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Times have changed, and the once “another Toyota” brand Luxury motor vehicle manufacturer Lexus is now nothing short of a serious rival to its European counterparts and with 2006 coming to an end, Lexus has set an all-time annual sales record to continue its phenomenal rise in the luxury car segment.

Sales figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) today show that Lexus delivered 7162 cars in 2006, the best result for Lexus yet! The VFACTS announcement credits Lexus with an increase of 19.3 per cent over sales figures from 2005.

2006 was a tremendous year for Lexus, with the introduction of two Hybrid vehicles, the Lexus GS450h and RX400h. Lexus also passed another sales milestone in Australia last year, reaching 40,000 units during October. It is the fourth successive year Lexus has claimed a podium position (3rd) among all luxury makes, but the gap between Lexus, BMW and Mercedes is closing.

Lexus’ best selling cars in 2006 continued to be the IS250 and RX350. Lexus delivered 3381 of the IS model to eclipse the previous record of 1809 that the model achieved in 2005. The company delivered 2703 RX models to beat the previous record of 2563 RX sales set in 2005.

“Consumer confidence in Lexus is high, in part based on the seamless technology developments introduced in new models, in 2007 Lexus intends to extend its technological advantage by introducing the world’s first V8 petrol-electric hybrid technology into the luxury market – enter the LS600hL.

The LS600hL will make 2007 an extremely significant year in the history of Lexus, as will the introduction of our flagship LS460″ Lexus Australia divisional manager John Roca said.

Lexus says that both the LS460 and LS600hL will feature breakthrough innovations which redefine the concept of luxury, performance and vehicle safety. LS460 will be the most highly specified luxury sedan ever built by Lexus and is due for launch in April 2007.

The guys at BMW may appear calm and cool about the whole Lexus situation, but behind closed doors, the former WW2 allies are at war with each other. For too long the Germans and other European manufacturers have hid behind their “European Luxury” statements, and as Lexus has proved year after year that it can deliver the same level of luxury, if not more, than its European rivals, the Europeans should be scared:

We are set to launch our most comprehensive attack on the upper luxury market in Australia,” Mr Roca said.

If your going to buy a luxury car, you will be shooting yourself in the foot if you didn’t have a look at what Lexus has to offer. We are also eagerly awaiting the F series performance cars from Lexus due in Australia in 2008.




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