Lexus not chasing numbers, says want to establish the brand in India first

Lexus launched the hybrid SUV RX 450h in two variants -- RX at Rs 1.07 crore and RX F-Sport at Rs 1.09 crore, while the executive luxury sedan ES 300h was launched Rs 55.27 lakh.

autos Updated: Apr 15, 2017 09:58 IST
Gulshankumar Wankar
Gulshankumar Wankar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Lexus India,Lexus in India,Toyota Lexus
Lexus entered India with three models, hitching a ride with its parent Toyota on Friday.(HT Photo / Gulshankumar Wankar)

Lexus, one of the leading luxury carmakers of the world, launched two luxury SUVs and an executive sedan in India.

In the playfield of established German big three – Audi, BMW and Mercedes – Lexus made it clear: “We just want to show the passion we have. There are no sales targets as of now, since we would like to focus on establishing Lexus as a powerful brand in India.”

Lexus launched a hybrid SUV RX 450h at Rs 1.07 crore, an executive sedan ES 300h at Rs 55.27 lakh and a diesel SUV LX450d (price unannounced) on Friday, entering India, which its Japanese rival Suzuki has predicted will become the third largest car market in the world by 2020.

Akitoshi Takemura, senior vice-president of Lexus India, said, “Our product positioning and pricing would of course be higher than Audi and Jaguar-Land Rover because we are importing the cars from Japan.”

On localisation of the brand, Takemura said: “We understand India’s priority is Make in India — “Bharat me banao”. But for the time being, we have not started any such operations. We would like to understand how our Indian luxury customer takes our vehicle.

“Once we attain a particular demand, we can think in that direction,” he added.

So what’s the “particular demand”?

“Ultimately, we have to do business. So we cannot fix one number and decide on something like this.”

As of now, Lexus would hitch a ride with its parent Toyota to grow in India.

“Since Lexus is a hybrid vehicle and Toyota also makes Camry hybrid, we can have synergies in electrification and contribution to environmental issues. All our experienced Toyota dealers know the high-end customers and will help in growing Lexus as a brand in India.”

The Lexus cars would also be serviced at Toyota’s service outlets in a dedicated Lexus bay, the company said.

Lexus adds up to the list of luxury offerings of established carmakers in the Indian market -- Volkswagen’s Audi, Mercedes-Benz’s Maybach, BMW’s Rolls Royce, and Tata Motors’ Jaguar Land Rover.

Korean automaker Hyundai is also expected to get its luxury brand Genesis in India.

ModelRX 450h Luxury / F-SportLX 450dES 300h
Dimensions (LxWxH) mm4890 x 1895 x 16855080 x 1980 x 18654915 x 1820 x 1450
Ground clearance mm195225151
Wheelbase mm279028502820
Engine3.5-litre V6 + nickel metal hybrid e-motor4.5-litre V82.5-litre 4-cylinder inline + nickel metal hybrid e-motor
Gearbox8-speed E-CVTi6-speed CVT6-speed CVT
Power312 PS combined265 PS205 PS combined
Torque335Nm650 Nm213 Nm
Price in Rs1.07 crore / 1.09 croreNot announced55.27 lakh

First Published: Mar 24, 2017 19:16 IST