Lexus isn't counting on luxury sales leadership
Timothy Morrison Lexus vice president of said during a press conference in Detroit Toyota’s luxury expects its sales to increase 20 percent to around 250,000 units this year. But it probably won’t be able to over take its arch ruvaks for the affections of American luxury buyers, the German and BMW.
“It’s not in our plans to become the luxury sales leader,” said Morrison who was in Detroit to show off new models, including the Lexus ES 350 and ES300h hybrid.
“The Germns have an extensive global product line. I don’t think you are going to see us match them any time soon,” he said.
Last year, Lexus relinquished it title as the top selling luxury vehicle brand in the U.S. for the first time in 11 years as it was surpassed by both Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Lexus sales also were hurt by product shortages that followed the sunami, which derailed Japan’s industrial production.
Morrison also acknowledged that some of the zing has gone out of luxury car slaes sales. “The were 12.5 percent of the market last year. This year they’re about 11.6 percent but they have grown because the entire market has grown,” he said.
Toyota estimate U.S car sales will grow to an estimated 14.4 million units this year from 12.8 million units in 2011.
“Car sales are doing very well,” he said. But a significant number of buyers have become more cautious because their financial situation has deteriorated since the start of the financial crisis. “People are finally beginning to see the bottom,” he said.
The median net worth of the American family fell by 38 percent between 2007 and 2010, from an average of $126,400 to $77,3000. Median income fell by 7.7 percent. It was the worst decline in both categories since the survey started in 1989 according to a report released this week by the Federal Reserve Board. By Joseph Szczesny