Discussion in 'Lexus Lounge' started by krew, Feb 17, 2016.
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Very interesting that Lexus will only sell a hybrid only line up in India:
LS 600h/600h L
In the near future LC 500h
No Lexus turbo models for India?
They need expand not only into India, but also other parts of Africa, (as well as the Americas and Asia) such as Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, and Senegal. South Africa isn't the only country, unless some underlying bias prevents them from doing so.
Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Jaguar Land Rover, and Porsche are official in Nigeria already, so I don't see how Lexus chooses to miss out on one of the world's largest grey markets for the RX, GX, LX, and now NX.
Mercedes-Benz and BMW handily benefit from unopposed competition world over, outside of the Middle East and Japan, which is why many claim Lexus is "inferior by volume" to them. The official sales network isn't vast enough for reasons mysterious to me.
Give Lexus some time. I'm sure Mark Templin is doing his best to expand Lexus worldwide. I agree Lexus should expand in North America. Lexus is in the U.S and Canada but not in Mexico. Lexus should also expand in South America as well...
Lexus should also bring models such as the IS 300h, RC 300h, GX 400 and LX 450d to the U.S. as well.
Heres's a follow-up article on the India plans for Lexus, with some more details:
Lexus is finally coming to India, and the launch is likely in August this year. Toyota Motor Corp has taken the long awaited decision to bring its luxury brand, Lexus, to the Indian car market. There has been speculation on this for several years, but now, finally, it seems that everything has fallen into place for Toyota.
Lexus coming to India has been a topic of study at Toyota HQ in Nagoya since 2009, but the idea was rejected twice since then - in 2010 and 2013. So why now you ask? Well for starters, Toyota had to carefully analyse what Lexus would mean for its business in India, since Lexus is never going to be about sheer volume. That said, it would still have to stand tall against the traditional rivals - BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Jaguar-Land Rover. And then some volume does become a consideration, if not the driving factor.
Toyota's boss for the Asia/Middle East/North Africa regions, Kyoichi Tanada told me that hybrids will indeed form a large part of Toyota's future growth plan for India - even as the Fortuner/Innova family remains strong. He said, "We (already) have a hybrid of Camry and as we are seeing government requirements and environmental issues in India, we have to develop or introduce more hybrid cars in the country. Basically, we have to consider three things - how we can keep our leadership through our SUV models, and also how we can increase our sales number through the passenger car line up. And how will we be able to introduce more hybrid cars meeting the government's requirements."
Lexus GS 450h
The Lexus brand is likely to arrive in August as I mentioned, and will lead its charge with the RX compact SUV. Now comes the twist - in India Lexus is expected to stay hybrid-only at the start. This means we will get the RX 450h and not the other variants of the popular RX range. Toyota has more or less decided to bring the AWD variant in India by the way. It would have been nice to get the 350 too, with a slightly aggressive pricing. But the 350 spec is not available in hybrid. The RX 450h has a 3.5-litre V6 engine mated to an electric motor. Combined system output is a juicy 308bhp. Following the RX 450h would most likely be the two sedans - the GS 450h (which uses the same powertrain as the RX hybrid but with increased output at 338bhp) and the LS 600 h (5-litre V8, 438bhp combined output) flagship sedan.
Now, Toyota does not want a situation where it launches Lexus in India and is a very insignificant number 4 or worse - 5. So it plans to push the brand to at least notch up sales of between 1000 and 3500 cars a year by 2018, and above 5000 units by 2020. For that to happen Toyota knows that simply hybrids may not cut it - even though it is extremely encouraged with the response to the Camry in 2015. The new Camry sees more than 90% sales coming from the hybrid variant. So, Toyota will also aggressively research the market and gain customer feedback on the need for not just non-hybrid variants of the above-mentioned Lexus cars, but also other models in the portfolio that do not have a hybrid option. I am talking about the larger SUVs - GX and LX in particular. Toyota will, of course, wait to see what happens on the policy front too, with the government looking at backing green vehicles aggressively. The Union budget later this month will be a great indicator of that, say sources at Toyota HQ.
Lexus LS 600h
The RX 450h will compete with the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and the new Mercedes-Benz GLC which will also launch later this year. The GS 450h will take on the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, while the LS 500h will go up against the Jaguar XJ, new BMW 7 Series and the mighty Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Lexus will take a very conservative approach before trying to a bite off more than this, but in the future you can expect to see the complete portfolio in India. There may be a case to try and produce or locally assemble smaller models like the ES and IS sedans or the NX small SUV - which share platforms and components with similar-sized Toyota models anyway.
For now, I am glad that Lexus has finally decided to jump into this market, after sitting on the fence for a long time. If the hybrid experiment works, it could spark off a whole new model offering for India - from others too. We already have announcements on the Honda Accord hybrid, Nissan X-Trail hybrid, Volvo XC90 hybrid and VW Passat GTE coming to India in the next 18 months. Lexus will certainly add to those, and let us not forget the Prius, Camry hybrid and a possible Corolla hybrid from the Toyota brand too.
Needless to say, that deadline came and went, and nothing happened. Now, however, Lexus' entry into India has finally happened, per this Toyota Global Newsroom press release:
To summarize, Lexus India will launch with RX 450h, ES 300h , and LX450d vehicles. The LS (presumably as a 500h) will be added in 2018. Dealers (or "guest experience centers") will be located in New Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, and Bangalore. Additional after-sales service facilities will also be available in Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kochi.
Also up is the official Lexus India site:
Thanks for the heads up Joaquin Ruhi ... Scroll down on the Lexus India site to the LC 500 video!
Wow, took Lexus awhile to finally open a dealership in India. Lexus is also expanding in South America which is cool. Mark Templin was in charge of expanding Lexus in foreign countries but is now relieved of that duty. Lexus needs to expand in Africa and all over the world to play catch up with Audi, BMW and Mercedes.
I'm curious if an LX 450d would do well in North America? I think an IS 300h would do well in North America, Lexus please bring the IS 300h to North America...
I don't know. Up to a couple of years ago, I would've been wholeheartedly rooting for the LX 450d to come to North America. But with the VW dieselgate aftermath, Audi withdrawing all their diesels from the U.S. and Canada, and Mercedes-Benz delaying and cutting them back as well, I highly doubt we'll ever see the LX 450d here. Perhaps Lexus should be watching Jaguar Land Rover, which is bucking the trend and bringing new diesels over.
Ironically, as the luxury diesel segment here dwindles, the "oil burners" are expected to make a resurgence in mass-market models (Chevrolet and Mazda) and regular (non-HD) full-size pickups (Ford and Ram, although the latter now has its own emissions issues).
Curious why Lexus didn't include the NX 300h in the India line-up? Maybe in time once Lexus gains traction in India.
India's population of 1.3 billion people is plenty and not everyone can afford a luxury car but in time as wealth spreads further down to the different classes more and more of India's population will be able to.
Oh yeah, in just sheer numbers, due to the fact of so many people being in India, they will have no problems getting customers unlike that of China. A lot of Indians used to import JDM Land Cruiser Cygnus (LX 470) and sometimes Harriers back in the day (UK had RHD RX 300), due to there hardly being RHD Lexus SUVs.
Even if Africa's most populous African country of Nigeria isn't the most stable environment compared to Western Cape in South Africa, they have loved Lexus and Mercedes-Benz for years, but even BMW was allowed to make significant inroads over Lexus due to no dealer network.
My maternal grandfather imported and sold BMWs and Mazdas in the 1970s and 1980s, retiring during crisis. Later an uncle on my father's side took up where he left off with BMW via Coscharis. Even my grandfather said that they were making a massive mistake, when he inquired about importing Lexus products back in the day and was outright rejected.
Much of the Nigerian elite and limited upper middle class have been acquainted with Lexus since 1989-1990, solely due to love of the LS 400s they first saw when visiting family or vacationing in London, Atlanta, Toronto, Houston, NYC-NJ area, and Baltimore during that early period. I think that applies many other African and Caribbean economic powerhouses.
By 1991, Lexus became a household name in Nigeria, with grey-market examples of the LS 400 showing up in early '90s movies alongside the Bimmer and Benzes of fictional top execs and chiefs. Someone really has their heads in the sand on this one.
It is laughable, in how Mercedes-Benz and to a lesser degree BMW, have dealerships in rather small cities in Nigeria, while Lexus is nowhere to be found. Heck, there are 2 Rolls-Royce dealerships in the country and Lexus is not that exclusive, to not even have just one in maybe Banana Island, Lagos.
So it is very good that the Indian market now has the Lexus brand, but this should have been done much sooner. Mercedes-Benz has the notoriety that it has, in being on at least one major city corner on this globe. Mexico needs to come next, NOW, as that is even a bigger joke.
The only excuse I can accept, is them wanting to deliver the ultimate Lexus experience. Surely Mexico, Nigeria, and Egypt have eager to impress applicants that will deliver such for their people, that just might also want Toyota's finest.
Until then, many detractors will try to find holes in Lexus' competitiveness and claim that it's "only an American phenomenon" and not a global luxury brand. Europeans may never embrace Lexus, the same that North America and other continents have the potential to.
Great showrooms. I love how the spindle shape is used all over.
Congratulation to India Lexus enthusiasts! Finally, official Lexus dealer has opened. There are still lot of places in this part of the world that Lexus has not made its presence. Hope to see more groundbreaking new dealers in the future.
Maybe because of the CO emission restrictions coming into effect in India in 2020? http://www.theicct.org/sites/default/files/publications/India BS VI Policy Update vF.pdf