Created 25 years ago in the US, Lexus, the luxury arm of the world’s largest automaker is now following a new strategy to make its presence felt even more on the European market.
While the German premium automakers – especially BMW and Mercedes-Benz – have the same power in Europe as in the US, on their home turf Lexus isn’t able to threaten them the way it did for years in North America. There, Lexus is the third-best selling premium brand, after years of market dominance. In Europe, on the other hand, it has decided to position itself as a green, technology-driven alternative to Germany’s powerful trio.
Alain Uyttenhoven, the brand’s European boss, says they have decided to focus on people that search for what they call “progressive luxury.” They need to stand out, but such buyers aim to better reward themselves rather than the outside world and they also have a deep understanding and care about the planet. Rich people – some of them even extremely rich (the average Lexus client is 51 to 53 in western Europe, but that age drops to early 30’s when you reach Russia) are the ones that have massive villas that are self-sufficient – and their Lexus cars can reflect that. Also, with the Japanese, Chinese and European regulations (these markets make up around half of Lexus’ worldwide sales) converging in terms of emission standards and downsizing, the brand is ready to offer a better balance between big (for the US) and smaller cars, meaning we could expect more compact derivatives of the CT model.
Via Automotive News Europe