Lexus to be Profitable in Europe by 2015

Lexus Europe Sales

Automotive News reports that Lexus sales in Europe are expected to push into profitable territory by 2015:

“Lexus can be profitable in two to three years even though production will remain in Japan,” said Didier Leroy, the CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, on the sidelines of the Paris auto show.

Leroy did not talk specifics about how much Lexus loses in Europe. A Lexus spokesman told Automotive News Europe that the brand’s profits in Europe hinge on its hybrid lineup, which accounts for 85 percent of its sales in western Europe and 60 percent of its sales in Russia.

Leroy expects Lexus sales in Europe, including Russia, to be 46,000 units this year compared with 44,000 in 2011.

Much of the progress Lexus has made in Europe can be attributed to the CT 200h, which has sold 12,800 units so far this year, and is already the lineup’s best selling model in just its second year of sales.

But while this dive into the compact segment has made a significant impact on the bottom line, it’s the introduction of the new 2.5L four-cylinder hybrid engine (presumably in both the GS and the next-generation IS) that is going to drive growth over the next two years.

(A lack of engine options has always been an issue in Europe, but add the new four-cylinder hybrid with the turbo-charged four-cylinder engine in 2014, and Lexus will finally be able to offer low-displacement fuel-efficient powertrain options — could be the start of something big in Europe.)

[Source: Automotive News]