Financial Times. Lexus is planning to triple its sales in Europe over the next six years.
Takis Athanasopoulos, chief operating officer of Toyota Motor Europe, said the brands first diesel engines and a hybrid petrol-electric off-roader would help boost sales to more than 60,000 by 2010 and bring the brand into profit. Last year it sold 21,651 vehicles in Europe, and Mr Athanasopoulos said it was running at break-even.
Europe is the cradle of the premium market, said Mr Athanasopoulos at the Automotive News conference in Switzerland. But we are operating in less than 50 per cent of the market because we have no diesel engine, and diesel engines make up more than half of premium sales.
Lexus will introduce its first diesel-powered car next year, as well as the RX400H hybrid off-roader, which it hopes will be the first environmentally sensitive 4x4 in Europe.
By comparison, Lexus sold 26,155 vehicles (passenger cars and SUVs) in the US in May. Be interesting to see if Lexus will bring the diesel to the US as well, and how it would do against the Mercedes.