Lexus to Keep Focus on Vehicle Quality

Lexus has just lost the title for the top luxury automaker in 2011 in the United States after being the leader for 11 years, but the head of Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus division isn't worried.

According to Detroit News, the Japanese automaker expects to lose some market shares this year due to components supply shortages from Japan as a consequence to the March 11 earthquake.

"I've told people for the 11 years that we have been No. 1 that it's not what we set out to do," Lexus general manager Mark Templin told The Detroit News after an event to unveil a concept Lexus hybrid - the LF-Gh.

"It's not what we're about now. We're all about the best quality cars," he added.

In the first three months of 2011, the Japanese automaker lost some positions in favor of Mercedes Benz and BMW. In addition, the sales levels were down 4% in the first quarter.

Due to new fuel efficiency regulations, the luxury segment in the States has changed and continues to change as Templin explains.

"Some of our competitors don't have the might and power of a Toyota behind them," he said. "They have to sell smaller, less expensive cars that get better mpg and get more volume out of it to meet their government regulations," he added.

By 2016, automakers are forced to increase their car’s fuel efficiency by 30% in order to meet the new regulations that require a 34.1 mpg (6.89 L/100 km) level.

Lexus is not obliged to build fuel-efficient models in order to meet the new terms.

We don't plan to that," Templin said. "We can stick to true luxury cars and that's what we intend to do... It's not just about volume," he concluded.

The Lexus Future Grand Touring hybrid represents just a new face for Lexus according to Templin. He explained that Lexus does not intend to sell the LF-Gh model, considering it just a design exercise.

"But I promise you a lot of what you see will come to see in this car will come to future Lexus products,” Templin reports, saying it would "not be too long."
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories