OK, overall sales aren’t a patch on BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz; but they still hit 24,586 units between January-June, growth of 25.4% The premium sector as a whole? That only grew by 5% (and some of that growth will have been down to Lexus’ expansion…).
Lexus points something else out too: the above figures are for Europe, including Russia and other eastern Europe markets. Take them out and sales in Western Europe grew even faster – by a third, in fact, to 12,235 cars.
The reason for the growth is clear: the Lexus IS. This was launched last year and helped sales of the range grow nine fold – and over three quarters of the volumes were IS 300h hybrids.
The arrival of the much more fuel efficient Lexus GS 300 last year also helped GS range sales grow by 75%, and Lexus will be hoping the revised CT 200h can help sales of its smallest car gather pace.
Lexus’ growth is unlikely to slow any time soon, either – because it soon gets a competitive, good-looking entrant into one of Europe’s hottest sectors: yes, the NX compact crossover will arrive later this year.
Alain Uyttenhoven, VP of Lexus Europe, said the launch of the NX in Q4 2014 will help the brand topple its sales target of 50,000 units in 2014.
“We are aiming for further substantial growth next year, with NX representing about one third of Lexus deliveries in its first full year of sales.” Does this mean Lexus is eyeing in excess of 65,000 sales in Europe next year? If so, that really would be something to talk about.
After more than two decades, it seems Toyota’s brand may finally be finding a firm footing in the world’s most competitive premium car region. No pressure to achieve it though, NX.