US: Lexus wants to fight the German rivals for premium top spot image

Historically, the US premium market was run by the local luxury brands until Japan’s Toyota set up the Lexus brand. Eventually, three years ago the brand gave up its top position to the big German carmakers – BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Toyota, the world’s largest automaker set up the Lexus division directly in the United States to take hold of the mighty luxury market there and all things ran like clockwork until it ceded the crown three years ago. Firmly now in the third spot, and with BMW and Mercedes-Benz fighting off the two spots above, Lexus aims to reclaim the No.1 position even if it says it won’t introduce any model below the magical $30,000 threshold.

Just like BMW, the Lexus brand has decided not to follow in the footsteps of Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz and VW AG’s Audi, both introducing on the US market the CLA and A3 sedan models, with price tags lower than $30,000. The most “affordable” Lexus vehicle is the CT hybrid, which starts at $32,050, followed by the IS sport sedan, at $36,550.

After losing the top spot back in 2011, Lexus is now third after the first ten months of the year, with deliveries of 244,038 units (up 14%), while Mercedes-Benz is second with sales of 261,804 autos and BMW first with 267,193 vehicles.

Via Bloomberg