Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz continue to prove elusive for Lexus locally, and each of the Teutonic triumvirate has recorded greater growth so far in 2014.
Industry figures released this week revealed the Japanese premium brand has grown sales by seven per cent after a strong June result of 740 units. It takes Lexus’s tally for the first half of 2014 to 3566 units compared with 3030 this time last year.
Audi is the fastest-growing mainstream luxury brand at 19 per cent (9661 sales), followed by Mercedes-Benz (up 14% to 15,006 units including commercials) then BMW (up 9% for 10,856 units)
“Number one sales has never been Lexus’s goal for Australia,” said Lexus Australia’s chief executive, Sean Hanley, speaking at this week's international launch of the NX in Canada. “We want sustainable growth that comes from good product, good design and good customer service.
“The way we present the brand to customers in Australia is really important.
“If we achieve five to 10 per cent growth consistently for the next five to 10 years that’s a great outcome, you’re in a good place.”
Hanley says the company has been examining every aspect of its local business, making sure it’s bringing the right products to the market. It also wants to capitalise on how Lexus International, formed in 2012 to oversee global products, is influencing future vehicles.
“This is a very exciting time … to build platform for growth.
“There are lots of positives on the product front. In addition to the new NX, there’s the RC [coupe] then RC F (high-performance version of the coupe). There’s a great story here for the brand.”
The NX SUV arrives in October to take on the Audi Q5 and BMW X3, with the 4 Series/A5-rivalling RC joining in early 2015.