Lexus India undeterred by Covid-19, says expansion plan on target

In spite of the Covid-19 pandemic that has crippled every segment of the economy and more so the auto segment, luxury carmaker Lexus India, which has been on an aggressive portfolio and footprint expansion drive, has no plans to shelve or delay programmes.

File Photo: Lexus India had said it would bring in three models this year. (Bloomberg)
File Photo: Lexus India had said it would bring in three models this year.

Lexus, the luxury arm of Japanese auto giant Toyota Corporation, however, will look at the changing consumer behaviour, as it expects the luxury car business to be the last to recover from the disruption caused by the pandemic, according to its India head.

Auto sales, which have been heading south for almost two years now, have fallen into deep red since the lockdown, and is yet to recover. All luxury car makers — the German trios Mercedes, BMW and Audi, and the Tatas-owned JLR - have seen steep fall in volume since then.

Also check these Vehicles

Find more Cars
Lexus Nx (HT Auto photo)
₹ 64.90 - 71.60 Lakhs* *Ex-showroom price
Add to compare
Check latest offers
Lexus Lm (HT Auto photo)
₹ 1.20 Cr *Expected Price
View Details
Lexus Ls (HT Auto photo)
₹ 1.91 - 2.22 Cr* *Ex-showroom price
Add to compare
Check latest offers
Lexus Lx (HT Auto photo)
₹ 2.82 Cr* **Ex-showroom price
Add to compare
Check latest offers
Lexus Rx (HT Auto photo)
₹95.80 Lakhs - 1.18 Cr* Ex-showroom price
Add to compare
Check latest offers
Lexus Es (HT Auto photo)
₹ 56.55 - 62.19 Lakhs* *Ex-showroom price
Add to compare
Check latest offers

Earlier in the year, Lexus had announced expansion of its footprint by opening four more guest experience centres — the Lexus way of naming their dealerships - complementing the existing three. “Of course, the pandemic has dampened the sentiment for us and I expect the luxury car segment to be the last to recoup. But, we have no plans to shelve or delay our dealership expansion plan which we had announced in the beginning of the year," P B Venugopal, President of Lexus India, told PTI over phone from the Bengaluru headquarters.

Lexus since its entry in March 2017 has only three guest experience centres - one each in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. But it is launching four more through the course of the year in Chandigarh, Chennai, Kochi and Hyderabad, as planned in January, Venugopal said.

In January, when Lexus rolled out its first locally made sedan - the ES 300h, it had also launched three new variants - the flagship hybrid electric car LC 500h Coupe, the ES 300h Exquisite and the NX 300h Exquisite. “We are here for the long-term because there is huge latent potential for luxury cars given the low penetration," Venugopal said.

Lexus LC 500h
Lexus LC 500h
Lexus LC 500h
Lexus LC 500h

When asked whether luxury car segment will survive the pandemic-induced slump, he pointed to the large latent potential as the industry pie is only about 1.5 per cent of the 3.5 million market, as against the global average of 5-7 per cent. “We are targeting carbon-neutral customers here and therefore we are here for the long-term. Of our total sales almost 80 per cent are self-charging hybrid electric vehicles," Venugopal said without sharing the total number of cars it has sold since the entry in March 2017, citing internal policy constraints.

Expecting the new normal to be more digital, he said they'll look at human-centric digital solutions to drive the brand philosophy of empathy, engagement and encouragement, as Lexus is “an emotional brand."

Lexus has a manufacturing plant in Bidai near Bengaluru, which is the fourth plant for the company that sells the largest number of luxury hybrids in the world having sold over 1 million units since its launch over three decades back, after the mother plant in the US, Japan and Canada.

On the response to the locally produced world-class sedan ES 300h, which was rolled out this January, he said the customer response was “much beyond our expectations." It had last October rolled out the RX 450hL, which is the world's most popular self-charging hybrid electric SUV. Toyota launched Lexus in the US in 1989 as its luxury car subsidiary, and has since then expanded its portfolio around the world and has become the luxury hybrid leader, having sold over 1 million units globally.

First Published Date: 02 Jul 2020, 17:40 PM IST
Shopping Bag Shop Now
1% OFF
Godrej aer O – Hanging Car Air Freshener | Car Accessories | Cool Aqua (7.5g)
Rs. 98 Rs. 99
70% OFF
VENO Portable High Power 2 in 1 Car Vacuum Cleaner | USB Rechargeable Wireless Handheld Car Vacuum Cleaner Traveling, Camping Reusable and Sustainable (2 in 1 Vacuum Cleaner)
Rs. 899 Rs. 2,999
65% OFF
Ambrane 38W Fast Car Charger with Dual Output, Quick Charge 3.0 and Power Delivery, Type-C & USB Port, Wide Compatibility for Smart Phones (RAAP C38 A, Black)
Rs. 349 Rs. 999
68% OFF
PUNZONE Car Body Scratch Remover - Scratch Repair Polishing Wax Kit Sponge Body Compound Cream Wax, Car Body Compound Scratch Remover
Rs. 289 Rs. 898

Please provide your details to get Personalized Offers on

Choose city
+91 | Choose city
Choose city
Choose city
By clicking "View Offers" you Agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy

Dear Name

Please verify your mobile number.

+91 | Choose city
Couldn't verify the OTP.
It's either expired or it's incorrect.