Lexus will begin sales in Mexico after years of study, with the first dealerships in Mexico City, Monterrey, and Guadalajara set to open in late 2021.
The initial lineup will include the LS & LX flagships, the ES sedan, and the UX, NX, and RX crossovers, with hybrid technology as the focus. From Automotive News:
The Japanese automaker said it expects to be the “greenest” high-end brand in Mexico by using its hybrid technology to reduce emissions and increase fuel economy.
Not only are gasoline prices higher in Mexico than in the U.S. generally, but local governments in the massive Mexico City metropolitan area limit the circulation of gasoline-powered vehicles during smog alerts. Hybrids and electric cars are exempt from those limits.
Automotive sales in Mexico dipped 12-percent in 2018 to 1.42 million vehicles, but the luxury market is growing:
Last year, BMW sales rose 15 percent to just over 25,000 vehicles, and Mercedes-Benz was in second place with 16 percent growth to about 20,500 vehicles. Sales at Jaguar Land Rover more than doubled last year, while Volvo and Infiniti posted more modest gains.
Acura, Audi and Porsche sales fell slightly in 2018 compared with 2017, according to the Mexican Automobile Distributors Association. Sales through March of this year among the leaders in the luxury segment have been mostly flat, the association said.