus sales in the USA:

…he does predict Lexus likely will claw its way back to the top of the luxury heap by the end of 2013.

He acknowledges Mercedes-Benz and BMW have had several good sales years in the U.S., but he says Lexus has been operating at a disadvantage.

“We just reached optimal inventory at the beginning of this month,” he tells WardsAuto in an interview during the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars here. “Next year will be a time for us to see how competitive we will be.”

Lexus general manager Mark Templin said last year that the brand was unlikely to be the top U.S. luxury car manufacturer ever again — the reasoning was that BMW & Mercedes are both moving downmarket in order to satisfy U.S. fuel economy targets, something that Lexus didn’t have to worry about due to its relation with parent company Toyota.

I doubt that the strategy at Lexus has changed — the CT will likely remain the smallest vehicle in the lineup for the time being. Instead, I see this new confidence as a direct result of two factors:

  • With the next-generation ES now available at dealerships and the next-generation IS rumored to debut at the Detroit Auto Show, two of Lexus’ best-selling volume models will be all-new and ready to fill built-up consumer demand.
  • An all-new volume model — a compact crossover, for instance — would go a long way in increasing overall Lexus sales.

To that point, here’s another quote from the Wards article:

And he promises several more new Lexus products will be introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next January.

As mentioned, the Lexus rumors surrounding the Detroit Auto Show have centered on the next-generation IS, and I imagine that to still be the case — after all, there’s plenty of IS variations that could share the spotlight.

[Source: Wards Auto]

FutureSales ReportsUSA
  • C
  • August 20, 2012
roll the dice... I say Yes!.
  • M
    Mike DeLorca
  • August 20, 2012
This is the way I want LEXUS to be.....a fighter and pushing with endless pursuit to be the Best and if #1 is in that pursuit then let it happen.....Ultimately LEXUS wants and is the BEST car maker in the world.....being the #1 is bound to happen as a secondary pursuit. That is what has alwasy stood out with their drive and determination to make the BEST product available and when that is acheived then #1 will surely follow....keep it up !   So many challenges over the last few years with Tsunami and endless press deflating them......Fight like you know how to in the fashion that brougjht you to this status that LEXUS stands for in America. LEXUS WILL BE THE BEST NO MATTER WHAT......
    • K
    • August 20, 2012
    Agreed, but it's more the "matter-of-fact" attitude that I like -- just the facts, Lexus will likely be fighting for top position next year. As it should be.
  • B
  • August 20, 2012
The RX is good for 80k+ a year The GX and CT should combine for 25k The LX and LS combine for 12k The GS gets 20k Get a quick 15-20k from this small crossover in the 2nd half of next year If they can get 100k sales from the New IS and ES next year, they should end up #1 BD
  • F
  • August 20, 2012
What years did Lexus have the widest gap in sales lead with the Germans? 2007? But yeah this brand is on the way up with force.. The Germans right now are at their prime time, and this is all they could do lol
  • C
  • August 20, 2012
I am driving the 2013 ES350 and it is phenominal!!!!  So many luxury features and a  joy to drive!!
  • E
    Erich Kerner
  • August 21, 2012
Looks like Jim Lentz knows much more about what kind of new models coming out this year and next year than we do! :-) So with his "statement" in mind i say Lexus will sell more than 300k vehicles in the US alone next year. I don´t believe that the new IS and small SUV will be all new models we will see until the end of 2013. There will be more...
  • A
  • August 21, 2012
I think the new IS and ES alone will guarantee Lexus a top 2 placement next year..
The GS sales will pick up later. it a good car, people will find out later. lexus need not to worry! 
  • J
  • August 28, 2012
why worry where lexus fits in it,s the best luxury car on the market, I know I have had five (5) of them.,